At the Ref Desk (9/14/15): Student: Are these databases like the ones in high school? Me: How long have you been here? Student: A week. Me: Well, yes the databases are similar -- only we have a whole bunch more and we focus a bit more on the details -- so you can find the things you need. I then showed her how to plow through a pile of search results and identify promising articles which she could send to herself and read later. [more...]
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Current Cites for September 2015

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 10/1/15 (9:44am)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for September 2015 is out! You can find the issue here...

I recommended an article from Computers In Libraries that's near and dear to anyone who's experienced the same on a website they've managed, namely "Hacked! Lessons Learned From An URL Injection".

File Under, 'Things I Don't Usually Think About'

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 9/26/15 (2:42pm)

So I was at the local Subway Sandwich place, ordering a Ham and Cheese. The guy at the counter asked me what I wanted on it.

"Mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato," I replied.

"In that order?"

I was stumped. I mean, I don't usually get down to that level of detail.

"Go with whatever works best," I finally blurted out.


First Saturday of the New School Year at Depaul

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 9/12/15 (3:38pm)

First Saturday of the new school year at Depaul -- with colleague Jim


Free Books: Tough Choice

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 8/29/15 (2:44pm)

At the Reference Desk: Free Books on the 'book truck' near the library entrance! It's either "WordPerfect: The Pocket Reference" (1987) or "Minute Manual for Apple Writer IIe" (1983). Tough choice.

I finally went with the "Minute Manual for Apple Writer IIe" -- I mean, how could I pass such pertinent pieces of information as:

How Much Can I Save on One Disk?
A normal Apple disk can hold a total of about 143k or 143,000 characters of information. The amount of usable space on a disk is equal to 128k to 136k or about 40 single spaced pages or 80 double spaces pages of text. When you run out of room on a disk and attempt to save a file, the computer simply beeps and displays the message, 'DOS :DISK FULL'. Put another disk in the drive and save the file again. (p.115)

Happy New School Year! (UIC)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 8/24/15 (9:30pm)

First day of classes at UIC.


A Higher Authority

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 8/1/15 (8:34pm)

Personal Confession: Nowadays there's all this talk about 'STEM' in education. That's nice but frankly what got me going -- starting in high school -- was the notion of the 'Renaissance Man'. ‪#‎LongLiveTheHumanities‬

Funniest Reference Question of the Year (By Phone)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 6/6/15 (1:00pm)

Patron: "Sorry, I know you probably get this question all the time..."
Me (interrupting): "Ask what you want -- we're here till 9pm!"
Patron: _SILENCE_
Me (finally): "Did you have a question"?
Patron: "That was it -- I wanted to know how late you're open."


Message to

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 6/5/15 (11:46am)

You call this a slideshow? By default, over a third of the photo is covered up with usage data (of all things) on the right. Why not make showing usage data optional through a setting in the embed code?

Site Launch:

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 6/3/15 (4:00pm)

Today was the official launch date of I announced it on all the usual social networks.

It's actually been up for maybe a month -- with me fiddling around, adding content, rearranging it and the like. I guess, an alternative name for the thing could be, "Fun with Drupal and Content Management".

The site is built around various digital records that we have of daddy, William Klein and his radio show, "The Germania Broadcast" (1927-1970). Working with the data, I managed to organize everything into four principle categories, Events, People, Places and Library (or 'Documents').

The neat thing with Drupal is how you can connect one item in one category with items in any other. Say, the name of a singer pops up in the description of a concert in 1928 which happened at the Auditorium Theater; You can relate the person to the event and location going backwards and forward. The magic is called "Entity Reference" but again, I like to call it, 'Fun with Content Mgmt".

In any case, there's a slightly fuller explanation of the original radio broadcast plus background here: The Germania Broadcast : An Introduction.