ER&L 2013: Lightning Talks

“¡Rayos!” by José Eugenio Gómez Rodríguez

Speaker: Emily Guhde, NCLIVE
“We’ve Got Your Number: Making Usage Data Matter” is the project they are working on. What is a good target cost per use for their member libraries? They are organizing this by peer groups. How can the member libraries improve usage? They are hoping that other libraries will be able to replicated this in the future.

Speaker: Francis Kayiwa, UIC
He is a server administrator with library training, and wanted to be here to understand what it is his folks are coming back and asking him to do. Cross-pollinate conferences — try to integrate other kinds of conferences happening nearby.

Speaker: Annette Bailey, Virginia Tech
Co-developed LibX with her husband, now working on a new project to visualize what users are clicking on after they get a search result in Summon. This is a live, real-time visualization, pulled from the Summon API.

Speaker: Angie Rathnel, University of Kansas
Have been using a SAS called Callisto to track and claim eresources. It tracks access to entitlements daily/weekly, and can check to make sure proxy configurations are set up correctly.

Speaker: Cindy Boeke, Southern Methodist University
Why aren’t digital library collections included with other library eresources on lists and such (like the ubiquitous databases A-Z page)?

Speaker: Rick Burke, SCELC
SIPX to manage copyright in a consortial environment. Something something users buying access to stuff we already own. I’m guessing this is more for off-campus access?

Speaker: Margy Avery, MIT Press
Thinking about rich/enhanced digital publications. Want to work with libraries to make this happen, and preservation is a big issue. How do we catalog/classify this kind of resource?

Speaker: Jason Price, Claremont Colleges
Disgruntled with OpenURL and the dependency on our KB for article-level access. It is challenging to keep our lists (KBs) updated and accurate — there has to be a better way. We need to be working with the disgrundterati who are creating startups to address this problem. Pubget was one of the first, and since then there is Dublin Six, Readcube, SIPX, and Callisto. If you get excited about these things, contact the startups and tell them.

Speaker: Wilhelmina Ranke, St. Mary’s University
Collecting mostly born digital collections, or at least collections that are digitized already, in the repository: student newspaper, video projects, and items digitized for classroom use that have no copyright restrictions. Doesn’t save time on indexing, but it does save time on digitizing.

Speaker: Bonnie Tijerina, Harvard
The #ideadrop house was created to be a space for librar* to come together to talk about librar* stuff. They had a little free library box for physical books, and also a collection of wireless boxes with free digital content anyone could download. They streamed conversations from the living room 5-7 times a day.

Speaker: Rachel Frick
Digital Public Library of America focuses on content that is free to all to create a more informed citizenry. They want to go beyond just being a portal for content. They want to be a platform for community involvement and conversations.

michelle mangione

Acoustic music fans take note: this album should be in your CD collection.

I have this theory that drummers who become acoustic singer/songwriters have more rhythmically interesting songs than many of their contemporaries. Michelle Mangione is another in my short but growing list of drummer-turned-guitarists that exemplify my theory.

Along with drums and guitar (steel string and nylon), Mangione plays the piano and organ, and she plays them well. Listening to Life Beneath the Sun, one would never know that it is an independent recording with only a handful of studio performers besides Mangione. The classical guitar instrumental "Interlude" shows off her chops on that instrument, just in case you hadn't figured it out by then.

Musically, she reminds me of Melissa Etheridge, but without the corporate rock sheen that has coated Etheridge's career. publicity photo of Michelle MangioneLyrically, she has a lot to say in her songs. The album contains excellent instrumentation, as mentioned before, however the production is done in such a way to emphasize the vocals — a hallmark of singer/songwriter albums. Very little obscures the message and poetry Mangione is trying to convey with the songs on Life Beneath the Sun.

"America the Blue" examines some of the hypocrisy practiced by Americans who revere and support our warriors until they come home. The topic is approached from the side and not a direct confrontation. "I met a hero at my doorstep / He only did what he had to do / He surely had found the American dream come true / He reached out for a nickel with his right hand / Another long, cold lonely night and / He never felt so red white and blue…" Even the poppy, head-bopping music doesn't convey any sort of preachiness. The song is particularly poignant given the reports of conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The chorus of "Prisoner of War" is one that regularly plays on repeat in my mental jukebox. "Are you ready to release me / I am ready to be freed / You know I can't escape this feeling anymore / And if time is all it takes me / I will loosen up these chains / Just enough to make my getaway / And I won't be your prisoner of war…" I can't say I have ever been in a relationship where I have felt that sentiment, but I do like the imagery of the lyrics and the musical hook. Plus, the song incorporates one of my favorite unusual acoustic pop instruments: the accordion.

One of my complaints about singer/songwriters is that so many write songs that have a lot of "I" and "you" in them. Mangione is no different, but as a friend pointed out to me recently, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes writers need to have a period of introspection, or it could be that is where their talent lies. In this case, Mangione is able to convey all of her I's and you's in an interesting and mostly universal way, which is more than I can say for some writers.

Other stand-out songs on the album include "Anything Better," "I've Become," and "Man With a Gun." The album on a whole is a solid mix of toe-tappers and songs that make you go "hmmm…," and a few do both. Overall, I am pleased with Life Beneath the Sun. The production is well done, the songwriting is solid, and the musicians are on their game — good indicators of an album with some staying power.

Life Beneath the Sun is available from CDBaby and iTunes.

Also published on Blogcritics.org.

#22

by Perry Wynn

I read this book last March. The publisher asked me to read the manuscript and write a review/quote that was published on the back cover in part and on the flyleaf in whole:

Perry Wynn offers a chilling near-future speculative fiction examination of an America so divided over homosexuality that the only solution is the creation of a reservation for homosexuals to separate them from everyone else. Domestic terrorists and neo-conservative fundamentalists set the course, leaving the rest of the country floundering in their wake. The “bad guys” come across as one-dimensional, but Wynn is able to develop some of the “good guys” into multi-dimensional characters. In the end, the story is less about homosexuality and political intrigue, and more about the ripple of decisions based on love and hate.

call them what you like

Call them what you like, if you like rock ‘n roll.

Puffy AmiYumi is a pop/rock duo from Japan. I first heard them on the Japan For Sale Vol. 2 album back when I was a volunteer at a college radio station. I liked what I heard, so I made sure to give their next release (Nice.) a few spins when it arrived at the station. That one made me a fan, and eventually I bought my own copy.

The band is called Puffy in Japan, but when they started making inroads into the American music scene, they added on a combination of their own names so as not to be confused with the other Puffy. Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura were brought together in 1995 by talent agencies and currently they have an animated series on the Cartoon Network (Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi). The commercialized nature of the band should make me not like them, much in the way that I do not care for American Idol or the Backstreet Boys, but somehow this particular incarnation of the music industry’s pre-fabricated band formula does not make me want to retch every time I hear it. Maybe the Japanese know how to do it better.

Listening to Puffy AmiYumi always puts me in a good mood. They never fail to deliver just the right mixture of the pop/rock formula that makes this child of the late 70s and 80s happy. Their latest album Splurge! continues with the Jpop/rock goodness.

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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.

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