Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Research Journal - The heart of the matter

I'm studying the impact of wireless internet on NPDA debate. Why? Because I believe in order to tell the story of how debaters use technology, and more importantly make the knowledge useful we need to understand the impact of that technology. Why do these tools matter? How does is this medium the message?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Research Journal: 5 questions, and another one.

Sitting in the first class, I began brainstorming as we discussed the assignment. I've been thinking about doing this project for a while. In order to come up with a better idea for what I wanted to do I asked myself the five big questions: Who, What, Where, When, and Why?

Who: NPDA debaters
What: Information/decision processes
When: Recent past/ contemporary
Were: United Sates
Why: Debaters model leaders(?)

After I asked my self those questions I asked my self why for each one.

Who: NPDA debate has a extemporaneous nature and time/evidence constraints that reward using materials found on the fly as much as adequately preparing for a debate.
What: Structural constraints, attitudes towards research, and extemporaneous nature make this a good test environment.
When As I've mentioned the emergence of technology has impacted the event at a meta level. While the shapes of the rounds have stayed the same, the tools used outside are getting better. Looking at debaters in this environment mirrors the same sort of emerging paradigms we see in industry and government as technology becomes more embraced.
Where: It's familiar to me. I have resources and contacts that I wouldn't have if I examined Canada's debate teams.
why: If you want to get a good job, you have to do interesting meaningful research.

I found that asking myself these questions and expanding them out was a helpful foundation for moving forwards with my research. As I mentioned before my interest in debate is more focused on how debaters use information. However, I've realized that what makes that research valuable is laying a ground work that shows the value of information to that particular community. My next step was brainstorming possible questions. As I progressed in my brainstorming I found that some of those possible questions or research ideas wouldn't work. Coming back to these questions has been helpful in staying focused on workable approaches, and keeping my research focused.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Research Journal: The subject

I came to librarianship through a strange path. I was a collegiate debater. I know people who were debaters in high school who are librarians, but it's not the same. The level of competition just isn't there in the high school form of the activity. Nor is the same level of abstraction, discourse, argumentation, scholarship, and chicanery. It's like the difference between playing football in high school, and playing college football.

Friday, August 12, 2011

End of Year 1/Start of year 2

I haven't really talked about my experience in library school recently, so I' thought I would take a moment and write a bit about my experience and my plans for the coming year. The last year was a pretty busy one for me. I took some great classes, met a bunch of cool people, and went to/started to plan a conference. I know I wrote a write up about my first term here is what's happened since then.

Spring Semester 2011:

This spring I took 3 classes:
  • 768 - Problems in library and information agency administration
  • 748 - Business information sources and services
  • 707 - Introduction to information organization and retrieval
All of the classes required a fairly substantial time commitment for the assignments and they were all back loaded at the end of the quarter. The result was a stress free start, and a stressful end. By the end of the quarter I was sleeping 12 hours over 4 days. If you've never done this before I recommend not doing it. As a result of stress and lack of sleep I forgot my external hard drive in one of the labs and it vanished. Doing things ahead of time, and not stressing out is worth it intrinsically. But if that's not enough to help you beat your procrastination streak, just imagine how much it sucked to loose 5 years of your intellectual life.

Problems in library administration was definitely a great class. It was worth if for the discussion of budgets alone. We also discussed library advocacy in depth, and how to deal with restructuring as a result of budget cuts. While the Business reference had a really weird vibe the term I took it, it was a great class and gave me a lot of experience looking for and using business information to create reports and analysis. It will definitely be a knowledge base I will use in the future. 707 was a solid intro class. It had its own thing going on, but the course work was really fun. The tests though, were very hard.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My time on the Borders - A eulogy for the big red bookstore

It would not be an understatement to say being hired at Borders was a watershed moment in my life; it may be the watershed moment. When I was hired in June, 2008, I was one of the nation’s many under employed. I’d done a number of odd jobs since I graduated from college but nothing that really let me find my stride. I fantasized about going to grad school to become a debate coach but I didn’t have the discipline I needed to rework one of my undergraduate papers into a passable writing sample. Landing that job at Borders had been a high point for me in a year, and ended what had generally been a long losing streak post College.

