Monday, November 14, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Censored by a Librarian

This is my latest discussion board post, again in reference to my textbook. This time, I recount an experience I had of being censored, in a library, by a librarian! I know, it was a shocker. Granted, the librarian is not as bad as I portrayed the gender neutral person to be, but I felt that by adding a little drama to my post it would make a more interesting read. I suppose that is the literature enthusiast in me shining through. :-) 


According to Rubin on page 379, the First Amendment provides the right to both express oneself and the corollary right to receive the ideas of others. What I find interesting is that it does not provide the right to not be bothered by other people’s ideas.

I remember one time having a discussion in the library about a religious topic and the librarians told us to move my discussion so that others would not have to overhear us. They claimed to be protecting the FA right to not receive information. Perhaps I am missing something, but I am pretty sure the FA does not censor ideas, but protects them.

We were not happy about being censored, but decided to be respectful of other people and moved the discussion. However, I found it disturbing that a librarian would suppress the freedom to discuss ideas in the name of free speech!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

E-Rates: A Bribe for Censorship

I aced my last paper. I was a little worried because I used EndNote for the very first time and did not have as much control over building my References page. But it worked out.

Discussion Post. Below is my discussion post for the week. I entitled it "E-rates: A Bribe for Censorship." It has to do with government contribution to library operation costs, that end up costing libraries some intellectual liberty.

I understand that my title for this thread regarding pages 348-352 of the text is a bit simplistic and exaggerated, but I could not help but entertain these thoughts.

In essence, the government has been trying to exchange economic benefit to educational institutions for compromise in the area of censorship. Those institutions that apply for and are granted the special “E-rates” are then subject to evaluation to ensure that proper monitoring of use is applied. This left me appalled and saddened, since I can definitely see how easy it would be to compromise standards for some financial relief especially in our current world.

By the same token, I feel it is important to remember that this is not only “Big Brother” wanting to get their hands into everything. While that may play a part in their reasoning, outwardly, the purpose of this censorship is for the children’s benefit. Restricting child porn, preventing illegal activities and eliminating cyber-bullying are very good goals to strive for, especially in environments that cater to minors. However, the implementation of these restrictions would also infringe upon rights to information, which is why librarians oppose them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The More Things Change

Just submitted another assignment. I had to follow several blogs and write a report on the topics they covered. I decided to follow the Library History Buff and iLibrarian.

I noticed that these blogs approach the same topic from different ends of the spectrum. The thesis statement is basically: Libraries provide excellent service using whatever technology is available to them. Sometimes this means Twitter. Sometimes this means sending a post-card. Either way, like change itself, some things never change.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Nature of Info

This week's discussion regarding the difference between Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom.

I found the section concerning the nature of information to be enlightening (pages 286-287). I particularly enjoyed the fact that Rubin made distinctions between 2 pairs of similar terms.

The first pair was Data and Information. Rubin considered data to be pure fact, while information was data that has been applied meaning. Information, therefore, is potentially useful while data could just be a random set of facts.

The next pair is knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge encompasses both data and information, but adds the element of application. Hence, the potential use has been realized. Wisdom adds values to the knowledge. This final term fits into the mission of libraries, which are to affect society for the better through the application of information.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I received word from my professor regarding my Lib/Info Center Report. I got 5 points knocked off because I did not cite my interview. But other than that she loves my writing style, she loved my use of screen-shots to illustrate my points and she learned quite a bit from my report. That's always cool. Oh, and I lost five points when there are 130 points possible, so I get an A.

I just applied for a Library job in the Green Library Circulation department. It's not an administrative position and it does not require an MLIS degree, but it pays fairly well so we'll see.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Jobs for Grads

I was shocked and dismayed to find the ratio of Librarian to Student in the public school system to be 1 to 953 (Rubin, 193). According to the slides for the week, and confirmed by the ALA Fact Sheet ( the School Library is the most widespread type of library by far at 99,180 institutions. In an age where parents are concerned over class sizes that exceed 25 students per instructor, one would think that the proportions of Librarian to student would get some publicity.

