Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Damn You Black Friday...

6 - Free After Rebate Software programs to flip. 2 - HTC Flyers. 1 - Samsung Tab. 1 - Nook Color. 1 - Pair of high-tops. That was my haul during the first few days of the Holiday shopping season that kicked off last week. The real kicker is I didn't have to deal with annoying crowds... annoying crowds armed with pepper-spray. Reminiscing about working Black Fridays makes me hate people even more. If you want to see how low people will stoop all in the name of claiming a "killer deal," then just join the masses who camp out on Black Friday and trample others just to save a few bucks. How much further can they push it? Christmas creep sets in way before Thanksgiving now. Stores now open Thursday night. Cyber-Monday deals are available the weekend before. Before you know it, the mall and all of the stores will keep the holiday decorations up all year long like those perpetual Christmas stores that somehow stay in business. They must be fronts for money laundering or something shady, no one in their right mind loves Christmas that much to support those stores.

Monday, November 28, 2011

ALA: What Us Worry?

So ALA likes to dispatch public statements whenever they feel that libraries or information is threatened.  It is all for good PR and what-not.  They made a big deal out of the OWS incident.  Okay, call it a library but it was far from a formal library which ALA is meant to represent.  I know that there is deeper symbolism behind it, but does it warrant this much attention: 'ALA alarmed at seizure of Occupy Wall Street library, loss of irreplaceable material'.  If that isn't sensationalistic writing, then I don't know what is.

Apparently, ALA is so damn nonchalant about the real issues looming on the horizon: Amazon's book lending and SOPA. 'Amazon Starts Lending Ebooks, but Head of ALA Says Libraries Still Offer Best Value' so libraries shouldn't be worried about the conglomerate-retailer behemoth that is Amazon?  Okay, so it technically isn't a conglomerate, but I think they are considering you can buy pretty much anything and everything from them.  One must be completely oblivious to think nothing of Amazon's foray into book lending, yeah, so it is restricted to only one title... FOR NOW.  New sales estimates say that the Fire will reach 5 million by the end of the year.  If last Friday is any indication, it sure seems like that will happen: Amazon Kindle Fire wins big on Black Friday.   ALA should know better, numbers don't lie.  You cannot just shrug it off like it's nothing big, it's FREAKING AMAZON.

Then we have a huge threat to the freedom of information with the idiots in government trying to pass SOPA.  Library Copyright Alliance Voices Concern about SOPA to US House.
The passiveness is killing me.  Here is a Bill that threatens the very nature of information freedom on the internet and ALA doesn't even bother to reach for its pitchforks and torches.  What good is the ALA for if it doesn't rally and stand up for its own Code of Ethics (II. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.)  Oh, I guess letting ISP's and search engines censor results and certain webpages isn't that big of a deal either huh?

ALA's shortsightedness is one of its biggest attributes.  I hate to bring it up each time I mention my frustration with ALA, but I cannot for the life of my fathom what librarians saw in Second Life: ALA Island in Second Life.   ALA also likes to push the agenda about the 'Graying of the Profession.'  I wonder how many people they've suckered into library schools with that line.  They really need to reevaluate what they're doing before they continue to screw libraries and librarians over.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Harvard of MLIS Schools...

I punch a unicorn every time I read an online post or hear someone say that they graduated from a "top-tiered" / "top-ten" / "nationally ranked" MLIS school.  Adding a superlative before 'MLIS school' creates an oxymoron.  Don't even get me started on the "U.S. News and World Report College Rankings."  It's like the Hallmark-Holidays for magazines, people only think it's a big deal because they're told to.

Nearing the end of my illustrious MLIS student career, I have come to believe that every MLIS program out there is perfectly equal with the next.  Honestly, what resources does your school offer that mine doesn't?  What do you think, you have better books than other schools?  We all use the same databases, so we're using the same crappy journal articles for our school busy work.  Okay, one might argue that their school has the 'Dream Team' of MLIS professors, but unless they teach some MARC secrets that no one else knows about that does not count for much. 

Still not convinced?  If two statistically and demographically equal MLIS grads applied for the same position, do you really think that library HR would be more inclined to hire the one who graduated from 'the Harvard of MLIS schools?' 
LHR: "OMG, this person went to the #1 ranked library school in the Western Hemisphere!  We have to hire them before the neighboring library system offers them more money!  They would definitely be better schooled to answer patron questions on where the bathrooms are and how to deal with paper jams."

When it comes to ranking MLIS schools, don't believe the hype...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Library Research S-U-C-K-S...

If there is one big thing I have taken away from my almost complete MLIS degree, it is that library research is absolutely THE WORST.

It is completely ironic and sad.  Librarians claim to be "information professionals" but yet as an MLIS student I have come across lackluster, half-assed, and erroneous articles.  Librarians are always talking about how important it is to check your citations and sources.   So when it comes to disappointing library research, I am fairly certain that I am not the only one to realize this.  Just this week, several students held presentations on various library related topics and they all mentioned how bad the so-called "Peer-Reviewed" articles they read were. 

I have heard that some academic librarians are required to conduct research and publish like other professors.  A lot of their articles seem rushed and as though they were just published just for the sake of saying the author bragging that they are published.  It is not just articles from fully-fledged librarians either.  My school's list-serve is constantly bombarded with requests from professors for students to submit articles for so and so organization.  Let me keep it real, I have done group work with these individuals and I cannot for the life of me understand how some of them have come this far in life with such horrible writing skills.  It's bad enough I have to wade through these crap-tastic articles from librarians, I'd rather not risk information BS overload with MLIS students' work. 

The research is so bad, but it's worse when every other article cites the next crap one.  Oh, and heaven help them if there are any numbers/statistics involved.  If you are going to publish an article based on a survey, you have to have an adequate amount of respondents to make sure the population is properly represented --- Survey Errors 101.  I bet that if I wrote an article about how bad library related articles were, it would get published and circulate just as well as the others. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

eReader Have You Missing the New Book Smell? Problem Solved!

Now you can choose between that "New Book Smell" or "Eau, You Have Cats."  Hell, you can enjoy your e-reader and the smell of bacon at the same time!  Okay so this isn't a new product and it hasn't been for sale since 2009 since some funny person in China decided to recycle some old "New Car Smell" cans.

I just recently got my first tablet thanks to HP's crazy fire sale.  Initially I was going to flip it, but the gadget lover in me couldn't resist keeping it.  Once I installed p-Reader, my reading has increased exponentially.  I'm not kidding, my coworkers/friends used to always make jabs at me that I don't read but yet I'm going for my MLIS... In the past month, I have read more than I have had in the past 5 years.  Well who's laughing now???

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Patrons trying to be Artsy...

Some library got these awesome book sculptures. It inspires the wannabe creative side in me; I am definitely going to try to Dremel the crap out of some discarded books.

The only artsy thing a patron left my old branch was this:
"What is love?  Never shout Never"... 
Baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more --yea yea.... Oh man, I'm definitely adding this to my MP3 player.