Some things read this week, 13 – 19 April 2008

Sunday – Friday, 13 – 18 Apr 2008

2007. Running & Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind. Malden: Blackwell Pub.

  • Ch. 6 : Running Religiously by Jeffrey P. Fry (Sun)
  • Ch. 7 : Hash Runners and Hellenistic Philosophers by Richard DeWitt (Mon)
  • Ch. 8 : A Runner’s Pain (Mon)
  • Ch. 9 : What Motivates an Early Morning Runner? by Kevin Kinghorn (Mon)
  • Ch 10 : Performance-Enhancement and the Pursuit of Excellence by William P. Kabasenche (Tue)
  • Ch. 11 : The Freedom of the Long-Distance Runner by Heather L. Reid (Tue)
  • Ch. 12 : Existential Running by Ross C. Reed (Wed)
  • Ch. 13 : Can We Experience Significance on a Treadmill? by Douglas R. Hochstetler (Wed)
  • Ch. 14 : Running in Place or Running in Its Proper Place by J. P. Moreland (Thu)
  • Ch. 15 : The Running Life: Getting in Touch with Your Inner Hunter-Gatherer by Sharon Kaye (Fri)
  • Ch. 16 : John Dewey and the Beautiful Stride: Running as Aesthetic Experience by Christopher Martin (Fri)

This has been an excellent read so far. Very motivating. The authors all take a different starting point and make use of (generally individually) a great breadth of philosophies/ers. I can personally make a point of contact with all of them even if I don’t agree with how each of them flesh out their arguments. Some good arguments. Some presented well. And the rare few are both.

Recommended if you are a runner that has never “gotten” philosophy, or if you are a fan of Dr. George Sheehan’s writings, or you are a philosophical runner. I don’t actually understand how one could be a (distance) runner and not be somewhat philosophical. Seems downright absurd to me but one must leave open the space of logical possibility. [Or so I am repeatedly led indoctrinated to believe.] Oooh. One more category of recommended readers: philosophers who value a disembodied philosophy; one that has removed the experiencing subject in anything but the most clinical and sterile [and non-productive] way.

Monday, 14 Apr 2008

Banush, David, and Jim LeBlanc. 2007. Utility, library priorities, and cataloging policies. Library Collections, Acquisitions, and Technical Services 31, no. 2:96-109. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VSH-4R718K6-1/1/b1967e800400df0464b6b26bfa785a1c.

A clearly ex post facto attempt at ethical justification for cataloging policy at an ARL library. The fundamental good was “no backlogs.” I read this because David had sent me a response, which I hope is being published somewhere.

Bade’s response to the above.

Going to be vague on this as I think David has it out for publication but yesterday when we were hanging out I failed to clarify what I can say about any of the recent things he sent me. So, vagueness ensues.

Excellent! Even more eviscerating than I was and far more eloquently put than I would do.

Friday, 18 Apr 2008

Lodge, David. 1992. Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses. New York: Penguin Books.

Began book at diner. Perhaps read some Saturday. Finished 2 out of 6 chapters.

This is a book that was recommended to me by the man who sold it to me. Now I only paid about $3 for it and he has a limited knowledge of what fiction I may have read, except he has as good of knowledge as is possible for any other human being to have of my literary reading. Brian of Babbitt’s Books (of Normal, and, also formerly, Champaign) and I have been in several book discussion groups during my 6 years in Normal at ISU [Oh, and the 1st year I was here I would drive over pretty much once a month].

Somehow I managed to fall into this small group almost immediately. Most importantly, we were in the Auerbach Mimesis group for over 3 years. That is where the vast majority of my literary reading comes from. He also knows of my love for White noise.

I think he recommended it because is set in two campus environments, one in some fictional state between Northern and Southern California and somewhere in England.

I was beginning to question how much time I was going to give it but I’m 150 pages in now after reading it some Sunday and tonight [Mon.] at dinner in the Alley. It’s had its moments of humor

What have I been up to?

What a question. I feel like I need a recap of some of it myself sometimes.

I hope to have some semi-substantial blog posts and/or Flickr sets for some of these but I’d like to get them mentioned before they all become old news.

[some kind of division]

Been watching a fair few movies, started running (4x 5x 6x now), and have been taking and uploading lots of photos.

“Article” project

This is an ongoing project that I got a recent jump on due to my school hiatus, if it is possible to say that [hiatus, that is].

Flickr set. Main pic.

This is one of the things I’ve been considering blogging. But it mostly seems like a waste of time; for any system to work for someone it must meet their individual—current and future—modes of working. Any idiot can say: enter them into a citation manager (that meets your needs), put them into some sort of order (which also meets your needs), and stick them in something (that works for you).

Besides, who else has so many printed and photocopied things?

Much of what I might say is already in the Flickr set via notes and comments; especially on the “main pic.” By the way, I could very simply publish assorted bibliographies of all this, to include good discovery metadata (COinS).

Reading some David Bade things

UIUC Progressive Librarians Guild is hosting a lunch time (11:30-1 PM) discussion with David Bade on Monday, 21 April 2008.

Technology Waits For No One: Thinking About Technology, Progress and Responsibility in Academic Librarianship

I’ve been getting something on e-reserve (Harris’ Epilogue) and making another short Word doc available.

David’s been sharing a few other things with me, too. 🙂

Job Search

Nothing going on here. Have nothing out at the moment.

The End of the Semester

We have 3 weeks left in the semester and then finals week. After Subject Access/Analysis seminar Tuesday, one of my fellow classmates asked me how I was dealing with the end of the semester. I had to tell her, not so bad, but then it isn’t the end for me.

She knows I’m only sitting in on Subject Access/Analysis and that I was sitting in on Allen’s Ontologies, but she rightly assumed I should be taking something. Anyway, I kind of felt a little bad cause I knew she was just looking for a little commiseration and reassurance that we’ll both get through. And in a sense, I took that from her. So. Bad.