The United States definitely has a culture that is motivated by fear. We see that in the public and academic school systems which only received funding because of Cold War conspiracies and Sputnik (Rubin, 200). Apparently, the prospect of one Librarian meeting the information needs of 953 students is not scary enough to fund a change.

Granted, class size seems more important for Teachers that are the primary educators and classroom managers for a group of students. However, I cannot believe that Librarians can effectively provide for the informational, educational and recreational needs of all those students alone.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011

a little girl checks out the Wild Things wall

Great photo featuring my favorite children's book while growing up: Where the Wild Things Are. This room would have driven me crazy when I was younger... who am I kidding? I'm going nuts right now! I think I may need to visit this library the next time I head up the eastern coast.

Via Flickr:
at the newly renovated Reisterstown Road Library in Baltimore

at the newly renovated Reisterstown Road Library in Baltimore

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Kindles in Libraries

Mark it down. Today FIU's Green Library began loaning Kindles equipped with ebooks to the public. Apparently the loan will be for 14 day and stiff penalties for "losing" the device will be imposed. Apparently they still require that the patron rent their device rather than make the materials available to anyone with an e-reader, but the next step is surely coming sooner rather than later.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Too Dumb for Grad School

I spent 3 hours reading 60 pages of text and conjuring up a beautiful Discussion Board post that integrated the literature, outside resources and my own opinion in 70-100 words. And as I went into the course to post my ideas, what did I find?

I read the wrong chapter. I got ahead of myself.

So I spent the day reading another 60 pages, but it took much longer since I had to do it in between calls at work. I finally posted my discussion topic which was still decent, but not the best. In fact, here it is:

In page 109 of the Rubin text, I learned about the three different categories of professions espoused by Maack. The three categories are high-authority (law and medicine), indirect/product-oriented (engineering and architecture) and empowering (education, social work and library science). I feel that while Librarians are certainly professionals, they are not the same as medical doctors. The goals of the industries are different. 

By the same token, I like that she placed LIS in the same group as educators. I have always found that librarians are usually great teachers and attract people who genuinely want to learn something. If an illustration is desired, take a look that this reference post-card sent to the ALA in 1912. There certainly is a long, proud tradition of responding to requests for information. In page 109 of the Rubin text, I learned about the three different categories of professions espoused by Maack. The three categories are high-authority (law and medicine), indirect/product-oriented (engineering and architecture) and empowering (education, social work and library science). I feel that while Librarians are certainly professionals, they are not the same as medical doctors. The goals of the industries are different. 

By the same token, I like that she placed LIS in the same group as educators. I have always found that librarians are usually great teachers and attract people who genuinely want to learn something. If an illustration is desired, take a look that this reference post-card sent to the ALA in 1912. There certainly is a long, proud tradition of responding to requests for information.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

First Paper - Philosophy

I just submitted my first Master's Level paper. I feel like crap. To be honest, I always feel dissatisfied with my first submission in a new class. I have analyzed myself and come up with the following reasons:

  1. Writing is a personal experience. My essays are cocktails in which I pour all my creative juices. The prospect of having those personal ideas crushed is not very pleasant.
  2. I am proud of my writing ability. I am proud to a fault actually. I personally believe I could write my way out of every situation I find myself in. If I get a grade less than perfect, my self-worth struggles.
  3. I do not really know what the professor is looking for. I have found that each professor is different when grading style. Some like a more personal style, others like cold, hard, technical facts. So I naturally have no clue what to do in that area.
Therefore, I have set up a system. The first paper I write is all me. Everything I have learned from Kindergarten throughout my Bachelor's in English is strewn across the page in a style that is all my own. After the professor tears up my first paper, I learn what they are looking for. My next papers are modified to appease their sense of style (and to get an A). At the end of the course, I incorporate what I agree with into my newly evolved writing style, and the cycle continues.

Even though I have it all figured out, it does not change the fact that I am nervous as hell.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Head in the... Tags?

