Tag Archives: Interesting Links

Stuff and happenings

23 Sep

Three items of note:

First, there’s a little more than 24 hours left in the SLA Board of Directors election. If you can vote and haven’t yet, do so! If you have, thanks for stepping up to make the Association stronger. And in case anyone’s new to this blog, I am running for President-Elect, so please throw some consideration my way.

Second, I wrote a long post over at Cornell University Library’s Digital Scholarship and Preservation Services blog about the Repository Executive Group. (For those of you who prefer brevity, I posted in the CUL DSPS blog about RepoExec.*) Chairing that committee made up a large part of my fellowship work, and I cover a lot of what we did in that post.

Finally, if you haven’t been following the #teamharpy case, I recommend checking out the blog that nina de jesus and Lisa Rabey have set up, which both explains the case and lets you donate to their defense. Also very much worth highlighting is their call for witnesses. It is a deeply messed up situation that they’re in, and I admire their actions and their courage. They have my support, and deserve yours.

So, that’s what’s up. A lot going on, and in less than 36 hours I’m going to find out a lot more about my next three years. Be well, folks.


* Though, if you prefer breveity, you probably won’t like the post.

DigitalCommons@ILR Hits 5 Million Downloads

6 Sep

I’m just gonna leave this here…


Bringing the Workplace to the World
DigitalCommons@ILR Hits 5 Million Downloads

ITHACA, N.Y. (Sept. 6, 2012) – A digital repository that provides free access to some of the most important documents in the world of work has hit a major milestone: 5 million downloads, from users all over the world.

screenshotDigitalCommons@ILR features the work of the faculty and researchers at Cornell’s ILR School, as well as non-Cornell content — and its use is soaring.

“The surge in downloads this past year reflects a growing interest in workplace issues,” said Jim DelRosso, digital projects coordinator for the Martin P. Catherwood Library, which has run DigitalCommons@ILR for the ILR School since the digital repository’s creation in 2004. “More and more, these issues are part of the discourse in this country and abroad, and of our debates over politics and policy. The heavy use of DigitalCommons@ILR is a testament to the quality of its content.”

The repository hosts 16,000 workplace-related documents on a huge range of topics. Its collections include articlesimpact briefs, and other papers — both published and unpublished — from ILR faculty and researchers, making the repository an invaluable internal resource for faculty looking to provide universal access to their scholarship.

“The ILR School was founded in 1945 to advance the world of work through research and outreach to the community,” said Catherwood Director Curtis Lyons. “The Internet and DigitalCommons@ILR has given us an unprecedented opportunity to push the research out to global practitioners to fulfill our core mission and raise the profile of our unique institution.”

Most visitors arrive at DigitalCommons@ILR through Google, and the repository sees heavy use from practitioners as well as academics worldwide. The most frequently downloaded document is a paper co-authored by ILR Associate Prof. Jack Goncalo, titled, “The Bias Against Creativity: Why People Desire But Reject Creative Ideas.”

DigitalCommons@ILR also includes key workplace documents curated by expert Cornell librarians, collections of collective bargaining agreements and other digital resources. So far in 2012, DigitalCommons@ILR has recorded more than 1.3 million downloads — slightly more than were recorded in all of 2011 and almost twice as many as in 2010.

To learn more
Visit library.cornell.edu and Catherwood Library’s website, and check outDigitalCommons@ILR.


Original release found here. I can probably provide some other commentary, but right now I’ll just say two things: this is awesome, and as of today we’re at 5,265,492.

I wrote a thing for SLA’s Future Ready 365 project…

8 Nov

…and it got posted last Friday.

I mentioned this on the usual social media suspects, too. But I wanted to make sure there was at least a record of it here, and maybe some of y’all don’t follow me there?

In any case, this piece was a riff on something I ad-libbed during my webinar last month that seemed to resonate with folks. I tried to expand on the notion and make it a bit more general and hopefully inspirational.

If not, then at least I got to use a copyrighted image in a way that I figured was fair use. That’s always worth it.

Heading into the weekend with litigious hyperbole and punk rawk

16 Sep

I posted about the HathiTrust/Authors Guild lawsuit over on the SLA Academic blog, on the off-chance that somebody out in libraryland hadn’t heard about it yet. I’m not going to go on about it at length here, because in four business days a huge number of far more prolific librarian bloggers have said just about everything that needed saying. HathiTrust themselves have put together an excellent information page that includes a lot of commentary; I especially recommend the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Corynne McSherry’s take, “No Authors Have Been Harmed in the Making of This Library”.

I will add two thoughts of my own, though. First, digitizing and disseminating orphan works should be a no-brainer at this point, and the fact that this issue even exists demonstrates how broken our copyright law is. Libraries must be allowed to preserve these works because no one else has both the incentive and the means to do so, and — by definition — no one has any legitimate claim to intervene.

Second, the this lawsuit is a huge mistake for the Authors Guild and company, not because they’re sure to lose, but because they might win. I’ve come to expect publishers to try to gouge and undermine libraries at every opportunity, but authors? Especially authors whose works aren’t even involved? That’s just dumb, and any “victory” they manage to pry out of the legal system will just end up hurting their profession in the long run, as they undermine one of the best avenues to get their works seen and read.

Until recently, the Authors Guild knew that their profession and ours were on the same side. It’s a shame to see how willing they are to forget.


Frustrated as I am, I’m going to end with a reminder that frustration can be channeled to create amazing things; it just takes determination and volume.

Thanks to Jason Griffey for the link. Enjoy the weekend, y’all.