At Borders I found a home, and even if it wasn’t the best fit all the time, it was a safe harbor from which I could launch into the next part of my life, whatever that would be. I was hired as part of a “sort,” and industry term where a store is inventory, sorted, and moved/closed/opened. In this case it was a move to a brand new facility, it was a rush. It was an ahead of schedule ass kicking. Starting with sorting and alphabetizing shelves and moving them to large book carts that make the standard library cart look like a smart car. Once we had the books translated onto carts, out came the plastic wrap. They were Giant industrial roles that you could literally run around, wrapping them up, I loved it! After we had the carts wrapped up we loaded them onto trucks while over at the store another team unloaded them and shipped them up the freight elevator to our new digs, a huge empty set of bookshelves in fixtures in the new wing of the South Center Mall. Over the next few days we unboxed, unload, and placed millions of units of merchandise on the empty shelves filling it until they were bursting. Then we opened in the real fun began.

I really started to love my job, instead of just enjoying, when the customers came to the new location. I was quickly promoted to Bookseller, which meant I got to help people find books instead of being stuck behind the registers shilling rewards cards. Talking to people about the books, music, and movies, was awesome, being able to recommend the perfect item to a customer was a fantastic rush. I had people leaving the store with hundreds of dollars in merchandise based on my recommendations, it was a huge rush. It’s that rush, and love of my product that led me to stay in the job for as long as I did.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Bibliography Madness

Two samples of completed citations from my Annotated Bibliography Draft

Bodin, FĂ©lix. The Novel Of The Future (Le roman de l'avenir, 1834). Translated by Brian Stableford. Encino, CA: Black Coat Press, 2008

Categories: Futurism, Adventure Stories, Social Science Fiction, Criticism

First published in 1834, The Novel Of The Future, was an obscure book until it was enshrined in the cannon of french science fiction in 1972. The book imagines the future in the last half of the 20th century. While Bodin’s technological predictions are limited by his time, his social predictions are much more accurate. Bodin’s incomplete novel (there was a second volume planned) is accompanied by several works of criticism, important in establishing the idea of Futurism. Black Coat Press’s reprint represents a significant push in popularizing this work, copies in the original French are purportedly hard to find. Stableford’s book is reviewed in SF Studies #108. It includes annotations, with an afterwords and an introduction by Stableford.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Notes from the Frontline - An Example (Swedish)

Below is an example of what I have been working on. As my search for Science Fiction translated into English begins to slow down and reach completion (at least as close as I can get). I've been pulling entries from my database out into a Microsoft Word document and preparing my manuscript. I've chosen Swedish as my sample entry because it is brief but also high lights some of the features of my work. Where I have had comments about the general publishing trends in a particular language, I have noted them at the top before any entries. Where I am able to categories a collection I have included categories as well as an abstract. When the bibliography is complete I hope to have annotations for all entries as well as categories listed for every novel and as many of the collections and anthologies as possible.


Scandinavian genera fiction has garnered significant attention as Steig Larson’s Millennial Trilogy has dominated the best seller list. There are several other well know mystery writer writing in Norwegian and Finnish as well. This attention has not as of yet translated into a publishing boom, however, Scandinavia has a thriving Science Fiction Community. Mikael Niemi, is one example of how Scandinavian authors are encountering Science Fiction and bending its tropes to their own creative will.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards

As many of you know (at this point) I am working on a bibliography of Science Fiction translated into English, published between 2006 and 2010. One resource I have relied on is the Science Fiction And Fantasy translation Awards website. On June 16th, the awards were announced at Eurocon in Stockholm, Sweden. The creation of this award will I believe be instrumental in helping more translated works get published. It will also help create an incentive for translators to be recognized in indexing and creating metadata for magazines publishing Science Fiction. As it stands now translators can easily slip away into the sands of history. I want to applaud the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards board, and wish them success in continuing this years success forward.

