This time of year always brings out the "best gifts for" and "best of the year" type lists. Instead of adding my own lists to the pile, I wanted to highlight two slightly different takes on library-related gift ideas:
This is the long-awaited replacement for Unshelved Answers - at least, I've been waiting for it, because I used it all the time. I love that librarians have a place to ask each other questions, share tips, ideas, and best practices, and just easily communicate - all with a searchable archive.
Thanks to all the early committers and beta testers. If this is completely new to you, please check it out - it's worth it, and is definitely useful professional development.
I had thought that by doing fewer posts per week, I'd end up with higher quality overall. However, not so much, exactly.
My friend Chris emailed me a link to the image below, which showed up on failblog under the "ugliest tattoos" category. This font wouldn't be my first choice, but I don't think it's so bad (although I cropped out the worst parts - click through to full size if you dare).
Now that is truly lib-core. Incidentally, the title of the post comes from the Geto Boys "Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta," featured in one of my favorite movies, Office Space (NSFW, literally and figuratively):
And in case someone doesn't follow my leap from this tattoo to gangsta, it's the font. Check out, homies.
I used Unshelved Answers a lot, to both ask questions and share knowledge (sometimes that I had to find out the hard way). If you're interested in a professional open forum (essentially, a reference desk for librarians) to communicate with each other and share tips and tricks and best practices, take a look at the proposal and consider clicking the Commit! button. Thanks.
Instead of a reference question I've answered this week, I wanted to bring attention to a resource for librarians to ask questions.
In April, the very useful Unshelved Answers went off-line - it was a forum that let librarians ask professional questions of other librarians. I used it frequently, both asking and answering, and was sad when this resource went away.
The new home will be at stackexchange.com, which requires a critical mass of people to "commit" to a new forum before it is activated. As I write this, we've got 316 of the 894 needed committers, so we still need more librarians to get involved. But don't let the word "commit" scare you - you're not dedicating your life to anything, just showing that you support the idea of the forum and will use it (at your own level of involvement).
The idea behind this Libraries forum, and Unshelved Answers before it, is to create a "reference desk for librarians" - but the official proposal description reads:
Proposed Q&A site for librarians and library professionals where they can share their expertise about libraries and everything in them.
In other words, this will be a place where we can ask questions about working in a library, seek help on reference questions, find out how other libraries are handling a particular issue, and, yes, whether or not we need more signs in the library (no).