I Don’t Want To Know!

November 10, 2007

Earlier, I referred to today’s postings over at Information Wants to Be Free and Annoyed Librarian about the identity of the pseudonymous Annoyed Librarian. I chuckled quite a bit about both posts (or really the one post and its slightly edited twin). As the day wore on – and the comments on both posts rolled in, I got to thinking about anonymity, pseudonymity and blogging. This has been a much debated topic. It can be easy for people to hide behind anonymity and use it as a tool to engage in negative behaviors. However, it can be necessary and even important in many circumstances. I thoroughly enjoy the Annoyed Librarian’s take. She often annoys me, sometimes makes me laugh, but always makes me think and rethink my own opinions about particular topics. She challenges me to challenge my own beliefs.

With this in mind, I started thinking about the overall impact of the Annoyed Librarian. I realized today that one of the reasons that I have never really speculated about the AL is because I do not want to know her identity – I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW! She is an effective voice because of her pseudonymity. In a very weird sort of way, I think that knowing her identity could possibly ruin her credibility. It could essentially take away the punch that AL packs – and that would be a shame. So, I’m going to allow myself to bask in the possible ambiguity of today’s events. That is how I want to see it.

On an entirely different subject, this is my third post today and fifth in three days. I’m guessing the blogger’s block has moved on to haunt someone else.


“Z-Day” Is Coming

October 3, 2006

From Dan Chudnov at One Big Library: Zotero a “Firefox 2 based citation manager-cum-bibliographic everything keeper” will be released on Thursday, October 5th. I’m definitely looking forward to trying it out. A good citation manager would be wonderful for school.

Update: I just installed Firefox 2 – and it was pretty painless. One neat feature: Firefox 2 tells you which plugins are incompatible with the new version. It asked if I wanted it to search for compatible versions. I clicked yes – and fortunately all of my plugins have compatible versions. Very user friendly!!!

Another Update: I forgot to link to Zotero’s home page.


More Citation Help

October 2, 2006

Ottobib.com is a great tool for generating citations in MLA, APA, AMA or Chicago/Turabian format with ISBN. While it doesn’t help sort the mess that is article citation, it certainly can help generate bibliographies for books. Very cool stuff, and it is simple to use!!!!

Found via Lifehacker.


Oh the Possibilities

August 9, 2006

Library TechBytes: Wet, Dry & Wireless

Very interesting development in the world of laundry (thanks to Helene from Library TechBytes for this link). I can only imagine the wonder of being able to check on the status of my laundry on my cell phone, laptop or tv. Oh, but wait, my father taught me never to leave the washer or dry on when I wasn’t home. The fact that our dryer’s timing mechanism kicked the bucket, the dryer overheated and almost caught fire reinforced this notion. Also, would it move the clothes from the washer to the dryer when they are clean? Would it fold the clothes after they are dry?

Will it fly? I have no idea. But, I can see some uses for this – to spy on loved ones to see if they have done their chores while one is away. Or, friends could have parties where they have their washers and dryers compete to see whose finishes first. Hhmmmm!!  Some interesting possibilities!!


Blogging via Flock

August 8, 2006

I installed Flock on my computer this morning and have been playing around with it. I really love the blogging features that it has integrated into its browser. The editor in WordPress is a bit frustrating to use because it is so small – you have to do quite a bit of scrolling to edit. Flock’s editor is pretty nice. The ability to blog about other blog posts is very cool. It actually might have made creating the list of OPAC blog posts that I wrote much easier to do. Neat!!

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Wikipedia & How it Reflects Our Changing Culture

August 8, 2006

Subject/Object :: Steven Chabot :: Wikipedia: Dissent as part of the truth.

