2010 Year End Mashup

A lot of great posts have been written in the last week of 2010. From devil’s advocates to looking ahead, esteemed library and information pros have been busy with reflection.

Taking inspiration from many posts including but not limited to the following, I am attempting to put together a list of my own LIS related resolutions for 2011. Nothing ends the year better than a list, right?

Here are fabulous posts for you to ponder while reflecting and resolving:

*Infonista: Kim Dority gives us this uplifting post called For 2011: Say Yes

*Meredith Farkas summarizes all the devil discussion in On Devil’s Advocates and Sausage Making

*The blog that spawned the discussion: K.G. Schneider’s The Devil Needs No Advocate

*Phrase and words that need to go on The ‘M’ Word

Now, without further ado, the Mod Librarian’s LIS Related 2011 Resolutions:

1. Be fearless, but prudent when proposing change.

2. Welcome opportunity and say yes to as much as possible while still retaining balance.

3. Read or write (or both) one LIS related resource per day.

4. Forge alliances with like minded LIS folks.

5. Stop using filler phrases like ‘At the end of the day,’ ‘That said,’ and ‘Net net.’

6. Be imaginative, innovative and enthusiastic.

7. Be discerning in weeding out techno-lust crushes from sustainable solutions.

8. Don’t let the pervasive doom and gloom of professionals like the Annoyed Librarian dampen your zeal for this profession.

9. Try things and if they don’t work, try other things.

10. Get that first post-MLIS job and get out there and make a difference!

Happy new year!


5 LIS Things to Discuss While Toasting

Well, the New York Times upstaged me by offering 110 things discussed in 2010. Once you are finished reading about bedbugs, Larry King, the iPad and Patti Smith’s National Book Award, check out these five fabulous topics designed to amaze your library and information sciences pals at parties.

1. Awesome tips for creating an editorial calendar to manage digital content.

2. What happens when fine art meets tag clouds, RFID chips, tweeting and personalized recommendations?

3. How not to do a screencast.

4. How having a smartphone changed the way Aaron Tay does his work.

5. Which twenty five classic films have been added to the National Film Registry?

Happy 2011!

History for Sale

Deaccessioning is a polarizing issue for archivists and special collections departments. Making a decision to sell part of an institution’s history is a sensitive topic. Now in Little Falls, New York the issue has caused a rift between the library board and the director who resigned over some perceived mishandling of collection items.

Especially vexing is the fact that the rare items in the Little Falls collection were sold to raise money for the library. Coupled with some possible mishandling of items, some of which may have ended up in a board member’s home, the deaccessioning situation spawned a great article in the New York Times on December 28, 2010.

To me, the most interesting quote in the article is that “We don’t have the space to take care of some of these items,” said Chester P. Szymanski III, the library’s president. “We’re not a museum. We’re a library.”

In my opinion, any collection whether in a library, archive, or museum should be handled with care and every organization should set up ground rules for collection management specific to deaccessioning before it happens. Also, the lines between museums, archives and library special collections are blurry, but the processes should be similar. After all, historical significance remains no matter who owns the items.

The Art History Kit: Scholars Resource

Remember sitting in a dark lecture hall with the sound of the slide projector advancing from art of the ancient near east through the renaissance? Well, I do and I know this is not how art history is taught presently. The resource of resources seems to be Scholars Resource “the only marketplace where educational institutions can license digital images in perpetuity from multiple sources.”

This resource is remarkable for a number of reasons. Users can search by textbook, time period, artist or museum. Anyone can view the vast selection, but you need an account to download images or order products.

Since the works of art feature many searchable attributes, this site seems to provide a fine starting point for anyone interested in art history research, scholar or otherwise. And, if you do need a nice selection of “slides” this is the place to find it all.

War Posters: Design and Propaganda

San Jose State University’s Charles B. Burdick (1927-1998) War Poster Collection contains over 1400 posters created by the United States and other nations to promote the message of war as good versus evil.A broad range of topics are represented in the collection, including war bonds, civilian employment, women’s service in the military, food rationing, and fire prevention. The collection also includes posters documenting political subject matter from the 1930s-1970s. About 50 of the most iconic posters are available online in the SJSU digital collection.

Burdick was a San Jose resident, WWII soldier, scholar and ultimately SJSU’s history department chair.

Here is an example of one iconic image:


Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography

This bibliography compiled by Charles W. Bailey, Jr. presents selected English-language articles, books, and technical reports that are useful in understanding digital curation and preservation. This is quite a comprehensive resource and definitely a perfect starting point for any related research endeavor.

From file format to copyright to preservation metadata, this collection covers a full gamut of topics and then some. Also included are some fascinating case studies like “Curating the CIA World Factbook” and “Selecting Research Collections for Digitization: Applying the Harvard Model.”

So, thank you Charles W. Bailey, Jr. I will refer to this bibliography often.