Moving the Blog

As of today, I’m moving the blog to my ThirdScribe website. I won’t be taking this site down per se, but it won’t be updated. The ThirdScribe site will be, at least once a week.

If you’ve been following along with this craziness, don’t worry. I’m taking you with me. The ThirdScribe blog is functionally identical to this one. All the share buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and so on are still there, so if you use social media to connect with my rantings, you won’t miss a thing. I’ll just be pushing posts to those platforms from a different website. The archives are already there, both posts and comments. There are exceptional book-related resources there as well.

If you connect to my stuff by way of RSS, then just slap this new info into your feed reader:

For RSS Posts: http://jonfrater.thirdscribe.com/feed/

For RSS Comments: http://jonfrater.thirdscribe.com/comments/feed/

I’ll still be posting about library matters, books, readers advisories, and whatever else I can think of. The truth is the ThirdScribe interface, analytics, and format are easier to use and to give me a lot more data on how people read this thing and where they come from. Rob McClellan was right to build the AddThis code directly into his platform. ShareThis never worked properly in that regard.

See you there!

The Death of an iPhone

My iPhone 3GS, having given a flawless level of service for three users over the past fours years, is dead. At the very least, I’m trying to restore it from the latest iTunes backup I made for it (last night) and even the restore bar is a hollow, angry white outline on a black background.

So. Dead. Kaput. Deceased. An ex-iPhone.

The good news is that I have a free upgrade available on my AT&T family plan so I should be able to upgrade for a mere $100. I’ll deal with that tomorrow.

In the meantime I can think of no finer tribute to an essential piece of equipment than the Dead Parrot bit from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. (Just replace the word parrot with iPhone and you’ll be fine.)

The Library Oath

With all respect and modesty to George R.R. “Just get Off Yer Arse and Finish the Damn Book Already” Martin . . . this is what happens when Emma and I start trading GOT signals at work and begin discussing the Circ desk as if it’s a wall 700 feet high, made of ice:

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall educate people, answer any question, and read to children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my reference desk. I am the candle in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the knowledge of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Library, for this night and all the nights to come.

—The Library Oath

The spooky thing is that it only took a few minutes to adapt the original. Now I just need to get a bunch of t-shirts printed with this and show up at ALA Mid-Winter.

A Shameless Plug

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m trying to get back into the game of fiction writing. Along the way, I’ve met plenty of awesome people who got involved in the game after I left, or never left and went on to do amazing things. Charles Barouch is one of the latter. We worked together years ago when we both wrote game review columns for Gateways magazine, which has long since disappeared into the mists of time.

Charles now had his own small press, HDWP Books, and is currently producing an intriguing short fiction series called “Theme-Thologies.” The idea is simple: create a theme for a book then find the best stories possible to fill the space.

I’m not in any of the books currently on the shelf but I am working to get a piece into one of the future anthologies. I do believe in the project and the staff and writers involved, however, so I’ll be putting some cash down for these titles. You may consider doing the same. If nothing else, let’s share this far and wide and get some exposure for these guys.

 Charles’s post as it appeared on his G+ account earlier today reads as follows:
I need $6
You are all nice people. I’m sure if I asked you for $6, just because I needed it — or even wanted it — a lot of you would reach into your pocket. I’m not asking for me. Well, not exactly for me…
Here’s my problem: I need to jumpstart the sales on Theme-Thology. These are really good books but we aren’t visible enough. Can you spare $6 to help 18 authors and artists?A Promise: From now until April 21st, if you buy the first two Theme-Thologies (total: $5.98) and post a review of either of them (on Amazon, B&N, or Kobo, or GoodReads), I will send you the first eBook from our new science fiction series: Interrogative: Tiago and the Masterless. Just post a link to the review at http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/thankyou and the book is yours.A Prize: Additionally, from now until April 21st, if you buy any of the first three Theme-Thologies ($2.99 each), I will enter you into a drawing to win one of the following eBooks: one of five different Mike Reeves-McMillan books (City of Masks, Hope and the Patient Man, Hope and the Clever Man, Realmgolds, Gu), A Noble’s Quest by Ryan Toxopeus, Adjacent Fields by Charles Barouch, or The Tower’s Alchemist by Alesha Escobar.
Just buy the Theme-Thology of your choice and post at http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/thankyou.● Already bought them? Post a review (on Amazon, B&N, or Kobo, or GoodReads) and I will send you the first eBook of our new science fiction series: Interrogative: Tiago and the Masterless and put you in the drawing. Just post a link to the review at http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/thankyou.

● Received the Adjacent Fields signed, limited edition print book at Spectrum 2013? Post a review (on Amazon, B&N, or Kobo, or GoodReads) and I will send you the first eBook of our new science fiction series: Interrogative: Tiago and the Masterless and put you in the drawing. Just post a link to the review at http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/thankyou.

