Friday, July 29, 2005

Google Logo Maker

Thanks to Ken Leebow for the tip about Google Logo Maker. I had an exciting Friday evening creating my own logos, but this is the only one I'm able to show. The others allude to rather unpleasant events in my life and one is a mild slam against the ex. (E-mail me and I'll be happy to send the link to you.)

I also found out when j is arriving in town, I'm really looking foward to seeing her after things calm down.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Blog Brouhaha

Two more instances of employees getting in trouble because of their personal blogs.

The first centers on the Miami New Times, the city's alternative weekly, where two editors posted their thoughts on current and former staffers. The two were handed unpaid, weeklong suspensions, as was a columnist who had a heated discussion with the pair after the postings became public knowledge.

The second focuses on the former associate beauty editor of Ladies Home Journal, who lost her job and had another job offer rescinded after the comments from her blog about her position were discovered.

Friday, July 15, 2005

"Are you using the right blogging tool?"

Asks today's featured article of the Online Journalism Review. Included is a description of various blogging software and the pluses and minuses of each, a list of key blogging terminology and a comparison chart.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Job Hunting: Lessons Learned

Kudos to Meredith for an outstanding post today about the things she's learned in the course of her job hunt.

Her thoughts closely mirror my own, particularly on the following points:

* "Don’t apply for any job you wouldn’t actually want"
Like a lot of recent grads, I got to a point where I began applying for any position that I was remotely qualified for. I understand all too well the financial and emotional toll that new librarians face when seeking their first professional position, but don't accept a position that you know will not make you happy. In my case, my heart is set on a specific type of special librarianship. Yet, I applied for and even traveled to interview for academic positions simply because I had been going through a dry spell and the academic institution was the first "bite" I'd had in quite some time. In reality, I knew I wasn't going to accept such a position, so taking a day off work to interview wasted my time, as well as the time of the interviewer and the institution.

* "Do not pay to fly to interviews"
Meredith is exactly right when she says not to pay your own way for an interview unless you're relatively sure you have a good chance of getting an offer. I read somewhere that some interviewers are reluctant to give applicants a "free vacation" and will ask them to pay their own way as a means of testing how serious they are about the position. I appreciate that there may be some applicants who view an out of town interview that way, but most new librarians searching for their first professional position simply can't afford to incur such expenses without some type of guarantee for employment.

* "Get a mentor" (or two)
I've had the great fortune to have two wonderful mentors looking out for my best interests. First, my boss, who encouraged me to go to library school and every day sets an example for me of the type of librarian I hope to become.
I also have to thank j, who has listened to many stories of my job hunting woes and whose advice and insights I value more than I can say.

* "Find a way to distinguish yourself from the pack"
One of the best ways to do this is to get involved in a professional organization while still a student and volunteer for as many opportunities as you can. I attended my first state SLA chapter meeting in September 2003. In February 2004, I was asked to finish out the term of the chapter's secretary who had left the positon unexpectedly and in May 2004, while still a student, I became the chapter's President-Elect and Program Chair. I'm sure my ability to multi-task and the experience I developed in the course of program planning was largely responsible for the initial calls of interest I would get from interviewers who had reviewed my resume.

* " Don’t give up hope"
Like Meredith, I've had moments where I've thought being a librarian simply wasn't in the cards for me and began looking at alternatives to that career choice. Fortunately, my passion for the field won that fight.

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my ? birthday! I'm not trying to be coy, suffice it to say that I'm over 30, but not yet 40. (Of course there are plenty of you out there who know my age, but please keep the mystery going :)

It's been an exciting few days. I had a great time on my trip out west and the scenery was gorgeous. The flight home last night was slightly bumpy, including one stretch where the plane was jerking up and down because of a thunderstorm we were traveling through. After we got past that though, the rest of the flight back to Madison was very smooth.

I got home about 11 p.m. and went straight to bed so I could get up early today and go to work. My only complaint now is that I'm fairly tired. Tomorrow I plan on doing nothing except watching the Woody Allen film I received from Netflix and relaxing.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Why aren't I asleep already?

I'm getting up at 3:45 a.m. tomorrow morning to catch a 6:20 flight out of Madison.