I hadn’t really given Wikipedia much thought. I like it. I often use it to learn about different topics – especially non-academic type topics. I have found it useful and helpful. In a post on the Subject/Object blog, Steven Chabot has an interesting take on Wikpedia and its importance that really intrigues me. Steven writes “the collaborative nature of Wikipedia illustrates how ideas work in the real world. Most topics, especially as you move away from the purely abstract to the purely concrete, don’t exist in a state of total one-sided consensus.” I really like the point that Wikipedia is in essence a window into the way that ideas and information flow and how we come to define the “truth” about a topic.

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I Kind Of Missed It – the SPAM

August 8, 2006

SPAM is back. After several weeks, I finally had some SPAM comments in WordPress’ SPAM catcher. Actually, one of them wasn’t really SPAM at all. But, the point is that I think I missed the SPAM. How sad is that? It has kind of become such expected part of life that I actually notice when it isn’t around.


The Gender Issue

August 6, 2006

There have been some extremely thought provoking posts (see bottom of post for references to them) recently about the gender imbalance in technology related areas – whether those areas are jobs, conferences, workshops, etc. While the points that many of the women bloggers have made are quite valid (and certainly worth a read – as are all of the comments), these debates have made me think about the issue from an entirely different perspective – namely how sometimes we women (not all of us by any means) allow ourselves to be under-represented. I am a woman who works in a technical field – yet prefers to keep a very low profile. I would no more volunteer to speak about a technical topic (regardless of my expertise or lack thereof) than I would ask for a raise. Without a doubt, I am extremely quiet, intensely introverted and shy in groups of people that I do not know – even more so if the majority of the people are male. I like to think that I am not quite as quiet as I was in my younger years – that I have become a much stronger and more confident person. However, I still prefer to be in the background – away from the public debate – away from confrontation.

In college, a professor of mine (who was getting a masters in psychology at the time) once told me that I was a repressed female who subverted my intelligence because of my upbringing in both a family that was headed by a dominant male who did not prize intelligent females and a male-dominated society. He told me this because I could not tell the him that I deserved a good grade in his class and because I would deliberately not speak out in class. While this is a very formulaic assessment that has many flaws, there is some truth to it. I have to say that my father is incredibly supportive of me and encourages me to be more assertive. He would be heartbroken and angry that someone thought this to be true of him. In no way was it his intention to make me subvert myself for anyone. However, he is the person that our family life revolved around – to whom we all deferred. He was the breadwinner and my mother was the stay at home Mom (why this role is undervalued in our society is WAY beyond my comprehension). With this upbringing (and my own personality), I learned to do anything to avoid confrontation. I learned not to speak out too often because people don’t like know-it-alls and they treat you different if they think you are smarter than they are. And I learned that I don’t want to compete with people (especially men) because they often take losing very badly (this is a broad generalization – there are certainly plenty of women who don’t like to lose too).

The point of all of this introspection is that I would no more offer to be a part of technology group or speak about a topic or do anything that would put myself out there. I’m pretty confident about myself in terms of my work in library systems. I am very good at my job. However, the recent discussions in the library world of blogs has really made me take a hard look at myself and the ways in which I allow or even encourage myself (and all women) to remain in the background. I need to speak out more often about things that are important, participate more in conversations about which I have something to offer and become a stronger voice. I have been content to defer to others, to make excuses for behavior that demeans women and to allow things to happen, without dissent, that I didn’t totally agree with. I have to say a big thank you to all of the women who have been telling their stories, discussing this issue and opening up this debate – and making me think about where I stand on this issue – and where I should stand.

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No Homework or Computer Tonight

July 31, 2006

I finally turned my paper in about 20 minutes ago. I’m done with school for the day, and I’m on way home from work. I need to start cramming heavily for my final later this week. But for I’m done with everything computer and school related for the night. I definitely think a break is in order.


Spam Abounds

July 24, 2006

Spammers have finally caught up with this blog. I now have more Spam comments than posts – and I sense that divide will grow proportionately. The good news is that WordPress does a great job of catching it and keeping up with it all. Joy! I think I can not add Spam to the list of my pet peeves.