But about 20 minutes later when I realized that this was the first semester in 10 years in which I wasn’t facing her exact situation, I decided that I will not feel bad about not being in that space right now when I “fail” more of my friends.

But I am prepared now. I can most certainly empathize, sympathize, feel you, and so on to an extraordinary level. I will not lord my situation over any one [cause I’d like to have been finishing, too]. But I will not feel bad when any of my friends put us in the same same situation as Tuesday afternoon.

I am taking a Deferral on my paper; hope to write it in the Fall.

Since I won’t be walking the stage and I’ll be going to the GSLIS Commencement any way [lots of friends’ big day] I volunteered to help. Looks like I’ll be the “candid photographer.” Will have to have lots of little short conversations but I’ll be “forced” to move around and see folks at Commencement and at the reception. 🙂

[Volunteering. It’s an addiction.] [Also got 2 other students to volunteer. Surely that counts towards being an Enabler of Vices.]

[the other part of the union of topics]

ASIS&T panel

Mentioned this a bit back. Been trying to work out what we are actually doing based on reviewers’ feedback.

Fifth Annual GSLIS Storytelling Festival, Saturday, 18 April

[Audio] [My Flickr set] [Program]

I know that I’ve made 3 of these, but I might have actually made the last four. It is always excellent. Excellent storytelling and excellent art on the whiteboard behind the tellers. I have taken photos the last 3 years but since I sit in the back row and feel that the flash would be intrusive to, well, everyone, I haven’t gotten too many good ones. This year’s camera is radically different than the ones in the past. It worked better and I got some good shots. And then ….

I was out of memory. WTF? I’d already replaced the batteries, but that’s routine. Out of memory? I only remember running out of memory once. That was shortly after getting my first digital camera and was at the Missouri Botanical Gardens in St. Louis in April 2006. It was Spring and there were 100,000s of flowers and trees in bloom and I took a couple hundred photos. But never since.

Well. I had bought a larger capacity memory card than came standard when I got my first camera, and it subsequently moved into 2 more cameras. 256MB.

I keep forgetting that at some point recently I managed to accidentally put the new camera in highest-quality mode. Yeah. I got 74 pictures. It filled up right before Rachel Shulman and thus I missed almost the whole back half of the program. I really feel bad about that.

So I remedied that a couple days ago. For probably less than I paid for the 256MB card initially, I bought a 4GB card. And if I somehow fill that one up before exhausting all the batteries I can carry then I have a “small” backup card. Sweet!

The Festival was awesome! And the art this year was superb. It was done this year, and I think the year before last, by Tiffany Carter. [I had to ask. And I suggested that whoever the artist is each year ought to have their name in the program; it may have been once before.] [Left-side] [Right-side]

Afterwards, a few of us went to a friend’s house and had a drink, conversation, and cat-watching and NSFW [you get my water bottle there].

Opportunity sent my way

A person of quality recently sent me a nice opportunity; thank you. Still to hear from the other party, though.

Incomplete

Found out Monday that my petition to withdraw from my independent study was denied. So that means I will either be keeping that F and my A- GPA. Or I do something about it for my own pride.

This was not good news but I was kind of expecting it. Have not decided what I am doing yet. Considering possibilities; talking to some folks. Lots of things going on around here that could use some terminologies services thinking.

Scheming and pondering at the same time.

Crane Alley Guinness Mondays

A little birdie whispered in my ear that the Alley would soon be doing away with the Monday $2 Guinness / Harp special. I have feared this one coming for a while now, too. Seems they want to run some other specials. Fair enough, I guess, but it will affect my lifestyle. And they’ll get a lot less of my money.

Sara is going to library school

My daughter called me on my birthday (back in Feb.) to tell me “Happy Birthday and, oh, by the way, I’m applying to library school.” I hadn’t even known it was on the table. I was hoping that Sara might wander on to grad school some day but I wasn’t going to harass her. We’d talk about it when she wanted to let me know what she was thinking. She worked very hard her whole life in school, but especially throughout high school, because she knew if she wanted an opportunity for a good education she was responsible for it, in many ways. Four more years of school at Oberlin took its toll.

I do not prod my kids for much in the way of information. I know another parent who does that and it drives the kids crazy. I’d rather have what they want me, or think I need, to know than a bit more grudgingly dragged from them.

Monday evening, Sara called to tell me she got accepted. Yippee! She’s currently an indexer & abstracter at Chemical Abstracts where she intends to remain full-time with a flexible schedule. Her education is in chemistry and she has a year of nanotech research under her belt prior to about 8 months at Chem Abs so far.

Other than probably academic, I have no idea what area of librarianship she intends to focus on. And I’m happy with that. I’m twice her age and I changed my mind after getting here so she ought to have that opportunity. I have, of course, put her in touch with Christina because if Sara is thinking sci/tech librarianship then this is my friend best suited to introduce her to that world.

Also trying to talk her into coming to ASIS&T this year since it’s in her city.

[Yes. I purposely left out where she’s attending. It is not here, which is perfectly fine.]

Sandy Berman and panel

Wednesday evening, Sandy Berman and 3 others, along with a moderator, joined in a panel discussion on the question of, “What is a progressive librarian?” [Flickr set]

  • Carolyn Anthony, Director, Skokie Public Library
  • Sandy Berman
  • Allison Sutton, Social Science Librarian, UIUC
  • Anke Voss, Archivist, Champaign County, IL
  • Moderator : Abdul Alkalimat, Professor, GSLIS

I had volunteered to meet Sandy at the Illini Union and walk him over to GSLIS at 5:15. I went to the Quad side of the Union, visited the ATM, tried to call my son back, and took some photos to kill a few minutes before meeting Sandy out front.

Seeing as I knew I only had a few minutes alone with Sandy I took a peek at his site and checked out his biography [probably have a copy somewhere, but this was easier]. I noticed he had spent a few years in Germany in the 60s so I took that as my angle. Upon meeting him he immediately asked me what my story was. Knowing I had about 7 minute tops I gave a 2-minute or so answer [stop snickering, you!], to which he politely asked a couple further questions. So somewhere a bit past halfway to GSLIS as soon as I had given my latest reply to Sandy I spit out something along the lines of, “Iknewwe’donlyhaveafewminutestogether / soIscannedyourbioforsomethingofinterest /andIwanttoaskyouaboutyourtimeinGermany.” To which we immediately had a short but spirited conversation with many points in common. We have shared several locations in space (Germany) together, just about 15 years apart.

Sandy was quite easy to talk to and before you knew it we were at GSLIS. I handed him off to Abdul Alkalimat, our moderator. Turns out they had met when Sandy was in Uganda in 1971-72.

I got a few photos of the pot luck that aren’t necessarily good photos but they capture the feel. Most of the photos are of the panel discussion, which was quite good.

Afterwards, Abdul, Kate Williams (GSLIS faculty), Sandy, I and a few other students went to Murphy’s for a beer. Nice time, to say the least, except for the table of very loud undergrad boys next to us. I walked Sandy back to the Union from Murphy’s. The weather was excellent for an evening stroll and I got a few more minutes with Sandy.

Jer at Fort Hood

Ten minutes after walking Sandy back to the Union, getting a hug and saying goodbye, I finally got hold of my son. He had just signed into Fort Hood and ended up in the new (2nd) battalion in the Division’s Aviation Regiment.

They are packing their bags this Monday and they head back to Iraq in July. He hasn’t even been issued his gear and he’s supposed to sealing it up to be shipped off on Monday. He had just signed a lease a couple days before. Volunteering can get you in some seriously jacked up ….

I had a rough day or so after hearing this, but I’m putting it off to the side for now. July is not April.

I’m thinking I might head down there for a couple/several days in late May or June; whatever works best for him.

Update [Sat. eve]: They now leave the 2nd week of June. I will probably be heading down there.

Update [Sun. morning]: Narrower leave period than he originally thought; will be probably heading down there sometime between 22 May – 1 June once he knows how much leave he’ll have. He just got off a month’s so he may not have much left.

It’s times like this that make me smile that we even use the same words [serve/service] to describe what librarians do for their patrons/customers and what service members do for their nation.

I guess the main difference is in the kind and amount of sacrifices made.

Overall

Some unexpected positives; some not unexpected negatives (and positives). A massive [expected] negative. It’s my life.

Some things read this week, 6 – 12 April 2008

Sunday, 6 Apr 2008

Chan, Lois Mai. 1977. Alphabetical arrangement and subject collocation in Library of Congress Subject Headings. Library Resources & Technical Services 21, no. 2:156-169.

Read this for Tom’s presentation/discussion of his project this coming Tuesday (see Tom’s bibliography mentioned last week).

Marshall, Linnea. 2003. Specific and generic subject headings: increasing subject access to library materials. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 36, no. 2:59-87.

Read this for Tom’s presentation/discussion of his project this coming Tuesday (see Tom’s bibliography mentioned last week).

The section on The Syndetic Structure is an excellent read that points to many failures of our current systems. Don’t misunderstand, I am not particularly commenting on what Marshall writes, as I am pretty much completely reading her in light of being highly informed by several previous articles on specificity and closely related topics (although a fair bit older), along with the daily struggles—experiential and conceptual—within these systems as a cataloger and catalog user. If one construes what she writes as a call for tools that would make entering, maintaining, and making the syndetic structure usable and useful then run with it. Please.

But. I am also loathe to say “go out, read this, and go forth.” I have many reservations about much of what Marshall (and the folks she cites [much of which I had just read]) advocate. The point, though, is that this is easily a century old discussion. And lest any foolish youngster or modernist thinks we have really made any serious “progress” towards solving—much less defining—specificity then I want them to steer clear.

There are, at least, two major (and somewhat related) issues here. What has been and is the state of the theoretical view(s) on specificity? And, what has been, what are the reasons why, and what is the state of specificity in action? That is, how has it been implemented in our systems, and how does it, or does it, work?

Issues of theory are complex enough, and highly disparate and even contentious. As for “progress”, we have had some if beginning to pull apart past and other possibly productive uses of the concept can be defended as good conceptual analysis. Svenonius’ 1976 article [see last week] gave us 7 concepts of specificity. Certainly useful, and clarifying, in a sense. The number has not gone down in the last 30 years, either.

I do think that there is much of value to be learned from, tested, and applied (or re-applied more smartly) from much of our literature. But it is also extremely rare that much of the conversation can be had by reading one or two articles or books. And I think that it is the conversation that is often of far more value than simply an answer or two to run with. But I do wish more folks would run with more of them.

And, yes, I know that includes me.

Monday – Wednesday, 7 – 10 Apr 2008

Budd, John. 1992. The Library and Its Users: The Communication Process. New York: Greenwood Press.

  • Ch. 2: Libraries, Information, and Meaning. (Mon)
  • Ch. 3: What Does a Communication Process Look Like? (Mon-Tue)
  • Ch. 4: The Library in the Communication Process (Wed- )

Ah, yes. I did actually leave ch. 4 hanging. I temporarily abandoned it as my bus/lunch reading for the running and philosophy essays below.

This is one of the few books on libraries and communication, and especially on libraries in communication. I ordered myself a used copy on Saturday when I also ordered the Carely below, despite its faults.

Main fault: Although discusses assorted models of communication, they are all transportation/transmission-based. The language from the beginning allows no other option; those metaphors are just assumed. There is no real space to even ask broadening questions.

So why did I buy it? Because it bears study; on several fronts. And whether I borrow much of the good and/or use it as a foil—as an exemplar of a (group of) paradigm(s) or viewpoints—it will be valuable.

This is much like the Raber book in that it discusses a critical concept, [more on Raber] [finale] but much clearer on whose views are whom’s, and better argued. I have a lot of respect for Budd as a writer and a thinker, but this is far more rooted in a single meta-view than one might (I do) hope for, despite its seeming diversity within that view.

