Archive for November 2007

Facebook cracks me up

Putting the social in software

I have been a somewhat late convert to most forms of social software, but today I have a warm and fuzzy feeling because of those of you who have commented about Sam’s arrival here, on my Flickr, or on my Facebook Wall. Thanks, guys!

For the publicity

I forget how much I love Harlan Ellison sometimes (language warning).

I’ve got a golden compass…

Libraries, be forewarned: In the past couple of weeks, I’ve received several variations of the following e-mail from friends passing on the chain:


The Golden Compass with Nicole Kidman……. The link below to Snopes confirms its true. Really unbelievable.

You may already know about this, but I just learned about a kids movie
coming out in December starring Nicole Kidman. I believe it’s called
The Golden Compass, and while it will be a watered down version, it is
based on a series of children’s books about killing God (It is the
anti-Narnia). Please follow this link, and then pass it on. From what
I understand, the hope is to get alot of kids to see the movie – which
won’t seem too bad – and then get the parents to buy the books for their
kids for Christmas. The quotes from the author sum it all up. I’m
going to tell everyone about this movie.

Rest assured that I’m not going to take my 5-year-old to see a somewhat dark movie meant for adults and teens — but beyond that:

  1. The Golden Compass is an excellent book (and series) that challenges readers to think (God forbid!).
  2. Since when did we get so afraid of differing points of view? I’m pretty sure that Nicole Kidman won’t inspire anyone to “kill God.”
  3. I read, and saw, and enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia, despite the fact that I’m decidedly not Christian and the underlying themes reflect a worldview very different from my own. How is The Golden Compass any different?
  4. How secure in your faith are you, really, if you are concerned that a single book or movie will turn you or your children to the dark side?
  5. How do you engage in informed dialogue, if you shy away from everything that doesn’t match your own beliefs?

That is all.

Sam’s Home!

I’m tall!

Originally uploaded by lib_rachel

… and we’re all very tired. Happy Thanksgiving to those in the U.S., happy Sam Day to everyone :) .


Louise Alcorn just sent me the link to this video — if you were online in the mid-90s, you might find it as funny as I did!


cash advance

Go figure! (via Stephen’s Lighthouse)

Anti-elitism (a minor rant)

So, speaking of Movers and Shakers, a while back I posted a call for nominations on behalf of LJ. In response, I received an off-list e-mail that read in part:

…Aren’t we clever enough as an organization to highlight people who are already achieving and who have been achieving for a couple of years without having to showcase people who are just starting out but who, because of the temperament God gave them, appear to be leaders? Talk about squashing their peers who were not singled out as tomorrow’s leaders…. This award and the other one, the name of which I can’t remember but the one people had special flutter flu-flu’s hanging from their nametags at ALA for… Scholars something maybe… sicken me in that this uber-liberal organization singles out certain angels and leaves the rest of many, many, many hard-working, decent librarians be the unrecognized grunts of the organization.

I’ve heard similar sentiments about Movers & Shakers and about certain ALA awards, and this idea that recognizing achievement somehow belittles or demotivates those librarians who show up and do their jobs well every day baffles me.

Some “Movers & Shakers” have told me that reactions from their coworkers and administration range from complete indifference to outright hostility. This may stem in part from our profession’s commitment to egalitarianism — but there’s a difference between giving people the same opportunities and pretending that everyone is the same. We should delight in the fact that people in our field are doing exciting things worthy of recognition. We should recognize those who go above and beyond and who help move our profession forward.

If you expect an award for going to work and doing a good job every day, perhaps you’re in the wrong profession.

When I wrote my second book, I clearly remember one mumbled reaction from a colleague: “I wish I could write a book.” Well, if you feel that way when you see someone write a book, publish an article, create a resource, speak at a conference — DO IT. Others’ achievement doesn’t preclude your own: use their stories to inspire you. Think:

  • If Meredith Farkas can accomplish all this three years out of library school, then maybe your age/professional experience/job title don’t really preclude you from contributing to the profession.
  • If I go out of my way to ask for people to e-mail me with book ideas or meet to chat over coffee, maybe I do really want to hear yours.
  • If ALA and its divisions offer conference attendance grants, maybe they do really want people to apply.

If you are content in your contributions to your workplace and local community, that’s great. If not, then take responsibility for your own career and your own path; find ways you too can go above and beyond.

Show me the money!

So how many of you are willing to nominate me for this award, for I could do a lot to the site with $5k! :)

More on what Meredith said

I just got an e-mail from Library Journal, addressed to all their “Movers & Shakers” over the past few years. They’re planning a brown-bag lunchtime unconference at Midwinter “… to brainstorm some of the issues (as you identify them) facing libraries–and the solutions… At the ALA summer luncheon we talked about using ideas from the Movers “Brain Trust” in a future issue of LJ.”

OK, that’s cool, although I didn’t actually know I was part of a “Movers Brain Trust.” I’d attend if I were going to be at Midwinter. But I’m wondering how many of the other 300+ “Movers & Shakers” are going to make it, and how many more perspectives the conversation might incorporate if it were opened up or continued post-conference — on a private list, on a forum, in small chatroom groups, what have you.

Sure, this is partially sour grapes: I can’t realistically go, and I’d like to. But, it’s not just my perspective LJ is missing out on — or LITA, or NMRT, or any other group/division/roundtable. I do see the value of face time, conferences, in-person communication, but this can be a both/and situation, rather than the current “if you don’t go, your voice doesn’t count.”

On a positive note, if you’re also one of the can’t-attends, apply for one of the conference grants floating around. I went to Annual on EBSCO’s dime a few years ago, which was fantastic — and they mentioned that they generally get fewer applications than they’d like. So, go for it! I post these on Beyond the Job when I see them, also look on ALA’s grants and fellowships page.