day in the life of an electronic resources librarian

I am participating in the DILOLibrarian project today. This account is by no means comprehensive or reflective of every aspect of my workday, since each one is different depending on the volume of things demanding my immediate attention. However, it may be of interest to my non-ER librarian friends, as well as newly minted librarians and those who are considering this profession.

  • 8:45-9:00am Arrived at work, a bit late because my carpool driver and I miscommunicated about today’s plans. Turned on computer, got a cup of coffee, got a breakfast bar, and started this post.
  • 9:00-9:30am Read and responded to new mail that has accumulated since Thursday afternoon. Sorted messages that require more than a brief response into Information and To-Do piles.
  • 9:30-9:35am Generated a list of print + online and online-only science titles from our Ebsco subscriptions and gave it to the electronic resources associate, per his request. The serials associate and ILL associate both need this info, particularly since we converted as much as possible to e-only this year.
  • 9:35-10:15am Sorted through the various to-do lists (both email and Outlook Tasks reminders, as well as a few scraps of notes on paper) and worked on them from oldest to newest. One item was to call back a publisher, but their phone system has been screwed up since last Thursday, which I discovered when I tried again. Also, they gave me the New Jersey office number, not the (correct) New York office number. *headdesk*
  • 10:15-10:25am To-do email sorted and cleared from the pile. Reviewed email tagged “waiting for a response” and followed up on those. These are mainly notes from publishers with information regarding electronic resource subscriptions that had been requested by subject liaisons. I hang on to the messages until a decision has been made.
  • 10:25-11:00am Took a break from email to work on two of last week’s TechLearning tasks, which I completed just before Andy sent out the email announcing this week’s tasks. Filed those items away in my Outlook Tasks with due dates set for Friday.
  • 11:00-11:25am Processed new email that had arrived over the past hour. Took a short break away from the desk. Sent suggested training dates/times to a vendor for a new product we have purchased.
  • 11:25-11:30am Checked NASIG executive board email and responded to messages.
  • 11:30-11:40am Reviewed and assessed email in the “information” category. Cleared out some items that are no longer needed.
  • 11:40am-12:10pm Read through some of the issues on the stack of routed professional journals. I haven’t had any desk time lately, just on-call, so I’ve slipped behind on those.
  • 12:10-1:30pm Lunch. Ran errands that took longer than expected.
  • 1:30-1:50pm Processed new email (see a theme here?), answered an IM question from a colleague, and checked on my pals on Twitter & FriendFeed.
  • 1:50-3:00pm Finished up professional reading backlog.
  • 3:00-4:50pm Worked on checking a spreadsheet of electronic resource holdings against what is listed in Serials Solutions. Added/deleted titles, collections, and holdings as needed. Also, paused frequently to respond to email messages as they came in.
  • 4:50-5:15pm Browsed through the last couple of hours of tweets. Processed additional email.
  • 5:15-5:20 Checked NASIG executive board email again.
  • 5:20pm Decided I had done enough for today, so I typed this and… publish.

CiL 2008: Going Local in the Library

Speaker: Charles Lyons

[Speakers for track C will all be introduced in haiku form.]

Local community information has been slower to move online than more global information provided by sources such as search engines and directories, but that is changing. Google can provide directory information, but they can’t tell you which of the barbers listed near you, for example, are good ones. They’re trying, but it’s much harder to gather and index that information. “In ur community, inforimin ur localz.” The local web can be something deeper, hyper, semantic.

Local information can sound boring if it doesn’t effect you directly. For example, information about street repairs can be important if it is happening along the routes you drive regularly. The local web connects the real world and the virtual world. The local web is bringing a sense of place to the Internet.

Libraries provide access to local information such as genealogy, local history, local government info, etc.

Local search engines started off as digital phone books, but now they are becoming more integrated with additional information such as maps and users reviews. provides walking directions as well as driving directions, which I did not know but plan to make use of in the future. By using tools like Google Custom Search, libraries are creating local search engines, rather than just having a page of local links. is a popular search engine for residents of London, Ontario.

Local blogs also provide information about communities, so creating a local blog directory might be useful. Be sure to add them to your local search engine. Local news sites blend user-generated information with traditionally published sources. Useful news sites will allow users to personalize them and add content. Libraries are involved in creating local online communities (see Hamilton Public Library in Ontario).

Local data is being aggregated by sites like EveryBlock, which pulls information from the deep web. It’s currently available in three cities (Chicago, New York, & San Francisco) with plans for expansion, and once the grant ends, the code will be opened to anyone.