Monday, 7 Apr 2008

Carey, James W. 1992. Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society. New York: Routledge.  

  • Read Introduction and ch. 1: A Cultural Approach to Communication.

Wow! Can I just say, “Wow!” Recommended by Tom Dousa.

Carey pulls apart the concept of communication into two of its dominant metaphors, one of transmission/transportation and one as of ritual. That is, cultural.

From such sources one can draw a definition of communication of disarming simplicity yet, I think, of some intellectual power and scope: communication is a symbolic process whereby reality is produced, maintained, repaired, and transformed (23).

To study communication is to examine the actual social process wherein significant symbolic forms are created, apprehended, and used (30).

The widespread social interest in communication derives from a derangement in our models of communication and community. This derangement derives, in turn, from an obsessive commitment to a transmission view of communication and the derivative representation of communication in complementary models of power and anxiety. As a result, when we think about society, we are almost always coerced by our traditions into seeing it as a network of power, administration, decision, and control—as a political order. Alternatively, we have seen society essentially as relations of property, production, and trade—an economic order. But social life is more than power and trade (and it is more than therapy as well). As Williams has argued, it also includes the sharing of aesthetic experience, religious ideas, personal values and sentiments, and intellectual notions—a ritual order (34).

Carey may not have the answer, but he provides a useful counterforce to much; for instance, Budd above. Although Tom only really recommended the first chapter, I ordered myself a copy as it has lots of overlap with previous and current studies. And I’d love to see the ritual and magic of human communication taken a bit more seriously in our field. We have such primitive notions of communication in our field.

Wednesday – Friday, 9 – 11 Apr 2008

2007. Running & Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind. Malden: Blackwell Pub. &nbnsp;

  • Foreword by Amber Burfoot
  • Preface: Warming Up Before the Race by Michael W. Austin, ed.
  • Ch. 1: Long-distance Running and the Will to Power by Raymond Angelo Belliotti
  • Ch. 2: Chasing Happiness Together: Running and Aristotle’s Philosophy of Friendship by Michael W. Austin (Thu)
  • Ch. 3: Running with the Seven Cs of Success by Gregory Bassham (Thu)
  • Ch. 4: The Phenomenology of Becoming a Runner by J. Jerry Wisnewski (Thu)
  • Ch. 5: In Praise of the Jogger by Raymond J. VanArragon (Fri)

Cataloged this a few weeks ago. Gave it time to get to Applied Health Sciences and then went and got it.

Started running again last week. I made it out last Saturday and again Monday. Then the weather got crappy (for running anyway) again. Definitely a fair weather runner but I need to get back into some kind of shape. I took a coupe years off due to my hip acting up, but it hasn’t bothered me for quite a while.

I tried to start up again last year but things just got in the way repeatedly and then it was hot. I will run when it’s hot but I have to acclimated to the heat first. Hopefully I will do better this year.

These essays are really helping me to be in the proper mindset to start running again. All of these things, and more, are, or at least can be, part of the experience of being a runner. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this. This is what replaced Budd as my current bus/lunch book.

Saturday, 12 Apr 2008

Dickinson, Liz. 1976. Of catalogs, computers, and communication: visions of the whole service catalog. Wilson Library Bulletin 463-470.

Given to me by Tom Dousa a couple days ago due to commentary on the catalog as communication tool. Highly dated but useful mini-critique of some of the issues with our catalogs and LCSH. Still. And of interest to me due to its explicit mention of library praxis as communication.

NOTE: WordPress’ formatting issues, even using the HTML editor, are biting me hard in this post. Notice how the variously formatted entries are snugged up against the citations. I have tried assorted fixes; some of which hold for short periods; none which work. There are other issues of format but that is the most virulent and most easily spotted. What sort of idiot would crowd those elements like that? Intentionally? Not me. I find this positively distressing.

Hmmm. They are printing just fine; I did a print test of this draft post for other reasons. Verified the display stupidity in Safari.

Going to have to edit my template’s stylesheet to place some “padding” around some of these elements in display. Although it wasn’t the template that changed. Grrr. More things broken by so-called technological “progress.”

Some things read this week, 30 March – 5 April 2008

Note: Not that it matters to anyone but me but my chronology may be a bit off due to Comcast pretty much taking over my life for most of this week and the end of the last one.

Sunday – Thursday, 30 Mar – 3 Apr 2008

Budd, J. (2008). Self-Examination: The Present and Future of Librarianship. , 281. Westport, Conn: Libraries Unlimited.

Read ch. 2 Place and Identity (Sun.?) and began ch. 3 Being Informed about Informing (Thu).

For anyone interested in the current debates about the profession/”just who is a librarian?” there is a decent discussion in ch. 2 of this topic, along with one on LIS education. Not saying I fully agree with Budd on either, but he makes some good points on both heads.

Monday – Friday, 31 Mar – 4 Apr 2008

Critchley, S. (2001). Continental philosophy : a very short introduction, Very short introductions, 43. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.

This is an excellent introduction to the split between Continental and Anglo-American (or analytic) philosophy, along with why it needs to be eradicated and some ways to work towards a reconciliation.

The primary reason for the split is the professionalization of the discipline and self-identification by said professionals. Hmmm. Sounds kind of familiar. Sadly.

Highly recommended.

Wednesday – Thursday, 2 – 3 Apr 2008Dousa, Thomas. (2008) Subject Heading Specificity with Especial Reference to LCSH: A Basic Bibliography.

Tom has produced an excellent annotated bibliography for his 3rd assignment in 590SA (Subject access & subject analysis).

Friday, 4 Apr 2008

Budd, J. (1992). The Library and Its Users: The Communication Process. , Contributions in librarianship and information science., 71, 193. New York: Greenwood Press.

Grabbed this because Budd cited it in ch. 3 of Self-Examination. “As one would suspect, the literature on communication is voluminous. That literature will not be covered in great depth here; elsewhere I (Budd, 1992) have examined it in some detail” (79).