All through my first major assignment in this class I have been fascinated with the idea of tags. In fact, it has become something of a personal exploration of how I function as a person. I love tags, I love them very much. I feel a need to organize my things in a certain way. I have found this to be the case with my Blogs. I have found myself mesmerized by this feature in Flickr. I found that to be true in Delicious. And then the assignment turned to Library Thing.

Library Thing is a free cataloging tool for personal libraries. It actually does a very comprehensive job, complete with LC Classification, ISBN information, Publication information, Citation information, Comments and yes, my favorite, Tags.

An informative feature of Library Things is their tag clouds. They have three forms: Tag Cloud, Author Cloud and Cloud Mirror.

A tag cloud is simple and straight-forward. It basically shows how I have categorized my books and which category is most popular (indicated by large text).

An author cloud follows the same basic principle, it is a graphic list of the authors I have in my collection.

And finally, and most interesting, is the Mirror tag. The mirror tag shows my tags in relation to their popularity across the entire Library Things database. In other words, how many people have books that they deliberately tag with the same description.

All in all, my favorite application has to be Libary Things. It is an incredible resource to catalog and organize my library and make it a manageable set, where I can then gather my information effectively.

Yummy Yum Yum

As part of my Web 2.0 assignment, I was forced to play with I created my profile and shared my blogs--complete with tags. We shall see if these blogs will take off and become internet sensations overnight as a result of my one public bookmark. Hey, I can dream!

In addition, I found a really cool, useful site called: I really enjoyed this article. I really enjoy sprucing up documents and presentations with graphics. I am a firm believer in reinforcement when it comes to education. People need to read, hear, see and sometimes even experience things when trying to learn. I suppose that is the point of my whole assignment, experience Web 2.0 in just a fraction of it's glory. Perhaps we will take these ideas and run with them.

I can certainly see these sharing sites taking a role in the modern library. Most Librarians I have met keep extensive bookmarks with extensive descriptions. A service like Delicious certainly makes the process much easier and much more social. I could especially see how this would be a great, cost-effective service to use in Academic Library Databases, where students can bookmark articles and sites. This would make finding appropriate resources a much quicker process.

In all, this delicious service is truly scrumptious.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A picture with a thousand...

Ever After Word Art by CMJimenez
Ever After Word Art, a photo by CMJimenez on Flickr.

I used to create this word art. is an image generator that substitutes your custom text for the color in the image. The result sends a very clear message.

Via Flickr:
Picture taken in the Port of Miami. Used to create this word-art with the text: Happily Ever After, The End!

Bloglines - Google Reader

I began the RSS reader challenge, but quickly switched course. I currently use Google Reader to deliver new posts directly to my desktop and I have the Android App set up for my phone. I enjoy receiving a daily digest of interesting Literature, Theology, Humor and the personal thoughts of friends. However, I am going to enjoy receiving new Library readings in the form of the recommendations made by the PCLMC Learning 2.0 Program.

Here's the link to my Shared Items (public profile):

Library Art Argument

:: PIMPAMPUM :: Bubblr! .:.

One of my favorite Flickr Mashups is Bubblr. Bubblr searches the Flickr database on one of two levels: Tags and Usernames. You can take the images and arrange them in a comic strip. From that comic strip, you can create whatever dialog you choose with conversation bubbles. (Hence the name: Bubblr) Then the finished product is saved in the archive, where it is public. Bubblr conscientiously reminds us that your boss could technically find this strip and fire you if it is incriminating.

The comic strip can then be shared by a variety of means, including: print, emailing, blogging and

As for the content of this stip, no it's not my most creative work. But it illustrates the basic features of this mashup.

Rat Terrier Pictobuilder

Get the flash player here:

Library Pups

IMG_3832 by CMJimenez
IMG_3832, a photo by CMJimenez on Flickr.
As part of my assignment to explore Web 2.0 I have set up a Flickr account and linked it to this library blog. I am sharing this image as proof of such.

This photo was taken in my personal library. I have two Rat Terriers. Their names are Romeo and Juliet. No, they are not a breeding pair, they are from the same litter (we frown down on incest here). I love to sit with my poochies and read a good book, or study some theology or just hang out on the web.
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