Category: Libraries

borrowing energy

Late November and early December is always a hard time in the academic cycle — the semester is almost over, and everyone’s wearing down, but we haven’t hit the frenetic energy of finals week yet. The pile of things you planned to get to “during the fall semester” or “before the break” or “after Thanksgiving” is staring at you balefully and you’re staring back thinking, “I have to kill it before it develops language skills.” It’s also registration time for students, when they choose classes and projects for next semester — and set up internships. Next semester I will be […] keep reading…

Driveby observation on acronyms and initialisms

Three SUNY groups came up in a meeting this morning: The SUNY Council of Library Directors The SUNY Moodle Users Group The SUNY Chief Academic Officers When you treat them as initialisms, they become, respectively in our communal awareness, SCLD, SMUG, and “the CAOs”. If you read them aloud as acronyms, instead, they become “scold”, “smug”, and “chaos”. Man, we are just not doing ourselves any favors! We complain, as a profession, about library-specific vocabulary, and the acronym soup that plagues us, but I’m realizing that it’s not just libraries — it’s academia. I think it’s time to come up […] keep reading…

on apologies

At CLA’s Great Debate last week, library conference and blogosphere fixture Stephen Abram addressed panelist Jane Schmidt with “Jane, you ignorant slut!” You may recognize that as a famous Dan Aykroyd line from Saturday Night Live, from the 1977-78 era. And you may, additionally, be wincing at the thought that someone said that on stage. To a female panelist. At a conference. About libraries. If you are not wincing, please consider this: “slut” is a sexual slur that nearly always contains misogynistic and oppressive over- and undertones, and feels like a shaming attack when it is addressed at you. Even […] keep reading…

on confidentiality and FOI laws

For the past few weeks now I’ve been emailing back and forth with a vendor, debating terms of a license agreement. I struck several terms, both of my own volition and on recommendation from purchasing officials on my campus, and added additional SUNY-specific terms that need to be included. I’ve done this many times before, and usually, the vendor suggests changes to bring us to agreement, or simply agrees, and we move on. (The notable exception is that Lexis-Nexis will never ever ever ever agree to allowing walk-in users, which is an incredible pain in the ass in re: our […] keep reading…

Experiencing different realities

I’ve been alerted that the December 2013/January 2014 edition of Against The Grain will include a rebuttal of my keynote address at the November 2013 Charleston Conference, and a kind soul who will remain anonymous provided me with a copy of that rebuttal. When it is published online, if you have ATG access, it will be here. The article also provides a link to a video of the speech I gave, which is here. (Note: These links are not currently working, as of 10:20 on 2/6. They are not the official links, so they were bound to be unreliable. There’s […] keep reading…

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