1. Introducing Jelly →

    mrbizstone:

    Humanity is connected like never before. In fact, recent white papers have concluded that the proverbial “six degrees of separation” is now down to four because of social networking and mobile phones. It’s not hard to imagine that the true promise of a connected…

    A new question and answer app from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. Tumblarians, would you find this a useful reference tool?

  2. therumpus:

DEAR WIKIPEDIA EDITORS,
BY AMY LETTER AND BRIAN SPEARS
April 24th, 2013
Not all of you, just the ones who decided that it was a good idea to start removing women from the category “American Novelists” and putting them into a new category: “American Women Novelists.” You guys.
What the hell, man? What’s wrong with you?
It would have been bad enough had you decided to replace the one category with two separate categories, one for American Men and one for American Women novelists, since that division would have suggested that the gender of the writer is the most important distinction (as opposed to, oh, genre or era) and since it would leave out genderqueer novelists completely.
But you didn’t even do that. The dudes are going to get the default category “American Novelists,” while women get shunted off into a cozy little ghetto, the easier to ignore, which is pretty much been the case for most of human history. Men are the normal, everyone else is the other. Hey, good news for sexist readers: this way, a person searching for American Novelists on wikipedia won’t accidentally end up reading a woman’s writing. No, no. Now that can only happen if the person is searching specifically for women novelists. What a relief.
But here’s the thing that confuses us. It’s not like you haven’t been called out for sexism before or anything. You’ve had a problem with this for a while, and despite your claims that you want to change the culture among the editors, you really haven’t done much about it. Instead, you do this. You once again diminish women.
And you’re doing this at a time when we’re more conscious than ever, thanks to groups like VIDA, of the huge disparities in attention that books by men receive in terms of reviews in big publications over books by women, as well as the disparities in space that men receive to write reviews as opposed to women reviewers. We’re talking about massive inequalities here, and you’re aiding and abetting that. As Amanda Filipacchi said in the piece linked above, “People who go to Wikipedia to get ideas for whom to hire, or honor, or read, and look at that list of “American Novelists” for inspiration, might not even notice that the first page of it includes far more men than women. They might simply use that list without thinking twice about it. It’s probably small, easily fixable things like this that make it harder and slower for women to gain equality in the literary world.”
So Wikipedia Editors who thought this was a good idea, do us a favor here. Even if there’s something in your brogrammer code that refuses to allow you to undo this, at least stay out of the way of the editors who are cleaning up the mess you made.

Seconded.

    therumpus:

    DEAR WIKIPEDIA EDITORS,

    BY 

    April 24th, 2013

    Not all of you, just the ones who decided that it was a good idea to start removing women from the category “American Novelists” and putting them into a new category: “American Women Novelists.” You guys.

    What the hell, man? What’s wrong with you?

    It would have been bad enough had you decided to replace the one category with two separate categories, one for American Men and one for American Women novelists, since that division would have suggested that the gender of the writer is the most important distinction (as opposed to, oh, genre or era) and since it would leave out genderqueer novelists completely.

    But you didn’t even do that. The dudes are going to get the default category “American Novelists,” while women get shunted off into a cozy little ghetto, the easier to ignore, which is pretty much been the case for most of human history. Men are the normal, everyone else is the other. Hey, good news for sexist readers: this way, a person searching for American Novelists on wikipedia won’t accidentally end up reading a woman’s writing. No, no. Now that can only happen if the person is searching specifically for women novelists. What a relief.

    But here’s the thing that confuses us. It’s not like you haven’t been called out for sexism before or anything. You’ve had a problem with this for a while, and despite your claims that you want to change the culture among the editors, you really haven’t done much about it. Instead, you do this. You once again diminish women.

    And you’re doing this at a time when we’re more conscious than ever, thanks to groups like VIDA, of the huge disparities in attention that books by men receive in terms of reviews in big publications over books by women, as well as the disparities in space that men receive to write reviews as opposed to women reviewers. We’re talking about massive inequalities here, and you’re aiding and abetting that. As Amanda Filipacchi said in the piece linked above, “People who go to Wikipedia to get ideas for whom to hire, or honor, or read, and look at that list of “American Novelists” for inspiration, might not even notice that the first page of it includes far more men than women. They might simply use that list without thinking twice about it. It’s probably small, easily fixable things like this that make it harder and slower for women to gain equality in the literary world.”

    So Wikipedia Editors who thought this was a good idea, do us a favor here. Even if there’s something in your brogrammer code that refuses to allow you to undo this, at least stay out of the way of the editors who are cleaning up the mess you made.

    Seconded.

  3. Every calling and profession has its own jargon, perfectly intelligible to the initiate, though but half understood by the rest of the world… Coined words, as the verbs ‘to accession,’ ‘to shelf-list,’ are in all conscience bad enough, but chief of the startling and novel crop of new phrases in our calling is the term ‘reference librarian.’

    — William Warner Bishop, Librarian of the University of Michigan | The Backs of Books, and Other Essays in Librarianship, 1926 (via thepinakes)

  4. 
The big news in reference was that the Dictionary of American Regional English, edited by Frederick Cassidy and Joan Houston Hall and published by Belknap/Harvard Univ. Press, won the Dartmouth Medal. The Dartmouth is RUSA’s (ALA’s reference and user services division) top honor, but as part of it’s user-services beat, RUSA also recognizes many other works; see the entire list at Wyatt’s World.
Reference publishers had many new products and announcements at the show, which ranged from the unveiling of massive efforts that took years to produce, down to innovative marketing efforts surrounding existing materials.