Full Details Here: http://www.hdwpbooks.com/books/thankyou

Buy if you can, click on one of the share buttons below if you can’t.

Save the Date: NYTSL 2014 Spring Program

Save the Date for the NYTSL Spring 2014 Evening Meeting and Program:

“The Changing Faces of Technical Services”

Tuesday, May 20, 2014Registration and Refreshments: 5:30-6:15 PM

NYTSL Business Meeting & Program: 6:15-8:00 PM

The New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
South Court Auditorium
476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street)
New York, NY 10018

More information and pre-registration will be available soon at www.nytsl.org.

WW1 Soldiers’ Diaries Now Online

From the Guardian:

First-hand accounts of trench warfare, gas attacks and battles involving horses and machine guns, are contained in nearly 4,000 diaries released online on Thursday to mark the centenary of the 1914-18 world war.

The diaries, digitised by the National Archives in a joint project with the Imperial War Museum, reveal the sheer stoicism and black humour that helped troops – on both sides – survive the slaughter in Belgium and northern France. They include accounts of the battle of Loos in September 1915, a notoriously unsuccessful and bloody offensive in which the British army used poison gas for the first time and suffered more than 60,000 casualties in less than a month.

An intelligence report of the army’s 12th division in northern France, dated 10 July 1915, records: “A brown paper kite was found on night 8/9th in front of the right section of our line … covered with German writing, of which the following is a rough translation: ‘You can fill your trenches with devils – we Germans fear nothing in the world, and we Germans await victory … Englishmen, how badly you shoot! You will be served as the Russians’.”

The message added that while German soldiers had “wine, sausage and meat”, the British were “hungry and thirsty”.

The entry goes on to discuss two cats and a dog that were apparently spying for the Germans (who knew?)

The diaries can be viewed at the First World War 100 Portal.

The best part–if there is a ‘best’ part about one of the bloodiest events of the twentieth century–is that the National Archives need volunteers to scan the contents of these diaries and tag points of interest in each entry. Historical attribution from your home PC sounds like a winning project to me.

Save the Date: NYTSL 2014 Spring reception

Spring is in the air, or at least the giant pile of snow in my driveway is almost melted away. At any rate, NYTSL just had our spring Executive Board Meeting the other day and programs and events are always part of what we discuss at these things.

The Spring Receptions are a big deal to us, and to the local library community. Not as big a deal as the Spring and Fall Programs, of course, but important nonetheless. They provide opportunities for library school students who are interested in technical services careers to meet and schmooze with NYTSL members, friends, and guests. And of course long-time librarians attend as well; it keeps our community informed of what’s happening in other library organizations (read: METRO, ACRL, ALA, MLA-NY, etc.)

And there’s food and booze at these things. That has to interest someone out there besides me.

So please save the date for the Spring 2014 New York Technical Services Librarians Annual Reception for Librarians, Information Professionals and Library School Students.

When:
Friday, April 25, 2014
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Where:
Butler Library
Room 523
Columbia University Libraries
535 West 114th St.
New York, NY 10027

Why:
This is an opportunity for librarians, archivists, and information professionals from the metropolitan area to meet informally. It is also a chance for library school students to learn about the various professional organizations in the metropolitan area and to meet future colleagues and employers.

Wine & Cheese will be served.
You are welcome to bring announcements of professional opportunities to the reception.

More details will follow soon.

Monday Hugs!

A busy Monday: I have to take the car in to get the battery changed shortly, then get to Manhattan for a publisher’s meeting were the fate of the Blockade series will be determined for the foreseeable future. (I’ll let you know what happened inasmuch as I can.)  Then I head into MCNY to work from 2pm to 10pm and close up shop.

There is, however, always time for a hug. Here’s yours . . .

facehugs

Happy Monday!

 

To Share or Not to Share

I created that last post just as I was updating ShareThis in my plugins page. And for the second time since I installed it, ShareThis has crashed during an update.

It’s especially aggravating since I like ShareThis even though it’s never given me reliable analytic information and has crashed on update before. The thing is that AddThis which is a more robust package that’s built into ThirdScribe (and active on my TS site) was a bear to set up for this blog, so I just kept the original plugin.

Seriously guys, come on.

KAZAKHSTAN: Fines for “extremist” books

Slacktivist Fred Clarke calls this “Kafka Meets Borat” and it’s difficult to argue with his assessment.

In essence, Khazakstan bans books, but the official banned book list is a secret. Even the state court proceedings that determine whether a book is banned, is secret. And since no lists of banned book is published,there’s no way to know if that book you are reading is banned or not. Until the local law takes you to jail for being an extremist. Although if it’s a religious text, it probably has been banned.

Cute, huh? Yeah.

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