Of Viruses and Weblogs

Posted in Library, Miscellaneous on April 6th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Everything continues to move at a fast pace. Tonight I blew away Norton Internet Security 2005, despite having paid for a full year’s subscription. I’d grown tired of its increasing sluggishness, error messages, and for the past couple days, preventing me from connecting to my ISP. I replaced it with avast!, at the suggestion of Geoff. I’ve been running Microsoft AntiSpyware, which seems to function quite well as a firewall for now. The only thing I don’t like about avast! so far is that it unleashes a siren sound, followed by a woman’s voice saying, “Warning, there is a virus on your computer”; however, I could turn the sound off, but for now, I’m still learning how to use it.

:: I am pleased to report the publication of an article1 co-authored by your humble correspondent and the amazing Geoff Harder, my friend and colleague (on the other side of the wall in my office). The article, “Weblogs: Their Use and Application in Science and Technology Libraries“, briefly covers the history of blogs and considers how they can be put to good use in the science and technology library setting:

Weblogs, or blogs, emerged in the late 1990s on the Web, quickly becoming a new way to communicate ideas, opinions, resources and news. Since that time, the community of blogs has grown to encompass specific subject areas of study and research. This article briefly discusses the history and background of blogs, including blogging software. Literature searches suggest very little has been published on subject-specific blogs in scientific and technical publications. Applications in science and technology librarianship are discussed, including team and project management, reference work, current awareness, and the librarian as blog mentor for students.

Please note that my work e-mail address listed in the article and on the Haworth web site is incorrect, and should read randy.reichardt@ualberta.ca.

I’ve written or co-written a small number of articles in my professional life, but this is the first peer-reviewed article I’ve had published, which is a nice accomplishment, if I may be so bold.

1. Reichardt, Randy and Geoffrey Harder. 2005. “Weblogs: Their Use and Application in Science and Technology Libraries.” Science & Technology Libraries, 25(3), p105-116.

Update: The pdf version of the article is here.

My Annual Professional Library Conference Just Got Way More Intererestin

Posted in Library on March 22nd 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Word is out that President Bill Clinton has been added to the list of general session speakers at SLA in Toronto. From a post on SLA-ENG today:

This morning it was announced to the Board, that former President Bill Clinton recently agreed to be a general session speaker for the SLA Toronto meeting. He will speak on Wednesday morning , from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. This is really exciting news! We wanted the conference planners to be among the first to hear. Promotional and PR Information is being developed and will be sent out as soon as we are able to the entire membership. We do not foresee this conflicting with any division programming, except as mentioned earlier, Wednesday morning sessions will now begin at 7:00 a.m.

RSS Column

Posted in Library on March 18th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: This is work-related, but I’ll share it with you anyway. The March/April 2005, v3 n1 issue of Ei Update is available for viewing, featuring updates on faceted searching and the forthcoming study: Role of Information in Innovation 2005. Ei is Engineering Information in Hoboken NJ, the company that produces the Compendex database, which indexes and abstracts the important engineering literature of the world. Some of you may remember the many trips I took to NYC between 1993 and 1998, all of which were to attend a committee meeting at Ei’s offices in Hoboken, followed by a few days of hanging out in Manhattan.

The Librarian’s Corner for this issue of the Update was written my your humble engineering librarian-type weblogger, and is called RSS: Moving Into the Mainstream.

More on Gormangate

Posted in Library on March 7th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: As my friend Tony Dalmyn noted, I didn’t include a link to Michael Gorman’s original column in the LA Times, Google and God’s Mind, in the previous post about his Library Journal column about blogs, so there it is. I mention this because I want to draw your attention to a new blog, Quædam cuiusdam by esteemed colleague Peter Binkley, Digital Initiatives Project Librarian at the University of Alberta, in which he offers an insightful, informed and educated response to Gorman’s take on the Google project. Peter works on Peel’s Prairie Provinces, a major digitization project to enhance and improve access to the history of the Canadian prairie provinces:

