At the Ref Desk (6/27/15): Start of the day and already the weirdest question (by phone): 'What's the phone number of The Library of Congress​?' [more...]
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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:

29CULTURALSTUDIES_SPAN-articleLarge-v2.jpg
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:
http://www.maakies.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/maakies-cowhead.jpg

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Saturday Crew at Depaul

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 9/20/13 (9:44am)

Part of the Saturday Crew at DePaul on the first week of the new school Year.

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First Day of the New School Year (UIC)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 8/26/13 (1:34pm)

First day of the New School Year (Fall 2013) at UIC. Kind of warm this week.

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On My Perch Over at Reference

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 8/10/13 (10:39am)

We've been moved up to the 2nd floor while they're remodeling the first floor. The seat is probably no higher than normal but for some reason -- maybe because we're bang up against the main entryway or because the desk is smaller and more like a music stand -- it seems like a perch to me. Just as well. We'll be back downstairs in a couple of weeks.

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This Week in Library of Congress Subject Headings: 'Pewter as an Investment'. Who knew?

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Draft BBC Mobile Accessibility Standards and Guidelines

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 6/20/13 (11:45am)

Draft BBC Mobile Accessibility Standards and Guidelines:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/posts/Accessibility-Mobile-Apps

Interesting that they worked with a firm from "the States" (USA! USA!). A summary of the guidelines can be found here...

Interesting points include:

  • Provide large enough touch areas
  • Provide visible changes of state

h/t .net magazine

Telnet First!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 6/17/13 (11:29am)

Peter Merholz serves up a welcomed reality check amid all the hoopla of 'mobile first':

My concern with "mobile first" is that we'll mistake that for "mobile only" (the way that the Web was seen as the end-all be-all for quite a while) and not appreciate just what our customers are actually doing, nor prepare ourselves for what's next.

I'll be the first to admit, proudly in fact, that 'responsive web design' was clearly the right way to go. We had multiple devices and we needed some coherent way of accommodating them.

But I've never been able to comprehend why this required (at least among some) a second -- and to my mind completely unrelated -- step, namely that of having to start your design at the level of the least capable device (i.e. mobile) especially since 'least capable' doesn't necessarily mean 'least complicated'. You might as well have told people back in the old days, 'design for telnet' -- 'telnet first'!

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+1 for RibFest Website

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 6/10/13 (9:18am)

Yeah, I went to the Ribfest and had a great time. Beyond the event itself what impressed me the most was the website. Great professional job! (And responsive to boot.)

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