Our interim department head, the intrepid Melody Kelly (Associate Dean, UNT-L) has been selected as the President-Elect of the Texas Library Association!

Congrats, Mel!

...And now for a little of my own shameless promotion... I'm running for TLA GODORT Councilor-Alternate. Vote for Pedro--er, me!

And I just posted all the recent PR news about the CyberCemetery to LISNews, including my favorite part--where I get to mention that we're now a NARA-affiliated institution.

Unrelated Banter
Effective May 14, 2007, the first-class postage rate will raise from 39 cents to 41 cents.

Looks Like It's Working

John Pendolino's radio story must have gone out on Monday without a hitch (I was at breakfast with our interviewee at the time), because my bank guy just called on personal business, and also mentioned that he had heard the story and would like the URL for the CyberCemetery, as he's really interested in old government information.

It's always when you least expect it.

Wondering what we're up to at UNT?
Keep watch: Recently Added to the UNT-L Digital Collections...


R2D2 Goes Postal

Okay, this is relevant for two reasons: 1) it deals with a government agency, and 2) it brings to light a great use of a mashup. It's irrelevant and fun because 3) it deals with my geeky interest in Star Wars.

I love that I live in a country where they wrap USPS mailboxes like R2D2.

Which brings me to another reason to love mashups: locations of R2D2 mailboxes across the nation. (There's one in Fort Worth--and in Abilene! I'll have to make a special trip to see it while we're there this weekend.)


"Managerial Dementia"

Okay, fair warning: it's diatribe time.

"In what is being characterized by subordinates as an act of "managerial dementia," the Director of the Congressional Research Service this week prohibited all public distribution of CRS products without prior approval from senior agency officials."

More on this:
  • http://www.fas.org/blog/secrecy/2007/03/crs_clamps_down_on_public_dist.html
  • http://freegovinfo.info/node/1036
  • http://www.resourceshelf.com/2007/03/24/another-salvo-in-the-war-against-public-distribution-of-congressional-research-service-reports/
  • the CRS memo: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/crs032007.pdf

I just... I can't... I'm overwhelmed.

What with last week being Spring Break, I hadn't caught on to this important bit of news until today (NPR, why didn't you tell me?!), and now I'm just in shock. Infuriated shock.

I hardly even know how to communicate my feelings about this. I have a student worker who helps gather CRS reports for our archive, and who loves them as much as I do, and we're both just shocked and mad and at a loss. This is a major part of my job--identifying, capturing, and uploading CRS reports to our online archive. This is my job--ensuring that the public has permanent access to this significant government information, which they paid for. And it's not just my job--it's my mission, my passion as a librarian and more specifically as a government documents librarian, to serve the people and preserve information.

My job just got a lot harder.

If you'd like to freely browse CRS reports on all topics that have already been captured by conscientious members of the GovDocs community, check these links:


Tags, You're It!

Tags, CMS, and HTML-email... what a glorious combination! We've been looking at options for the delivery of a weekly internal library publication (that I'm soon to take over). So far, the best candidate seems to be Plone, the CMS that we're moving our whole library website to this summer. The only nifty feature that Plone doesn't offer is email delivery, but it seems like we can pull together a HTML email template pretty quickly. Lilly Ramin and I spent a couple of hours yesterday in my office, nerd-i-ly brainstorming about content types and keywords. We looked at three of the most recent publications and basically assigned content types and keywords until we had a semblance of a system, vocabulary, rules, and even examples. We were both pretty excited about it by the time I had to work my service desk shift.

Now, I just need to migrate the HSU BYA Newsletter to a similarly simple model... ah, well. For now, I'm composing those HTML messages from my Gmail address and sending them to the Alumni Relations office, who then sends out an official copy to everyone. But I have yet to figure out why sometimes this sends images just fine, and sometimes it refuses to display them. I need a button in my Gmail that says "reveal HTML code," dangit.

After about seven unsuccessful tries, I am finally registered for the TLA Conference next month. Whew! I think my husband may be able to join me after all, which would be great--and my mom (who was my high school librarian) will be making the rounds at the exhibits while I'm in sessions. My parents live in San Antonio, so it's nice to have a cheap place to stay for once!

Which reminds me... anyone need a (female) roomie for DLC next month? I have a room reserved already, but I'm open to sharing. Looks like I'll be staying Monday night and possibly Tuesday.

Monday, we're interviewing a candidate for the Head of GovDocs position. It's going to be hard to remind myself to be in Denton for breakfast, but I'm looking forward to it. It's odd being on this side of the interview process, that's for sure. It gives a whole new perspective on the job-seeking process.

More publicity for the CyberCemetery! John Pendolino of WBAP interviewed Cathy Hartman and myself yesterday about the CC--they're airing the show on Monday morning (at some point between 5 and 9am). I'm not sure if they link to audio after airing or not (I'll link it here, if they do), but I've got a copy of the audio file for my own archives.


The Sun is Shining

Sunshine Week—this moniker seemed particularly apt this week, with all the gorgeous weather we’re having in North Texas.

Sunshine Week is held each year in March to create “a dialogue about the importance of open government to the public.” You can find more information at these sites:
Let me take this opportunity to highlight two of UNT’s Digital Collections that support the spirit of Sunshine Week:
Also, the Charlotte Observer has a news page and a blog about Sunshine Week.

