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


Alikewise is for (Book) Lovers

   August 24th, 2010 Brian Herzog

Heart shadow in bookIt looks like Alikewise.com has been around all year, but I only heard about it this weekend - it's a dating website that matches people based on the books they like.

This is a great idea for a dating website - it seems a much better way to get at someone's true nature than filling out a profile by guessing what will make you attractive. I checked around the site a bit (without creating a profile), and wonder if there's a way to tie-in with sites like LibraryThing and Good Reads to capitalize on peoples' full libraries. LibraryThing sort of already does this, with their You and None Other meme.

But here's something funny: at my first library, we toyed with the idea of a "singles night" book group. We thought it'd be a perfect program for Friday nights, after work, to come and meet other single people interested in books. It never happened, but I always liked the idea. Maybe that'll eventually manifest in Alikewise meetups.

And wouldn't this be a heck of a social networking widget to add to a library catalog? "Like this book? Click here to meet other patrons that do, too."

via Burlington Free Press (thanks, Carney) and more at NPR



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The Single Life

   June 25th, 2009 Brian Herzog

This post has nothing to do with librarianship - just my own over-sensitiveness.

I've started to worry about being (almost) 35 and single. I mean, come on - male librarians usually need to turn down leading roles in Hollywood movies and offers to be on the covers of paperback romance novels.

But being single at an age when most other people are married with families seems to cause other people to go out of their way to include me and let me know they're okay with my singleness. Like, at Christmastime, when all my siblings and their spouses and kids each gather around the tree to take family photos, they make sure to remember to have me stand by the tree, by myself, so they can take a photo of my "family." Thanks for that, guys.

So, I also have to send out a thank-you to Amazon. This week I was browsing for books and noticed they have a whole section devoted to "Single Authors." I appreciate Amazon pointing out that unmarried authors are just as important as married ones.

</sarcasm>

But really, what? I'm guessing this refers to a book of poems all by the same author. I know they know what they're talking about, but perhaps less ambiguous wording is in order; this ranks right up there with the "Adult Movies" section in libraries.



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Single Serving Sites

   March 31st, 2009 Brian Herzog

The internet is endlessly innovative and entertaining. My current favorite phenomena is Single Serving Sites - websites that do only one thing.

In stark contrast to the "be everything to everyone" mentality, these one-off'ers are kind of refreshing. Most of them can't even be called "websites," because they consist of only one web page - but, for a fraction of a minute, they serve a purpose. Here's a list of my favorites:

Useful Sites

Weather Sites

Silly Sites

Once you start looking for these, it almost seems that they outnumber regular websites. Check out longer lists of single-serving sites here and here. Also, IsThisYourPaperOnSingleServingSites.com is worth reading - I hope he got an A.



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