August 30, 2014

A Paean to the Filesystem

filesystem

pae·an - :  a joyous song or hymn of praise, tribute, thanksgiving, or triumph – Merriam-Webster I returned from the Code4Lib Conference recently chock-full of things I want to investigate. I was also reminded about just how much I love the Unix filesystem. Yes, really. I’ve long thought that the simplest solution to a problem is […]

Being a Savvy Social Media User

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Recently my colleague Karen Smith-Yoshimura noted a blog post that demonstrates effective traits for using social media on behalf of an organization. Titled “Social Change”, the post documents the choices that Brooklyn Museum staff made recently to pare down their social media participation to venues that they find most effective. As they put it: There […]

The Thing About Programming

pieceofcode

Sometimes I’m shocked to realize that I’ve been writing software for over 30 years — longer than some of my younger colleagues have even been alive. And people who know my code are shocked as well, that so much time could pass and my code still sucks. But I have an excuse: programming does not […]

The Importance of the Unforseen Purpose

mobile

I first came into contact with the importance of the unforseen purpose as a teenager. For whatever reason I had decided that I wanted to make a mobile or hanging sculpture. At the time, my bedroom where I was going to hang it was about 12′x12′ but with a 12-foot tall ceiling. I decided to make […]

A License to Skill

classroom

In many of the talks that I have given over the years I have taken pains to point out a key fact about library budgets: the vast majority of any library’s budget the budget for most libraries goes to staff. Usually I use this as a way to put investment in computer hardware in perspective. […]

When You Free the Data From MARC You Are the Roy

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Code4Lib is a unique place. I don’t know of another space like it in the library world. It has inside jokes all over the place, from the love of bacon, to the poking of fun at OCLC as an organization and me as an individual. Both myself and my employer (OCLC) are good for it, […]

Today We Are Poorer

A "friendly" debate.

Last night I heard about the untimely and sudden death of a professional colleague and personal friend for whom I had only the utmost respect. Tragically, Rich Wiggins is with us no more. And we are so much the poorer for it. There will be others who will write a better biography. There are others […]

“The MarcRecord”

alice

A while back (just about a decade ago actually) I gave a presentation wherein I used a number of quotes and illustrations from Lewis Carroll’s Alice books. One of my favorites is this exchange: “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, but you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re […]