Digital Cameras – I’m up for Suggestions

I want a new digital camera. As you can see by my pics from the 2 conferences my camera’s not so good with the dark places. I see some great pictures take in the same rooms I was in – and I just want to know what cameras you’re all using and happy with. I should note that my camera (I have a FujiFilm A340) is 2+ years old – so it’s ancient in digital time – it might just be an age issue.

Party with the SLA & MLA in Philly

Don’t Miss the Joint SLA and MLA Holiday Party Featuring Silent Auction. This benefits SLA Knower Fund and Children’s Book Drive. on Thursday, December 7, 2006 at the Jenkins Law Library, 833 Chestnut East Building at 9th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia.

For more info visit the SLA Philadelphia Chapter website.

I’m posting this here because of a couple of reasons. 1 – I’m helping out with the party, 2 – It will be at my library, and 3 – I want to let you know that if you’re in the area you should join us!!!

Wealth of Knowledge

I just got a great comment from someone at work. She added me to her buddy list yesterday and today she said to me “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you’re a good person to have on my buddy list – you just have such a wealth of knowledge to share.” (I think that’s right) Isn’t that nice?? I replied by saying it’s a good thing I’m going to library school – then I’ll get to share my knowledge with more people!!

My mom wants me to be a billionaire

I just got off the phone with my mother. I pick up the phone and she says “Why is it that I have 2 of the smartest children in the world in one house and they aren’t making 1.5 billion dollars?” Now, I’m in the middle of fighting with DIALOG Web (which by the way is terrible in comparison to DIALOG Classic – another post) and I don’t have a clue what she’s talking about. Turns out that the news was announcing Google’s purchase (for $1.65 billion) of YouTube.

It’s great to have a mother who has that much faith in me (by the way the other child she was talking about was my husband – who hasn’t done any programming since college). After her rant about how we weren’t making billions of dollars – she says “So, what is it?” – “What is what?” – “YouTube”. So the news took the time to announce the purchase, but forgot to tell people what YouTube is. So I told my mother and she says “They made billions of dollars because they made some movies?” And I corrected her “No, they made money because they made a place for people to put their videos.” – “That’s it???” And then she went into some more ranting about not being rich. It was a fun conversation and I wanted to share it with you all. The sad thing is that she’s right – these two guys who are my age are now made men because they created a site where people could store and share their videos!!

Well, back to searching DIALOG :(

Another reason I want my MLIS

Here’s my morning routine – or maybe I should go backwards and explain my evening and weekend routine first. On evenings and weekends I catch up on my blog reading. If I have some time I will stumble a bit. Every time I read a post or find a link that I think would be helpful to someone at work I email it to my work email for the next morning. Every time I find something useful to a friend or family member I email it off to them.

When I come into work in the mornings I weed through these messages forwarding them along to the right people at work – if it’s something related to an ongoing project or something for our entire staff I post it on our Intranet. Sometimes this results in a blog post on our library blog – sometimes it’s a new Research Link – sometimes it’s just a reply email that says “thanks”. Either way I feel like I’ve helped the people around me find handy tools and resources to make their lives or jobs easier. I love that feeling!

Right now this is just something I do when I have time – but by getting my MLIS new doors will be open to me. I’ll have the chance to work in positions where I get to do 2 things I love – develop applications & web solutions and help others find and use new tools to make their jobs more productive!

This is just something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and wanted to share with you all. Why? Well I’ve been keeping a close eye on my number of subscribers and as the at number goes up I know I’m helping even more than just those I have contact with on a daily basis – I’m also helping others around the globe and that’s an amazing feeling.

Thanks for reading – I hope I can find a helpful resource for you today!

Planning a party or event?

Where was this fun tool when I was planning my wedding?? I just read about SimpleSeating on SolutionWatch.

SimpleSeating is a new Web 2.0 product, currently in private beta, for seating arrangement and chart creation. It aims to simplify the process by providing its users a web-based interface with drag-and-drop functionality and easy guest management.

The screenshots look pretty neat.

