Saturday, November 25, 2006

Make your feed a gif

A gif file that is. ResearchBuzz points to RSS2GIF, a site where you can convert your blog or Web site's feed into a gif file.

Here's what my feed looks like:


Friday, November 24, 2006

El Nuevo Herald incident

By now, I'm sure you've all heard about what happened today in Miami in the newsroom of El Nuevo Herald, the Spanish language newspaper published by the Miami Herald Media Company.

I have a colleague and friend who works there. She's among a group of wonderful people I got to know earlier this fall during my time at a Poynter seminar.

I'm relieved everything ended peacefully and my thoughts are with my colleagues this evening.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Take a stand for journalism

The Milwaukee Newspaper Guild reports that the Newspaper Guild-Communication Workers of America has called for a "day of action" on December 11 to stand up for journalism. "Guild members must take the lead in the fight to preserve journalism and news industry jobs," says Guild President Linda Foley. "We're calling on news industry employees everywhere to stand up for journalism and to stand with their colleagues who have had their jobs and livelihoods slashed by corporate media barons."

An accompanying Web site, savejournalism. org, will soon offer a place for users to tell stories on how jobs cuts have affected quality journalism, as well as a central point to download flyers or to order stickers and wristbands in suppport of this effort.

Once a week librarians

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin School Board's finance committee agreed this week to a plan that will require "all schools that have students in seventh grade and above to have a certified school library media specialist on duty at least one day a week, starting in September."

The plan comes in the aftermath of a June decision by the state Department of Public Instruction, which ruled that Milwaukee Public Schools are " out of compliance with state requirements for librarian services in schools." The agency gave the schools 15 months to
rectify the situation.

Like many school districts across the country with limited resources, those in Milwaukee are putting their money in other areas, which means a lack of professional librarians and library services.

A requirement proposed by school board member Jennifer Morales was approved by the committee: school officials must provide a report next month "on the correlation between library staffing and student achievement in Milwaukee Public Schools." The school board will vote on this recommendation at a meeting next week.

Telling Secrets

A while ago someone (I think it was you Cindy) told me about PostSecret, a blog which features postcards mailed anonymously from people throughout the world who share a secret they have never spoken of before.

The secrets run the gamut, with some quite funny and touching, while others are sad and even frightening.

Frank Warren, PostSecret's creator, was interviewed on today's "Talk of the Nation" on NPR.

Thanksgiving thoughts

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

I had to work today, but I'm happy to report everything went very smoothly.

After work, I had a delicious dinner with two good friends and we spent a nice afternoon together.

When I made the move from Wisconsin to Ohio, I knew this would mean I would no longer be able to spend some holidays with my family. I reconciled myself to this fact and figured I'd spend such days sleeping in and watching movies and that I'd be fine spending the day alone. I was wrong though. Being with friends today was much nicer.

This week I've read the comments of many bloggers regarding what they are most thankful for. It's my turn to chime in, because I certainly have much to be grateful for.

First, I'm most thankful that my dad had successful triple bypass surgery in June and that it's been five months since he last smoked. The surgery was rough, but I know giving up cigarettes once and for all was a much bigger challenge. I'm very, very proud of him.

I'm thankful that my family and I are in relatively good health. I have the same problems everyone else has. I could stand to lose a few pounds, to eat healthier and to get more sleep, but overall I feel good each day and I don't take that for granted.

I'm glad to be gainfully employed and working in an area of special librarianship that I love. Such positions are few and far between and I know how lucky I am.

Finally, I'm thankful for my friends, those I had in Madison who have continued to stay in touch, friends who have bent over backwards to make me welcome in my new (I've been here over a year, how long can I keep saying new?) surroundings and friends who I've reconnected with after some time apart. I appreciate you all more than I can say.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm off to work, Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wisconsin librarian rates Ohio's libraries the best

I admit I found it pretty cool that my home state and the state I live in were both mentioned in a news item regarding libraries.

Wisconsin librarian Thomas J. Hennen, director of the Waukesha County Federated Library System in Waukesha, Wisconsin, "ranked Ohio's 250 libraries at the top of the list for their highest overall score for circulation, staffing, funding levels, reference service and materials" in his annual American Public Library Ratings.

Thanks to Cyberspastic for sending me the article.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Another honor for my alma mater

Well, sort of. The University of Wisconsin-Madison made it on to the list of the best "Party Schools For Budding Journalists."

This post got me thinking about a conversation I had with a friend Friday night about a well-known tradition at the university that is heard at commencement ceremonies and at the conclusion of the half time show for home football games at Camp Randall, the singing of Varsity.

I sure do miss home.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Washington Post will reduce newsroom staff, focus on Web presence

The Washington Post is the latest paper to announce that it will be making cuts in newsroom staff in favor of increased emphasis on its Web efforts.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Wiping yourself off the Web

NPR's "Morning Edition" had an interesting segment today about how you can hire others to help clean up your online identity.

One such business,, will search through your Internet profiles to show you how you appear to others online. If there's something you'd rather not have the world see, the company will contact whoever controls the site on your behalf and ask them to remove the embarrassing content. If they refuse, "the company is ready to use attorneys."

The company's CEO, Michael Fertik, explains that the idea grew out of news stories that recounted the tales of recent college graduates who were denied jobs because of the things they did during their school days that were subsequently posted on the Web. (Use your imagination as to what those activities could be.)

If you can't get rid of such content, you can obscure it, says Tom Drugan, co-founder of another business that will assist you in cleaning up your online image, Namyz. In something known as "flooding the search engine," Drugan says you can create blogs or MySpace pages with lots of positive content. The more good things you post about yourself, the higher those pages will be in search engine results and the lower the ranking for the negative material.

Since most of these businesses are relatively new, it will be interesting to see how many people will ultimately use them. But David Perry, an executive recruiter, "says that with so many recruiters vetting people on the Internet, job candidates either need to background themselves or hire someone else to do it for them."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Get your daily dose of books

Depth Reporting points to Daily Lit, which will send portions of books, but only those in the public domain, via e-mail on a daily basis.

You can search for a book title or browse by title, author or genre and you can also choose how frequently you wish to receive e-mails.

I'm not a big fan of reading books online, but I'm intrigued by this service and plan to try it out.
I'd be interested in hearing about others experiences with it.