The results of the first Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Notes form the frontline - the hospital waiting room

I got sick as a teenager and had to spend a lot of time in the hospital. For about a year or so I lived my life to its timetable. That meant a lot of hurry up and wait. Hurry to get to the hospital for the appointment, about an hour away in traffic, than wait for x doctor or y procedure. I'm beginning to find that compiling this bibliography is the same way.

Friday, June 10, 2011

William Gibson - Pattern Recognition

To describe William Gibson as brilliant, is I think perhaps an understatement. While, I have found his early works to be outstanding revolutionary works of science fiction. I found their literary pacing a bit dry. None the less, spawning one genera (cyberpunk), and reviving another one (steampunk) is no lean feat. Pattern Recognition proved to me that he is a literary talent as well as a speculative one.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Translated Science Fiction 2006-2010 - French

This represents a partial list of translated science fiction orgionally writen in french. Its authors are largely french, although at least one on this list is Quebecois. More entries may be added at a later date as more work gets done on the list. An oddity of french science fiction published in the last 5 years is the prevalence of reprinted works of classic French science fiction and proto science fiction. Brian Stableford and Black Coat Press deserve large credit for this, having published numerous titles during the time period covered. Brian Stableford will be presented with the ARESFFT Special Award for Services to Translation for his efforts at the upcoming Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Japanese Science Fiction Published 2006-2011

This post is part of the work I have been doing in creating a bibliography of science fiction translated into english and published in the United States form 2006 to 2010. I will post more country's science fiction and update this post as more information is compiled. I've been pulling from worldcat's paid client service, and this is what has been pulled up. I may be missing some documents as a result. Fixing those holes is where the real work comes in, and I'm not there yet.

Japanese Science Fiction - Translated and Published in the United States (Without Manga)


Monday, February 21, 2011

The Byte & The Bullet - New Series

After getting on the boat late with Egypt, I was nonetheless utterly fascinated by the way in which social media and digital technology shaped events in Tunisia and Egypt. Almost more importantly was how they perception of those events. In this new series of articles I hope to examine how the new digital age and the ubiquitous nature of digital recording and distribution technology will effect our world. I wonder if 2011 will be the 1968 of our time. I only hope this time we get it right.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Federal Funding for Libraries is Under Serious Threat

Representative Scott Garrett, apparently has a lot of time on his hands. So much so that he wants to cut library funding to keep reading books to kids. Garrett represents New Jeresy’s 5th district, a rich suburban district east of New York City. Both socially, and financially conservative Garret has co-sponsored bills like the ObamaCare role back, and also a much criticized bill that would redefine rape to make it harder for women to get support from the federal government for abortions related to rape.

If you not already fed up with Garrett, today Garrett crossed the line. Introducing Amendment 35 to the continuing resolution (how the government pays its bills), Garrett proposes to get rid of the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) by cutting its funding to zero. I guess Garret thinks this is just another money waster.

IMLS is the major grant agency of the US Federal Government that deals with libraries. Not only that, but IMLS has been a leader in assembling information about libraries, and tracking the developments in library services and programming. crucially the IMLS administers the Library Services and Technology Act, a law that’s been instrumental in closing the digital divide. If you’re a jobless American chances are you’ve been at the public library recently using their computers to look for a job. Many of those were paid for through IMLS grants. Zeroing out ILMS’s budget is an assault on libraries that’s equivalent to him getting rid of funding for the Library of Congress. With a yahoo like Garrett, who knows, maybe that’s the next cut coming down the line.

Take action now!

You can email your representative via Capwiz, or give them a call at (202) 224-3121

Remember for every dollar we spend on libraries they contribute minimally $4.20 back to the economy. Also out is a great post over at OCLC that sums up the economic benefits of libraries. Give it a read before you call your representive and back that rage up with some true facts.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Abby's Bells Are Silent - Brian Jacques, Author, dies at age 71.

