Tuesday, January 31, 2006

 

Reasons to love the huge media conglomerate that is Google

It's a hobby for librarians to bash Google. It's like construction workers visiting strip bars. It's just something we do.

Here's the rub. Librarians also like to howl furiously when the government tries to stick its nose into people's reading habits, library materials or search engine logs. And with good reason, as it seems that we are pretty out-numbered in the howling furiously for privacy department.

Google, read here for background, received a request from the Justice Department to see the records it keeps of users' searches. DOJ said the request was pursuant to enforcing the Child Online Protection Act. Google told Justice to take their subpoena and cram it where the Fourth Amendment still shines, forcing the Attorney General to move up the federal appelate ladder in order to get the records.

What we have here is a huge corporation, Google, using its clout, money and flesh-eating lawyers to rebuff the government's advances into our private lives. They are doing what ALA never could.

But librarians heap scorn on them for kowtowing to China and censoring search results. Fair enough.

But where is the praise for their defense of the freedom of Americans to read and think in peace and privacy?

Monday, January 30, 2006

 

Library Director of the Year

Have you noticed it ALWAYS goes to someone at the top of the pay scale? Someone with a large budget, staff and building?

I think it's a lot more impressive to work-part time with a master's degree, too little support or supplies, in a dangerous building or neighborhood. I think I could learn a lot more from someone like that getting several pages in our flagship publication every year.

I know librarians with roommates. I know librarians whose lunch plans are based on the money left until the end of the week not on how they feel about the amount of cilantro in the thai place down the street. I'd like to know how they prioritize their work in only 25 hours per week.

It's possible that I am just being a prick. But I don't think that I'm bagging on boss types just to score points.

I'd like to hear about an administrator who has managed to get their staff more money. There are public libraries that are scratch-building catalog search boxes nested in web browsers. Let's have a chat with the dude that came up with that.

I'm tired of reading the same article every year. I'm tired of never reading about the things that we actually talk about.

 

The Sugar, Lard, Butter-fat and Whiskey Cookbook

I had a patron ask if we could buy "The Cut the Sugar Cookbook."

We have a lot of older folks that use us and in a town of rich people who exercise, well, it's not a great galloping surprise someone would want to read it.

When I saw the request for a minute I thought it was called "The Sugar Cookbook." I thought: How rad. Finally, someone embracing the gluttony involved in cooking. None of this egg-white bullshit. No applesauce sweetened vegan chocolate cake. A cookbook with balls.

I would be pleased to buy the following cookbooks if they existed --

"You Can Totally Fry That"

"Okay, Now Wrap It In Bacon. Sweet."

"Desserts That Are Like Fucking Tar Heroin"

"Canola Oil? What Are You, A Communist?"

"Say It With Pan-Drippings"

"Lipid: The Official Cookbook of the National Association of Pastry Chefs"

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