Monthly Archives: August 2009

Why libraries rock.

LPLThe Louisville Public Library has reopened!

The main library was severely damaged by flooding, with over four feet of water in the basement.

[Library Director Craig] Buthod said up to 4 feet of water poured into the basement of the Main Library, much of which is used for operations. Buthod said at least 10,000 books, audiobooks, CDs and DVDs were damaged. Many of the items were new and awaiting distribution to the branches. Buthod said the average cost per item was conservatively $20.

All three Bookmobiles parked at the library were damaged by flooding, and water pressure blew out some basement windows. Conference and meeting rooms and offices in the basement and their furnishings also were damaged.

All the library’s boilers, air-conditioning controls, chillers and air-handling equipment were waterlogged, with the extent of the damage impossible to assess until the water is pumped out, Buthod said. Some of the mechanical equipment was less than 10 years old, but some was much older, he said.

All the computers at all the branches were rendered inoperative when flooding damaged the central computer unit and wiring in the Main Library’s basement.

Also ruined, officials said, were about 40 new computers awaiting delivery to the new Newburg branch, which will be dedicated Aug. 15. Buthod said the dedication will go ahead as planned, with or without computers. The Newburg computers cost about $50,000.

It is amazing that the library has, in typical library fashion, done what needed to be done to reopen the library and make its services once again available to its patrons.  Fabulous.

The library could still use your help.  Donations can be sent to the Louisville Public Library Foundation.

Let’s help these fine folks get back on their feet!


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Filed under Libraries and Librarianship

Wolfram Alpha, continued

I while back, I posted about my lack of enthusiasm for the new search engine, Wolfram Alpha.

Well, they’re better now.

As the Wolfram Alpha blog explains:

Wolfram|Alpha was always planned to be a very long-term project, and paced accordingly. We pushed very hard to get it launched before the summer so that we could spend the “quiet time” of our first summer steadily enhancing it, before more people start using it more intently in the fall.

Good point.  We have students starting in a few weeks, and I’ll be one of the people pointing to this as a resource.

It’s actually quite interesting to read about how they’ve improved the site and what they’re continuing to do.  It’s quite long, so I won’t quote it here.  I encourage you to wander over and read their update, and if you haven’t already done so, wander over to Wolfram Alpha and play with it a bit.

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Filed under Miscellaneous, Techie stuff

Social Media

There is a new video on the Social Media Revolution that’s worth a look:

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Filed under Customer Service, Libraries and Librarianship, Techie stuff


The folks at Beloit College have released the newest version of the Mindset List for the class of 2013.  (Frankly, the number 2013 is enough to make me shake my head.)

This list is compiled in an effort to remind faculty of the mindset their incoming freshman have.  I’ve found this list entertaining in the past, but it has a new pertinence for me now that I’m an academic librarian, expecting her first group of freshmen in a few weeks.

Here are the top ten:

  1. For these students, Martha Graham, Pan American Airways, Michael Landon, Dr. Seuss, Miles Davis, The Dallas Times Herald, Gene Roddenberry, and Freddie Mercury have always been dead.
  2. Dan Rostenkowski, Jack Kevorkian, and Mike Tyson have always been felons.
  3. The Green Giant has always been Shrek, not the big guy picking vegetables.
  4. They have never used a card catalog to find a book.
  5. Margaret Thatcher has always been a former prime minister.
  6. Salsa has always outsold ketchup.
  7. Earvin “Magic” Johnson has always been HIV-positive.
  8. Tattoos have always been very chic and highly visible.
  9. They have been preparing for the arrival of HDTV all their lives.
  10. Rap music has always been main stream.

Read them all!

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Filed under Academia, Libraries and Librarianship, Miscellaneous


David and me squirrelized:

Have fun with your own photo!

*Note: you need to save the image to your computer or upload it to an image website, as the cache is cleared every half-hour and your image will be lost.

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Filed under Me and mine, Miscellaneous

Customer Disservice

What on earth are these guys thinking??  Thanks to David Booker over at the The Centered Librarian, I discovered that you should not, under any circumstances, give the site Spacelocker a try.  Wondering why?  Read on:

What I wanted to alert you to is this post over at TechCrunch that describes in detail the misadventures of an innocent patron who decided to give Spacelocker a try. Son Lee failed to notice the small print in the sign up form which states:

“Note if you sign up on the left side form with a web based email account and existing password, Spacelocker will invite your friends to join you by sending invitations automatically to the contacts in your email account. If you do not want your contacts invited, use the right side form with any email account, including web based, and create a new password.”Well, Son didn’t notice that and used her Gmail account to sign up. When all of her Gmail contacts were contacted by Spacelocker she wrote to complain. They not only wiped out her account, but sent along this response:

Hi Son,

You obviously can write English. However I think you have a problem reading English; or are careless when you read. The sign up page has 2 forms on it. One form is to be used by those who want spacelocker to automatically invite their friends. The other form is to be used if you do not want to invite your friends. There are big red letters on the left side form that tells you to read the note on the sign up page before you sign up. The note on the sign up page tells you about the sign up procedures. There is a link to a blog on the sign up page which further explains the sign up procedures in detail. The terms of service and privacy policy of Spacelocker clearly set out what you have agreed to by signing up. You obviously failed to read any of that before you signed up and now you want to blame us for your carelessness!!! Incredible!!!

Her is a link to the sign up: Read it and think if you can! (emphasis mine)

Spacelocker Ltd
the happiest space on earth

What the???  Apparently, this site is only interested in gathering email addresses to spam.  As David notes, hopefully the social ether will make short work of these folks.  Appalling behavior.


Filed under Customer Service, Things that make you go, "Hmmm..."