I can honestly say if it wasn't for Mr. Jacques books I wouldn't be where I am now. As a child I was good at math, but not at reading. Over time my talents reversed themselves. In large part this was because I fell in love with reading. Through the work of authors like Mr. Jacques, and his Redwall series in particular, I developed a liking of fantasy into a love of fantasy, and through that love a real passion for the book and the act of reading. Growing up Brian Jacques' books made me want to be a reader.

Jacques books are some of my favorites. I remember as a child walking with my father to the near by Newport Library to check out Redwall, and Mossflower. Libraries were my primary interface with Jacques work, which may explain in part the subconscious motivations for my present career path. In 5th grade, my parents gave me a hard back copy of The Bell Maker, one of the first "nice" books I remember owning. The book still sits on my shelf almost 15 years later, in near perfect condition.

Later on as a bookseller Jacques became one of my go to recommendations for young readers. Jacques' stories are pure. While they embrace a certain romanticism which I am sure opens them up for critical attacks, his work has both a level of depth and excitement that makes them an easy recommendation. I loved hearing that young readers had already demolished the series just as much as seeing a face light up at the discovery of a new treasure.

From reading his obituary in the times I think that Jacques will be most missed by his family, and the children of England. Rather then using a staid author photo the picture used was one of Jacques in a library regaling children with stories of adventure. Jacques also hosted a radio show for children on his local BBC station called Jakestown. His contributions to children's literature, which were the spark for some of that still burns today, is substantial. Thanks for the adventures Mr. Jacques, it sounds like they were as fun for you as they were for your readers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Egypt - Directory of Egypt Protests Resourcs

Are you a news junky hungering for actual news about Egypt faster than the main stream media can generate it? Tired of the talking heads who don’t understand the Arab street on the cable news networks? Complied below is a list of web resources drawn mainly from traditional news outlets. These will give you as good a real time view of what’s going on in Egypt as you’ll get. The Source list is largely real time live blogs from major news outlets. As a result the information is of varying quality. However, much of it will most likely be reported later once it’s been verified, or at least has a strong ring of truth to it. I complied this directory to provide people with a variety of ways to see what was happening and stay updated.

Live Blogs, and Updates

Egypt Live Blog Egypt Live Blog - Al Jazeera English

AJ is the premier Arabic news service. Analogous to the BBC or CNN in its heyday. AJE’s live blog is a phenomenal resources for consistent fairly reliable news. AJE uses a unique web address each time. The link above will change as I am able to get to it, but they can also be found on the main AJE site. Update: AJE is now using a different scheme for their live blog's web address. Hopefully this will provide a stable link for other websites to provide a stable link to.

Al Jazeera English Live

In the United States AJE is not available on cable in most places. It does however stream online for free. It’s become the source for many policy makers about Egypt. Also, AJE has a large archive of raw footage and reports under the CC license.

The Lede – NY Times.

The NY Times’s Lede blog has been doing an excellent job covering the situation in Egypt. Many of the sources here were found through the coverage of their live blog. It has fairly developed content with occasional context. While it has a unique web address for each day (the link above is for their generic blog address), the site has unique time indexed anchors, which make re-blogging, flagging, sharing or tweeting content from the site easy.

Wall Street Journal Dispatch - Egypt - The Wall Street Journal

The WSJ has a section of its site devoted to live updates. The content is similar to that of the Lede with less updates and slightly more depth.

Guardian News Blog - The Guardian The Guardians live blog of events in Egypt has been of phenomenal quality. It is a sub section of their news blog with a unique daily web adress (I've just linked to the news blog). The guardians blog mixes the depth of the WS journal blog with the timeliness of the Lede. The guardian‘s coverage Second only to perhaps the AJE blog of events unfolding in Egypt.

