unala10 (Un)Official Call for Volunteers

Can there be official announcements for an unevent? Perhaps.

Mark your calenders, oh you lovers of chaos and fun. ALA Unconference 2010 or unala10 will be Friday, June 25, 2010 from 9am-4:30pm in room 207A at the Washington Convention Center.

This year, I am planning the unconference with the amazing Sean Robinson. Last year, ALA was just getting their feet wet with the unconference idea. This year, Sean and I decided to kick it up a notch and give the crowd more power. Between our two brains, we have cooked up an exciting day of unconference fun. For a sneak peek, check out the preliminary schedule already on the wiki.

Announcements about registration dates will be coming in mid-May. Registration will happen shortly thereafter. Keep your eyes and social media feeds open. We will announce it in enough places that you will be unlikely to miss it.

Now to the true purpose of this post. Sean and I would like to have some volunteers for the unconference. These lovely, fabulous people would help us wrangle the crowd during the course of the day. You know how those crowds can get all chaotic and unruly. Volunteers will not have to compete for an official spot on registration day as they will have a special spot reserved. We would like our wranglers to be SLIS students. I know some of you seasoned librarians are a little broken hearted. I still love you.

If you are a current or soon to be graduating SLIS student, please email me at mboule at gmail dot com, DM me on Twitter, or send me a smoke signal. I only need three people so type fast.

–Jane, (un)changing the world

When Politics and Nerds Collide

My friend, who works in Washington, DC, and I were having a nice little chat today and he asked me how things were at Lockheed.

Mr. Rochester, for those of you that do not know, is an actual Rocket Scientist on the Constellation Program which has been canceled by the new NASA budget. That budget is now going to Congress where they have to argue and dither over what will happen next. The bad part is even the NASA admins will not say what NASA is going to do or where they are going to do it. It is irritating for us little guys who have to stay in a holding pattern, life-wise, while the PTBs decide what the heck they are doing.

Nice that we all have a plan, right?

So back to the conversation. When you have conversations with nerds about politics, this is what you get:

[14:20] Friend: How are things at Lockheed?
[14:21] Me: not great, everything up in the air. no news. congress has knickers in a wad over NASA budget. interesting politics. would be better if it was less weiny wagging and more actual decisions however
[14:23] Friend: They get a -5 modifier to intelligence with dealing with knickers. No joke. You should see the roll for that.
[14:24] Me: Well add that roll with a few +7 asshats and whoa are they up to their ears in trouble
[14:36]Friend: That’s a pretty high asshat modifier.
[14:37] Me: well perhaps only +3 then

–Jane, wearing her +5 Browncoat t-shirt

Readers and the Smart Bitches Sound Off About Publishing Trends

It is all well and good for librarians, publishers, and other professional bibliophiles to rave and rant about publishing, ebooks, DRM, and other things that we love and hate, but it is something all together when regular readers have the same conversation.

Sarah at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books will be speaking at O’Reilly Tools of Change conference on changes in the publishing industry. She asked her readers what she should include, what their concerns were, and what they wanted publishers to know and boy howdy did they respond. BSTB is not a blog with retiring violets for readers. The comments are thoughtful, smart, funny, and I hope that the publishing PTB are paying attention.

Not surprisingly, they bring up every issue I have heard librarians grumbling about as well. One thing that I realized as I read the comments was that people do realize and are concerned with the same issues that we are and for the same reasons. I have occasionally felt like we (librarians) are talking to ourselves in an empty room, but this makes me think the room may be the crush of the Season. It gives me hope that the publishing industry can still choose to listen and respond better than the music industry when faced with similar issues.

–Jane, her bookshelves thank her for buying a Kindle

The Librarian and Her Tribe

In preparation for a major writing project (more later), I have been reading a lot of books on collaboration in the era of the Internet and the ways this mindset has influenced… everything. I am currently in the middle of Wikinomincs. I know this is something I should have read ages ago, but there is no time like the right now and so, I read.

I have felt, as I have read these books, The Wisdom of Crowds, Crowdsourcing, The Starfish and the Spider, and Tribes, that these books were talking about me, my tribe, my experience. I have been a lurker in my librarian tribe of late, due to my family obligations, but I still think about librarians and libraries quite a lot.

In conjunction with all this ruminating on the way collaboration has changed everything, I have also been thinking about organizational culture and professional organizations. You know, like ALA and libraries in general. I have been thinking about how librarians share information and how we resist change or jump in depending on the technology or who is proposing the change.

I have been thinking of all the ways librarians share knowledge, collaborate on projects, and have embraced technology in ways that are wonderful and amazing.

And speaking of amazing… David Lee King and Michael Porter are launching a new website today called Library 101 that is a great example of all the things I have been pondering. Open, free access to information? Check. Information in multiple formats? Video, music, essays, and resources? Check, checkity, check. Making professional learning and sharing fun, informative, and cooperative? Yep.

Library 101 looks like a fantastic project. I can not wait to see the content, hear the music, and see the community grow. It goes live, live at Internet Librarian at 2 pm PST.

–Jane, loves her librarian tribe

Raising a Geek




IMG_0759

Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

It is important that every geek parent strive to indoctrinate geekery in their wee ones.

Here is Wee Bairn Rochester sitting in the captain’s chair of one of our computer set-ups. He loves to click the mouse and pound the keyboard. Unfortunately for Mr. R, Wee Bairn has already figured out how to open the case up of the CPU, push all the drive buttons, and turn on the printer.

My laptop is basically safe from bairn hacking as he has not figured out how to open it… yet.

–Jane, next step, watching all the good geek movies