Wikipedia is a start for providing local information, and a few libraries are using wiki technology to gather more detailed local information.

Metadata such as geotagging allows more automation for gathering locally relevant information. Flickr provides geographic feeds, which can be streamed on local information sites.

Libraries are using Google Maps mashups to indicate their locations, but could be doing more with it. Libraries could create maps of historical locations and link them to relevant information sites.

No successful revenue generation has been formulated for local information sites. Most local sites are generated by passionate individuals. Libraries, which are not revenue generating sources anyway, are better poised to take on the responsibility of aggregating and generating local information. Particularly since we’re already in the role of information provision.

Libraries can be the lense into local information.

splish splash

Few musicians are able to create the atmosphere of a summer album. Glaser is one of them.

by Gabby Glaser

My slightly late review of Gabby Glaser’s solo album Gimme Splash is up on Blogcritics. I (heart) Luscious Jackson, so when I saw this come across the list for review, I immediately snagged it. Sort of makes up for missing the chance to review Jill Cunnif’s album earlier this year.

…taken as a whole, it is the perfect album for kicking back in your lawn chair while soaking up the summer sun. Few musicians are able to pull off what it takes to create that atmosphere. Glaser happens to be one of them.

folk in the city

This collection runs the gamut from solo acoustic singer/songwriters to blues to alternative rock, and nearly everything in between.

For some people, the words “folk music” conjures up images of old white guys with acoustic guitars singing squared up traditional tunes. The listeners of Forham University’s WFUV (Bronx, NY) are among those who know better. Every week day they get fifteen to seventeen hours of music in a program block called City Folk.

In the industry, the genre is known as adult album alternative, but for the common people, it’s just folk music; as in music about the common person and for the common person. Stylistically, this can range from solo acoustic singer/songwriters to blues to alternative rock, and just about everything else in between.

Along with playing recorded music, the station hosts and broadcasts concerts performed at Fordham University and local New York venues, as well as in-studio interviews and performances. Since 1998, WFUV has been putting together annual compilations of the in-studio performances, and last fall they released City Folk Live 9.

This collection is music-only, which is a pity since some listeners would probably enjoy hearing snippets of the interviews as well, but the trade-off is worth it. Eighteen live tracks by eighteen very different artists and bands results in 72 minutes of music that keeps the listener’s attention. As with listening to the radio, if a particular song does not appeal to you, just wait a bit (or skip it) and something different will follow.

The performances and production are so spot-on that except for a bit of reverb to give it a concert hall feel, it almost sounds like slick multi-tracked studio production. The sheer volume of in-studio performances allows the City Folk Live producers plenty of options to avoid weak recordings while still selecting tracks from both this year’s darlings as well as long-established musicians.

City Folk Live 9 has something for everyone. My personal favorites are Brandi Carlile’s “Throw It All Away,” Rosanne Cash’s “House on the Lake,” and Alejandro Escovedo’s “Arizona.” All of the other tracks are quite listenable, including the blues and soul tunes, which are outside of my usual genre preferences. One of the advantages that a live recording has over a studio recording is the energy and presence of the musicians. This can draw in listeners who may not have otherwise paid attention to the performer.

Fortunately for WFUV, but perhaps not quite so fortunate for those outside of its listening area (and who are unable to listen online), the only way to get a copy of City Folk Live 9 is to become a member of the public radio station. It seems a small price to pay for a strong folk compilation such as this.

Track listing:

  1. David Gray, "The One I Love"
  2. James Hunter, "No Smoke Without Fire"
  3. Wood Brothers, "Luckiest Man"
  4. Rosanne Cash, "House on the Lake"
  5. Alejandro Escovedo, "Arizona"
  6. Mason Jennings, "Be Here Now"
  7. Gomez, "Girlshapedlovedrug"
  8. Nicolai Dunger, "My Time is Now"
  9. Ben Taylor, "Nothing I Can Do"
  10. Brandi Carlile, "Throw it All Away"
  11. World Party, "Is it Like Today"
  12. Sonya Kitchell, "Train"
  13. Dr John, "Such a Night"
  14. Ben Harper, "Morning Yearning"
  15. Lewis Taylor, "Stoned"
  16. My Morning Jacket, "Off the Record"
  17. T Bone Burnett, "Baby Don't You Say You Love Me"
  18. Josh Ritter, "Thin Blue Flame"


by Diane Duane

I finally made myself read this book, despite being a bit intimidated by the 446 pages. I should have known that it would be an enjoyable read and not seem to be nearly that long. Diane Duane is a word weaver, and a very good one. This book is part of the Errantry universe that began with So, You Want To Be A Wizard. It wasn’t until I was well into the book that I realized there were others that came before it. However, Duane has set this one up to stand on its own, so while I suspect the reader might have a broader picture of wizardry in general by having read the other books first, it doesn’t detract from enjoying this one.