Friday in the Libe

5 Aug

Finishing up The Price of Spring, by Daniel Abraham. It’s the fourth part of his Long Price Quartet, and both book and series have been amazing. Smart fantasy for adults with strong characterization and no fear of raising the stakes and facing the consequences of choices made.  I love it when authors establish a strong and evocative status quo and then let their characters batter it, and I love when a plot development makes me close the book and curse in amazement. There’s a lot to love in these books.

The next few weeks are pretty heavy for the Reference & Outreach Committee, of which I’m the co-chair. We’ve got our first monthly forum on Tuesday (which we managed to program with only minimal insanity, though I am probably going to end up as one of the presenters), and our first real orientation event on Thursday. Two weeks from today is the massive orientation fair for new undergrads, with the grad fair following soon after. So that’s dominating most of the “planning” portions of my brain.

In addition to the short presentation alluded to above, I’m trying to contribute to the outline of the book chapter I’m co-authoring with UNLV’s Cory Lampert. Thank the gods for Google Docs, and the patience of colleagues.


Judd’s been doing this Friday thing for a good long while, and I’ve always thought it was keen. I used the structure a few times last year in my gaming blog, but since I never post there and most of the content this week is library related, it seemed better done here.

Library Day in The Life, round 7, Day 2

26 Jul

I had a tough time getting up and going this morning; luckily, I know where to go when I need a little more fight.

The first part of my morning was email, email, email. Gmail’s new inbox-sorting options makes the triage process easy enough that I can probably start doing it more frequently. (Not that I’m going to eschew my calendar reminders; some tasks, it really helps to be hounded.)

In any case, I’ve signed up for a couple of workshops and webinars (RDA and data curation), and gotten a helpful bit of news: both groups who’d been considering presenting during our August Reference and Outreach Forum have asked if they could move to a time later in the Fall. This will not only make our Fall programing easier, it means we can drop the August Forum (which usually only happens if folks need to get word out about something prior to the semester’s start) and focus the R&O Committee’s energies for the next month on orientation.  (Which merits it, just a bit.)

I also got in some correspondence with the co-author of the first book chapter I’m working on this fall, and started putting together the DigitalCommons@ILR survey I mentioned yesterday. I even took a little time to lift something heavy.

This afternoon, it’s a meeting to put together new workflows and support software for the news service the ILR School runs to highlight faculty members who’ve been cited as experts by the media. The set-up we have now is problematic and far from efficient, but I think we’re going to put together something excellent that’ll inform the revamping of other services in coming months.

After that, it’s prepping for tomorrow’s meeting of the CULAR policy group, checking up on and/or editing various pieces of the orientation puzzle, and keeping track of the Internet Duel of the Century.

Keep bringing the hits, Mr. Mustafa.

Library Day in the Life, Round 7, Day 1

25 Jul

I still function.

It’s gonna be a short Library Day in the Life week for me, as I’m on vacation Thursday and Friday. Luckily, I think I can pack a lot into the three days I have, starting with what I’ve been working on so far this summer.

I’m on more than a few, both at Catherwood and the larger Cornell University Library.

  • The library consolidation project’s Collection Management Team just turned in the final version of its Digital Projects Assessment last month, a chunk of writing I was given primary responsibility for last fall.
  • I’m now one of the co-chairs of CUL’s Reference and Outreach Committee, and I’m on the Get Started! Working Group; this means I have two levels of responsibility for next month’s new student orientation events. August’s gonna be crazy. It will probably involve video. I’ll totally post as much stuff as I can here.
  • The work of the Cornell University Library Archival Repository’s policy group continues apace, work that will certainly have repercussions in what I do here at Catherwood.

If all goes well, my future will involve writing lots of grant proposals. That’s gonna be a very new experience for me, so I’ve been meeting with folks at and around Cornell who have more experience. Been making connections, subscribing to email lists and RSS feeds, and making big lists of potential leads. The fall will probably see me playing mix-and-match between those leads and the stuff in “The Future” section of the aforementioned Digital Projects Assessment.

ILR School Projects
Spent a decent chunk of time over the last few weeks helping folks within the School smooth out wrinkles that’d developed in some of the projects they do in partnership with Catherwood. I think the projects in question will be better off after we’re done, and hopefully I’ll be able to apply what we’re developing to other library endeavors.

Beyond the day-to-day repository operation, I’m looking to embed a survey tool into the site and the documents it contains. Nothing too annoying, I hope; just enough to give us even more insight into our users. CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT, BABY.

Social Media
Been thinking a lot about this when not directly working on something else, especially taking our news service and delivering it through Twitter in addition to RSS and email. Oh, and I’m on Google+, like so many of the rest of you. :)

The conference was very cool, though I felt like the benefit from networking was far greater than the benefit from programming, much more so than with stuff like CiL. Maybe it was just that I hadn’t been to an SLA before; it’s probably not fair to compare SLA #1 to CiL #4. And the networking was, really, really good, especially hanging out with the folks from SLA Academic and CIRL.

I’ve made it a goal to get my publish on come Fall, and it actually seems to be going well. I put in two proposals for book chapters in the last two weeks, and both editors came back asking for rough drafts over the next few months. Rawk. Now I just have to write the damned things; luckily, I’m co-authoring the first one due.

So, that’s what’s been going on with me in the last few weeks, leading to today… which, well, mainly involved answering emails about the stuff above and then writing this post. (And its sibling post over at SLA Academic.) After this gets posted, I’m going to prep for a meeting I’m having tomorrow about one of those ILR School projects. I’m trying to make a habit of scheduling in a meeting prep session the day before any meeting; it makes my schedule even busier, but it seems to be paying off thus far.