Now that was interesting to know, so I grabbed it the next day as quickly as I could. And I might, in fact, read this one first and then go back to Self-Examination.

I need to know about these texts. There is another one Pauline told me about that used to be a textbook, at least 4 editions. I picked up all 4, which we had. It seems our profession goes through cycles in the (mostly) lip service paid to our being in the business of communicating.

Read the Introduction and ch. 1 Libraries, Information, and Meaning at lunch.

As I suspected, and complained about last week, Budd does not make the same mistake here re the need for language for the possibility of communication.

Saturday, 5 Apr 2008

Library of Congress. (1951). Subject Headings: A Practical Guide. , 140. Washington: U.S. Govt. Printing Office.

Read parts of this for Tom’s presentation/discussion of his project this coming Tuesday (see the bibliography above).

Svenonius, E. (1976). Metcalf and the principles of specific entry. In W. B. Rayward (Ed.), The Variety of Librarianship: Essays in Honour of John Wallace Metcalfe (pp. 171-189). Sandy Bay, Tas: Library Association of Australia.

Same as above. Recommended.

Web Ontology Language: OWL (ch. 4 of a soon-to-be published book on the Semantic Web from MIT Press, I believe. Handed out in class last week.)

For 590OD. Good stuff to know, to say the least. But it just feeds my beliefs that the Semantic Web will not save the world despite what Sir Tim and others might think. There is actually so little of importance that can be modeled using First Order Logic, or, should I say, there is so much more of importance than what can be modeled by FOL.

In fact, I believe they even blow one of their examples. I may have to go to class on Tuesday just to find out. Or else I’ll simply talk to Allen or Karen about it

GSLIS Publications digitally available to all

I wrote about this once before (last July) when it had begun but now the major announcement has gone out. If I hadn’t already known about it I would be downright giddy!

The University Library has digitized the following publication series from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science:

Allerton Park Institute Proceedings (1954-1997) [502 items]
Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing (1963-1995) [473 items]
Occasional Papers (1949-2004) [209 items]

These publications are preserved in IDEALS (the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship), a digital repository created and maintained by the University Library.

Visit the GSLIS publications “community” within IDEALS at: http://www.ideals.uiuc.edu/handle/2142/154

To track the addition of major collections to IDEALS, visit:
http://webtools.uiuc.edu/rssManager/imageList/961

A fair few issues of Library Trends are also available from that same link. It looks like volume 52(3):Winter 2004 – 56(3):Winter 2008 are currently available [263 items] with topics as diverse as the philosophy of information, LIS pioneers, organizational development and leadership, consumer health issues, children’s access and use of digital resources, research methods, GIS, and so on. Certainly a bit of something for everyone.

The quality of all the ones I have seen so far is incredible.

All in all there are already over 1400 items (article-level) available from these four titles.

I challenge anyone to have a look around and then try and tell me they can’t find something of quality to read in our literature.

And for those of you who know my love for print I will reproduce my response to my friend Jenny who asked why I was so excited since I can see them all in the library that is literally on top of me, one floor up:

Hey jenny. Very true about the cataloging records for the Allerton stuff (sure wish I could fix it!).

Very valid question you ask. I do generally prefer to have something in print that I can read and I love seeing these things in their original manifestations, but …

My main reason for excitement is that others can access these wonderful sources, from near or far.

But some of *my* reasons follow:

1 If it is the library’s copy (or otherwise not mine) then I cannot highlight or write in it.

2 I cannot keep it for future consultation.

3 I am allergic to the condition many of these older items are in.

4 They are sometimes quite frail and even if in decent shape may not be after the gentlest of efforts at photocopying.

5 Having a pdf I can save and use it for a long time. I can print it and write/highlight all over it if I desire. And I have yet to find a pdf that I am allergic to.

6 I will have access if/when I am no longer present to use the physical items.

7 I can point people to them with more than a disembodied citation.

8 As much as I love the physical items, I, too, love the convenience of “immediate” electronic delivery for many and varied reasons.

9 I can find them despite the bad cataloging that exists for the physical items. While I often forget where I found some source on the web, I am fairly sure that I will remember where to find these as they are some of my favorite sources. I have also blogged about them and can just search my blog now if I forget the rest.

I could probably think up a few more reasons for myself or for others that are part of my excitement, but this is a great start.

Yes, I love the print and am so very grateful to be where I am and to have access to them, but I may not always have that access and I am allergic to much of the older materials; materials that I, in fact, value.

As long as I have a web connection I have access to the digital copies and once saved to my computer I have “perpetual” access to a copy of my own.

I hope this gave you some sense of why I am excited. :)

So please do yourself a favor and “check them out.”

Some things read this week, 16 – 22 March 2008

All week

DeLillo, D. (1986). White noise, Contemporary American fiction., 326. New York: Penguin Books.

 

I didn’t say it. The computer did. The whole system says it. It’s what we call a massive data-base tally. Gladney, J. A. K. I punch in the name, the substance, the exposure time and then I tap into your computer history. Your genetics, your personals, your medicals, your psychologicals, your police-and-hospitals. It comes back pulsing stars. This doesn’t mean anything is going to happen as such, at least not today or tomorrow. It just means you are the sum total of your data. No man escapes that (141, emphasis mine).

 

They travel through the air. What like, birds? Why not tell them magic? They travel through the air in magic waves. What is a nucleotide? You don’t know do you? Yet these are the building blocks of life. What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything (149, emphasis mine).

Swift, J. (1996). Gulliver’s travels (Unabridged [ed.].). Mineola N.Y.: Dover Publications.

