Carnival of the Infosciences #79

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As played out as I think the lolcats are, that isn’t going to stop me from posting a lolbrarian.

Anyhoo, welcome to Carnival of the Infosciences #79! There is so much to cover this week! How much? Let’s just say that this week’s post is longer than The Fountainhead. To spend more time on this introduction would totally be a pursuit of my own rational self-interest, so why don’t we just dive in to the dunk tank?

Perhaps you have heard about the “Top 25 Librarian Bloggers (By the Numbers)” list published by the Online Education Database (and submitted to the Carnival by OEDb’s Jimmy Atkinson)? Everybody has been talking all about it. Meredith Farkas was even partly inspired by it to create a survey that simply asks, “What are your three favorite library-related blogs?”

Here’s what the person who topped the chart had to say about the list:

“The funny thing about the blogoland is that people are always trying to figure out authoritiative ways of ranking people so you can… I don’t know, compare your status with other blogopeople? Technorati does this with some success mainly because they are married to WordPress in such a tight way that they get a lot of data, and also because people seem to go along with or take stock in what they say. When PubSub was coming out with its link rankings it was an interesting attempt to quantify something we could feel and not quite see, and yet the numbers didn’t seem to really mean anything, or map on to anything with any degree of predictability. Predictability is when you the blogger think ‘If I link to this story about a book banning over the work [sic] scrotum, that is probably going to attract a lot of inbound links which might affect my popularity ratings in places like Technorati.’ We may be considered link whores if we do this deliberately, but we’d be a little clueless if we didn’t understand how these things work.”

Of course, looking at the list with a bit of skepticism doesn’t make it any less thrilling when you’re one of the blogs that made the list. Just ask The Annoyed Librarian.

Speaking of AL, whose profile has just risen faster than the Road Runner on a grande Red Bull latte, she was inspired by a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article to pen a post called “Job Shortage Hoax.” She writes:

“Librarianship has been suffering from an annual labor shortage hoax for years. We’ve got the ALA blathering on about it all the time, and their baseless propaganda shows up everywhere from newspaper articles to Congressional bills. And then of course there’s the library schools. Where would they be with a willing contingent of dupes entering library school? A lot poorer, that’s for sure. And after all, what do library school recruitment people care, they won’t be looking for library jobs.”

This post is well-timed because Library Journal published in its September 1, 2007 issue an article by David Connors and Laena McCarthy called “The Jobs Can Be Found.” It’s a rebuttal to a previous LJ article by Rachel Holt and Adrienne L. Strock called “The Entry Level Gap.” Connors and McCarthy took issue with the methodology in the Holt and Strock article and conducted their own research.

“In the last six years, at least two-thirds of new job seekers were able to get full-time permanent professional positions, and employment of any type ranged from 83 percent to 93 percent. It is important to note that between 2003 and 2004, the number of unemployed/unreported decreased by more than half, from 15 percent in 2003 to seven percent the following year. Though the job search is long, those who stick with it seem to find success.”

I’m going to let Anna of eclectic librarian sum this discussion up with her post “librarians in the news,” which summarizes the five types of articles about librarians:

“4. OH NOES! There aren’t enough librarians!
“5. OH NOES! There aren’t enough librarian jobs!”

Now we arrive at the portion of the carnival where we placate the technological utopians and frustrate the technological dystopians. In other words, it’s time to hit the 2.0 Tilt-a-Whirl!

Emily Alling used the “carnifo” del.icio.us tag to submit a post by Ryan “#22″ Deschamps of The Other Librarian entitled, “Under the Hood of Web 2.0 : the top ten programming concepts for librarians to understand.” Now here’s a post that does what it says on the tin: it explains the technologies that bring Web 2.0 applications to life. It’s so sweet, it could ice a birthday cake.

Martha “Grasshopper” Hardy of The Vital Library submitted two 2.0 posts. One comes from the Medical Library Association’s Task Force on Social Networking Software blog, in which Rikke Ogawa explains the “5 Ways Web 2.0 and Social Networking Tools Meet My Needs.”

The other post Hardy submitted comes from Jennifer Macaulay’s blog Life As I Know It. Macaulay has compiled a positively glorious list of recent articles and blog posts about Library 2.0. She writes that “Library 2.0 Roundup – Redux” is “a work in progress,” so bookmark and refresh often.

Speaking of people who submitted two posts to the Carnival (see what I did there?), Stephen Francoeur has also been generous in the contribution department. The first post, “confused by Facebook,” comes from the blog apophenia, and he describes it thusly:

“Social networks expert Danah Boyd ponders whether Facebook jumped the shark this summer and asks readers who are college professors to check with their students this fall to see if Facebook’s recent developments are turning off the core college audience for the site.”

Francoeur’s second submission, “Yes, IRs are broken. Let’s talk about it,” was written by Dorothea Salo of Caveat Lector. Francoeur writes, “The unpleasant reality of institutional repositories is revealed herein.”

Another unpleasant reality is that of childhood obesity. Kathleen de la Peña McCook sent in a post from her A Librarian at the Kitchen Table blog called, “Providence, R.I. Fights Back because ‘Obesity is an economic issue.’ No. 485.” In her submission, she wrote:

“School has begun and nutrition education needs more emphasis. Libraries are a key information center to provide and promote nutrition information. Libraries serving poor neighborhoods can decide to help.”

Named after a word of African origin that means (if the Wiktionary can be trusted) “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity,” Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system that was famously installed by Jessamyn West. Jason Boley sent in a news item on the Geneva (AL) Public Library website entitled “Linux at the Library?” The GPL decided to switch to Ubuntu after Microsoft announced it would no longer support Windows 98. The item includes the next of a story written about the move on the MaintainIT Project website, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Nice!

Finally this week, David Bigwood of Catalogablog submitted a post from his blog about “Mars Inside and Out!” A NASA-supported workshop presented by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, “Mars Inside and Out! will acquaint you with everything you need to know about the mysterious red planet to bring exciting programs to your community.” Participants will meet folks from NASA, learn about missions to Mars, and receive a $100 stipend. How cool is that? The answer: pretty gosh-darned cool.

The Carnival is heading to Australia on October 1, when Michelle McLean hosts the next edition at Connecting Librarian. Remember, to contribute, all you need to do is use the handy-dandy submission form or to tag items as “carninfo” in del.icio.us. Thanks to Chadwick Seagraves for maintaining the Carnival, and thanks to you for stopping by!

One thought on “Carnival of the Infosciences #79”

  1. Wow Chris! This is great. You have done a great job of pulling together everything into a very interesting and nicely flowing post. I can’t wait to dig into all the submissions during my lunch & breaks today. You have been such a strong supporter of the COTI & I thank you for your time & effort in hosting this week! Bravo.

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