Open Lecture at Closed Prices

From time to time, I get emails from various listservs that I'm a part of. This time, my mailbox had a letter from Simmons GSLIS.

The Open Movement and Libraries
Online -- February 1 - 28, 2009
$250 ($200 for Simmons GSLIS alums)

Am I the only one that sees something wrong with this picture? If we're talking about Open Source and Open Access, why are we insisting on closing doors by charging several hundred dollars during a Depression? (Sure, folks are calling this a Recession right now, but that's another story.) The very nature of this screams professional hypocrisy to me.

Funny, Innit?

I get this phone call, as I was on WOW tonight. I was in a good mood, so I answer it in English.


"Yes, ma'm, we're conducting a survey. We aren't asking for money, and it'll be brief..."

My curiousity was piqued.

"Where do you turn for reliable information?"

This took me very little time, maybe a quarter of a second casting about, before I emphatically responded.


Yer man thanked me and hung up.

ALA Voluntarily Censors its entire membership, again

So I wake up of a weekend to find a piece of trash in me inbox from James Rettig via Keith Fiels about what they consider political speech.


-----Forwarded Message-----
From: Keith Michael Fiels
Sent: Sep 5, 2008 3:49 PM
Subject: [alacoun] Message from ALA President Jim Rettig

Dear Colleagues:

Join the Guild!

Haven't you always wanted to be * on World of Warcraft?

Come to the dark side!

Kirin Tor server, we just got started.

Vote for Homecoming Queen

Awards, particularly the lifetime achievement flavour, seem to be loaded, risky business. This seems a particularly stinky year for those particularly sticky awards. The people that have the dubious honour of sitting these committees have my sympathy as well as my scorn. In a very inclusive field, why do we feel the need to have exclusive awards?

Like pornography, we tend to know who deserves one of those jobbies when we see them. Something resonates in us, and we think "Yeah, they deserve it."

I'd love to see the feelings set aside for substance.

Go On With Your Bad Selves, Pratt Students!

This is a How Not To on website design:

It serves to spotlight how awful a lot of our stuff is, but more importantly, how one might improve things in future. I must say (and I really, really, hoped against hope I'd never have to) that I think the Pratt site trumps ALA's in terms of confusion.

Copywrongs - Our Own Field

Scarily, folks have occasionally invited me to speak or contribute writings.

This has led to a scary amount of paperwork in paper form related to copyright. Some of it quick, easy, logical, and non restrictive (Thanks MLA and Code4Lib) and reams of scary paperwork from ALA.

Think Too Much

Between all of the Patrons and pick up work, we don't seem to have too much time to reflect.

Maybe reading The Diagnosis forced me to mull things over even more lately, but I've always kind of felt like we don't spend enough time with Patrons. One of the most rewarding things about rural Librarianship was not having someone standing about with a whip giving me agita about how much time I spend per Patron.

Ender's Game + Ender's Shadow = Homophobic Litany

Folks are in a tizzy from Orson Scott Card getting the Edwards award from YALSA.

They should be.

However, the whys of why they should be have been contorted.

I can't help but wonder how many people read things in their entirety or even carefully scan before they go commenting about them.

First, folks are seriously misconstruing the rules YALSA uses in determining the Edwards.

This is *not* an endorsement of someone's life.

To Each His Own

I'm a big fan of This Film is Not Yet Rated. As much as we're meant to be robotically neutral arbiters of the Truth, I foisted that baby on a good many of my Patrons. They were thankful for it.

In today's Times, there's a great article.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Is the jig up? Are folks more receptive than our Field might be willing to admit?

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