Saturday, April 19, 2008
tags are lazy, sloppy, hasty. taxonomies are cumbersome (cheap shot), unintuitive... but also unambiguous.
how to make tags for c.o.i.s unambiguous, precise? reference to the schema needed to define terms. building better schema, yes, but also building better ontological tools, meta-schematic maps that define where the references are, what they refer to (and when), and the context necessary to decide on one over another.
much more to learn.
how can library thing help us to make one instance of "rock" mean stone, and another instance mean the music? are tags a black hole? and they, don't they, still ultimately depend on the occasional human pruning, picking the "fucks" and "goddamns" from the record page once LT is integrated into your ILS?
we need better tagging tools.
this whole thing -- it has to be a 'how can we make this work better for us and our patrons' thing rather than a 'ooooh, i du-nnnnnnnnnnoooooo, should we or shouldn't we even dooooooo this' thing.
and hell yes. we need to do this. but smartly.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Todd Humble of North Richland Hills talked about implementing RFIDs in the collection -- really good talk, really practical, pragmatic info. He raised the issue of read/writable tags and data swiping, which is a real worry if you go for the 'smart' library cards for your patrons (his system was wise enough not to). This guy's the real deal, right down to grinding down the surfaces of discs in order to make sure that 100% -- yes, really -- of the collection was tagged. From scraping and photocopying, creating faux covers, to foiling foil, Todd knows his stuff.
Second session was on Second Life. Ms. Lorin Fisher gave a good introductory talk on Second Life, Second Life Library (infoisland, or info archipelago now?), and the particulars of doing reference service in SL. I asked her abt making use of SL in the here/now of my community's daily, RL reference needs. I remain unconvinced that SL librarianship has much at all to do with RL service and getting the information to the people, despite the excellent points she raised about meeting professors teaching in SL on their own pedagogical turf. (I know of one prof teaching an anthropology course in SL at my college, but there are probably more doing it.) I just don't yet think SL serves the mass of us. I can't help but see it as a "wow, ain't this cool!" tool for the info-elite who have the luxury of time to romp around being a dinosaur-fairy-goth-robot in wonderland. But. That's not to say SL lacks potential, and I think Ms. Fisher did a good job in asking us to think about what that potential could be.
Otherwise, played some wii nintendo bowling (my first wii experience ever) at the HighSmith booth. They told me pretty things about library furniture and gave me a plush lizard. Actually, their tables look like the best for our hypothetical (hopefully this summer!) game night needs, unless we rig something up homebrew by trying to laminate our own table tops.
Another good day at TLA, despite being spammed to shop at the scooter store by some guy in the hall (pushed a card out right in front of me whilst I was walking. I was like 'what's it for', he was like 'the scooter expo', i was like 'not interested', kept walking. the expectation that people will take what you put in front of their faces just because you have the nerve to stick it in front of them is insulting -- and now that feller knows it don't work on us all), and slight hassling about my lacking badge when I first came in (well mister, you better go back to your truck to get it)... fair enough.
(aside, the pic of Ms. Yarrow has a story, and it has to do w/ Meg Cabot a little bit... no time now tho).
**edit: to say, that pic ain't from Transmet! my goof -- it's Katchoo, right?**
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
When I arrived to setup for my speech, I found out that I was almost an hour late, and the majority of people that had been waiting patiently had moved on to other sessions.
I was devastated, and still am. I’m pedantic about time, and unless Neal makes me slow down, I’m early for everything. I can’t stand disappointing people, and it breaks my heart that I did today (They told me there were 50 librarians waiting for me). Since I like to be early, we were there walking around the whole time they were waiting.
There were a few people left when we got to the room, so instead of a formal presentation, we just sat down and talked informally about new media and podcasting.
This is the most embarrassing moment of my life, both personally and professionally. I want to publicly apologize to all the librarians who were in that room waiting, and to Todd Humble, the organizer.
UPDATE: I didn’t say why I was late. I put the time down wrong in my calendar, even after triple checking the time slot.
Could've happened to any of us!
What a good day to be at the TLA convention!
I got to meet some excellent Texan librarians, learned a lot, and got some ideas for programs. I'm really enthused abt gaming in libraries (after hearing Eli's talk on literacy skills learned through gaming), but I reckon on starting with table top programs -- chess, mancala, RPGs.
Learned a lot about LibraryThing and its uses in lib catalogs -- also its uses in small communities of interest... which brings up contextual tags, other issues.
Look forward to tomorrow.
edit: to say Barbara Johnson of Beford libraries and Ellie Collier of ACC made an awesome presentation. they lit the fire of libr.thing up under me.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Of this corpus:
I find the following terms particularly problematic (in terms expressed previously):
The three consecutive exclamation points don't work to make me feel any, like, better. You can, heck, call me, like, totally stiff if you wanna! Talk to, like, the hand!
That librarians are there to help them and that Springshare wants to get paid to help librarians help patrons? Or what?
Should I not feel annoyed to be talked to in a hip and informal way? Is it because I'm part, generationally and attitudinally, of the 2.0 thing that it's okay to talk to me about selling your product in the same tone that you might use to leave a comment on my Facebook wall?