Saturday, October 14, 2006

You too can be a librarian (for Halloween that is)

With Halloween right around the corner, Librarian Avengers points out your choices for the perfect librarian costume.

The first retails for $59.99 and can be purchased online through Target. It's called the
Adults’ Naughty Librarian Costume, which I guess I can see. I will admit I think the book spines on the skirt is a nice touch.

Choice number 2, according to its description, is interchangeable as a Sexy Librarian Costume or a Sexy Secretary Costume. I do love the tagline, "Think the dudes can concentrate when she's around in this naughty costume?"

To answer your obvious question, no, you will not find me in either of these come October 31.

Blogging Businesses

ResourceShelf points out the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki, a listing of Fortune 500 companies with blogs, meaning "active public blogs by company employees about the company and/or its products."

A complete listing of all Fortune 500 companies is present within the right navigation pane, while the main part of the page lists business blogs that meet the above criteria.

Future plans include, once the list is "in pretty good shape," to add share price data that will enable the creation of a Business Blogging Index.

Friday, October 13, 2006

First Ladies Library

One of the featured sites in today's Scout Report is that of the National First Ladies Library, which was established in 1995 in Canton, Ohio. Its founder, Mary Regula, was inspired to start the library when her research on history and the First Ladies of the United States revealed to her "the educational void regarding information about First Ladies and other women who have contributed so much to our nation's history." Regula organized a board of 13 people to raise money and hired a historian "to create a complete 40,000-entry bibliography on all first ladies from Martha Washington to Laura Bush."

According to its Web site, the library's current collection includes 6,400 books made up of titles on, about or by First Ladies, "awardees of National First Ladies’ Library First Ladies Salute First Women" and the Abigail Fillmore White House Library Collection, a photo archive containing 6,000 photographs and slides, 500 artifacts including 150 original dresses and accessories and 120 reproductions, authors' research papers and "other media."

The Scout Report is published on the Web and distributed via e-mail every Friday by the Internet Scout Project, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Special Libraries Association podcasts

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I wasn't aware that there is a Podcast Center on the web site of the Special Libraries Association. Narrators include Carolyn Sosnowski, an Information Specialist at SLA headquarters who writes the monthly column "Web Sites Worth a Click" in the association's monthly magazine, Information Outlook, John Latham, SLA's Director of Information Services and SLA CEO, Janice Lachance.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

L.A. Times launches Manhattan Project

Like every other paper throughout the country, the Los Angeles Times is looking at ways to reinvent itself in the face of declining circulation and newsroom layoffs. However, the Times is taking an unusual approach to this effort. Instead of bringing in outside consultants to evaluate operations, the paper is drawing on the knowledge of its own reporters and editors. Three investigative journalists and six editors are charged with finding new ideas from both home and abroad "for re-engaging the reader, both in print and online."

The "Manhattan Project" was the idea of California investigations editor Vernon Loeb. "We realized we had to act fast or we wouldn’t have anything to act for," said Loeb.

Adds Robert Niles, the editor of the Online Journalism Review, "None of these legions of other people have come up with the answers, so why shouldn’t reporters take a shot?”

The paper has gone through its share of turmoil in recent days. Last week, publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson, who defied orders by the paper's parent company to reduce newsroom staff, was forced out and replaced by former Chicago Tribune publisher David Hiller.

Wisconsin partners with Google Book Search

I read in one of my feeds this morning and I also received an e-mail from Emily Y. (thanks Em!) that my alma mater is the latest institution to sign an agreement with Google that will enable the digitization of books from the university's libraries and the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The UW has decided that only those books which fall within the public domain (published prior to 1923), "state and federal documents and works whose authors have consented to the process" will be part of the project.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Women's health blog

If you have ever taken a women's health class, your assigned text has undoubtedly been "Our Bodies, Ourselves," an exhaustive resource for women's health issues. First published in 1973, the book's eighth edition was released in 2005, its first major revision since 1984. Even more impressive, the book has never been out of print.

The current edition is the first to offer an accompanying Web site and a blog, appropriately titled "Our Bodies, Our Blog."

Thanks Liz!

Al Gore to keynote 2007 Special Libraries Association annual conference

In a press release issued today, the Special Libraries Association has announced that former Vice President Al Gore will be the opening keynote speaker at the SLA Annual Conference, to be held from June 3-6, 2007 in Denver, Colorado.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

NPR live from Columbus

As I mentioned in a post Friday, NPR's "Talk of the Nation" came to you live today from Columbus. The show discussed the upcoming election and Ohio's status as a swing state and also included a tour of the Cartoon Research Library at Ohio State University.

