internet librarian

Internet Librarian – the conference for the library geeks with well funded travel budgets.

Today I got a program book for Internet Librarian in the mail. I’ve been reading the buzz about this conference all over the blogosphere, so I decided to give it another thought. I checked the dates and it butts up against ACRL-OR/WA, but I’d have all morning on the 26th for travel, so I started browsing through the program. Looks like there will be an interesting collection of presenters and topics. I was almost set on going until I flipped to the registration form and saw the cost. Okay, $400 for a conference isn’t too bad, as far as these things go, but $185 per night (plus taxes and fees) for the hotel rooms is outrageous! It’s even more stunning when the literature calls it a discounted rate. NASIG has been in very nice hotels in large cities for the past few conferences and never has the room rate been over $110 per night. Internet Librarian should look at getting some real discounts or moving to a location that is more affordable. Until then, I’ll continue to read the buzz from the A-list bloggers who attend the conference.

women readers

No, Mr. Pig, I do not read fiction because I secretly desire to be raped.

Some sexist bastard at the Telegraph wrote the following:

Women turn to fiction, I would guess, because it is the last reservation for men who are neither violent thugs nor politically correct weeds, where a girl can still get her bodice ripped without the bodice ripper being locked up.

What the? Is this guy on crack? No, Mr. Pig, I do not read fiction because I secretly desire to be raped. I read a certain portion of fiction because I enjoy it, and bodice rippers are never found in my reading list. If the point of your essay was to bring attention to the decrease in male readers, it was completely lost after this paragraph. Grow up and get a fucking clue.

la la la la zzzzzzz……

USA-based online CD trading site to give 20% of revenue to performing artists.

Today, USA-based online CD trading site la la opened its doors to the public. Although the site remains in beta testing until the official launch in July, new members are able to register without needing an invitation from other beta testers or the site administrators. With this soft launch comes an announcement of the “Z” Foundation, a non-profit organization that will donate 20% of the trading revenue of la la to performing artists. Founder Bill Nguyen hopes to eventually increase that percentage to 90%.

From the start, the vision of la la has been focused more on providing inexpensive ways for music fans to discover new artists and less on getting music for cheap. The site seeks to create a community that promotes music in general and supports performing artists in particular. The “Z” Foundation is one outlet for that vision. Eligibility is available only to working musicians, defined as any individual who has performed on a recorded release or live performance in the last year and whose music-related income accounts for more than half of their total income. To register, musicians can go to http://www.lala.com/z.

I have been a beta tester for la la over the past two months, and with 144 trades (total of sent and received) under my belt, I am willing to admit that I’m a fan of the site. As a friend to several full-time performing musicians, I’m also a fan of the “Z” Foundation concept. Music is an essential part of my life, and I appreciate the opportunity to give back to the musicians while also swapping out CDs I don’t listen to anymore for new-to-me CDs. There are other media trading sites out there (Title Trader, SwitchDiscs, etc.), but only la la has stepped up and given something back to the people who make this music available in the first place. That’s something to sing about.

An Interview with Susan Werner

“I believe that we can be a diverse society of extraordinary creativity and innovation and vitality and freedom, and those things are the best things that we can be.”

Susan Werner, PatriotMy introduction to the music of Susan Werner was in the fall of 1999 when a friend who produced a local acoustic music radio show lent me copies of Time Between Trains and Last of the Good Straight Girls. I was instantly enchanted with the sincerity and wit that Werner brings to her music. Her last album was a thematic collection of songs that sound like they are from the 20s and 30s, but are all orginal and new. Recently, Werner made available for download a song she describes as an alternative national anthem. “This is a song that takes the National Anthem and turns it on his head,” says Werner. “It’s Francis Scott Key meets Arlo Guthrie.” I had the pleasure of speaking with Werner about the song a few weeks ago.

Continue reading “An Interview with Susan Werner”