or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

LibCamp Boston

   July 24th, 2007 Brian Herzog

LibCamp Boston Logo
Sorry for the late notice, but all are welcome at Library 2.0 Camp Boston this Saturday, July 28th, from 10-4pm in the McKim Conference Room of the Boston Public Library (map).

A group of area librarians will be gathering to talk about new media and libraries. The point is really to meet each other, share our stuff, and answer the question: What are you doing in your library...?

It'll be unconference style, so very relaxed and everyone can participate as much or as little as you feel appropriate. For more information, check out http://libcamp.pbwiki.com/.
boston, libcamp, libcamp boston, libraries, library, library 2.0, library 2.0 camp, unconference, unconferences

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Reference Question of the Week – 7/15/07

   July 21st, 2007 Brian Herzog

Rabbit hypnotizing a magicianThis question isn't all that unusual, but I thought the timing was kind of interesting:

A patron calls in and asks if there are any magic shows in the Boston area this weekend. I told her I didn't have a listing right in front of me, but that I'd look around and see what I could find and call her back.

The first thing I did was to go to the Boston Globe's online Events Calendar and searched for "magic" and "magician." This found a bunch of events, most of which were Harry Potter-related, in honor of the release today of the final book in the series. When I saw this, I thought the patron must be looking for somewhere to take her children to celebrate, so I noted a couple and called her back.

To my surprise, she said she was not looking for Harry Potter events. She wanted just to go see a normal magic show, as if one would go to a comedy club or movie. So, I said I'd keep looking, and this time she gave me her email address to just send her the links I found.

I went back to the Globe's calendar, and after sifting through the Potter pollution, found a listing for Franc Karpo, holding a magic show at a nearby arts center.

But, since that was the only event I found, I tried searching the internet in general for magic shows in Boston. I didn't find a central listing of shows, but I did find a listing of magicians in Boston. From that list, I linked to a few of the magicians' websites, and found their performance schedules.

I compiled these into an email and sent it, and got a nice thank-you message back.

One funny thing I did see on one of the websites was an online card trick I think I first saw around 1997. If you'd like to try it (and I highly suggest it), please do, and I'll help you figure it out if you're stumped. For more tricks, click on the rabbit above (or here).

boston, card trick, card tricks, libraries, library, magic, magic shows, magician, magicians, online card trick, online card tricks, public libraries, public library, reference question

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MashupCamp 2007

   January 2nd, 2007 Brian Herzog

Mashup Camp logoA coworker just made me aware of MashupCamp 2007, being held at MIT on Jan 17-18. I've been to a few unconferences before, and enjoy the format, so I might attend for that reason alone.

I am interested in mashups, but am probably not as hard-core as the other attendees will be. I'm sure there are ways to make our library catalog more useful by combining it with tools like Baker & Taylor, Amazon, Delicious Library, LibraryThing, Library Elf, and more, if I just had the time to sit and think and experiment. We'll see.

Another nice feature of MashupCamp 2007 is Mashup University, which is "specifically geared towards hands-on training whereby new and experienced mashup developers can get classroom style instruction on how to build mashups." Now that's for me.

boston, libraries, library, m.i.t., mashup, mashup camp, mashupcamp, mashups, mit, unconference, unconferences

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