The main characters are New York cats that also happen to be wizards. Their job is to maintain the worldgates that are located in the New York subway system. Something is interfering with the workings of the worldgates and it’s up to Rhiow and her team to find out who and how to stop them before they open the gates to allow the sentient dinosaurs from ancient days to pass through to modern Earth.

The story is well-told. Read it, and you won’t look at cats in the same way you did before.


Go, 80’s Girl!

Listening to Jodi Jett, one is reminded of the subdued yet aggressive voice of Liz Phair. According to Jett, she had never heard of Phair when she first began playing her music out in the local clubs, a fact which I find nearly unbelievable. I suppose one could chalk it up to her Midwestern childhood and the bland nature of commercial radio in rural locations. After giving Revelations a spin, other comparisons sprang to mind, such as fellow New York rocker Halley DeVestern and the understated stylings of Beck’s sparser tunes. The other name that is frequently mentioned in her press material is Lou Reed, but I am not familiar with his music.

Before I received her CD, I listened to a few tracks on her MySpace page. The one that stood out and made me listen to the rest is “’80s Girl.” The song gives shout outs to the fashion and the hit songs of the American 1980s, ensuring it to be popular among those old enough to remember them.

Go, go ’80s girl
We are the world with your big teased hair
And your short short’s Nair
Your Michael J. hands and your parachute pants,
Your Madonna bras and shopping malls
Go ’80s girl

The video expands upon the theme, showing us the ’80s Girl trying to keep it real in the new Millennium. Once my amusement at her predicament passed, I began to think about how this song is in many ways a warning to anyone stuck in a particular frame of mind when the rest of the world has moved on. While it may be merely amusing to consider a woman stuck in the ’80s fashion scene, it is more serious when one realizes that our current political situation in the United States seems to indicate that our leaders are stuck in the ’80s global politics scene. If only it were that they they had hung onto their parachute pants and Aqua Net. . . . But I digress.

The other gem on the CD is “Bedford Avenue.” The percussion provides the perfect build and drive to move the song forward, saving it from the wistfulness of the electric guitar line. The lyrics are almost a Cinderella style fairytale, minus the happy ending. Bedford Avenue is presented as a romantic memory frozen in time rather than a particular place. The lovers cherished the moment knowing that it would be gone by sunrise. It was a relationship doomed from the start, but the pair entered into it nonetheless. A mistake that is made far too often. Ah, Ms. Jett, soothe our pain!

If Dorothy Gale had been a rocker instead of a girl with some funky shoes, perhaps she would have written an ode to her home in Kansas instead of running off to some wizard. “No Place Like” home gives a nod to the Oz tale while providing a mouthpiece for Jett’s homesick ruminations: “wandering — no place to go — somewhere over the rainbow.”

The most touching song on the album is the low-fi “Heaven To Me.” It could be taken as a sappy song to a lover until one realizes it’s about a parent-child relationship. “Yeah, I like to play and I like to sing, but, Baby, you in my arms – that’s heaven to me.” The bass-heavy acoustic guitar and cello (played by Jane Scarpantoni) bring a dark sweetness to the song not found on most of the other tracks.

My only complaint with the album is that Jett’s vocals are much the same throughout. Her range is limited, almost monotone. Some folks might groove on that, but after a while I get bored and stop listening to the lyrics.

shhhh cowboy

New York style roots rock that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

cover of Some Other PlaceMost Blogcritics readers are familiar with Jon Sobel as a witty and thoughtful music critic, but probably few know that Sobel is also a musician and songwriter. His band, Whisperado, has an EP that should be in every literate music fan’s collection.

Continue reading “shhhh cowboy”

this land is your land

A geographic meme, courtesy of Sorcha. Also, places where US paper currency I have spent in the past four and a half years have gone. bold the states you’ve been to, underline the states you’ve lived in and italicize the state you’re in now… Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado … Continue reading “this land is your land”

A geographic meme, courtesy of Sorcha. Also, places where US paper currency I have spent in the past four and a half years have gone.

bold the states you’ve been to, underline the states you’ve lived in and italicize the state you’re in now…

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.