I've always been a night owl and I'm not used to going to bed much before midnight or 1 a.m. so trying to "switch" my body clock to want to sleep so early is difficult.

This is a relatively quick trip. My return flight has me arriving back in Madison at 10:30 Friday night.

I particularly hope the return flight is on time because I need to get home and head to bed for my 5:30 a.m. wake-up call on Saturday. In addition to Saturday being my birthday, it's also my day to work.

I'll be Internet-less until I return, just like Amanda is at the moment. Amanda, if you've managed to get back online, hope the move went smoothly and I'll probably give you a call sometime this weekend.

Woodward speaks about "Deep Throat"

In a Dateline NBC special airing at 9 p.m. (central time) tonight, former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw interviews Bob Woodward about his relationship with Watergate figure "Deep Throat." Woodward's former colleague Carl Bernstein, as well as former Post Managing and
Executive Editor Ben Bradlee are also interviewed.

Internet movie downloads

Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman has partnered with Intel to offer an Internet site that will give users the opportunity to rent and buy downloads of first-run and pre-DVD films.

The hope is that the effort will dissaude people from illegal downloads and give them more choices in their movie viewing habits.

Podcasting not ready for prime time

Walt Mossberg, who writes a weekly Personal Technology column for the Wall Street Journal, wrote an article appearing today in which he recounts he and his assistant's experiences creating and distributing podcasts. His conclusion: "podcasts won't truly be mainstream" until the process of creating them is made to be as simple as it currently is to create and post content to a blog.

I found mention of the article on Ken Leebow's "Blogging about Incredible Blogs." Ken will be doing a radio interview about podcasting this Friday.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Greeley Tribune editor talks about his blog

Chris Cobler, editor of the Greeley, Colorado Tribune, was interviewed last week by the Colorado Public Radio program "Colorado Matters" about his blog and his interest in what he terms "the online world."

Cobler is a 2005-2006 recipient of a Nieman fellowship and will spend 10 months at Harvard University focusing on how news is delivered online and how that information can be used to draw younger and new readers back to newspapers in whatever form that may take, including community journalism initiatives, podcasting or streaming video.

Cobler mentions that at this point, his plan is to continue blogging during his time at Harvard.

Thanks to Steve Outing and Poynter Online E-Media Tidbits.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Presidential Libraries

I've always been fascinated by presidential history and when I started library school, I was able to combine my interests into a desire to visit and learn more about Presidential Libraries and Museums. I've had the pleasure of visiting five so far: the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa (April 2002), the Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Library in Independence, Missouri (June 2002), the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kansas (June 2002), the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan (September 2003) and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston, Massachusetts (January 2005).

Two items to note. Gerald R. Ford's Presidential Museum is located in Grand Rapids, while his Library is located in Ann Arbor. Despite this, the library and museum are considered one institution and are headed by a single director.

Secondly, when someone says they have visited a Presidential Library, it is more likely that they have actually visited a Presidential Museum. Presidential Libraries are generally not open to the public, rather one needs to have a stated purpose in wanting to use the library and its collections.

After this slightly long rambling, the purpose of my post is to thank ResourceShelf for pointing out an article in the Summer 2005 issue of Prologue, a publication of the National Archives and Records Administration, which revisits the history of what eventually led to the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Inspiring quotes

Other snippets from my Sunday paper:

The headline of Carol Kleiman's column, which read: "Fight for dream job can be lengthy, but worthwhile."

Within the column itself, from Rose Ann Porter, executive director of Career Transitions Center of Chicago: "Follow the passion in your heart and never give up the good fight for the work you want to do."

Those of you in the know will understand why these resonated so deeply with me.

Treating Internet addiction in China

There was an interesting Associated Press article that ran in my local paper this morning (here's a version that appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune) that discusses China's first officially licensed clinic to treat Internet addiction. Treatment is with a combination of therapy sessions, medication, acupuncture and sports activities, the hope being that it will help to gradually ease patients back into "normal" lives.

The clinic's director says the treatment the clinic provides is generally successful, but admits that it's difficult to know what will happen when patients leave treatment and are once again faced with "Internet temptation."