Paradoxical

Every now and then something will set of the synapses in my brain and things will begin to flow again. Thank you David Brooks – from The Good Order: Routine, Creativity and President Obama’s U.N. Speech Sept. 25, 2014
it was your words that had me laughing at my desk and itching to write about your statement “But life is paradoxical.”

Oh, my, yes it is!

I have had the beginnings of blogs posts written since June; some on #failure from #failedintellectual, the view from the mat, vacation, reading, baseball and starting over; just the normal themes in my life. The phrase “life is paradoxical” sum them all up.

Why do I find this so darn funny? Because we just never see it or say it out loud. This life doesn’t make sense. War, racism, death and disappointment make the news. In my little world, it’s the death of higher education, the woes of commuting, parents and children, and the never-ending search for meaning.

More from David Books:

“It requires toughness of mind and rigid discipline to properly serve your own work.”

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Getting my ducks (…books) in a row

Ducks crossing sign

https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3019/3090427805_5d6c81020d.jpg

This post is all about reading!

Reading – close reading, deconstructive reading, symptomatic reading, distant reading, surface reading, just reading, forensic reading, social reading, e-reading, re-reading, digital reading – JUST READ!

This was a great article about reading (and I learned all about forensic reading.) - Ghosts in the Stacks: Finding the Forgotten Books by Christine Smallwood

“The alphabet is great, but there is nothing quite as arbitrary as one’s own past choices. Reading more books begins at home.”

Yes, I have reports and evaluations to finish, but vacation is on my mind. Here is my reading list…soon, soon!

Vacation2014

The Summer Guest
0 of 5 stars
tagged:
vacation2014

Someday, Someday, Maybe
0 of 5 stars
tagged:
vacation2014

A Philosophy of Walking
0 of 5 stars
tagged:
vacation2014

The Prodigal Son
0 of 5 stars
tagged:
to-read and vacation2014

Sins of the Flesh
0 of 5 stars
tagged:
to-read and vacation2014

Hurt
0 of 5 stars
tagged:
vacation2014




goodreads.com

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Impact, promotion and press releases

Journal Impact Factor graphic

Summer is Impact Factor (IF) season. Publishers, societies, and journal editors the world over anxiously await the outcome of the latest version of the Thomson Reuters® Journal Citation Reports (JCR). Will their journal IFs have increased or decreased? How will they compare with the competition? Has a new journal made it into the JCR for the first time? Many faculty are equally interested in the JCR rankings – universities and funders use this data to help inform decision-making about tenure, promotion, and appointments, as well as research funding.” From: DORA and the Impact Factor Debate by Iain Craig (July 2013)

The Scholarly Kitchen notes that we are celebrating 50 years of Science Citation Index which lead to the all-powerful Journal Impact Factor.

Making sense of the world often involves making connections between thoughts and ideas. Sometimes those connections are obtuse. This month those connections are hitting me upside the head, let’s call it impact!

These articles had impact! Scholarship, impact measurement, and genre by  Alex Reid (May 1, 2013) is thoughtful from a humanities perspective; and from the library realm Promotional Considerations  by Barbara Fister (May 1, 2014).

“Attention is not the same thing as impact, and impact is not the same thing as insight.” B. Fister

“Nor is knowledge a commodity to be sold or to be used for personal gain. That’s not just a moral harrumph, there are practical reasons to resist the commodification of knowledge. When we insist that it have measurable impact, we tend to work with too short a timeline. Some ideas are depth charges that don’t go off for decades.” B. Fister

While Librarians are good at promoting reading, knowledge and public good – we are not not good at promotion. Librarians are also having some fun (NOT!) trying to measure ROI.

Librarians are happy when they can provide the right resource at the right time and now in multiple formats. My collection development librarian is so very happy that we provide the right title at the right time: case-in-point Capital in the Twenty-First Century.

Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century has already sold 80,000 copies in less than two months, and is currently sold out.

