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February 7, 2007

Why Libraries (And Librarians) Are Not Obsolete

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The Internet age has brought about many changes in the way people look for and access information. While information was previously limited to those who had physical access to publications (books, journals, serials, magazines), now you can access almost anything at the comfort of your own home. This doesn’t only include written material; with Broadband you can access rich media at amazing speeds.

This brings us to the question whether libraries–and consequently, librarians–are still important in this day and age. It might be tempting to relegate libraries and librarians as old school and passé along with the steam-powered locomotive and the manual typewriter. After all, you have a whole world of Knowledge waiting to be accessed online. And with social media, it gets even better, since Knowledge starts to become a collective from numerous sources and not only from a few sources.

However, this information structure has its flaws, as some would believe, and therefore libraries and librarians are still important as gatekeepers of information. In fact, here are 33 reasons why libraries and librarians should not be considered obsolete, according to Will Sherman.

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February 4, 2007

The Market for Tech Support is Really Hot

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Get Me The Geeks! – A CBS video report by Steve Kroft says that ‘geeks’ are the only ones that can help us out at the time of a technology related emergency.

We are becoming slaves to our own technology – addicted to and dependent upon all sorts of beeping, flashing gadgetry that is supposed to make our lives easier.

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February 2, 2007

The Longest Month

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This installment of Science Blogging sees the calendar page turned to February, the longest month of the year. Out my window the snow is falling fast, finally providing that beautiful white blanket we’ve missed until now due to unseasonably warm temperatures that have kept fleas and mosquitoes alive and ready to strike whenever the mercury gets above 60. Which it has done regularly, all the way through January.

The longest month you ask? Why, anyone can tell just by looking at the calendar they got for Christmas that February is the shortest month! Ah, but dear friends, I am here to object! My seed catalogues have all arrived, I’m anxious to get the seedlings started, and I should already have planted peas, spinach and kale! But this whole long-short thing is definitely a plot by our invisible evil overlords to wreak havoc on our sense of cosmic justice.

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January 27, 2007

A Guide For The Introverted Blogger

Only about 25% of the population are introverts, so we’re clearly in the minority. I’m not sure how well that percentage translates into the blogosphere, but I’m sure it’s probably a bit higher because of the good fit that blogging offers for the introvert’s tendency to work in physical isolation.

What I want to do over the next few months is explore what it means to be an introverted blogger, how bloggers can use their introvert tendencies to enhance their blogging, and how to overcome the most common stumbling blocks that an introvert faces when writing material for public consumption and comment.

So what exactly is an introvert? Being an introvert involves many of the following characteristics:

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January 20, 2007

Science Blogging: On Zombies, Asshats, Sex Organs and the Great Black Hope

This installment of The Wonderful World of Science Blogging will take a look at some interesting diversions that scientists like to indulge (because they can). First, there’s news from the Zombie wars based on some very timely analysis of the nature of zombies.

In case you are among the few humans who haven’t yet become aware of the threat, I was originally alerted to the Zombie Crisis when I enrolled in a course on quantum consciousness at the University of Arizona some years ago. Philosopher David Chalmers was one of the instructors, and he is inordinately fond of zombies. He has published many papers on the subject, and has compiled a collection of Zombies on the Web that any true zombie-phyle will love. Hollywood zombies, Haitian zombies, philosophical zombies, the zombie within, functional zombies… You name it, Chalmers has links to it in his collection. read more

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January 19, 2007

Bullying 2.0

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Well, it looks like students in the States are picking up on a trend that is likely going on world wide: bullying in the social networked age can involve humiliation on a global scale.

In North Babylon, New York, one teenage girl was arguing about a boy with another girl.  She thought they were going to meet to discuss the issue; little did she know that the second girl had brought two other friends.  One to help beat her up, and the other to video tape the whole incident.

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January 15, 2007

Everything You’d Ever Want to Know About Science (but didn’t know who to ask)

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As the new year dawns in the Wonderful World of Science Blogs, we are treated to some compilations that should satisfy the biggest thirst for knowledge of things sciency. Chris Chatham of Developing Intelligence collects some interesting reports in Blogging the Brain which includes The Top 5 Robots of 2006 for all those I, Robot fans and aspiring Stepford husbands out there.

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January 6, 2007

Fix Mom’s Computer Without Leaving Your Desk

Are you a local geek? Do friends and relatives often call you for help when they cant figure out how to upload their pictures on the web or how to create that simple 4×4 table inside a Microsoft Word document?

If your friend is staying next door, you can always walk down to his place to assist him but what are the options when he is staying in another city or even another country?

Today we look at some very exciting tools that are absolutely free and they enable you to help others without leaving your desk. read more

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Miraculous Buffaloes, Non-Mad Cows and Sex in Space

This report from the wonderful world of science blogs begins with some news of the strange from Jason Hoch, IT wizard for LiveScience blogs. Back in September he wrote The Incredibly True Story of the ‘Miraculous’ Heider White Buffaloes born on a family farm in his home town of Janesville, Wisconsin. These aren’t albinos, which wouldn’t have launched the massive pilgrimage of Native Americans and curiosity seekers to the farm. Many native tribes believe the white buffalo is of great spiritual significance, so when the original white buffalo ‘Miracle’ arrived in 1994 the Heiders turned part of their cornfield into a parking lot for the influx.

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December 21, 2006

Using Blogs To Teach

Co-authored by Abe Witonsky

Students in higher education come to college to learn, but there are many things competing for their attention, besides what goes on in the classroom. The competition includes the Internet, social networking, email, online chatting, etc. As our students’ world changes, so too must the methods by which we teach and engage our students. In this article, we propose one way that teaching can be significantly enhanced by the integration of blogging. Our plans are to implement this proposal in the coming semester and to report back on its success or lack thereof. read more

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