This just in on the Onion News Network, “Facebook Program Drastically Cuts Agency’s Costs.” You all know Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, but did you know he was really a CIA agent, code named The Overlord?
“After years of secretly monitoring the public, we were astounded so many people would willing publicize where they live, their religious and political views, alphabetized list of all their friends, personal email addresses, phone numbers, hundreds of photos of themselves, and even status updates of what they were doing moment to moment. It is truly a dream come true for the CIA.”
This is one of my favorite Onion reports. Watch it and get a good laugh, especially about what they say about Farmville and FourSquare. Personally I think Angry Birds was more effective at pacifying Americans during the recession, but who is to argue with the CIA statistics.
Rita Meade was asked to be a judge for a children’s essay contest on “The Library of the Future.” Children (from elementary to high school) were asked to describe how they envision libraries, changing evolving, and improving in the years to come. On her blog, Screwy Decimal, she described some of what the children said the library of the future would be like.
Many of the kids seem to be thinking along the same lines. According to them there will be lots of computers (one kid said 90,000), things will be flying or floating around and robot librarians will help people find things. One kid, perhaps yearning for space travel, thinks the library will be located in a spaceship. While another child, who has clearly had several overdue books, said “If you have a book that is out of date, it will warp back to the library.”
It appears the children see the library of the future as either a Jetson-esque version of floating/flying desks and people warping around or as a Borg/Skynet place with robot librarians and a “war of good robots vs bad robots” where the “good robots will be teamed up with all of humanity.”
Out of curiosity I asked my 8 year old son what he thought the library of the future would be like. At first he gave me a look that indicated he thought I had fallen off my rocker and asked, “Why, what do you mean?” Once he realized it wasn’t a trick question cleverly designed to get him to clean his room he told me his vision.
He said that there were would be robots helping librarians (whew… my son did not outsource my job to the machines) and that electrical books would hover in the air. Then the discussion and magic of imagining the future was over, cut short by his 4 year old brother seeking attention in the form of a wrestling match.
So often we librarians are always looking at the library of the future in practical terms it is kind of fun to step back and get the perspective of the younger users.
My husband has been in Las Vegas this whole week at a Microsoft conference, learning about the latest things going on with Microsoft and the web. Before he left, he asked our sons if there was anything they would like him to bring back from the trip. My youngest son (age 4) replied, “Can you bring back some more brains daddy? I lost mine.”
Now only a medical librarian (or spouse of one) would probably understand that the brains my son referred to are the squooshy stress ball brains that some of the vendors like Ovid hand out.
My husband smiled and told my son that they may not have any brains where he was going but he would try his best. My husband and I had a quick laugh over all the inside brain jokes, and that was it. Earlier this week in one of his phone calls to me he mentioned that he received an XBox Kinect for attending the conference. Wow, kind of cool. That is some serious conference SWAG.
Clearly SWAG from a Microsoft conference is different from a Medical Library Association conference. This got me thinking…. What is the best SWAG that you have gotten from a library conference?
If you ask my kids, the squooshy stress reliever eyeballs and brains are winners. They even like the blue/green long twisty things that Ovid once handed out. The boys call them snakes and create elaborate Lego, Playskool, and Hot Wheels battles involving the “snakes.”
I know there are librarians who love the conference bag. They are handy and are great for groceries, day at the beach/pool, etc. I have to say my two favorite things I got from a library conference were a sports water bottle and a USB drive. While others (including my kids) may not think a water bottle or a USB drive may be cool, I was thrilled to get them because I use them a lot.
What things have you gotten at a library conference that you were thrilled to get and why? Is it the squooshy brain or the USB drive? Or were you one of the lucky ones to win an iPad for putting your business card in a box, although that is technically not SWAG (Stuff We All Get), but if I won something like that it definitely would rocket past the water bottle.
I thought about posting this as a Friday Fun, but then if I did National Library Week would have been almost over, so I decided to post it today.
If you are looking for the perfect gift for that special librarian in your life, check out The Bargainist Gift Guide for Librarians. Of course if none of those things hits there is always chocolate. Chocolate in the library staff area disappears faster than the library’s ACLS Provider Manuals.
Of course if you are a librarian and you are looking for a little pick me up, try reading CNN’s article, Librarians: Masters of the info universe. It is written by Kerith Page McFadden, a UNC-Chapel Hill Librarian and talks about different librarians that you might not have known about.
So Happy National Library Week!
So in my best Don LaFontaine voice…
“You’ve seen the Social Network, now get ready for the Science Network.”
Thanks Emily for the laugh and David, reading your blog this morning reminded me I wanted to post it for Friday Fun.
In case any of the librarians in your library want to get into the holiday spirit and are looking for something beyond holiday window clings, take a look at Texas Medical Center Library’s Bookmas Tree.
They even have a “How To” guide available should you want to try it in your own library next year.
For all of you in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving may you have a wonderful time being with the ones you love.
Posts will resume Monday.
According to the Technical Bulletin, PubMed has added its 20 millionth citation and PubMed Central has logged its 2 millionth article.
I almost feel like their should be some balloons falling from the ceiling, noise makers whistling, and confetti and streamers flying about to celebrate the occasion. Perhaps this is because I am a nerdy librarian who thinks 20 million citations is cool. Or it could be because I missed the party entirely (the bulletin mentions this actually happened in July.) Oh well.
Happy Belated 20 Millionth!
If you want to read a brief history about PubMed, go to the Technical Bulletin.
The map was created by Flowtown as an updated tribute to XKCD’s ‘Map of Online Communities.’ The size of the countries/continents reflect the millions of users, for each service (as shown by the scale at the bottom of the image).
It is kind of fun to look through and laugh over a few things like the YouTube Triangle of Viral Videos or the Death Valley of John Mayer Tweets. One thing I find a little interesting is Google Wave is missing, wouldn’t that be in the Land of Defunct Social Networks, or perhaps should it be the Dried Lake Bed of Google Wave within the Empire of Google? Just thinking aloud.
Even my three year old son knows that there is a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico killing animals and making beaches “yucky.” It is going to take long time (once they finally stop the leak) to get things cleaned up and it make take many years for things to get back to normal, if that is possible.
I am by no means an engineer and have no clue as to what equipment or techniques would be used to stop it either. Despite many of well meaning hair salons and dog groomers it would appear hair booms are not an effective method for preventing the spread of the oil. However I have found one way that I can easily help people affected by the oil spill…I can drink beer.
Yes, you heard be correctly, drink beer. Abita Brewing Company, located just North of New Orleans, has great beer, one of the best brewery tours (long story best shared over a pint) and is no stranger to helping out the community. They raised and donated more than $500,000 for those affected by Katrina from the sales of their Restoration Pale Ale. Now they have decided to sell SOS beer (Save Our Shore), where a portion of the proceeds ($.75/bottle) will go to those affected by the oil spill.
According to Abita, its beer can be found in over 40 states and SOS beer will be hitting the market sometime mid July. It is the summer and we spend a lot time bbq-ing with friends on the weekend, catching baseball games, and just sitting out on the deck in evening watching the lightning bugs. Often times we have a cool frosty beverage as we pass the time. I gotta think we aren’t that much different from a lot of other American families. In the next few months I will be looking at the beer cooler in the grocery store or hitting my local beer snob shop and grabbing a few SOS beers. If you live somewhere that Abita is sold, you might think about trying out an SOS beer. If you aren’t a beer drinker they also have merchandise that you can buy, 100% of the merchandise proceeds will be donated.