December 15th, 2009 Brian Herzog
Jessamyn links to an interesting article about Google's switch to personalized searching - really, check it out, because it will impact patrons using public computers.
But it also reminded me of how much more prevalent Google's autocomplete feature has seemed lately. I know it's been around for awhile, but I've noticed it more for some reason, and have also been seeing it in Google's ads on Hulu.com (which I oddly could not find to link to), failblog, YouTube* and elsewhere.
So I got curious about what the Google zeitgeist would say about library-related phrases - here's what I found:
(a children's book)
(They just check out? They get weeded? They become overdue?)
And I had to try this too:
(I think most of these are Family Guy references.)
Update 1/11/10: Using Google suggestions, check out the difference between what girlfriends and boyfriends are thinking.
*The one at 2:39 is my favorite. Actually, a lot of them are probably song lyrics, but how often do you come across a Dead Milkmen reference?
August 11th, 2009 Brian Herzog
I like recording book quotes about librarians, and found a good one while reading The Puzzling World of Winston Breen.
The book is about a kid who loves puzzles, and gets caught up in a real life treasure hunt. The moral of the book is that there are different kinds of people in the world, who may not always be what they seem, and it's important to be able to work collaboratively to get things done. However, during the story the main character reflects,
If anything could dampen the excitement of going on a treasure hunt, it was having to do it with the town librarian...
The librarian in the book is a minor hero in her own right, so I'll let it slide. But come on, I like treasure hunts. We're not that uninteresting.
February 12th, 2009 Brian Herzog
Last week I received an email heads-up for a blog post entitled 25 Famous Librarians Who Changed History.
It's an interesting quick read, and it was neat to learn that both Mao Zedong and Lewis Carroll, among others, had both been librarians in their lives (congratulations to #24 for being recognized as a history-changer).
I'd never heard of the website before, but the rest of the posts on their blog (started in Jan 2009) seemed equally interesting.
December 13th, 2008 Brian Herzog
Due to the ice storm that came through the area on Friday, there is a tie for most popular reference question today:
Hey, are you open?
Do you have internet?
My answer all day has been, "we're open, we have lights and heat, and everything is working normally except our internet connection is down*."
Needless to say, it's been a quiet day: not unbusy, just quiet - most of our work tables and all of our comfortable chairs are filled with people researching and reading, which all but goes unnoticed on a regular day. And because lots of area residents are still without power, there's even a couple people napping in the corners, just happy to be someplace warm.
The next most popular reference question has been:
Do you know how I can keep my pipes from freezing?
Most area residents lost power on Friday, 12/12/08, and although many homes are now back on, there are still plenty who are looking at two or three days without power. Temperatures are predicted to be in the teens and twenties for the next few days, so freezing pipes is a major concern.
The best advice came from Home Maintenance for Dummies. Before loaning it out to the first person who asked this morning, I photocopied the necessary page to keep a "reference copy" at the desk. It recommends:
A faucet left dripping at the fixture farthest from the main water inlet allows just enough warm water movement within the pies to reduce the chance of a freeze...
Insulating pipes that are above ground (those that are most susceptible to freezing) prevents them from freezing during most moderate-to-medium chills - even when the faucets are off. This includes pips in the subarea or basement and especially any that might be in the attic.
If your kitchen or bathroom sink faucets are prone to freezing, leave the cabinet doors open at night. This allows warm air to circulate in the cabinet and warm the pipes.
The last tip won't help much for a house that is at 39 degrees, but it's good to keep in mind anyway.
Hopefully the power to my house is back on by the time I get home, otherwise I might sleep at the library tonight.
*I'm sure you're asking, "No intertnet? Then how'd you post this?" As a reference librarian, I know the laundromat up the street has great wireless internet.
Tags: closed, closing, freezing, frozen, internet, librarian, Library, open, pipes, public, Reference Question, storm
February 22nd, 2008 Brian Herzog
I've been threatening this for awhile, but I finally got in gear and managed to get it done - I've got a new blog: the SwissArmyLibrarian.net.
The official transition day is Tuesday, Feb. 26th, 2008, so I won't be posting anything until then. I'll talk more about it soon, but before then, please update your feed readers to the new RSS feeds.
And stop by the new domain to take a look and let me know what you think.