Sunday, May 24, 2009


Originally uploaded by sdentan
Stella turned three on Saturday. She got pretty ill Thursday night, so Saturday's picnic in the park was cancelled. She was feeling better by Saturday, so Sunday morning she and I whipped up a strawberry cake (from scratch, even). Devoted grandparents came up for lunch, cake, and the requisite explosion of gift wrap.

Back to library stuff later, right now I'm just glad my sugar got to enjoy some semblance of birthday festivities, even if they were smaller and later than intended.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dipping a toe in to the wiki waters, AKA Things 16 and 17.

So I went and added my blogs (this one and Model for Service) to the blog list on the Library Sandbox Wiki. Then, because I am a sucker for extra credit (pleeease can I have that gold star now?), I headed over to SACWIKI, signed myself up, and did a little stubby entry for SPL.

Please go flesh it out and make it look pretty, OK?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Twitter brought me something wonderful!

So I've determined that many of the "people" who follow me on twitter do so because they're trying to sell something. I don't follow-back (or whatever the kids are calling it) unless there's a good reason to. Generally, I just ignore new followers, unless there's some indication I know them in real life. Unusually, something about MoviesBigScreen intrigued me, and I started poking around.

Good thing, too, because not only do they screen really cool films (I'm bummed I missed God's Cartoonist by one day), they're screening The Hollywood Librarian at the end of this month. I will find a babysitter, and I will be there! Anyone else interested?

And since I'm on the topic, what non-work discoveries have you made through 27-things? Bonus for things quirky-Sacramentan!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Are you following the SPL Model for Service blog? Why not?

Today's post includes some of my favorite goals (so far) from the planning sheets that have come across my desk. Take a look!
Also, the Model for Service blog is a group blog - if' you'd like to contribute, let me know and I'll add you as an author.

And since it's coming up on Mother's day, I'll leave you with a photo of an impish kid, circa 1912, courtesy of the Commons.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mmm, delicious!

OK, we know I'm a sucker for an application with a cute name. So I'm a delicious fan. I'm also a librarian, so I collect information in the e-verse as well as in real life. And at least in theory, I'm a fan of folksonomies, G-d knows I defend them to my sweetie (who holds that folksonomies are the beginning of The End) about their usefulness often enough.


I have a delicious account. Haven't used it in a while, because I can't get IT to download the teensy bit of software that would make it easy to do so from each webpage [insert rant about inflexible computers at work here]. So I opened it up and started looking at the 100+ links that were there from late 2008. And, being a weeder, the first thing I did was junk a bunch of stuff that's irrelevant. Then I started looking at my tags. And they were a mess, but worse than a mess, they were not useful. They added nothing to the searchability of the links, and I spent some time wondering what the heck "development.readings" was about, anyway. And this is my problem with relying on folksonomies.

Harking back to Library School, it is exactly this problem that controlled vocabularies are supposed to address. If you define your terms, and terms are standardized, in theory it makes items more findable, rather than less. Which works great if everyone knows their way around LCSH, aka the Big Red Books. Of course, not everyone gets LCSH (cookery, anyone?) and folksonomies, and customer-driven tagging, are incredibly useful to supplement standardized cataloging (meta-data-assignment, whatever).

I'm not ready to favor folksonomies over standardized taxonomies. Not until my tags are still useful a year after I've tagged them.

Oh, and I'm sdentan on delicious. I haven't done much with the social side of delicious, it's more a web-based favorites list for me now, but I'm not averse to sharing!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Things 10, 11 and 12

I had every intention of playing around with a number of online image generators - via Mashable ("The Social Media Guide", and the only techie blog I'm currently reading) I found a list of hundreds. But you know, I'm perfectly happy with BigHugeLabs and really, I do have this job I'm supposed to be working at once in a while. Thing 10, check!

I had an account on LibraryThing for a bit - after hearing from libraries using Library Thing for Libraries, I played around with it to see if that was something we might use at SPL. Our recent catalog upgrades (covers, reviews, encore) have pretty much abrogated the need, but it's still an interesting solution. Of course, if I'm honest, the main reason I don't mess with LT is because I'm embarassed at how little print I actually read these days. It's the parenting, it kind of cuts in to my free time. Want to know what I'm reading (or more properly, skimming)? Check out this month's Parenting Book Bulletin. Thing 11, check!

And on to Rollyo. Rollyo has everything I need in a 2.0 technology - it's reasonably useful, and it has a cute name. Since I'm pretty far removed from proper reference these days, I was hard pressed to come up with a work-related subject needing a custom search engine. I can imagine a number of engines that would be useful in my personal life, particularly from my past life as a knitter and crocheter - patterns are spread all over the web, and it can be a pain to dig through them all to find that Dr. Who scarf you remember you saw last month. Because I'm currently planning a birthday party for a three-year-old, I went ahead and created a search engine for kids craft activities. Drumroll, please, for thing 12!

Rollyo does suffer from the weaknesses of the search function of the sites you select - that is, it's all straight keyword, and there's no good way to refine results. No worse than any other straight keyword, but no better either.

Web 2.0 - not a bad way to spend my rainy afternoon...