Notation from New York Times Book review Thomas Pilketty book at No.  15 on Apr. 27, 2014

How very serendipitous – reputation, promotion, and impact reflected as academics Benjamin Page and co-author Martin Gilens sent a press release about their new academic paper that got them a gig on The Daily Show. They went on to promote an academic journal article about wealth and political influence—not exactly your typical Comedy Central fare. Read about their appearances here:  A Northwestern Political Scientist Does a Star Turn on The Daily Show  by Whet Moser (May 1, 2014); Frightening Policy Research Suggests that America Might Not Be a Democratic Society by: Sarah Jones  (April, 16th, 2014.)

What would a librarian press release look like?

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Droodiana (?) as literary data

My first musical – actually on Broadway – was a mystery to me for the first half of the show. What were we watching? The tickets were a gift,  a treat, as family watched our young children. We ventured into the Big Apple from NJ environs to attend a matinee performance of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

I hadn’t done my homework. I didn’t know what the musical was about. It was enough that I finally was going to see a show on Broadway! My first clue that the afternoon had gotten away from me was just before the show began, the characters showed up in the audience – and as we were in the first row of the balcony on the aisle – right next to us. We were wooed (with very loud singing) to believe that this character was NOT the murderer. Of course, all the main characters were also in the aisles and on laps singing at the top of their lungs that they were also NOT the murderer. Chaos, confusion, cacaphony – and the show had not even begun.

The Writing on the Wall – Betty Buckley as Edwin Drood

To further confuse the issue – I love Broadway! – Betty Buckley played the main male lead Edwin Drood. Did he die? As Charles Dickens died halfway through writing this book, we may never know. But the fun of the choose-your-own-ending musical – and now the fun of  using data visualization analyzing the  different texts of the story from 1870 on, keeps the story alive and interesting to Broadway fans and scholars alike.

See these blog posts by Beth Seltzer

Edwin Drood and the Mystery of the Unfinished Novel

Measuring Edwin Drood: Experiments with Literary Data, Gephi

I like when my worlds collide!

Is it clear?
If you hear my voice, then you’re alive.
What a bloody marvel we survive,
When you think of every risk we face
In our mad human race!

I have read the writing on the wall!
Try to live forever
And give up never
The fight – you’ll need the wherewithal!
Can’t you heed the lightning
As I plead.
Inciting you to read the writing on the wall!

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Tactical Librarianism: CiL2014 Day 3

#TacticalLibrarianism was coined today by Librarian Adam Traub from RIT paraphrasing Mike Lydon author of Tactical Urbanism and this morning’s keynote presentation by the same name.

City planners remind us of the power of Short Term Action |Long Term change. City planners and librarians know the power of marrying offline|online actions. I loved the idea of Phase 0 implementation: prototype.

Librarians – Build, Measure, Learn!

Book recommendations:

The Lean Start Up by Eric Reis

Small Change: about the art of practice and the limits of planning in cities by Nabeel Hamdi

Content Computers in Libraries 2014 Day 3:

Jen Waller’s presentation was realistic and hopeful about Google Glass. [Update: and now available on her institutional repository at Miami University!]

Hacking Faculty (what?) Learning Management Systems

Dealing With Data: From Research to Visualization

Digital Stewardship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Librarians off the path: CiL2014 Day 2

My thanks to JD Thomas @techfun for these great quotes graphics!

Correction added – Giving credit where credit is due by Chad Boeninger @cfbeoninger

Computers in Libraries 2014 Day 2

I have been very impressed with the work of Chad Boeninger at Ohio University. I have heard him speak twice at CiL2014, about using WordPress and about using blog entries for reference. It is the best idea I have heard at CiL this year. He uses his Business Blog at OU to answer reference questions. He goes further and so should I – see Chad Boeninger’s YouTube channel.

Chad Boeninger book recommendation:

Trust Agents by Chris Brogan

Someone asked Mr. Boeninger if this means pathfinders are dead – and he was kind in answering – basically, yes. It isn’t enough to teach the database, or put the links on a LibGuide anymore.  We need to model and teach a research process using the ever changing tools and database platforms.