Reference News from the Show | ALA Midwinter 2013

    The big news in reference was that the Dictionary of American Regional English, edited by Frederick Cassidy and Joan Houston Hall and published by Belknap/Harvard Univ. Press, won the Dartmouth Medal. The Dartmouth is RUSA’s (ALA’s reference and user services division) top honor, but as part of it’s user-services beat, RUSA also recognizes many other works; see the entire list at Wyatt’s World.

    Reference publishers had many new products and announcements at the show, which ranged from the unveiling of massive efforts that took years to produce, down to innovative marketing efforts surrounding existing materials.

    Reference News from the Show | ALA Midwinter 2013

  5. I’m driving two hours to see my son. Should I make the noodles now or wait till I get there to cook them?

    — 

    Over the phone reference question today (via libraryaccounts)

    - - -

    Clearly this person has heard about the famed knowledge all librarians have of long-ass rice.

    (via libraryadvocates)

  6. fggtlibrarian:

Xmas came early, my JSTOR swag has arrived!!

Is it weird how cool I think this JSTOR t-shirt is?

    fggtlibrarian:

    Xmas came early, my JSTOR swag has arrived!!

    Is it weird how cool I think this JSTOR t-shirt is?

  7. thepinakes:

Random Reference: shifting our entire reference section was definitely interesting.
For example, never once in a million years would I have though that either, a) there would be an “Encyclopedia of Violin-Makers,” or b) we would own it — in two volumes, no less!
Though the cover art differentiating volume one from volume two is *genius.* Worth keeping for that alone.

    thepinakes:

    Random Reference: shifting our entire reference section was definitely interesting.

    For example, never once in a million years would I have though that either, a) there would be an “Encyclopedia of Violin-Makers,” or b) we would own it — in two volumes, no less!

    Though the cover art differentiating volume one from volume two is *genius.* Worth keeping for that alone.

  8. arriere-boutique:

First draft of Roget’s Thesaurus

A thing of wonder!

    arriere-boutique:

    First draft of Roget’s Thesaurus

    A thing of wonder!

    (Source: )

  9. Librarians will fact-check Obama, Romney in final debate

    From the Kansas City Star:

    “Who knows what zinger will stick and have the staying power to stand the test of time to be mentioned years from now?” the Johnson County Library asked in a news release about a debate-viewing and fact-checking event at the Oak Park Library.

    Viewers can discuss the issues while the candidates debate, and reference librarians will try to draw out the facts using neutral, bipartisan resources. And there will be pizza.

  10. New hires need to be able to dig deeper than the first page or two of Google results, need to tap into human information sources, and need to share the search process with colleagues, who often can help refine and direct the process of searching and winnowing. Students, in turn, feel that skills they learned in college are absolutely critical to their work life, but are thrown by tight deadlines, lack of specific guidelines, and the sheer ambiguity of looking for information when the answer isn’t already known and published somewhere. One lesson from all this is that students need to learn that information isn’t something that exists out there. Information is social, and so is the process of creating knowledge.

    — Thrown a Curve: Our Anti-Social Graduates at Work | Peer to Peer Review b

  11. darienlibrary:

Easily my easiest reference question today.

    darienlibrary:

    Easily my easiest reference question today.

  12. Databases matter! For all you librarians and database enthusiasts, LJ reference editor Etta Thornton has some burning questions for you. Help her determine the year’s best databases!

    Databases matter! For all you librarians and database enthusiasts, LJ reference editor Etta Thornton has some burning questions for you. Help her determine the year’s best databases!

  13. Speaking of cliché’s, Alan Axelrod retrieves some golden oldies in his The Cheaper the Crook, the Gaudier the Patter: Forgotten Hipster Lines, Tough Guy Talk, and Jive Gems. The title, quoted from the 1941 film The Maltese Falcon, exemplifies the lingo of “the Greatest Generation” that Axelrod does not want us to forget. Inspired by Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe’s heroic, albeit terse response of “Nuts!” to the Germans when asked to retreat at the Battle of the Bulge, Axelrod has amassed this colorful lexicon of regularly employed terms and phrases from the Depression era through the Age of the Beatnik; in fact, an entire chapter is devoted to “GI jive.” Definitions and, whenever possible, origins are provided. Talking like a hipster or a tough guy is entertaining, and you can easily do it yourself. Taking a date to a nightclub? No, you’re “trucking your oomph girl to a frolic pad.” Who knows? This material could really “come on like gangbusters” with texters. This fun but informative retrospective for young and old alike captures the robust flavor of American life during the first half of the 20th century.

    — From Christina Connolly’s “The Promises and Pitfalls of Language: Quirky Reference Works for Word Lovers,” on LJ Reviews.

  14. thelifeguardlibrarian:

Talk nerdy to me, LJ. 

ANYTIME.

    thelifeguardlibrarian:

    Talk nerdy to me, LJ. 

    ANYTIME.