e-serials collection management

Thinking about acquiring your own copy of the book “E-serials Collection Management: Transitions, Trends, and Technicalities”? Don’t bother.

I just finished reading E-serials Collection Management: Transitions, Trends, and Technicalities edited by David C. Fowler. It sounded like a great piece of professional literature that would help me with my job, and probably it would have, had it been published in 2002 instead of 2004. Most of the essays were from the 2001-2002 era of electronic journal management, and with the way the technology and access methods have changed in recent years, most of the essays had become irrelevant before they were even published in this book.

I was particularly bemused by one essay that spent some time discussing the disadvantage of IP access over password access because of off-campus users. The author explained that proxy servers were cumbersome because they required the off-campus user to re-configure their browser settings. Yeah, sure, if you’re not running something like EZproxy, which has been around since 1999.

I feel cheated by the time I spent reading/skimming through this book, and I am sorry that my institution spent time and money in acquiring it for our collection. There is very little in this book that is still useful, and I expect even that will fade away in a few short years. If you feel you must purchase this book, at least do yourself a favor and get a paperback copy.

how to attend a conference

What kind of conference attendee are you?

Dr. Bacchus has a great rundown of the different types of conference attendees and how to get the most out of the conference based upon your attitude going into it. He writes from a tech perspective, but there are a lot of truths to other professions (including librarianship) in his category descriptions. Put this one on your recommended reading list and amuse yourself by placing your fellow conference attendees into the different categories.

I think that I would place myself in the “Conference as social gathering” and “Conference as classroom” categories for the NASIG conference, and the latter category for all other library conferences.

dnc press creds

Jessamyn may be getting blogger press credentials for the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Woo-hoo! Jessamyn may be getting blogger press credentials for the 2004 Democratic National Convention, thanks in part to an entry I made a few months ago.

I didn’t bother to apply for blogger press credentials. I won’t be able to go because of a prior commitment, and I couldn’t afford to go, in any case. Besides, I’m not a journalist. I write about things that interest me whenever I get the bug to write. I hate assignments, and a press pass to blog the DNC would be very much like a writing assignment.

cow morning

Large bovine visitors this morning.

My regular weekend gig is house-sitting out in the country for some friends who are touring musicians. It’s very pleasant out here and they have lots of cats and dogs to keep me company. The fuzz-heads don’t like to let me sleep in much, though. Usually their technique involves several cats walking across my sleeping body or an occasional solitary bark from one of the dogs.

This morning was different. Maggie was barking insistently that she needed to go outside NOW. I stumbled out of bed and headed for the back door, pulling on some clothes as I went. As I was passing through the kitchen, I saw something move up the driveway, but it was out of sight before I could look closer. I knew it was a large thing, so it wasn’t a chicken or some other wild animal. I assumed human and that I had an early morning visitor.

Maggie & Sophie dashed out of the back door barking their heads off, and I stood there stunned as a small herd of cows were hanging out under the apple trees. I know for a fact that my friends do not have cows, and even if they did, they would not keep them in the back yard. There was a human trying to herd the cows away, and presently they had moved out of the back yard towards the path up the hill to the barn. Mind you, that too is still on our property (“our property” meaning the property owned by my friend’s landlord, but having lived out here most weekends and for a while weeks on end, it feels like mine, too). They didn’t stay on the path, though, and ended up making their own off to the right. I thought, “Well, that was interesting,” and headed back to the house.

I stopped for a moment and got a shot of one of the new features in the back yard. That was when I heard some noise coming from down the hill (yes, still on our property). I don’t think it was the same cows, because it should have taken them longer to get there, but maybe they took a shortcut. In any case, I made sure I was in position to get a picture of them crossing the road.

When my friends get home, I’ll find out if the landlord is leasing the back fields to a cattle farmer neighbor, or if the herd just got loose and came for a visit. In any case, it was not what I expected I’d ever wake up to.

blogger burnout

Wired has an interesting article on blogger burnout.

Wired has an interesting article on blogger burnout. I take Walt Crawford’s advice and first have something to say before posting. I don’t feel like I need to post something every day, or multiple times a day. I just don’t have that much to say that hasn’t already been said, most of the time. Half the time, I’m not even sure that anyone reads this blog, much less looks to it for my opinion on stuff. (Isn’t “stuff” a great, comprehensive, and technical term?)

More problematic for Reynolds, however, is that his readers expect him to weigh in on everything. And when he’s tired or uninterested, that’s not always possible.

“There are times that people want me to have an opinion on stuff that I just don’t have an opinion on,” said Reynolds. “Because I have a lot of opinions on a lot of things, people are surprised when I don’t have an opinion.”


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.

out of office auto reply

Am I the only person who gets irritated by the flood of out of office auto reply messages after posting to a discussion list?

Am I the only person who gets irritated by the flood of out of office auto reply messages after posting to a discussion list? I think these people do it out of ignorance. They don’t know that by setting their auto reply and remaining subscribed to the discussion list, they will be sending an auto reply to every single person who posts a message to that list. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t use the auto reply.

I’ve gone through the hassle of changing my discussion list settings to “no mail” or the equivalent before leaving for a trip, and then re-setting them upon my return. Well, I did it once and then decided it wasn’t worth it. Besides, I usually find a way to check my email while I’m gone, just in case something important comes through. In any case, it’s just common courtesy to change your discussion list settings before using the auto reply option, because otherwise you’re going to be another drop in the flood that will hit an unsuspecting user after they post to one of your discussion lists.

Am I asking for too much?