The Rock & Roll Librarian

July 12, 2007

Librarian 2.0- The new librarian or the responsible one?

Filed under: Internet,librarians,Libraries,Technology,technology woes — Tyler Rousseau @ 6:27 pm

 

 

Reading the Librairan 2.0 Manifesto was both an inspiring and frustrating read.  Inspiring because it iterates goals that make me love my profession.  I love outreach, I love working online and I love sharing new web 2.0 finds with peers and patrons. But frustating too because I was left wondering how we got to a point in our profession where some of the goals needed to be written.  Take the following examples: 

  • I will not fear Google or related services, but rather will take advantage of these services to benefit users while also providing excellent library services that users need.  
  • I will let go of previous practices if there is a better way to do things now, even if these practices once seemed so great.
  • I will recognize that the universe of information culture is changing fast and that libraries need to respond positively to these changes to provide resources and services that users need and want. 

These are new goals for our profession!?  We actually had to put in goals that state we need to be open to efficiency, convenience and we need to provide resources our patrons need and want?  As public servants in information resources, it would almost seem as if these goals were a mandatory.  And yet, I can also see why we needed to specify these goals; there are quite a few among our profession that need to be reminded.

But how did we get to this stage?  Why do we have professional librarians who refuse to keep up with the professional and technological requirements?  How did we reach a point where the patrons’ needs were less important than the traditional way of doing things? All along, the job of a reference librarian has been to find the information patrons need.  We are in the business of connecting people to the information they require… so why care about the format that information is found in? 

Although traditionalists’ argue the Internet is 90% junk, it was originally built as a means to convey information and expedite the communication process between people.  Even among the copious amounts of junk found on the web, legitimate information has rooted itself firmly in cyberspace as well.  For some reason or another some in our profession dismissed this technology as non-important, despite the visibly growing applications and use among our patrons.  And because of this lackadaisical and rejective approach we are left with professionals so far behind the curve that waiting for retirement is as an easier path than training.

And so I grow frustrated when I read the goals and responsibilities of the 2.0 Librarian, it should’ve been part of our profession all along. 

 

June 13, 2007

Singshot.com- Karaoke Singers Unite!

Filed under: Internet,Social Networks — Tyler Rousseau @ 4:26 pm

To me, Karaoke will always be known as the revolution that brought amateur singers out of their showers and into the limelight. 

I’m not saying whether that was a good or bad thing… but local drinking establishments did clean up on it!

Singshot brings the karaoke movement for the glitz and glamour of your local dive-bar and onto the electrified waves of the Internet.  No more smoke, no more booze, no more people to appreciate your erm… lovely voice which has yet to bring you fame or fortune.  At the very least, perhaps a highlight real on American Idol’s audition episodes.

Singshot is an online community for singers who are looking for feedback from other singers.  There are also groups and contests available to any member choosing to participate.  The collection itself is not the best but there are literally thousands of songs to choose from and you will be able to find something in your range.

 For the fun of it, I joined and tried the recording system.  It was okay but could run into some serious lag issues as well; I mean, I know I wasn’t perfect, but I definitely wasn’t a whole measure out either.  Once the lag was fixed though, I did post the song and got immediate feedback from people.

Uhhhh, let’s not talk about the feedback.

One of the better features on singshot is the webcam option, which has produced some rather funny vidoes.  There really isn’t anything like watching the moment of a person trying to look their coolest and achieve rock-stardom… yet, completely failing to capture it.

June 7, 2007

Social Networks and the “Older” Generation

Filed under: Internet,Social Networks,Technology — Tyler Rousseau @ 2:16 pm

There is a stigma that basically insinuates that people who sign up for Facebook and are past their college careers are kind of “creepy.”

Michelle Slatalla, mother and writer for the New York Times, has written an article about joining Facebook and the resistance she received from her daughter.  It shows the teenage mind vying against their parents generation, who are still young enough to want to be hip…

Yet are continually reminded by their children that they are waaaay past that stage…

But does it mean that the “older” generations have no place on social networks?

May 31, 2007

8 Things meme

Filed under: humor,Internet — Tyler Rousseau @ 4:46 pm

I’ve been tagged for the 8 Things meme by my Teacozy “real life” buddy.  The rules are as follows:

Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. I’ve been working on a book for about 2 years now.  Since I am anal retentive, the plotline is written out and yet I am only on the second chapter of the book.

 2.  I’m a guitarist who is unable to tune the note B.  I have a gap in my hearing pattern that makes me tonedeaf to the frequency which is known as B, and the higher the frequency of B the worse my tuning ear gets.

3. I have a bad habit of leaving closet doors, silverware drawers and kitchen cabinet doors open.  I claim it is to test whether we have ghostly spirits in the house (if the doors slam shut by themselves, that’s a hint)… it’s a total lie.  I’m just lazy and forgetful.  What’s strange is that:

4.  Oddly enough, I am fanatical about making sure the doors and windows are locked and closed when I go to bed.

5.  I almost became a received a degree in Organismal Biology and Evolutionary Science.  I decided to go with an Science and Education degree instead.  If you ask me now, I wish I went with OB instead.