 

My little Friend Grildrig; you have made the most admirable Panegyrick upon your Country. You have clearly proved that Ignorance, Idleness, and Vice are the proper Ingredients for qualifying a Legislator. That Laws are best explained, interpreted, and applied by those whose Interest and Abilities lie in perverting, confounding, and eluding them. I observe among you some Lines of an Institution, which in its Original might have been tolerable; but these half erased, and the rest wholly blurred and blotted by Corruptions. It doth not appear from all you have said, how any one Perfection is required towards the Procurement of any one Station among you; much less that Men are ennobled on Account of their Virtue, that Priests are advanced for their Piety or Learning, Soldiers for their Conduct or Valour, Judges for their Integrity, Senators for the Love of their Country, or Counsellors for their Wisdom. As for yourself (continued the King) who have spent the greatest Part of your Life in travelling; I am well disposed to hope you may hitherto have escaped many Vices of your Country. But, by what I have gathered from your own Relation, and the Answers I have with much Pains wringed and extorted from you; I cannot but conclude the Bulk of your Natives, to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth (92-93).

Reading these two satires on the so-called civilized world and commentaries on the human condition at the same time is a most rewarding experience, despite the centuries that lie between them. While they may be addressing different aspects of these topics they are still highly complementary.

Tuesday, 18 Mar 2008

Shiga, J. (2007). Bookhunter, 1. Portland, Or.: Sparkplug Comic Books.

 

I don’t read many graphic novels but this was kind of cute. The idea of gun-toting, radioactive dye tracing, SWAT team-like book hunters is kind of funny.

 

Well, as long as one doesn’t dwell on it too much.

 

Highly recommended. Very fast read.

Wednesday – Saturday, 19 – 22 Mar 2008

 

Cataloging Policy and Support Office. March 15, 2007. Library of Congress Subject Headings. Pre- vs. Post-Coordination and Related Issues. Report for Beacher Wiggins, Acquisitions & Bibliographic Access Directorate, Library Services, Library of Congress.

 

Found at Cataloging Futures.

 

Saturday, 22 Mar 2008

 

The León manifesto. (2007)., Knowledge Organization, 34(1), 6-8.

 

Some things read this week, 9 – 15 March 2008

Sunday, 9 Mar 2008

Smith, L. C. (1981). ‘Memex’ as an image of potentiality in information retrieval research and development In , Proceedings of the 3rd annual ACM conference on Research and development in information retrieval (pp. 345-369). Cambridge, England: Butterworth & Co.

Linda cited this article when talking about her research on a panel discussion we had in our subject access/analysis seminar. Linda Smith, Dave Dubin, and Oksana Zavalina (Ph.D. student) were asked about how “subject” impacts on their research area(s). Oksana was representing the IMLS Digital Collections and Content team.

What modes of subject access they use. Search strategies. Changes they’d like to see. Search and navigation features needed. Differences between human and machine relevance assessments. Etc. We did not get to all of them, but did some interesting deviating from the ones presented to them. It was a nice discussion.

Below is what Linda wrote about her article on the handout she provided. We also discussed it some and this idea of “non-verbal representation of subjects” and “concept symbols” was intriguing.

Cited documents as concept symbols; most citations are the author’s own private symbols for certain ideas he uses; where documents are frequently cited, their use as concept symbols may be shared.

When I first finished it I was disappointed and did not think this is what the article really said, although these claims are made within. After a few days and making some of the known context explicit in my mind, I have relented.

It is interesting in other ways, too. And I have heard Linda mention this article a few other times; usually in the context of Bush, though.

Monday, 10 Mar 2008

Aitchison, J. (2003). Linguistics, Teach yourself. (6th ed), 257. Chicago, Ill: McGraw-Hill.

 

  • Ch. 16 : seeking a suitable framework
  • Ch. 17 : trouble with transformations
  • Ch. 18 : back to basics (Tue)
  • epilogue (Tue)
  • further reading (Tue)

 

Rosenberg, V. (1974). The scientific premises of information science, Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 25(4), 263-269.

 

Cited by Smith, L. C. (1981) [see above] as “… urges information science researchers to pay more attention to the social, cultural and spiritual aspects of human communication” (353).

 

 

Critiques what he calls the “gestalt of the computer.”

 

Most of the research done to date in information science has been done in what we can broadly call the tradition of Newtonian mechanics. In this tradition the world and man are perceived to be essentially mechanistic (264).

 

Because information science has been so closely linked to the computer, the device has thoroughly colored our view of what information is and how people use it. Broadly speaking, the computer has caused us to view human information processing as analogous to machine processing. The success of this approach is similar to that Kuhn describes with regard to obsolete paradigms (such as Newtonian mechanics) (264).

 

He combines these with a behaviorist psychology as “the basic components of the paradigm underlying information science” (265), which he then critiques.

 

I believe that the essentially reductionist view of man which emerges from the “gestalt of the computer,” is ultimately demeaning to man, is scientifically counter productive, and it is arrogant. Nevertheless, I am not suggesting that all the work that has been done in replicating human intellectual behavior using computers is of no practical value. … However, as a basic principle for understanding, scientifically understanding, the nature of information and its use, the paradigm is of extremely limited value (265-266).

 

Since I have just stated, with an overweening arrogance of my own, that the fundamental premises on which information science is currently based are all wrong, I must support this conclusion (266, emphasis mine).

 

The computer carries with it a set of values—scientific values. These values are basically deterministic, reductionist and mechanical. The paradigm specifically inhibits serious consideration of concepts that are social, cultural or spiritual (266).

 

The problem here is not the direct, tangible harm that the information system does to a specific individual. Rather it is the image of man inherent in it (267).

 

We must begin to pay more attention to the social, cultural and spiritual aspects of human communication [the point Linda cites]. We must recognize that what a man says or writes is not simply the additive sum of the phonemes or the morphemes, the words or sentences he utters. To deal effectively with the transcendent qualities of human communication we must admit as evidence the intuitive, the subjective, and the experiential (268).

 

I love this guy! And considering this was published in 1974 I love him even more. I think he is heading to the right point but he isn’t quite there yet. There simply is no communication without the experiential. To communicate is to experience.

 

Harris, R. (1996). Signs, language, and communication : integrational and segregational approaches. London; New York: Routledge.

