the library is the arsenal

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Visual Dic

"Merriam Webster has created a new online "visual" dictionary. Its decent enough for certain topics, but at this time only has 6,000 entries and its selective. If you type in "Mona Lisa" nothing comes up. Its based upon the published version, so perhaps over time they'll add more."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Interstitial Library

Let us try to give an account of this history that is yet to come.

The Interstitial Library was or will be founded at a dark time in the history of the United States by a group of radical librarians who found themselves thrust into politic action by the persistent incursions of the government against their ethos of freedom of information. Long associated with the forces of repression and conservatism, librarians emerged in the early 21st century as the custodians of civil liberties. The shushing gesture (the index finger raised to the lips) was adopted and recast as a gesture of fellowship among the radical librarians and their followers. This group of radical librarians called themselves the SHH or the Society of HH, for reasons that will become apparent.

The SHH reasoned on the basis of the Dewey Decimal System that if every book had a unique call number, and there were infinite call numbers, then there must be infinite books still to be written (in which case the world was not in such immediate danger of total destruction as one might have imagined from contemporary evidence) and furthermore an infinite library to contain them; that as the call number for those books lay between the books already on the shelves, rather than beyond them, the shelf-space for those books must also lie between them; that there was therefore a great amount of space between any two books, however snugly shelved, just as there were infinite numbers between any two numbers; that if the space existed, it ought to be possible to get into it, providing you had not eaten a big lunch.

The only thing I love more than library science is when library science gets together with calculus and art in new and fanciful ways.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saad Eskander is super nice and soft spoken

Thanks, Cordelia and Pete for making me do it and for taking the photo. Cannonworks Auxiliary Committee RULES!

Alex Wright is super nice and cool

Alex's talk was good and I don't think I sounded to stupid when I introduced him, but I did strictly read from the paper in front of me. I wish you guys had been there to ask good questions (you guys besides Jen, who was there, obvi) but who wants to spend their Friday night at a lecture? Apparently Jean Hines and not many others.

Afterwards, Alex, the SILSSA officers and I went for drinks, where we talked about libraries a little, but mostly information architecture and other cool stuff like that. There was talk of Alex teaching 651 at Pratt. I think the consensus on that class is that we need more professors teaching it for variety's sake.

Julia Shameless Weiss

What a party. What a book. What a night.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Anne Elizabeth Moore is so F'n Cool

In case you needed a reminder about how awesome non-consumer culture is, or how necessary, here is a link to the link to the interview with Anne Elizabeth Moore, former editor of Punk Planet and the Best American Comics series, as well as all-around awesome woman, and now a hero of mine.

I'd link to the interview directly, but I'm all about spreading the gospel of Stay Free!, which is no longer a magazine, but still hosts one of my favorite blogs to check in with every month or so. They are such sensible, wild people. They also sponsored this, which means they can never do anything to make me dislike them ever again. Seriously, Carrie McLaren, come pull my hair and kick my shins. I don't mind a bit. (Rick Prelinger is on their board, btw.)

Anne Elizabeth (which are my middle name and my mother's middle name, respectively), will be in Cambodia until pretty much January 08. After that, I might ask her to come talk at Pratt about not selling out in the library if she happens to be in NYC.

Side note: Since reading this interview, I have come across a ton of great books by her publisher, The New Press, though none spring immediately to mind. I've just been noticing.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm learning processing!

You can too!

Ben Fry, my new ultimate hero, helped to create this great little open access item called Processing designed to help artists and designers and the like learn how to program. I emulated one of their examples and after a few mistakes, got it to work! I'm in geek heaven! Let me know if you guys want to know more. It's not really library-related, but it is cool.

Librarians on the Telly!

In Australia, people can watch a show on TV called The Library. In the US, we have to watch it over the internet. It was really choppy when I tried to watch it last night, so I can't say whether this is a good or bad thing as regards librarian stereotypes, but I'm hoping for the best.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Visualizar, if you will, me in Spain.

I wish I were going to this amazing workshop in Spain. Check out the variously awesome data visualization projects they'll be collaborating on. Oh, and professional genius Ben Fry will be leading the team, just to make things especially special. If this weren't happening next week, I would be buying a plane ticket right now.

via We Make Money Not Art

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

State of the Art

Check this out from the lecture in my art librarianship class. I have included some highlights. Be sure to peruse DSpace and the UW Digital Collection--it is computer magic, my friends. The U-Dub has actually started tagging wikipedia entries to bring searchers back to their website. Check out Salmon (appropriately) at the bottom for the reference.
Oh, man, we should hang out sometime.