Friday, April 02, 2004

So, the world proceedeth apace. I'm starting to think I should just try to make this a weekly blog, updated, say, on Friday afternoons, when my brain is too shot to do anything else anyway. Except that somehow, blog lumber seems hard to come up with when I'm feeling this way, too. Hm. Well, let's see.

So, Gmail. Google's free email service, with 1G of storage space, backed by Google search technology so you don't so much file your emails as toss them all in a pile and let Google sort it out. This is cool, and God knows I'm interested in an email service that says I'll never need to delete another email. I've had to create three Yahoo! accounts to hold onto all the personal emails I want to keep, and my hard drive at work is stuffed with library-related back-and-forth. On the other hand, I'm a little spooked that Google's broadening its focus and possibly going down the Netscape path. Because...whoscape? Yeah. Exactly.

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An interesting article here, by Laurie Kutner, Library Instructor at the University of Vermont: Library Instruction in an Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies Program: Challenges, Opportunities, and Reflections. I've been thinking about interdisciplinary research a lot lately--I'm a writer, so my research needs tend to be wild and random ("Did hotel desks in Brighton, England stay open all night in the 1880s, or did they close at a certain hour?" "What are the macro tidal patterns along the Pacific Northwest coast?" etc.) and to pretty much spit on disciplinary boundaries. I'm also interested in how interdisciplinary research methods can cope with the complex social, scientific, economic, and political problems we find ourselves in these days. Environmental problems, social problems, et cetera. The world ain't disciplined. Anyway, Laurie shares these interests, and she makes very good points about what librarians working in traditional, discipline-bound institutions can do to support interdisciplinary research. She's also a really nice person, and a runner. I know because she told me.

And that whole interdisciplinary thing has a practical application in the online guide to research from a diversity-based perspective that I built with some colleagues, and that I'll be presenting on at the Oregon Library Association's 2004 conference in a week or two.

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This looks like fun. Superhero conference in Melbourne, Australia! According to Bill Bryson, Melbourne's quite nice. According to Geoff Klock, superhero comics are literature.

If I had more hours in my days, I'd do a research guide to graphic novels and comics. I'd love that. Someone needs to donate a bushel of money to the library so I can build up the collection in those areas. There are some really great graphic novels being published these days. Not least of which (and, okay, the one I just finished reading): Chris Ware's Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth. Which is sad and beautiful and so lovingly, cleanly designed, it'll make you cry.

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And last but not least, a poetry blog. Because if you squint, it's in my job description to follow these things.

Unlike this photography blog. Which isn't in my job description at all.


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