  • Preface
  • Ch. 1 : The study of communication
  • Ch. 2 : Before communication

 

Tuesday – Wednesday, 11-12 Mar 2008

 

Park, J. (2007). Evolution of concept networks and implications for knowledge representation, Journal of Documentation, 63(6), 963-983. doi: 10.1108/00220410710836466.

 

Wednesday, 12 Mar 2008

 

 

Abel-Kops, C. P. (2008, January 1). “Just where’s the damn book?,” or, rediscovering the art of cataloging. Retrieved March 10, 2008, from http://eprints.rclis.org/archive/00012940/.

 

Saturday, 15 Mar 2008

 

DeLillo, D. (1986). White noise, Contemporary American fiction., 326. New York: Penguin Books.

 

It’s Spring Break so I began re-reading this.

The encounter put me in the mood to shop. … Babette and the kids followed me into the elevator, into the shops set along the tiers, through the emporiums and department stores, puzzled but excited by my desire to buy. When I could not decide between two shirts, they encouraged me to buy both. … They were my guide to endless well-being. … My family gloried in the event. I was one of them, shopping, at last. (DeLillo, 83).

I shopped for its own sake, looking and touching, inspecting merchandise I had no intention of buying, then buying it. … I began to grow in value and self-regard. I filled myself out, found new aspects of myself, located a person I’d forgotten existed (DeLillo, 84).

I adore this book. This is my first re-read after reading it once and then analyzing its lived morality in an academic essay. I am trying to read it slowly and savor it this time; there is something distinctly not slow about DeLillo’s prose in this work, though.

Some things read this week, 2 – 8 March 2008

Sunday, 2 Mar 2008

Toolan, M. J. (1996). Total speech: an integrational linguistic approach to language, Post-contemporary interventions., 337. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press.

  • Read Ch. 4: Further Principles of Integrational Linguistics, or, On Not Losing Sight of the Language User

 

Sunday – Friday, 2 – 7 Mar 2008

 

Aitchison, J. (2003). Linguistics, Teach yourself. (6th ed), 257. Chicago, Ill: McGraw-Hill.

  • Ch. 1: what is linguistics?
  • Ch. 2: what is language?
  • Ch. 3: the study of language (Mon)
  • Ch. 4: deciding where to begin (Mon)
  • Ch. 5: sound patterns (Mon)
  • Ch. 6: words and pieces of words (Tue)
  • Ch. 7: sentence patterns (Tue)
  • Ch. 8: meaning (Tue)
  • Ch. 9: using language (Wed)
  • Ch. 10: language and society (Wed)
  • Ch. 11: language and mind (Wed)
  • Ch. 12: language and style (Thu)
  • Ch. 13: language change (Thu-Fri)
  • Ch. 14: comparing languages (Fri)
  • Ch. 15: attitudes towards change (Fri)

This book is great fun. Not great fun as in to read it, but as in to make fun of it and to explicitly see how strictly orthodox and, thus, simplistic (and wrong) textbooks and textbook-like texts are as they follow the party line.

Here’s a nice absurdity:

In fact, it is quite impossible for anybody to form sentences and understand them unless they realize that each one has an inaudible, invisible structure, which cannot be discovered by mechanical means such as counting (20).

All I can say to that is “Seriously, what the hell!” So a 5-year-old child learning their native (or even a 2nd) language must “realize” that each sentence “has an inaudible, invisible structure” before they can form or understand any sentence in their language? What kind of idiot makes a claim like that?

Human bigotry gets us this comparison:

Human language is innately guided. Human infants are not born speaking, but they know how to acquire any language to which they are exposed. They are drawn towards the noises coming out of human mouths, and they instinctively know how to analyze speech sounds. Bees present a parallel case: they are not born equipped with an inbuilt encyclopedia of flowers. Instead, they are pre-programmed to pay attention to important flower characteristics … (21-22, emphasis mine).

Humans know, bees are programmed. What a crock! This may be the opposite of anthropomorphizing, but it is just as bad.

Thursday, 6 Mar 2008

Solomon, P. (2002). Discovering information in context, Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 36(1), 229-264. Retrieved March 6, 2008, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aris.1440360106.

Friday, 7 Mar 2008

Ellis, D. (1992). The physical and cognitive paradigms in information retrieval research, Journal of Documentation, 48(1), 45-64.

 

Saturday, 8 Mar 2008

Sundin, O., & Johannisson, J. (2005). The instrumentality of information needs and relevance. In F. Crestani & I. Ruthven (Eds.), Context: Nature, Impact, and Role: 5th International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Sciences, CoLIS 2005, Glasgow, UK, June 4-8, 2005 ; Proceedings, Lecture notes in computer science., 3507 (p. 250). Berlin: Springer.

Some things read this week, 24 February – 1 March 2008

Monday, 25 Feb 2008

White, Alan R. Introduction. In White, Alan R, ed. 1968. The Philosophy of Action. London: Oxford University Press.

This edited volume on the philosophy of action includes articles by J. L. Austin, Danto, Davidson, Anscombe, and others (some classics). I probably won’t read much more of it and I think I grabbed it when I saw it in the stacks due to … oh, who knows why I grabbed it a few days ago. ::shrug::

The Introduction was fairly interesting. He primarily covers:

  • A. The nature of action
  • B. Descriptions of action
  • C. Explanations of action

The first part gives an overview of action by pulling apart ‘do, ‘action’, and ‘act’, as they are not the same thing. It then quickly narrows to focusing on human action. The last section addresses the following questions:

(i) How does each of these explanations actually explain? (ii) How are the different explanations, and the various factors that occur in each, related to each other? (iii) Are some of these kinds of explanations mutually exclusive? (iv) How many, if any, of these explanations give an explanation of a causal kind, or, if this is different, of the kinds which are found either in explanations of human characteristics other than behaviour or in explanations of inanimate nature (13)?

Here’s an example sentence from the section addressing question (ii) above:

To give the motive for a deed is to indicate that desire for the sake of satisfying which the deed was done, provided that what was done was not itself the deed which was desired, but a deed which the agent thought would bring about or would amount to what was desired (14).

