Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Stephenie Meyer is the worst ecological catastrophe of the 21st century

I went in to work the other day and to see that her publisher released another paperback edition of New Moon (the sequel to Twilight) with a movie tie-in cover. Just in case the fans did not own enough junk.

I think that 10% of our books in the store are written by a Mormon who uses vampires as an analogy for angels (not that I have anything against Mormons. Just the bigoted ones). Seriously though, that is a lot of books. And multiply that by all of the big box corporate bookstores out there. Add in Amazon. Throw in a few independent stores for good measure. It all adds up

The lorax is weeping...

..and not just over Stephenie Meyer. Nora Roberts, James Patterson, Nicolas Sparks. I don't want to censor bad literature. We all need a little garbage in out lives. Once you think about it though, all those trees add up.

It got me thinking about eReaders again. One of my readings for class talked about the information infrastructure, liking it to our transportation infrastructure. There are dozens, if not hundreds of components that let individuals (and commodities) travel around, almost anywhere we want to get. The infrastructure of information is similar, and mobile technology such as the Kindle and the iPhone are additional components to our information systems. Not everything can be on them, but maybe some stuff should.

PS - found a blog on eReaders. teleread.org Maybe some of you already know about it. If you don't, check it out.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In which our protagonist lands a job...

It really looks like I am going to be a librarian...

When I first started thinking about getting my MLIS here in Portland, I had a former coworker who was enrolled in the program I wanted to join leave the bookstore for a position with a prominent medical university here in town.

"Hmmm," I thought to myself, "I bet that would be a great job to have while going back to school. In fact, I think I would love to work there..."

With the process of getting into and starting school underway, I turned my attention to getting a job that would start my career as a librarian or information specialist. Fate smiled upon me, and I bumped into the former coworker, and she let me know that the prominent medical university was hiring student workers AND she would put in a good word for me. She is an angel. After applying and having a great interview, I start work on Tuesday.

It's going to be fascinating to work in a medical library, since I've never had any intention on being a doctor. Yeah, they make a lot of money, but blood is gross. Really gross. At least when I am bored at work I can research various debilitating medical conditions. Whenever I or a loved one receive a diagnosis, I'll certainly have the resources to find all the worst case scenarios possible and give the doctor a run for their money. Good thing I'm not a hypochondriac!

In other news...

Found this great article on cnn.com about the future of libraries. What I like about it is that it is not super alarmist. There is no "THEY'RE BURNING BOOKS" mentality. The article states that the way society gathers and devours information is changing, and libraries need to change to stay relevant. I especially like the end of the article where the funding issue is mentioned. There is a real catch 22 to the fact that updating libraries is super expensive, but with the current economic shenanigans we're going through, libraries can't afford to remain competitive.

Friday, September 4, 2009

things are changing...

A big thanks to my sister for pointing this article out to me.

Cushing Academy, an elite New England prep school, is entering into a very interesting academic experiment: removing the books from their library...

click here to read the article from boston.com

I don't really know what to say. It's scandalous, but could it also be the vanguard?

Last weekend in class, a cohort member raised the question: why don't all libraries digitize their collections. The room got hot. Not many people agreed with him, brought it brought up a lot of things to think about.

Will the change from reading a book to reading a devise have any affect on cognitive development and the way we learn? What about phyisical affects, such as the affect on the student's developing eyesight?

Why spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to preserve a few books when you could spend the same amount of to upload all of the information to a hard drive? Will books simply become cultural artifacts? I think back to the invention of the written word, and how many papyrus scrolls must have been in circulation, relative to the global population, and how few of them remain in museum collections.

What is going to happen when electronic readers are obsolete?

my stomach hurts....

it will be interesting to revisit Cushing Acadamy at the end of the school year, in five years, in ten, to see how things pan out...