Unrelated Banter
Here's an interesting article in the realm of archiving: Is That Just Some Game? No, It’s a Cultural Artifact
"When Henry Lowood, curator of the History of Science and Technology Collections at Stanford University, started preserving video games and video-game artifacts in 1998 he thought it was closer to professional oblivion than a bold new move into the future."


I See the World in Pixels

Whew. Here's the mock-up for the large, 22" x 30" poster. I wish I had some idea of how it would look printed at that size.... I've tried to zoom in on every area of it to be sure it doesn't look nastily pixelated anywhere, but even more so it's hard to determine what kind of font size to use in an image that large. This is certainly stretching my skill set!

...So, you want to see all the official Denton Reads graphics at once? Well then, go check out the Denton Reads flickr account.


Digital Projects: Progress Report

We're making great progress on our two newest GovDocs digital projects.

A-Z Retro-Cataloging Digitization

  • A-Z project: retro-cataloging and barcoding items by starting with the A's and checking every shelf
  • digitization criteria: everything in the A-Z project that is pre-1960
  • fate of the print copies: throwing out items in need of preservation, unless worthy of archiving
  • number of metadata records completed: 172
  • these are currently in the Digital Projects Unit queue and are being scanned

FCC Record Digitization

  • digitization criteria: all of the FCC Record
  • fate of the print copies: throwing out (except the cumulative indexes)
  • other: all GovDocs staff is learning how to duplex-scan FCC volumes, to get better acquainted with the digitization process.

On another note: if Photoshop reports a "fatal error" one more time this evening... I may have to scream. Yes, on the library's designated quiet floor. It's that bad.

I'm working on the 22"x30" Denton Reads poster now, in an effort to get it done by tomorrow afternoon. I already have a mock-up completed for the 22"x30" version that will be going up in Denton ISD schools, as seen below.


Silver Lining

The rewarding thing about getting up at 7am on a spectacularly gorgeous Saturday to go to work was that the first thing I heard upon starting my radio was NPR's Weekend Edition playing the CyberCemetery story. I turned the key, turned on the radio, and there it was--perfect timing.

You Call that Random?

Okay, so here's a great result in one of those ever-so-fun timewasters, a random movie quote generator. I gave it the word "librarian," and as luck would have it, the generator pulled up one that's ridiculously fitting for me:


...And Photoshop Didn't Crash!

So I've been dealing with converting text to outlines and such to finalize the file to send the poster to the printer today. So many fun things to learn!

We've finalized the 11x17 poster design, and now I'm working on half-sheet sized handouts (in lieu of bookmarks, which are more expensive to print). Then it's on to the large, 22x30 posters--one general design and one specific to the Denton ISD schools.


We're Going to be National News!

It looks like NPR has picked up a shorter version of the KERA CyberCemetery story, and will air it on Weekend Edition this Saturday or Sunday (will be available on npr.org afterward).



My Mock-ups Are Mocking Me

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I heard NPR's Marketplace deliver a segment about the U.S. Patent Office using wikis. How cool is that? NPR + GovDocs + Library 2.0 = one interested geek.

Marketplace also mentioned Archie McPhee, the company the creates the Librarian action figure. And then mentioned typo squatters. Man, I love NPR.

On the graphic design front.... there must be some kind of cosmic rule that if the image doesn't crash Photoshop, you must not be adequately using the program's innate coolness. Try these mock-ups for the Denton Reads poster on for size:
And that's about it for today. I've had computer crashes, legal reference questions, web content updates, a webinar, and the usual email detritus. I think that since I got here twelve hours ago... it's just about time to head home.

SirsiDynix Webinar: Mashups

Here are the notes I just took on the presentation this morning, on my wiki:

SirsiDynix Institute:
"Mashups: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That"
presented by Darlene Fichter (read her blog!)

It was a great presentation on what mashups are, ways to create them, requirements, and how to think more about what to use them for. I just wish we hadn't run out of time!!

On a side note: Today I'm wearing my ThinkGeek "I'm Blogging This" shirt... but it should more appropriately read "I'm Wiki-ing This" today!


The Wonderful World of Wikis / The "How" of Wikis

Yes, folks, the archived version of our presentation is already up!!! You've got many different flavors of access to it:
My gracious thanks to my talented co-presenter Chad, and to Meredith, Amanda, Tom, and the OPAL folks for this great opportunity!

Some Idle Chatter

I'm currently logged into the OPAL room for my presentation on wikis with Chad Boeninger, and am just waiting around for it to start... in half an hour. I've got some time to kill, for once.

Today was the last class in the five-week Human Resources course on Supervisory Skills, and I got a nifty certificate. The handbook for that class has already come in handy; it's a great resource. One of the main HR trainers, Melissa Ozuna, presented most of the course. I've had her before, and she's always fun and informative. I'd like to form those kinds of presentation skills.

Things on my to-do list:
  • fill out travel forms for April (TLA and DLC)
  • check calendar for LITA and DLC fall dates
  • more updates for the Denton Reads website
  • meet with printer about Denton Reads poster
  • look at the A-Z Digitization documentation to consider writing an article
  • get total uploaded CRS Reports to 10,000 by June (ALA!)
  • start getting material together for my first performance review
That's of course just the tip of the iceberg that is my To-Do List, but it will do for a start.

In the good news category, two of my dear librarian friends recently found positions that they're perfect for. I wish them all the best in their new positions... even though they're both now several states away. (Meet up in DC in June, anyone?)