Either excruciatingly painful, pure mental masturbation, or both, depending on your temperament.

Black, Alistair. The information society: a secular view. In: Hornby, Susan, and Zoë Clarke, ed. 2003. Challenge and Change in the Information Society. London: Facet.: 18-41.

Critiques the “near-paradigmatic status” of the information society. Argues that the discourse around the information society is a mirage. It is also exposed as a ‘regime of truth” whose “legitimacy, [and] sustenance, is drawn from a wide array of interested parties who, albeit perhaps not in any conspiratorial way, stand to gain social or professional recognition, if not material reward, from establishing the information society as a ‘given’ phenomenon, as an incontrovertible ‘fact’ (19).

Yes, that certainly implicates librarians and libraries.

Demonstrates that the information society fits within modernity and that there have been equally important ‘information ages’ previously.

The information society cannot be conceptualized as a post-industrial, post-modern phenomenon, for its essences – scientific progress and individual and social emancipation among them – are surely rooted in the modern societies which have flowed, over the past three centuries, from industrialism, capitalism and the Enlightenment project (33).

Also touches on the utopianism of the information society. Quite interesting and recommended.

The book includes sections on: The information society: fact or fiction? (3 chaps.); The information society and daily life (3 chaps.); The information society and policy (2 chaps); and, The information society and the information professional (4 chaps).

Tuesday, 26 Feb 2007

Read 2 more chapters and the Introduction in the above information society book.

From the Introduction:

Our idea from the outset was to let the authors have their own voice and to allow debate and discussion within the text and between the authors.

This book is intended for those people in professional practice and in the field of academic study and research who have an interest in the information society and its impact on the profession. We hope that this collection will enable the reader to consider different viewpoints and aspects of the information society (xiii).

Cornish, Graham P. Freedom versus protection: the same coin or different currencies. P. 169-183.

Discusses “three basic concepts in the information world which appear, on occasions at least, to be at odds with each other: the right of freedom of expression, the right of freedom of access to information and the right to protect what we create (mostly copyright) (169).

Brophy, Peter. The role of the professional in the information society. P. 217-232.

Discusses the impact that the information society is having in the information professions, professionalism, and professional ethics.

Tuesday, 26 Feb 2008

Abbott Andrew. (2007 preprint) The Traditional Future: A Computational Theory of Library Research.

Recommended to me by Nathan in a comment in Oct 2008. I finally got around to reading the Peter Brantley article, The Traditional Future, on 2 December. I immediately and dutifully saved the Abbott preprint and printed it as soon as I could do so double-sided (easily).

Dr. Abbott is coming to GSLIS in March to give the Spring 2008 Windsor Lecture.

The title of his talk is “Library Research and Its Infrastructure in the Twentieth Century.”

I have known that he iss coming for a while now and have held this article for reading until closer to his visit. I’m not a standard social science researcher nor a traditional library researcher (although much closer to library researcher) so I may not be qualified to comment on some of this but it seems fairly plausible, if admittedly somewhat schematic. I also do not enjoy his use of the computing metaphor. The world faces enough issues from analogizing practically everything to computers.

All in all, fairly interesting. I will enjoy going to his lecture more prepared than most. There were also a couple of connections to the rhetoric of science and division of labor, which are important ideas in my current work.

Wednesday – Thursday, 27 – 28 Feb 2008

International Society for Knowledge Organization, and University College, London. 2004. Knowledge Organization and the Global Information Society: Proceedings of the Eighth International ISKO Conference, 13-16 July 2004, London, UK. Ed. Ia McIlwaine. Würzburg: Ergon.

  • Green, Rebecca and Lydia Fraser. Patterns in verbal polysemy. 29-34.
  • O’Keefe, Daniel J. Cultural literacy in a global information society-specific language: an exploratory ontological analysis utilizing comparative taxonomy. 55-59.
  • Binding, Ceri and Douglas Tudhope. Integrating faceted structure into the search process. 67-72. (Thu)
  • Mai, Jens-Erik. The role of documents, domains and decisions in indexing. 207-213. (Thu)

I really liked the Green and Mai articles. Mai, especially, will be valuable for my CAS paper as a widening of the concept of domain analysis.

Wednesday – Saturday, 27 Feb – 1 Mar 2008

 

Toolan, Michael J. 1996. Total Speech: An Integrational Linguistic Approach to Language. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press.

 

Began this again. Read about half in the back half of December but had to put it aside to finish my bibliography and a new semester and ….

  • Introduction.
  • Ch. 1: On Inscribed or Literal Meaning (Thu)
  • Ch. 2: Metaphor (Fri-Sat)
  • Ch. 3: Intentionality and Coming into Language (Sat-Sun)

Thursday – Friday, 28 – 29 Feb 2008

Skare, Roswitha, Niels Windfeld Lund, and Andreas Vårheim, ed. 2007. A Document (Re)turn: Contributions from a Research Field in Transition. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

  • Ørom, Anders. The Concept of Information versus the Concept of Document. 53-72.
  • Frohmann, Bernd. Multiplicity, Materiality, and Autonomous Agency of Documentation. 27-39.
  • Drucker, Johanna. Excerpts and Entanglements. 41-52.

Saturday, 1 Mar 2008

McGarry, Dorothy. An Interview with Elaine Svenonius. 2000. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 29(4):5-17.

Sent to me by Bryan Campbell back in mid-Jan; finally found the time to read it. I knew Svenonius had done “some things” in our field, but I simply had no idea!

Saturday, 1 Mar 2008

Mai, Jens-Erik. 2005. Analysis in indexing: document and domain centered approaches. Information Processing & Management 41, no. 3:599-611. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VC8-4BN0DSN-2/2/041a56f590f2166e0305c00d5d311a73.

This article appears to be the formal, published representation of Mai’s ISKO article above, The role of documents, domains and decisions in indexing. It will be used to expand the concept of domain analysis, primarily, and perhaps also in my commentary on applications of Integrationism to LIS, in this case indexing.

Recommended.