So, if pathfinders – those library tools of old – are no longer viable; why have I heard more than once now about librarians not following the path (another way of hacking the library?) David Weinberger kindly suggested at the end of his keynote that we get off of the yellow brick road and into the poppies; and today, during Using the Cloud & Google Apps for Better Staff UX, librarians from Gwinnett County Public Library reminded us to not rely on following the path, but to make connections in the space between – between the apps, between the databases, between the tools.

Other very good content #cildc today:

Human and Computer Interfaces: How to Maximize Usability & Findability by Shari Thurow

Her book recommendation:

Mobile Speech and Advanced Natural Language Solutions

 

Online Collaboration tools by Sharon Yang

David Lee King  Face2Face: using Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools to create great customer connections

 

 

I have been “hiding out” in many geek sessions this year – it is COMPUTERS in Libraries and I need my fix. But if hacking the library is the theme this year, the word in every session and in every conversation is CHANGE. Today, I did hear the most positive take on change that I can cope with: constant purposeful iterative change is not falling off the cliff. Paraphrased from Julian Aiken, Access Services Librarian, Yale Law School and his On Demand presentation. He also had the best slide ever – which I will put here when I can find it!

I bought this book:

Teach beyond your reach : an instructor’s guide to developing and running successful distance learning classes, workshops, training sessions, and more by Robin Neidorf

 

 

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Librarians un-desked: CiL2014 Day 1

It is so good to get away from the job for just a short time to see the bigger library-in-the-world picture at Computers In Libraries 2014. I wasn’t a fan of the theme of this conference – Hack the Library – but  thanks to Dr. David Weinberger for letting me envision hacking as a tool for change.  [For me - as the keynote goes, so goes the conference - well done Dr. Weinberger!] His “Hack the Library” keynote – reminding us to white-hat hack, NOT black-hat hack NOR Bozo-hack –  hit just the go-forth-and-do-good tone.

We need to 1) think of libraries as portals and platforms and 2) further linked open data and 3) incorporate visual tools like Graph Search. According to Weinberger, if we hack the libraries we hack the future. If we do it with transparency, collaboration, relationships, and community – then we provide an infrastructure and empower the building of knowledge. Curation becomes an integral part of the knowledge process and not a separate activity.

Check the tools from Harvard Library Innovation Lab like StackLife and AwesomeBox. Well done tools and platforms should facilitate community engagement and continued enhancements.

There are a number of sessions about Discovery tools and redesigning library web sites this year. I caught Jacob Berg‘s (Trinity University Library website) CyberTour of his hack of the EDS Discovery system. Great use of OA tab and DPLA search widget (which I have added to this blog!)

I spent most of my time in Track B – Transforming Web Presence and now am practicing some of those good WordPress practices.

Search tips I need:

(Thanks to Marie Kaddell  @libraryfocus for her professional tweets of Mary Ellen Bates Super Searching tips and more of the conference!)

 

 

 Librarian reading to add to Pocket:

 

Need to check this out tomorrow #cildc Day 2:

 

 

 

 

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Experiment like a mad scientist

I am…annoying…unattractive…anxious…sad…lonely…
( _____ fill in your adjective here!)

See Dr. Todd Kasdan’s exercise in this TEDx video to disassociate the thinker from the not-too-productive thought!


Dr. Todd Kashdan’s very excellent TEDx talk Becoming a Mad Scientist With Your Life reminds me to distance the thinker from the thought (easy exercise above!)

Dr.  Kashdan – happiness researcher and author of  Curious? Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life posits that we should not be an expert in anything, because as soon as we become an expert we stop paying attention!

Focus on the beauty of complexity.

Pay attention to the moments – they are like Lego’s – the building blocks of life.

 [This post was edited after original post 3.23.2014]

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Medley: Professional Development

…ruminate random thoughts, readings and things that don’t blog long… medley.

My notes from Handheld Librarian 9 (online conference)

My notes from Lorcan Dempsey presentation, delivered to WRLC at Georgetown – March 5, 2014

Going to read immediately: Nancy Duarte: SlideDocs, the New Form of Business Communication

Trying to finish up my WordPress lynda.com class, so I can keep a portfolio page on this blog.

See my current Professional Development and Library Trends.

 

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