Skip to content

Post-Ides, Pre-Good-Friday

I grit my teeth whenever anyone tells me they haven’t done X because they are “busy.” We’re all busy. But the recent quiet here has been because… well… I’m busy. I spent last weekend working on a document due Friday that isn’t anywhere near done yet (with breaks for church and–ouch–a Sunday work teleconference), then fell into the burning ring of fire Monday morning and haven’t got out yet.

Work late, go home, work more, eat, watch idiot box for an hour (I’m sorry, I know at that point I should be pursuing my Craft or reading Proust), fall asleep, get up early to try to tackle the pile before the day begins… then push through many

Yesterday afternoon, with enemy helicopters going thwak-thwak-thwak over our Quonset hut, the Chief Master Sergeant of our Systems office and I punched through hundreds of thousands of dollars of purchasing, assigning vendors and fine-honing what we’re buying. We got so bleary we started making dumb, giggly mistakes. At one point the Chief asked me, more or less, what was five times four. Another moment found me having trouble getting alphabetical order right on the attachments (“What comes after ‘F’?”). It will be fun–fun, I tell you!–to see what we actually purchased.

But enough about me. I am taking comfort from my friends in the blogosphere (biblio or Muggle) who are all over the map and yet in lockstep on some important issues of the day.

Over at the quasi-eponymous Hectic Pace, Andrew captured my sentiments about e-books. Trust me, if you had a device that you liked as much or better as a book, and the price was right, you would forget you ever worshipped dead trees.

Over at Creating Passionate Users, Kathy Sierra [oops, corrected] wins my coveted Uppity Woman award by outing the death threats and online abuse that have caused her to cancel her speaking engagement. I have to wonder what Frank Paynter was thinking–or smoking–to create a site called “,” which quickly turned into a square-wheeled caboose on a train to hell before he wised up and derailed it.

As for all the “he said, she said” nonsense on some of the (nonbiblio) blogs, let me step back and say there’s no place in my world for death threats or misogynist attacks on people we disagree with. I don’t care if the issue was or was not seeded by anonymous trolls stealing identities. I got beat up every day after school in fourth grade, so there’s no love lost between me and the world’s mean kids. I’ve always been worried they would show up again and resume their taunts and abuse. If you enable it, you own what happens next. People who have been around long enough to know the online environment pretty well don’t set up sites such as, unless they really are mean kids.

Meanwhile, the issue of library organizations requiring speakers to register for conferences pokes its little head out of the verdant crumbling spring-warmed earth, with a situation that at the very least could have been managed a little better, though as a tactic I always like to start by reasoning directly with my invitees. I’m sure I’m still on PLA‘s no-fly list for writing the executive director to complain that I had to register to speak at its conference last spring. Nobody replied to my email–which leaves Jenny well-justified for going public with her complaint–but ever since, I’ve heard a slight buzzing sound every time I don my tinfoil chapeau.

Next week I am scooting away for two days to attend ASERL in lovely Asheville in place of our director, who is unable to attend. He has given me a carte blanche proxy, so if you are attending ASERL or even simply have an issue you’d like taken care of, just contact me off-blog for a good price on my votes; I can be had for as little as a fancy drink (something with a paper umbrella on the side, and lots of coconut milk). To paraphrase what Charles Rangel once said about Percy Sutton, I am not for sale… but I can be rented. (Speaking of which, Dr. Summers keeps threatening to blog after he retires this June, and thank you to the blogging angel who gave him a personal welcome to the biblioblogosphere.)

What else is up? I’m keynoting at NASIG later this spring (the other two keynoters are Bob Stein and Dan Chudnov) and don’t worry, Jenni, I really did read your email messages and promise to register/get a room/figure out how I’m flying there. I’m still behind on all my trip-report-reimbursement whatevers for the last month, and I’m about to do my annual spring ceremony of telling my accountant, guess what! I’m filing an extension! I still need to pull myself together and do a two-state, two-job tax return, ick, poo.

I’m also speaking at SEFLIN about “presentation/discussion relating to new technologies, social networking, and libraries.” I like the suggestion from one wise friend that I should subtitle my presentation, “Just listen to me and everything will be all right.” I was asked for an outline of my presentation. What! An outline? I’m supposed to know what I’m going to say about social software two months before I say it? Then I remembered: tell them anything in advance, then get up at the talk and say what I really mean! I’ll do my final edits sitting by the pool guzzling Pellegrino-with-lime.

Some of you may want to know what I think about Twitter. Particularly with its IM tie-in (since I can get IMs on my Treo I think if it took voice commands it would have promise for those of us of a certain age who between room A and room B forget why they stepped away from their desk in the first place. “I’m here, to, ah… let me check… oh right! Pick up your timesheet!” “I’m in the kitchen to… er… wait a sec… find some stamps!” However, I am finding it difficult to write down what I’m doing while I’m busy (ack! I said I’m busy!) actually doing what needs to be done.

Oh, and I turned around to find that despite my best efforts I am chairing a statewide subcommittee of another committee, and our special charge is to put a silk dress on a pig: that is, we’re providing input on the activities at our statewide system for implementing Endeca as our OPAC on top of our library system, for our 11 state university library systems. We’ve got a rough start that looks… well… a bit pigletty, based on this typical example, with a disturbingly short timeframe, but hopefully, between usability testing and extensive statewide input, we’ll get something we can be proud of before Memorial Day.

The blog for our activities is password-protected–not my call, we were advised this was a company requirement–oh, did you folks at Evergreen add that to your list of advantages somewhere? (And what company, by the way–Ex Libris or Endeca, or both?) But we’ve put a lot of our work documents on Google Docs and Spreadsheets and I think I have a feed set up. It is certainly not prpprietary to tell you how we’re going about business or what we think we need to do next. Open Access: Saves you the Time and Worry of a FOIA!

I’ve had my daily Peet’s (one cup of french roast, and that’s my caffeine quota), so on to loin-girding and the day ahead.

Posted on this day, other years: