October 31, 2006
Paul Pival, over at the Distant Librarian, points out that Judith Siess has calculated the least and most expensive distance MLS programs – based on figures from the Become a Librarian web site. This was one of the most important sources of information that I used to choose my MLS program about a year and a half ago. Judith points out that their is a wide discrepancy in the cost of various programs, but cautions against simply choosing the least expensive. I have to say that cost factored quite heavily in my decision of schools. I did incur debt from my undergraduate educational experience. Although it wasn’t much in comparison to the debt of many I know, it was significant enough for me. Student loans seem to hang over one’s head for the longest time – and I had ABSOLUTELYno intention of taking out any loans to go to graduate school.
My second requirement was that there be no requirement to actually visit the campus. I do not have the flexibility to be able to go to a campus for 2 weeks a year or for orientation visits. While I wasn’t opposed to cohort approach, it seemed that part of the cohort development required face-to-face sessions. With these constraints, there really were only two options: Southern Connecticut State University and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. SCSU was less expensive and closer in proximity – in case there was ever a reason to have to visit campus. Despite issues and problems (which I would expect to find at any institution), I am extremely happy with my decision. While cost shouldn’t be the only reason to choose a school, I personally think it is one of the most important.
October 30, 2006
For quite a while I have noticed that on occasion when I add a new post to my blog, it takes a long time to show up in Bloglines. It has in the past taken as long as 24 hours for the post to appear. This is highly frustrating. But ultimately, I know I wrote a post, so I didn’t worry about it too much. The thought did cross my mind that it probably happens with other blogs as well, but I didn’t have any confirmation. Today, however, there were some references to posts on Library Stuff- and I knew I hadn’t seen them. Currently when I’m logged into Bloglines, it lists Library Stuff as being last updated on October 25 – which is not the case. There have been many posts since the 25th. My own feed is listed as last updated on October 28. This is a problem!!!!
October 30, 2006
Of late, my life has been full of work and school – too full. I am tired, overworked and overwhelmed. It dawned on me today that libraries have taken over my life. I work in one – and then spend all of my spare time learning about them. School and work overlap, and I never seem to be able to get away from either of them. To say that I am stressed out is definitely understating the case. Fortunately, today I got a timely reminder about stress management from Michael A. Golrick in a post on Thoughts from a Library Administrator. There are some great suggestions to remind us that life is indeed short, so we need to enjoy it. Work needs to stay at work – and I need to find time and places to do my school work. I can’t continue to allow both of them to take over my life – or sooner or later my head might explode!!
October 29, 2006
I just uploaded my latest assignment to our WebCT online class portal. It is only 8PM, but feels much later than that (by the way, thank goodness for cable boxes and cell phones which automatically adjust to time changes – in my kitchen, it is still an hour later than it is in my living room), and I am ready for bed. Tomorrow, I am going to a workshop on copyright at the University of New Hampshire with a colleague from work. We are leaving at 6AM – wicked bummer!!! But that means that going to bed soon will be a good idea.
Anyway, I’m not thrilled with the paper I turned in (of course, I never am). This paper is for my ILS530-Information Systems Analysis & Design class with the professor that I took over the summer. Much like last semester, he hasn’t graded any of our work yet. Today’s assignment was the third one due. We currently only have our semester long project left to turn in. It is so impossible to have any real idea of how one is doing in the class without feedback. Of course, I only have myself to blame, because I had a good idea of what I was getting into – and that just makes me feel worse. Honestly, this semester can’t end too soon.
October 29, 2006
I have spent another weekend doing nothing but homework. I am taking a small break from a paper that I have due by the end of today. I don’t think there is any way that I should take two classes next semester. This fall, I have had absolutely no time to do anything other than homework, and I seem to be losing interest and motivation rapidly. ARGH!!!!!
October 27, 2006
Several people have asked recently about my use of the “word” scruffynerf (this blog’s URL is http://scruffynerf.com or http://scruffynerf.wordpress.com; my Bloglines username is scruffynerf – as is my username for Flickr; and there are many other areas where I use scruffynerf). I’m afraid in explaining the meaning I have to admit to being a Star Wars fanatic. I was young when Star Wars originally came out and was utterly captivated by the tale. When The Empire Strikes Back came out, I fell in love for the first time with my ideal hero figure – Han Solo. I still get chills when Han is about to be frozen in carbonite and responds to Leia’s declaration of love with “I know.” Earlier in the movie during one of Han and Leia’s skirmishes, Leia calls Han a “scruffy-looking nerfherder.” Aren’t you excited that the mystery is solved?????
I will also admit that I have only been to the movies four times in the past 15 years – to see The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and Pirates of the Caribbean 2. And yes, the words geek and nerd have been often used to describe my persona (most recently by my husband). I might just have to take some time to watch The Empire Strikes Back right now.
October 27, 2006
Check out this library blog search tool from Garrett Hungerford of Library Zen. Very cool stuff – and useful too! For more information read Garrett’s post about LISZEN.
October 26, 2006
After my heinous day on Monday, I decided to take Tuesday off – and get away from both work and school. I did – and it was absolutely wonderful. I had one of those days where I did absolutely nothing but watch my favorite movies, read some of my favorite books and just veg out. It definitely worked. I was much more sane when I went back to work on Wednesday morning – and in a better frame of mind to deal with the roller coaster that is systems librarianship. I also took time to thoroughly re-read my syllabi and class assignments to give me a better sense of where I am in the semester and what I have left to do.
I’m happy to say that I feel better about the semester. I doubt I will ever be really happy with it – one of my classes is just bad, and I doubt that will change. I need to just deal with it, however. I’m also making good progress on my major, semester-long project for ILS530 – Information Systems Analysis & Design. We need to choose one automated library system that “performs a library function.” We need to research the product, how it works, technical details, etc. The final project will be a formal report that describes the package and evaluate several parts of the package, including service plan, information storage and retrieval design, system configuration, service architecture, usefulness, ease of use, flexibility for use in varied environments, cost and documentation. We have a progress report due on Sunday. Although this will not be graded, I think the point is to have a good portion of the project done. In this vein, I am working hard because I have admittedly been laggin a bit behind on this. But, the good news is that I am getting somewhere finally!!!
For more specifics, I have choosen to study the interlibrary loan software package Ariel. I think it is a fascinating program that has revolutionized the world of ILL. In the library where I work, we do almost all of our article delivery through Ariel. However, the program is fraught with bugs, problems and/or technical difficulties. For this reason, I think it will make an interesting source of study.
October 24, 2006
Is it just me or does the blog coverage from Internet Librarian seem to be incredibly comprehensive? There are many people blogging the conference – and it sounds like a great conference.
Blogs with coverage of Internet Librarian 2006
October 24, 2006
WordPress announced the ability to purchase a domain name and map that name to one’s WordPress blog – for $15.00 per year. With this in mind, I purchased the http://www.scruffynerf.com domain. Currently, going to http://www.scruffynerf.com will redirect people to the wordpress.com address. I haven’t migrated the blog over to the domain, because I want to make sure that there is no loss of access or that the feeds still work. Obviously, everything is supposed to work fine, but odd things happen with technological stuff sometimes. Very cool stuff!!!!!!