6.   I still love going to zoos.

7.  I have one major goal in life… I need to visit Australia at some point in this lifetime (see the connection in the last 3 things).

8.  My dream job would be a golfer.  I don’t need fame and fortune, just enough to play golf and raise a family.  There is not enough time in the day for me and golf.

The people I tag are, and I apologize if any have already done so:

Amy and Mary of Pimp My Library

 Tracy

Crazy Roommate

Sara

 And since the rest of my buddies have all already been tagged… I’ll leave the list as is.

May 22, 2007

MySpace to give up list of sex offenders…

Filed under: Digital Ethics,Ethics,Internet,policies,Technology,technology woes — Tyler Rousseau @ 3:21 pm

Man, this is a tough one.  My many sides are really battling each other.

The librarian side of me screams about the rights of privacy and shuns them for giving in.

My business side wonders if it was necessary in order to keep the website alive… one too many lawyers to hire and enough bad publicity. 

My researcher side of me tells me that underage children are lying about their identities on the site as well.

My educator side agrees and says we need to teach or children about digital ethics and how not to invite trouble into your life.

My logical side agrees and knows that this wont stop unregistered pedifiles from getting to our children.

Which leads to my rational side of me wondering if there are better ways of creating profiles that help avoid these problems on Myspace.

And through all this, the parent in me says damned straight!  It is amazing how strong that voice became when my wife gave birth to our child.

All in all, I really don’t know how to think of this.  Yeah, in a way I feel that they are convicts and deserve what they get now; but they are still citizens and therefore have all the rights of any other citizens despite their past actions… and some people do reform and have the right to a normal life.

 I simply don’t know… anyone else?

May 14, 2007

Pandora helps you find new music

Filed under: Internet,music,Reviews — Tyler Rousseau @ 8:46 pm

Although I do have a fairly respectable (read as: large) collection of music I am always on the watch for something new. The problem is that I tend to waste a lot of money on bands that “sound like” my favorites, only to find out $18 and an hour later, they really aren’t something I wanted to spend my money on.

Thanks to Pandora, that is changing.

Pandora is the fruition of the Music Genome Project. Each song entered into the site is subject to classification through genre, decade, musical composition, harmonies, keys, progression and much more. The result is when you put in a favorite song or artist in the search box, Pandora creates a station compiled with artists who closely resemble many of your favorite band’s qualities.

Furthermore, the station is always working towards making the ideal listening station for the listener. Each song can be given a thumbs up or down. Thumbs up will be used to first compare the qualities of your favorite band and your new song and then target even closer to bands of similar sounds. If you give a song a thumbs down, the station will skip past the song and never play it on that station again.

The result is quite impressive. I have five stations that are based off of my favorite rock with punk influence and, because of the thumbs up and down options, each one sounds different from the other. Now, I have several new bands to follow:

Pansy Division- Tired of being ostracized for being gay, John Ginoli and Chris Freeman created a gay-friendly punk band with unabashed lyrics and a good sense of humor.
Sanctus Real- A Christian rock band willing to break its contract with major labels in order to play songs they love.
Augustana- Young band rising on the charts and it’s no wonder. As they describe their own album, “its a young and scared record…and it’s real and from our hearts… “

February 27, 2007

Is Accessing Open Wi-Fi Illegal?

In Palmer, Alaska, Brian Tanner was arrested for using the public library’s wi-fi in their parking when the library was closed. Local police had tired of chasing Tanner from various locations where he was accessing open ended wi-fi and arrested him. They confiscated his laptop to see what files Tanner had downloaded as well.

Is this really a legal issue or the responsibility of the people who hold the access points? All wi-fi hardware/software allow their owners to create password protected access so that only selected users may take advantage of it. If an owner fails to opt for this protection, does it mean they can still say “no, you can’t use it” and be legally binding?

We really haven’t set up ethical rules for the digital age yet. We still argue over ideas like privacy for users in public settings, rights applied to digital information, what can/cannot be written over emails and whether we should have some sort of program in place to restrict content to certain users on public computers.

Our computers are designed to find hotspots now and even default to open wi-fi networks when available. My Nintendo Wii has actually picked up two other open networks near my house along with my own wireless system. If an upgrade was placed into the program to access the fastest network or default to another open network when my wireless went down, would it make me criminally liable?

It seems this is more of an ethical question over a legal one. I certainly wouldn’t argue that Tanner seems to have a lack in ethics and common sense but it also seems that there were protective measures the library could take to prevent his access as well.

In the physical world we have many different legal words for the various types of theft as it is not simply a black and white issue. Are we going to find ourselves at a point where we need to do the same for the digital world as well?

On a semi-tangent; is his being chased from point to point really enough evidence to confiscate the laptop?

The Rubric Theme Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.