Saturday, March 31, 2007

Netflix distribution center opens in Columbus, Ohio

Well what do you know? Surfing the Web late on a Saturday morning can be a productive activity after all.

I worked today from home and after finishing, sat down to watch a Netflix DVD of the 2005 film "Nanny McPhee." I got about 45 minutes through the movie, which I was really enjoying by the way, when the picture started going in and out and eventually black. The picture came back for a while and I thought I'd report the disk damaged so another Netflix customer wouldn't receive it, but that I'd be able to get through the last 45 minutes just fine. Wrong. The movie played for about 10 more minutes before the same problem happened again.

So despite having a zillion things on my to do list, I went back to surfing the Internet and spent some time searching blog posts to find out how many people have had to return damaged Netflix DVDs.

Then I ran across a post on the Hacking NetFlix blog about the recent opening of a Netflix distribution center in Columbus. And because I'm a good librarian, I confirmed the news from a story in Business First of Columbus.

I'm really happy about the news and hope it means there will be a quicker turnaround time for receiving movies. I admit I was surprised when I moved to Columbus and saw that all my movies are primarily coming from Dayton, Ohio and Bowling Green, Kentucky. I couldn't believe a city of Columbus' size didn't have their own facility. This movie lover is keeping her fingers crossed.

* Addendum 4/3: The replacement disc arrived today and guess where it came from? :)

Friday, March 30, 2007

Congratulations Megan!

My friend Megan, a fellow SLISer, got some fantastic news today. She will soon begin a full time professional librarian gig.

Megan, I can't begin to tell you how happy and excited I am for you. Congratulations!

Monday, March 19, 2007

One stop searching for Ohio legal records .. finally!

I had a rude awakening after moving to Ohio and naively asking a colleague "Doesn't Ohio have one site where you can search across counties for court cases?" Many of Ohio's counties don't offer online access to their court records and those that do often have what I would term clunky sites that are unbearably slow to boot.

Yes, I had been spoiled rotten by Wisconsin and CCAP.

Today via BRB's Public Records Blog comes news that Ohio is planning a database that will incorporate court records from all of the state's 88 counties. $10.5 billion has been set aside in Ohio's proposed budget for the development of the system and immediate goals are for a contractor to be hired within three months and "to have a pilot program of 15 to 20 courts and several state agencies available by the end of 2007 and the network in place within 2 years."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

NPR at 40: Review and Reflection

The Washingtonian has a fascinating article on National Public Radio which discusses its beginnings, evolvement and changes and what those changes mean for its future. 2007 marks NPR's 40th birthday.

With thanks to Lost Remote.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Welcome to Cleveland

Romenesko reports on the misfortune of Flint, Michigan-based freelance journalist Patrick M. Clawson, who recently visited Cleveland, Ohio for a conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Cleveland Plain-Dealer columnist Michael K. McIntyre tells the story: "Within an hour of his arrival, his (Clawson's) 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass (Michigan plates: BGS9943) was stolen from a meter on Frankfort Avenue near West Third Street." Along with the car, the thief/thieves got Clawson's computer, prescription medicine and a box containing "newspaper photography and editorial cartoon entries that he was judging for the Society of Professional Journalist's "Green Eyeshade Awards." Those awards, for 11 southeastern states, may be canceled."

Adding insult to injury, the police officer who responded to Clawson's 911 call offered to drive Clawson back to his hotel, even though it was only a block away and it was daylight. Clawson said "the officer warned him that he was likely to get mugged if he walked and told Clawson to warn others not to leave the hotel at night or risk a mugging."

Washington Post Web series

The Washington Post recently launched a 25-part series that will be summarized in its print edition, but run entirely on its Web site. Titled "The Citizen K Street Project," the series focuses on Gerald S.J. Cassidy, chairman of Cassidy & Associates, a Washington D.C. lobbying firm.

With thanks to

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Jill Carroll returns to foreign reporting

Editor & Publisher reports that Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll is currently reporting for the newspaper out of its Cairo bureau. Monitor Editor Richard Bergenheim says Carroll "has been working for a month now, on a few reporting projects, but we have not made any final decisions [about her permanent assignment]." Bergenheim added that the new assignment was not publicized because of concerns over Carroll's safety. In addition, a spokesman for the newspaper says no other information about Carroll will be released.

Thanks to Cyberspastic for sending me the link.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Blog of the Nation

My favorite NPR program "Talk of the Nation" has a new blog, appropriately titled "Blog of the Nation."

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Available Awards/Stipends to attend the Special Libraries Association's Annual Conference

The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Special Libraries Association has posted a list of awards and stipends available for both professionals and students to attend the SLA annual conference on its conference wiki. The SLA annual conference will be in Denver from June 3 through 6th.

Some of the deadlines have passed and others are fast approaching, so act fast to take advantage of these opportunities.

I'm partial to the News Division's Vormelker-Thomas Student Award, which enables a student interested in pursuing a career in news librarianship to attend his/her first conference. Further details can be found on the Division's Web site. All application materials must be e-mailed to Emily Glenn, ee_glenn(at) by 5 p.m. March 23.

Journal-Sentinel's investigative journalism efforts

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is renewing its focus on investigative journalism projects. Managing editor George Stanley wrote about these efforts and the journalists involved in the projects in a column posted today on the paper's Web site.

I know I'm biased, but the obvious thing missing from the equation is having librarians working on the team producing such stories. Who else has the skills to search a variety of databases and can find those nuggets of information that enhance a story's quality?

Yes, I'm on a soapbox, but if librarians want to remain relevant, we have to keep advocating for the value we bring to any environment we are a part of.

Friday, March 02, 2007

San Francisco Chronicle "Zodiac" stories

"Zodiac," the movie that tells the story of the Zodiac killer, who murdered five people in the San Francisco Bay area in the late 1960s and early 1970s, opened today.

The San Francisco Chronicle has a package of stories on its Web site that tell this tragic story. In addition to articles, there are photos of the victims and a graphic and map showing where they were killed and PDFs of articles written during the time the killings were occurring.