Peel’s Prairie Provinces is a resource dedicated to assisting scholars, students, and researchers of all types in their exploration of the history and culture of the Canadian Prairies. The site contains both an online bibliography of books, pamphlets, and other materials related to the development of the Prairies and a fully searchable collection of the full texts of many of these items. As of September 2004, the Peel bibliographic database holds some 7,200 titles, approximately 2,500 of which have already been rendered in digital form and mounted on the Web site. These materials are extremely varied in terms of their content and provide an extraordinarily diverse picture of the Prairie experience. These items date back to the earliest days of exploration in the region and include a vast range of material dealing with every aspect of the settlement and development of the Canadian West. These sources are also highly diverse in regard to the cultural experiences that they reflect. Although English-language titles predominate, the databases contain a very substantial body of materials in French, Ukrainian, and numerous other languages.

Read more »

St Elsewhere

Posted in Blogging, Library, Music, Random Thoughts on June 17th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: My mind has been elsewhere for the past few days, for reasons known to some of you. Here in Edmonton, a few days of grey skies and wet, clammy weather ended today, with that bright, shiny thing called Sol beaming light and warmth on the city, improving everyones’ moods.

I spent part of today at the TELUS Centre, where NanoForum Canada is being held. As one of the engineering librarians, building and maintaining the UA Libraries’ collections in nanoscience and nanotechnology is my responsibility. NINT, The National Institute for Nanotechnology, is housed on our campus, and will move into its own building when construction is completed in 2005. At this time, faculty from at least nineteen different departments on campus are working and/or have research interests in nano-whatever.

It would be interesting to prepare a list of all the new words entering the language that begin with the prefix “nano”. Today I learned two new ones: nanorosette, and nanostencil. No, “Nanook” doesn’t count. A rosette is a six-membered supermacrocycle. Rosette nanotubes that self-assemble could be used as tiny scaffolds. The chemist leading this area of research is Hicham Fenniri, formerly of Purdue, but now working at the U of A as a chemisty professor and a NINT researcher.

:: With Geoff Harder, I maintain another blog, STLQ. I was pleased to learn that STLQ has received some press of late. Stephen Abram mentions STLQ in the latest issue of Information Outlook, and the blog was highlighted twice, once in a brief review, in the latest issue of SciTech News, the newsletter of a number of SLA divisions.

:: Jenny mentioned a new book out this month that I think will be worth reading, especially since I’m old enough to have lived through the period in question. The book is Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Reconsiders the Classics, Edited by Jim DeRogatis and Carmél Carrillo:

Kill Your Idols is a collection of 34 essays in which some of the best rock critics of Generations X and Y address allegedly “great” albums that they despise. This anthology is every bit as thoughtful, provocative, entertaining, and valuable as Stranded, but it also returns some vital, stimulating debate to the canon of rock and roll history. Kill Your Idols is a spirited assault on a pantheon that has been foisted upon this new generation of music critics, a defiant slap in the face to the narrow and hegemonic view of rock history presented by the Baby Boom generation’s critics. As a collection of the new generation of rock writers, it is the first of its kind, as well as the first and only anthology devoted solely to critiquing rock and roll’s most sacred cows.

Nothing like insurgents kicking dust in the face of the old guard. Go for it, I say. Some of the albums ripped apart by these young lions include The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds, The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street, The Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks . . . Here’s the Sex Pistols, and U2, The Joshua Tree. Will it be informed criticism, or Gen X whining? The foreword is available, as are a few reviews.

Greetings From Nashville

Posted in Library on June 6th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Hello from Nashville. Arrived yesterday on time, spent the evening hanging with a number of good friends, and made a few new ones as well. Watched the Flames game from a sports bar in the Gaylord Opryland, the largest hotel complex I have ever seen in my life. As usual with this conference, I am already running on empty, which means the more caffeine, the more awake and alert I shall be. Attended an academic librarians roundtable this morning (0730 hrs *groan*), but do not have a meeting until 1600 hrs this afternoon.