Egypt Unrest: Live Coverage - The BBC

For a truly multimedia experience of the events happening in Egypt. The site features a live stream and live blog, as well as easy access to the BBC’s world radio service streams. BBC is a high credibility source, and it’s doing its normal great coverage of Egypt.

Coverage of Upheaval in Egypt - Jerusalem Post

This isn't a live blog or updated nearly as much as I would like. I have included it primarily to add ideological balance. The English language Israeli press in general has been fairly pro-Mubarak. I'm just getting caught up on the JP's coverage, but they have a well earned reputation as a news organization. The link is to their coverage of the unrest in Egypt. Its made up mainly of full news articles with a sprinkling of editorials and opinion.


Speak2Tweet is a joint project between Google, SayNow, and Twitter. Speak2tweet is an international number that people can call into and leave a voice-mail message. The message is then recorded, uploaded to the web, and tweeted. It’s mostly in Arabic, however, there may be some English in there as well. All of the messages should be treated with some degree of caution as they are raw, and unchecked.

Global Voices Egypt Coverage - Global Voices

Global voices is an online distillation of posts, and articles from bloggers around the world. It’s coverage of Egypt has been of decent quality. However, it should be treated with some caution given the non-uniformed nature of its sources.

Live update from Egypt - Human Rights Watch

Human rights watch has several team members on the ground covering the situation in Egypt. HRW is a fairly credible independent human rights organization. And it’s staff members updates have been circulated and later included in printed reports.

Helpful links if you're in Egypt

It might save their lives - Iranian.com

This article was originally posted during the Green Movement's struggle in Iran. It's written by an anonymous police officer in the united state familiar with anti-riot tactics. While the analysis of the Basij no long applies, his advice about other anti-riot tactics is valuable.

Egypt Information Resources - Google Crisis

Google Crisis’s list of resources is a particularly good resource for those on the ground in Egypt. It including embassy numbers, airline numbers, the phone number of the military, ect. It also has a Google map embedded with basic (although slightly out of date) locations for protests, violence, ect.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

I'll be writing my legislators about this in the morning. According to a New York Times Editorial a proposed piece of legislation will make it illegal for someone to circulate any
"in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States,” any classified information “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States.”
This law will effect librarians. As Geoffry R. Stone writes further down"it would plainly violate the First Amendment to punish anyone who might publish or otherwise circulate the information after it has been leaked." So, any library which provide information that's already public, or any librarian who directs a patron to find say a Wikileaks cable will effectively have violated federal law. While in all likelihood such a law wouldn't stand a constitutional test given recent supreme court rulings, it could cause a chilling effect.

The information published by organizations like wikileaks all ready enjoys a marginalized and tenuous existence. Yet, that information can be some of the most important information to scholars, policy makers, and the general public. We should be taking steps to protect it. Regardless of our institutional reaction to curating such documents, librarians must protect our rights to disseminate such information. If we falter here its a short road to the letting the government in our stacks to tell us what we can and can't let patrons read.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A partial inventory of my books

I've been repacking all the books I left at my parents house before I went to South Carolina. Wow, there are a lot of books. Below is a list of what books I have they are organized into by box. There are typos. * indicates owned but not read. Enjoy.

