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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We Want 'Addison the Cub'!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 1/15/14 (4:52pm)

So the dude's name is 'Clark'? Why that? Why not 'Addison'? This is so unfair! Outrageous! -- A message from the East-West Over North-South Local Justice Committee. (more here)

Last Project of the Year: Clean Out the Office Microwave

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 12/20/13 (6:52pm)

At MPOW, we each volunteer for a whole month to clean the office microwave. Being the last day of work for the entire year, I thought it about time I fulfill my promise.


Esteemed Colleague, Frosty the Snowman

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 12/8/13 (4:37pm)

Hanging out with one of my esteemed colleagues at the library.


Big Week Out: Four Days, Four Different Events

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 12/4/13 (10:42pm)
  • Event #1 (Wed., 12/4/2013): Tech Cocktail Chicago, Frank Gruber interviewing Jason Fried of My favorite part: where Fried said that the best sites don't consist simply of some huge photo plus parallax. People want services, he said, and oftentimes to deliver those services the site needs to be a little messy. Totally agree. Anyway, as usual, a great representation of the entrepreneurial side of web and digital development in Chicago.
  • Event #2 (Thurs. AM, 12/5/2013): UIC Urban Forum. Toni Preckwinkle giving opening talk.
  • Event #3 (Thurs & Fri., 12/6/2013-12/7/2013): Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities & Computer Science, Thursday Afternoon presentations (there's way more tomorrow).
  • Event #4 (Sat. AM, 12/7/2013): DrupalCamp Chicago 2013, Opening Session.

Current Cites for Nov 2013

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 11/27/13 (2:11pm)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for November 2013 is out! You can find the issue here...

I wrote about an usually sharp article in IFLA Journal from a librarian who obviously was writing from (less than happy) personal experience. The article is called, "Non-librarians As Managers : The Case of State University Libraries in Saudi Arabia".

Never Forget

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 11/22/13 (11:17am)

Current Cites for Sept 2013

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 9/30/13 (9:10pm)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for September 2013 is out! You can find the issue here...

Roy has got the latest version of Current Cites up. I wrote about an interesting article that looked at how librarians can appear more "approachable" to patrons by smiling and looking up. It's something I think about every time I'm at the Reference Desk waiting for students to drop by.

The Usual Disruption

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 9/28/13 (5:57pm)

File this under the 'Usual Disruption': Media types are dying, just dying, to jump from one technology to the other -- I mean, otherwise what do they have to talk about? In this episode, the usual disrupters are so hell bent on declaring email dead that they don't bother to consider an obvious possibility -- that maybe little Johnny or Suzie don't use their college-supplied email accounts because they're already using their own Gmail or Outlook accounts. Yeah, I know, common sense -- the ultimate disruption:

Technology and the College Generation

Regarded as too slow, e-mail is barely a second thought for college students, who prefer texting. But that sets them up for trouble with their professors.

UPDATE (9/29): P.S. Surveyed the student worker in today at the library. She says she uses email -- Yahoo -- all the time (since 5th grade). So that settles it: NYT article is totally clueless.

West Berlin : Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 9/22/13 (9:29am)

Old pal, Tony Millionaire, best known as the illustrator of Maakies, adds me to one of his comic strips this month. He portrays me singing 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' -- in German -- at a concert in either Munich or West Berlin at sometime in the mid-Eighties. I can't exactly recall the episode but he follows up (offline) with a description of my attire:

...[Y]ou had a potato sack on your head and shoulders with a hole for your mouth.

You can see the complete comic strip in all its original glory here: