Monday, April 21, 2008

There goes that theory

Over the last few years I've harbored the sneaking suspicion that Canadian librarians are cooler than most of us in the U. S. Stephen Abram, no doubt, is at least partially to blame.

It's nice to be proven wrong:

Thanks to students of the University of Alberta School of Library and Info Studies, who are very brave.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Hurray for Librarians

I like being a librarian, I especially like being one when I read stories like this - Health Database Blocked Searches on 'Abortion' - and see that librarians have improved information access for researchers using the database POPLINE, a database of reproductive health literature from around the world.

For reasons that remain somewhat unclear to me, though it looks like someone was scared, the medical database POPLINE made the decision to set 'abortion' as a stop word sometime in February. A stop word is a term, like 'the,' 'of,' or 'a' that a search engine can be asked to ignore in order (usually) to increase the efficiency of a database search. Librarians took notice of the situation when searching the database and finding that searches on abortion topics brought up few or no results. After finding out about the move to make 'abortion' a stop word, they rallied fellow librarians and the media, and POPLINE subsequently made the decision to reinstate 'abortion' as a search term.

And shouldn't all of this mean that now, more than ever, Grey's Anatomy needs a medical librarian?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Just for fun

Partly to make sure that I still know how to use a scanner, and partly just for fun, I scanned this old painting of mine. I painted it while studying medieval literature, at a time when I was just beginning to be fascinated by hagiography and virgin martyrs. The subject of the painting turned into a cross between a martyr and a fairy - perhaps confusing, but I like the colors.