Thursday, August 31, 2006

Attending Library Conferences

I am excited to be attending my very first Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference this year. I will be volunteering for all three days of the conference, but will also get to attend any conference sessions that don't interfere with helping out.

Does anyone have any tips for attending professional conferences like this? Is there anything I should know/be prepared for before I go?

I'd love to hear any tips, advice or anecdotes people have to share.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Not About Libraries, But . . .

. . . it's still big news. A district court says the NSA can't wiretap Americans without judicial oversight. It's unconstitutional. And it's gotta stop. Right now.

Whoa! (Literally.)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

AOL Explains Why Privacy Matters

The AOL flub of releasing searches has made me think more about the reasons librarians care so much about privacy. The New York Times tracked down a little old lady who liked conducting searches for herself and friends but is naturally disturbed that her curiosity has now become a public plaything.

And apparently identifying and speculating about the people behind the data is a common sport now that it's out there - see Boing Boing for an example.

I've heard so many people say "I don't care if anyone knows what I'm reading," usually while giving me a look that says "you librarians are so persnickity and paranoid." Well, they might care if they had some personal unhappiness to deal with - and providing information in whatever form to help people out in such situations is what libraries do. Our patrons deserve a chance to think in private.

Though AOL's breech of their customers' privacy is outrageous, it might have given librarians a powerful new example to use when arguing for privacy.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Do Searches Take Too Long?

An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education asks why the process of hiring an academic librarian takes so long. Steven Bell at ACRLog recaps the article and asks for reports from the job search front. A few months from job posting to hire is par for the course.

It seems inexcusable to me to fail to inform candidates of the progress of a search, but finding the right match is a big decision - for the hiring institution as well as for the applicants, so I'm not too surprised it takes time.