On a personal note

Almost 2 months ago I wrote about our basement disaster. Well as of 5 minutes ago the carpet has been laid and our basement is almost done!! They are coming back tomorrow for the finishing touches – but everything is rebuilt, painted, upgraded, and beautiful!! Just thought I’d share with everyone – maybe I’ll get some pictures when we move everything back down there.

Lifelong Learning (beware rant coming)

Okay, last night I had one of those dreams that makes you wake up mad! I’m sure you’ve all had them – so you can understand how I started my morning in a bad mood only to read 2 lines on 2 different blogs that set me off!!

#1 – Chad of Library Voice included a quote from Business Week Online: “You’ve heard that MySpace is dangerous for your kids, but what about for your business?”

#2 – LibraryLaw had an interview with Beth Yoke about DOPA in which she says: “I would describe the atmosphere at the hearing as one of fear. So much of the talk was about how there are untold numbers of would-be murders out there just waiting to snare our children via chat rooms and other Internet sites.”

COME ON PEOPLE!!!

The problem is not the Internet and chat rooms and MySpace – the problem is ignorance – which breeds fear.

I thought of a great comparison this morning while I was ranting (in my head) on the train ride to work. In the 1970s there was an incident with a boy named James Dallas Egbert III – do you know what I’m talking about?? James disappeared in 1979 and a private investigator surmised that he had disappeared during a live action session of D&D – assumed dead. Was this true? NO! James was a depressed boy who had disappeared to try and kill himself – did he like D&D? Yes. Did the 2 have anything to do with each other? NO!

One other incident led to mass fear – and that was the suicide of “Bink” Pulling in 1982. Patricia Pulling (Bink’s mother) decided that her son had committed suicide because of a curse that was placed on him in a game of D&D. Pulling started a crusade (an insane crusade if I do say so myself) against game makers and players alike, spreading the word that D&D was the work of the devil and those who played these games worshiped Satan. (side note – The Pulling Report by Michael Stackpole is a fascinating read if you want more info on this topic)

What does this have to do with MySpace? Well, I grew up with my mother telling me that D&D was evil and that only Satan worshippers played D&D. I had no idea that it was a role-playing game – all I knew was that it was evil and not to be talked about. Imagine my surprise when I met my future husband at college and he started talking about playing D&D!!! Why did I grow up with this fear? Because (sorry mom) of my mother’s ignorance on the topic. The media didn’t care what the truth was – they cared about selling a story and it didn’t matter that the stories spread by the private investigator and Patricia Pulling were based solely in fear of the unknown.

This is why our government is trying to pass a silly law banning sites like MySpace in schools and libraries. This is why publications like Business Week are starting their article by mentioning the dangers of MySpace to our children.

The only danger out there is misinformation and lack of education (well the only danger related to this rant). When I was growing up child molesters would pluck kids off of school yards – it’s much harder for a kid to fight against a grown up when they are pulling you to their car than when they’re on the other side of a computer screen. Teach your children to not talk to strangers – use safe words (mine was “bubbles”), explain that these sites are fun, but we don’t share our personal information with people online – or people we don’t know. Sit with your kids while they’re on the computer and show them what’s appropriate and what’s not.

But it’s not just kids – education is required for about 12 years of our lives – but what about after that. What did you learn in grammar school that you still use today? Reading, writing, math – those don’t change (although there are some new rules related to commas since I was in school). But what did you use computers for? Did you use computers? Education should be a constant in our lives – we should always be learning – whether in an organized setting or just by reading a book about a topic you may not know that much about. This is why I work on the board of our township’s night school – I love helping people learn about things they didn’t know much about before.

Fear and ignorance lead to silly laws and crusades against things like games where kids (and adults as most of us geeks know) pretend to be elves and orcs and adventure through some far off land.

MySpace is not evil, it’s an unknown and we need to get out there and show people that there is just as much a chance that the “would-be murders” are living 3 doors down as there is that your child will bump into them on the Internet – banning things from children makes them want to use them more – educating them on the proper use of these things however might just turn out to be the right answer.

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