I got skillz and I know how to use them

What I wouldn’t give for a pre-conference workshop on XML or SQL or some programming language that I could apply to my daily work!

Recently, Dorothea Salo was bemoaning the lack of technology skills among librarians. I hear her, and I agree, but I don’t think that the library science programs have as much blame as she wants to assign to them.

Librarianship has created an immense Somebody Else’s Problem field around computers. Unlike reference work, unlike cataloguing, unlike management, systems is all too often not considered a librarian specialization. It is therefore not taught at a basic level in some library schools, not offered as a clear specialization track, and not recruited for as it needs to be. And it is not often addressed in a systematic fashion by continuing-education programs in librarianship.

I guess my program, eight years ago, was not one of those library schools that doesn’t teach basic computer technology. Considering that my program was not a highly ranked program, nor one known for being techie, I’m surprised to learn that we had a one-up on some other library science programs. Not only were there several library tech (and basic tech) courses available, everyone was required to take at least one computer course to learn hardware and software basics, as well as rudimentary HTML.

That being said, I suspect that the root of Salo’s ire is based in what librarians have done with the tech knowledge they were taught. In many cases, they have done nothing, letting those who are interested or have greater aptitude take over the role of tech guru in their libraries. Those of us who are interested in tech in general, and library tech in specific, have gone on to make use of what we were taught, and have added to our arsenal of skills.

My complaint, and one shared by Salo, is that we are not given very many options for learning more through professional continuing education venues that cover areas considered to be traditional librarian skills. What I wouldn’t give for a pre-conference workshop on XML or SQL or some programming language that I could apply to my daily work!

closecomments

Yesterday I returned from spending the day with family to discover that I had been slammed with almost 350 comment spams from the same porn site.

Yesterday I returned from spending the day with family to discover that I had been slammed with almost 350 comment spams from the same porn site. Thankfully it was a quick fix. One entry into MT-Blacklist and I could delete the comments and rebuild the entries in just a few clicks. However, it was still frustrating to have to do this in the first place.

Last week, I discovered another MovableType plugin called CloseComments. You can set this to run everytime you re-build your main index, and it will close comments of older, inactive posts, depending on the variables you choose. I have mine set to close comments on posts older than 15 days and have been inactive for at least one day. I couldn’t get this to work at first, and last night gave me the motivation to figure it out.

The reason why it wasn’t working was that the database behind this blog was in the Berkeley DB format, and not the required SQL format. I didn’t know that there was an easy way to convert them until I did a few Google searches. I did the conversion process last night and in a few days, CloseComments should be doing its thing. Combine this with MT-Blacklist, and you’ll end up with very little comment spam.

Update 7/6/04: Make sure to check MT-Blacklist after the conversion process. I discovered this morning that my blacklist settings had been reset.