Friday, April 13, 2007

"News" and news

I''ve been in several conversations this year about the state of the news media in the US. Do we really have news now, or has our idea of the news evolved so much that what we really have is just another arm of the entertainment industry? What does news mean to you, and where do you find it?

Here's an especially cynical, but amusing look at the news (which I blatantly lifted from CommTopics, a blog by Ken Liss.

In contrast, this week WSU & the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication honored Frontline & its producer David Fanning with Distinguished Achievement Awards, during the Edward R. Murrow Symposium. While I'm not sure that Murrow would approve of the current state of "the news," I think he'd be pleased to see Frontline rewarded for outstanding investigative work.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Library Celebration - come, and we'll give you cake!

The WSU Libraries’ are celebrating their 100th Depository Anniversary Celebration, marking the 100th year that we have been a Federal Depository Library. If you're wondering why being a depository library is such a big deal, or if you'd like to know more about what government documents can do for you, please join the party this Wednesday and Friday, and learn what all of the buzz is about.

April 11, 2007
Celebration of WSU Libraries 100th Depository Anniversary

10:30am Terrell Library Atrium

  • Welcome and Introductions - Marilyn Von Seggern, Government Information Librarian

  • “100 Years of Depository Service” - Cindy Kaag, Interim Director of Libraries
    Remarks from Senator Patty Murray - Judy Olson

  • Anniversary Cake and Viewing of the 100th Depository Anniversary Exhibit—-documents from 1907 and the past 100 years

April 13, 2007
Joint Anniversary Celebration, University of Idaho Library and Washington State University Libraries

  • 10:00 – 11:00 Government Documents Department Open House and Tours (Rm. 104 – All rooms located at UI Library)

  • 11:15 – 12:15 “Crown Jewel or Freebies? 100 Years of Federal Government Information Resources at the UI Library” - Lily Wai, Professor Emeritus, Former Head, UI Government Documents Dept. (Rm. 212A)

  • 2:00 – 2:15 Welcome by Lynn Baird, UI Library Dean (Rm. 212A

  • 2:15 – 2:30 Announcement of Poster Contest Winner and Introduction of Special Guests - Maria A. Jankowska, Head UI Government Documents Dept.

  • 2:30 – 3:15 “Connecting People with Government Information for 100 Years: Looking Back, Looking Forward” - Barbie Selby, Regional Depository Librarian, University of Virginia

  • 3:15 Refreshments and Conversation

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Podcasts in the libraries

Some of the WSU Librarians are beginning to play with podcasts as a way to connect with our community and work with some different approaches to library instruction. I just returned from a short learning break, courtesy of Betty Galbraith and Mark O'English, where they set a few of us up and had us recording test podcasts with ease. Hopefully, now that more of us library folks have our feet wet, we'll be doing more with podcasting, but till then, there are already a few available Podcasts from the WSU Libraries

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

My Librarian Avatar

Most days I feel like this -

But there are days when I feel like this -

I'm just a Buffy wannabe, really.

Avatar courtesy of

Monday, April 2, 2007

How much do you love your reference desk

Here's a nice post by Steven Bell and Sarah Watstein about their debate over the future of the reference desk. I'm pro reference desk, myself, but I feel I should own up to my decided traditionalist tendencies so that it's clear where I'm coming from on this. I am rather stuck on the idea of a place where you can reliably find help if you need it, that keeps regular hours and is staffed by helpful and (usually) friendly people. I wouldn't say that the traditional reference desk isn't problematic - I sit on one side and my patron on the other, a physical embodiment and emphasis of the librarian ("expert") - patron ("non-expert") relationship that I'm not entirely comfortable with. I worry that some of our more imposing desks may project an "I know what I'm talking about and you don't" aura that could scare people off.

Still, one of the things that IMing is teaching me is that very few of my days follow any standard schedule, and that if people want to find me at work, the reference desk, where I work regularly from 11-1:00 on Tuesdays and 5-8 on Thursdays, is usually their best bet unless they call ahead.