Box Inventory
  1. Bright Star *
  2. Darkness Visible
  3. Norwegian Wood
  4. Politics of fear*
  5. Caves of steal*
  6. Welcome to the Terror dome
  7. Escapement
  8. Catch 22
  9. Shades of death *
  10. Foucault’s Pendulum*
  11. Death is a lonely Business
  12. Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and Frankenstein *
  13. Dandelion wine *
  14. Jonathan Strange, and Mr. Norrell
  15. God of Clocks *
  16. The Difference Engine *
  17. Lords of the Sky
  18. The princess bride
  19. We
  20. Skid Road
  21. Poems from Sanskrit
  22. Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, signet classics, diary excerpts
  23. Starship troopers
  24. Acts of aggression
  25. The Court of air,
  26. Wicked *
  27. MASH
  28. Kingdom Beyond the Waves
  29. The Scar
  30. Mainspring
  31. Stardust
  32. Shadowplay
  33. The destroyer
  34. Pay check
  35. In the evil hours *
  36. Fires *
  37. Zen and the art of Writing *
  38. The Stranger
  39. Peter’s Quotation
  40. Spin
  41. Pedrido Street Station
  42. The Taquacores
  43. Iron Angel *
  44. How to wind Friends and influence people *
  45. The lost art of walking *
  46. Love is a mixed tape
  47. Ripped*
  48. No Country for old men*
  49. Heft on wheels
  50. Perfume
  51. 25th hour*
  52. Survival in Auschwitz
  53. The wasp Factory*
  54. Library Wars 1, 2*, 3*
  55. The angel Maker *
    1. The Magicains
    2. Farenheit 451
    3. Please Kill me
    4. Someone comes to down, Someone Leaves town
    5. The Rebel
    6. Gun, With Occasional Music
    7. The Hours *
    8. Objective Liberal Scholarship *
    9. The Elephant Vanishes *
    10. First as Tragedy, then as farce *
    11. A wild sheep chase
    12. Depressiona Era Economics*
    13. Galipolli
    14. Shanghaied *
    15. Trust us We’re experts *
    16. In Pharos Army *
    17. What I Talk about when I talk about running
    18. The rider
    19. The Plague
    20. China Underground
    21. The poetics of space *
    22. The Night in Question
    23. Sex Drugs and Coco puffs
    24. Existentialism *
    25. Dreams of my father
    26. The English Pacient
    27. Prince of tides
    28. Little Brother
    29. The Cellist of Sarajevo
    30. Bomb the Suburbs
    31. Stuff Happens
    32. When the 9’s roll over
    33. The art of racing in the rain
    34. High Fidelity
    35. On liberty
    36. The Communist Manifesto

    1. American Hardcore
    2. LD Debate Manual
    3. Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
    4. 501 books to read before you die *
    5. How to DJ
    6. Communicating at Work
    7. Outlaw Bible of American Literature
    8. Childhood Cancer Survivors guide *
    9. Boneshaker
    10. Peoples history of the United States
    11. How I became a famous author *
    12. Child of an anceinty city
    13. Gorilla art book
    14. Poetry books
    15. Knots
    16. Pocket atlas, dictionary, and german dictionary
    17. The Buck book*

  1. Quiet Please
  2. World war Z
  3. Emergency Sex and Other desperate measures
  4. Plants and Empire
  5. A spot of bother *
  6. Appetite for Destruction *
  7. Unseen Academicals *
  8. Architecture of Happiness*
  9. People’s History of the Supreme Court
  10. This book is overdue
  11. The city and the city
  12. Kapital *
  13. Collected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harvard Classic
  14. Wired for War *
  15. Collected poems of W.B. Yeats *
  16. You don’t have to be evil to work hear but it helps *
  17. Jailbird *
  18. Shadow Rise *
  19. Violence *
  20. The case for books*
And a new box
  1. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
  2. A boy should know how to tie a tie*
  3. Jeopardy
  4. The Teachings of Buddha*
  5. A very short introduction to the new deal and the great depression*
  6. A very short introduction to citizenship*
  7. Guns, germs and Steal
  8. Shadowplay
  9. that's the joint: a hip-hop reader
  10. Land of the Blind
  11. The Hippy narrative*
  12. OF course in the end you become yourself*
  13. The Outlaw bible of American Poetry*
  14. Post Colonial Literature*
  15. Agnotology *
  16. Last night a dj saved my life
  17. Biocapital
  18. economics as Ideology
  19. unequal protection
  20. fight club
  21. in defence of american liberties: a history of the ACLU*
  22. Memory, History, Forgetting*
  23. Myth of the Robber Barrons
  25. intoducing Chomsky
  26. Library of shadows
  27. sorrows of empire
  28. the iron council