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Showing posts from March, 2013

#TableTopDay

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I'm a bit of a geek.  And by "bit of a geek" I mean for years my main hangout was in a gaming store, I play RPGs, I LARP, I play card and board games, I play World of Warcraft, and was proposed to through Team Fortress 2 and thought it was awesome (once I stopped laughing).  I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, and yes, I am still upset that Firefly was canceled after one season.

I've actually got reason to be grateful to Wil Wheaton, and that's because he started doing this awesome little web series called TableTop on Geek and Sundry in which he and some awesome people play games.  This little web series got my other half interested in the games they were playing (a bunch of which I already owned), and now we're regularly having friends over to play games.  In conjunction they're putting together a thing called International Table Top Day to encourage people to have an awesome time.

Did you know your library might have some really awesome …

Always continuing my education

And this time I mean in a literal "I'm taking classes" sense.  I've made a few dabbles into trying the MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) model, and neither went so well.  The material started with concepts I was grasping at and then quickly went beyond my ken.  One was in Networking and the other was in Programming, both subjects that I really do need a more local support for.  Fortunately the worst thing that happens generally with a MOOC is that you just don't get a 'certificate of completion' and in fact can likely take the class again at a future time.

I found two courses that start a week apart that I'm pretty excited to be taking part in.  Lets just hope that I didn't bite off more than I can chew in terms of time requirements.

The one that just started is Surviving Disruptive Technologies.  While I haven't found anything mentioning libraries in the course syllabus, it is about meeting and adapting changes.  A library may not be a busine…

[Book Review] American Gods

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 American Gods / Neil Gaiman (American Gods)
"Is nothing sacred?Days before his release from prison, Shadow's wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and king of America.

Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.

Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You'll be surprised by what - and who - it finds there..." This is one of my all time favorite books.  I re-read it every few years, though I have discovered that I must keep the readings of American Gods and Anansi Boys spaced out as I have found that reading them too close together sours my enjoyment of the other.  It is a book about America but not really about anyone&…

Some more on Kirtsaeng v. Wiley

I wanted to touch some more on Kirtsaeng v. Wiley than I did in my previous post because I didn't really write anything of substance and I wanted to put out more on the subject than snippets of the court opinion.

Often my first thought in regards to many cases like this is library application, since that is what I deal with daily.  In this case even the prosecution admitted that a decision in their favor could be used against any sort of reselling of goods manufactured outside the US, including goods purchased wholesale to be resold in stores.  I side with Justice Breyer in that I don't believe that exploitation of a favorable ruling against First Sale is a baseless fear.  If there was nothing to fear then copyright trolling would not be nearly so lucrative.

Largely any books, DVDs, CDs, etc that we purchase for the library are published in the US, so in this case the threat against the First Sale Doctrine would not affect a large portion of our collections.  We don't just…

Kirtsaeng v. Wiley Decision

I mentioned this case in an earlier post about First Sale Doctrine, and today came across the court decision in the case of Kirtsaeng v. Wiley.  In a 6-3 vote, the court decided in favor of Kirtsaeng (see full court opinion).  From Justice Stephen Breyer:
In our view, the answers to these questions are, yes.  We hold that the "first sale" doctrine applies to copies of a copyrighted work lawfully made abroad.
 Some more detail on application and coverage:
The act does not instantly protect an American copyright holder from unauthorized piracy taking place abroad.  But that fact does not mean the Act is inapplicable to copies made abroad. As a matter of ordinary English, one can say that a statute imposing, say, a tariff upon "any rhododendron grown in Nepal" applies to all Nepalese rhododendrons.  And, similarly, one can say that the American Copyright Act is applicable to all pirated copies including those printed overseas.  Indeed, the Act itself makes clear that …

Thank you, enthusiastic library patron.

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Sometimes feedback is just awesome:
Regardless of how much some of us may complain about things patrons may do (why is there peanut butter on the DVD, and do we really want the answer?), the frustrations are not the whole of the job.  Librarians work in a public service occupation, we largely like helping people and providing our various services.  We get verbal praise and feedback and that's always awesome.  Stuff like this note that you find on your desk or in your inbox are just amazing.  Perhaps its something about the effort, the deliberate thought, and the sheer tangibility of it.  It even beats the emails that are sent to the director by a patron in praise of a job well done (also, less embarrassing because I don't first read it on the staff mailing list).  I've acquired a small collection of thank you cards since I started at my library, this is joining the pile.

Also, in my mind the title of this blog post is sung like the Bud Light "Real Men of Genius"…

NF Display March 2013

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First off, BLARGH!  I already wrote this, even posted it.  Then I noticed a major formatting issue, tried to fix it (which utterly failed), and had CTRL+Z delete everything instead of functioning as "undo" and things just went downhill from there.  I make no promises to the accuracy of the reconstruction of the preexisting post with the exception of the book list, that I can guarantee is the same list of books (though possibly in a different order).


So, March non-fiction book display.  I'm going to take it as a good sign when many of the books that I wanted to include are actively circulating and were checked out when I put this out.  As the theme this month is Pages to the Screen I suppose this means either patrons are actively seeking out titles that movies have been made of, or the studios sometimes have really good taste.

My first choice for a March display was brewing, possibly paired with cheese making.  For some reason we have a LOT of books on cheese, I probably …

Coolest Profession Ever

For me, ultimately pursuing both a degree and career in Library Science was something of an inevitability.  I came to continuing my education by repeatedly coming up short when finding library jobs that looked awesome, but required a degree that I did not possess.  Enough of that led me to decide that maybe I should remedy that lack, and off I went with the end result of where I am today.

I believe it is a distinctly good sign that you are in the right field of study when you enjoy the homework and assignments given (stress and confusion aside).  But that wasn't what really clued me into that I had found the perfect occupation to pursue.  No, that moment came when I found a posting on the GSLIS West Office Job Board for what amounted to a Star Wars Librarian for LucasFilm.  As this was my first semester in library school and the job was on the other side of the country, there were a few road blocks in pursuing the position.  Regardless, it stands out as one of the coolest jobs I&#…