At the risk of offending the locals here, I didn't listen to the final segment of the show. Those of you who know me will know why, but for those who don't, I'll give you a hint.

GO BADGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

"I Wish I'd Been There"

NPR's "Talk of the Nation" featured a fascinating segment today on the new book "I Wish I'd Been There: Twenty Historians Bring to Life Dramatic Events That Changed America." Some of the events which the various essayists wished they had been present at include the Salem witch trials, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and the Scopes trial.

As for me, where I would have liked to have been is on the set of the film "Gone With The Wind" or to have attended the July 6, 1957 dedication ceremonies for the Truman Presidential Library. The latter gives away my status as a history geek, but I don't mind.

What event would you have liked to have been present at?

Revisiting "Nickel and Dimed"

In an earlier post, I mentioned the blog of author Barbara Ehrenreich, who wrote one of my favorite books, "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America." In a post today, Ehrenreich states that the book is currently celebrating its 109th week on the New York Times paperback bestseller list. In light of that accomplishment and as a way of answering some of the reader questions she continues to receive on a daily basis, Ehrenreich answers some "Nickel and Dimed `FAQ's,'" including the "hostile ones." Her answers provide followup information on some of the people she worked with at her various low wage jobs, consider any ethical issues involved in the project and speak to how the writing of the book changed Ehrenreich's life.

Friday, October 06, 2006

"Talk of the Nation" to visit Columbus

My favorite NPR show "Talk of the Nation" will be in Columbus next week. Host Neal Conan will lead a live broadcast of the show from 2 to 4 p.m. The show will be followed by a conversation between Conan and Fred Andrle, who hosts his own program, "Open Line," on WOSU 820, a public radio station serving central Ohio and a Q&A period.

I listen to "Talk of the Nation" every day and would have loved to attend the broadcast, but besides the fact that I have to work, the period for free registration expired while I was out of town. I'm so jealous of those you who will be in attendance.

To hail with it

How is it that once you return from vacation everything seems to go down the tubes?

I was in one rotten mood early this morning when I got a good look at my car and saw all the dents covering it after it got pelted with hail during a bad storm that passed through Columbus Wednesday evening, most likely while I was stewing in the Detroit airport waiting for a flight that took off three hours late.

My car is normally safe from the elements because it's parked in a garage, but on this night it was parked in a surface lot at the Columbus airport waiting for me to return to save it. Alas, it was not to be.

The car looks awful and I'm embarrassed to be driving it. The roof and trunk have several dings, but the hood took the brunt of the damage. It looks like someone took a golf club and proceeeded to pound.

I can't get the car into the drive through estimate place until Wednesday. Add to that the fact that after a year I still don't know my way around Columbus and will probably get lost trying to find this place during my lunch hour on Wednesday and you've got one happy woman right now.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Newsroom Innovation Lingo

Leonard Witt offers "10 Tips on How to Save Your Job," primarily geared toward those of us who work in newsrooms. Witt doesn't mince words about what will happen to those who don't learn this terminology and begin working it into their daily vocabulary. Of those who won't adapt, Witt asks "how are your grocery bagging skills?"

L.A. Times publisher shown the door

Los Angeles Times Publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson, who resisted the efforts of the paper's parent company, the Tribune Company, to cut newsroom staff, was shown the door this morning. Current Chicago Tribune Publisher David Hiller will assume Johnson's position.

Hear Hear writes about The Washington Times and its partnership with Newsworthy Audio, the result being that readers now have the ability to either listen to the audio version of any article on the paper's Web site immediately or to download it to your player of choice. Simply click on the Click-2-Listen icon.

Political Ads database

The Washington Post has a very cool database of 123 political ads that can be browsed by a variety of criteria, including candidate, state, party, race type (governor, senator, etc.), issue, character (does the ad feature seniors, working class individuals or cute kids?), cue (September 11th theme, images of the U.S. flag), medium (TV, radio), theme music type, narrator gender, type (patriotic, pulling at the heartstrings) and year.

FOIA blog

Scott A. Hodges, a Washington, D.C. based FOIA attorney, is the author of the Freedom of Information Act blog. Thanks to Depth Reporting for another great link.

Back to reality

I returned from vacation late last night and to make a long story short, it was less than pleasant. Granted there's nothing you can do about bad weather and it's always better to be safe rather than sorry, but I'll say it again. I don't know how people who have to travel regularly for their jobs can stand air travel. My patience for it is wearing thinner and thinner each time I fly. I'm strongly debating traveling by car when I head home for Xmas.

That said, I had a wonderful time in Madison and it was great seeing all my friends again. Thanks Pam, Judith, Therese, Brianna and Ron. It's always nice visiting with you.

Lots of interesting items to post about. Keep reading!