summer plans

My classes ended last week–while I’ve enjoyed school so far the break is welcome. I’ve been at this since last June (in addition to my day job responsibilities), and it’s nice to not have the extra work and responsibilities … at least for a few weeks.

While I’m not taking courses this summer, I’m not taking a total vacation from learning … here’s what’s on the list for the summer:

  • CPD23 … 23 Things for Professional Development.  There are things to be learned here, and I’m hoping this will keep me interested in blogging.  I see so many blogs out there on all kinds of library-specific topics, and I drift about wondering what I could contribute to the mix.
  • SLA Annual Conference … this year it is in Chicago, which I haven’t visited in a while.  The goal isn’t to visit Chicago, but to network and learn.  Admittedly, I’m not excited about midwest weather in July, though.
  • There’s even more to do at the ALA Annual conference in Anaheim.  For both conferences there are applications which attendees can use to plan their experience, and this is a good thing–there’s even more to do here.  A visit to the Mouse is also likely.
  • and … something technical.  I haven’t written programs in a while, so it may be time to do this again.  Learning Python would be appreciated at the day job, and that might be what I end up doing … or maybe not.

SO: lots of meetings and lots of networking to be done.  There’s also sleeping in late, being sociable for a while, figuring out what to do for an internship next year, and thinking about the next academic year.

my love/hate relationship with QR codes

it’s sad, really. qr codes seem like a really good way to get dense chunklets of information out to people. but, you know, it’s not always a great way to do this.

last night i sat at a bus shelter–the 24 divisadero had ten minutes to arrive and i’m sitting in one of our new-fangled bus shelters which rotates the advertisement out every 30s or so. oh, and one of the ads has a qr code … so i fire up my qr code application and wait for the ad to pass by again … and it does, and i try to position my camera to get the shot and by the time i do the ad has moved on … after four rotations i finally got the shot of the qr code but by then the bus had arrived and it was time to go and i no longer cared what the qr code would get me.

same thing happens in subways–there’s always a qr code on an ad and you’re in a rush to catch the train … are you going to stop, fire up your qr app, get the shot and hope it wins?

i thought the qr code could be great for this purpose: i stick one on the back of my state id card and this qr code points to a list of my medications (a list that won’t itself fit on the back of my state id card).  this seems smart, right? … but do i want to depend on the idea that the paramedic has a smart phone, a qr reader, and knows what to do with it?

so often qr codes have *nothing* which tells you what they do.  do you really want to go there?  some qr code readers will ask you if you want to go to the destination hidden in the qr code, and it is often a shrunken url which is,  itself, hiding something.  meh.

what are they good for?  i’m sure there’s an answer …

my first LibGuide

Last semester one of my assignments was to create a LibGuide … I had never used one before, so creating one was a whole new experience … I ended up creating a LibGuide for a boring topic but one which might be useful for folks wondering if they really need Windows to have a solid personal computing environment.

I think about keeping this updated, but I should probably keep a Linux desktop environment to really do this justice. Have a look here.

coming together nicely

one of the assignments in my reference class calls for five hours of observation in reference environments … my luck with sfpl has improved dramatically: i met the assistant director of the library while she was working the information desk, and she has put me on to people in other areas of the main that have been good enough to agree to help with this. this sort of thing feels like i’m stealing their time, but the folks at the main have been uniformly positive and generous with their help on this assignment.

dates and times will follow.

library feeds i follow

i’ve been following many of these for at least a year. some have gone idle for a while,
and some are rss feeds of more active places (so you might get 40-50 items per day).
i don’t read every item, nor do i read every day (sometimes the quantity is just too much).
a few institutions which i considered and did not attend are also represented below.

the links below are all to the rss feed (so when you click on the link your rss reader will open).

agnostic, maybe … andy woodworth’s blog. he’s a library advocate, a mover and shaker, and he got the old spice guy to make a video which advocates for libraries. what’s not to love?
american libraries magazine (a publication of the a.l.a.)
b sides – the journal of the university of iowa school of library and information science — an open-source peer-reviewed journal
book patrol
the california digital library
closed stacks
first monday, one of the first open-access peer-reviewed journals on the internet
free range librarian
hack library school … meant for library and info science students
su ischool events
su ischool news
journal of library innovation
library link of the day
library on/library off
swiss army librarian
tame the web
teleread: news and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics
the digital immigrant
this week in libraries
school of information, university of michigan
virtual dave, real blog … dave lankes’ blog

go ahead and check them out ..

atlas: on knowledge creation

i never expected that most uses of libraries led to knowledge creation … at best i figured for knowledge duplication. i knew that media in the library wasn’t, in itself, knowledge, and i knew they didn’t contain knowledge (they contain representations of information, of course).

i had this idea that knowledge creation ultimately led to the production of the content which is carried by artifacts that others use in libraries. so, in this model, knowledge grows more slowly … and the community doesn’t routinely create new knowledge in great quantities.

have i gotten this wrong? have i underestimated the community? it’s entirely possible (i tend toward pessimism–not only is my glass only half-full, but there’s a big chip taken out of the rim that i have to watch out for … )