Christina's LIS Rant
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
  Eureka Alert:Helping employees cope with aggressive customers
Penn State, 6/24/04
"Helping employees cope with aggressive customers
Clerks in box stores, supermarkets and motels -- as well as waitresses, secretaries and flight attendants -- know in their hearts that the customer is NOT always right, despite what the boss might say. When exposed to pushy or irritable customers, employees in high-stress jobs need the assurance of an emotional safety net, according to a Penn State researcher...What exacerbates the stress for employees is the feeling that they have nowhere to go; they simply have to take it -- or else."
This may be an important thing for (public) librarians who manage the poorly paid, sometimes abused circ staff. They have to deal with a lot more unhappy customers.
Whole citation: Alicia A. Grandey, David N. Dickter, Hock-Peng Sin, "The customer is not always right: customer aggression and emotion regulation of service employees," Journal of Organizational Behavior v.25 no.3 (May 2004): 397-418. Subscribers can click here.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
  Summer reading: the classics meme
Seen on FreeRange
As everyone else, I'm bolding what I've read.
Achebe, Chinua - Things Fall Apart
Agee, James - A Death in the Family
Austen, Jane - Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James - Go Tell It on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel - Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul - The Adventures of Augie March
Brontë, Charlotte - Jane Eyre
Brontë, Emily - Wuthering Heights

Camus, Albert - The Stranger
Cather, Willa - Death Comes for the Archbishop
Chaucer, Geoffrey - The Canterbury Tales
Chekhov, Anton - The Cherry Orchard
Chopin, Kate - The Awakening
Conrad, Joseph - Heart of Darkness

Cooper, James Fenimore - The Last of the Mohicans
Crane, Stephen - The Red Badge of Courage
Dante - Inferno
de Cervantes, Miguel - Don Quixote
Defoe, Daniel - Robinson Crusoe
Dickens, Charles - A Tale of Two Cities
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor - Crime and Punishment
Douglass, Frederick - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Dreiser, Theodore - An American Tragedy
Dumas, Alexandre - The Three Musketeers
Eliot, George - The Mill on the Floss
Ellison, Ralph - Invisible Man
Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Selected Essays
Faulkner, William - As I Lay Dying
Faulkner, William - The Sound and the Fury
Fielding, Henry - Tom Jones
Fitzgerald, F. Scott - The Great Gatsby
Flaubert, Gustave - Madame Bovary

Ford, Ford Madox - The Good Soldier
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von - Faust
Golding, William - Lord of the Flies
Hardy, Thomas - Tess of the d’Urbervilles

Hawthorne, Nathaniel - The Scarlet Letter
Heller, Joseph - Catch 22
Hemingway, Ernest - A Farewell to Arms
Homer - The Iliad
Homer - The Odyssey
Hugo, Victor - The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Hurston, Zora Neale - Their Eyes Were Watching God
Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
Ibsen, Henrik - A Doll’s House
James, Henry - The Portrait of a Lady
James, Henry - The Turn of the Screw
Joyce, James - A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (yuck!)
Kafka, Franz - The Metamorphosis
Kingston, Maxine Hong - The Woman Warrior
Lee, Harper - To Kill a Mockingbird
Lewis, Sinclair - Babbitt
London, Jack - The Call of the Wild
Mann, Thomas - The Magic Mountain
Marquez, Gabriel García - One Hundred Years of Solitude
Melville, Herman - Bartleby the Scrivener
Melville, Herman - Moby Dick
Miller, Arthur - The Crucible
Morrison, Toni - Beloved
O’Connor, Flannery - A Good Man is Hard to Find
O’Neill, Eugene - Long Day’s Journey into Night
Orwell, George - Animal Farm
Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago

Plath, Sylvia - The Bell Jar
Poe, Edgar Allan - Selected Tales
Proust, Marcel - Swann’s Way
Pynchon, Thomas - The Crying of Lot 49
Remarque, Erich Maria - All Quiet on the Western Front
Rostand, Edmond - Cyrano de Bergerac
Roth, Henry - Call It Sleep
Salinger, J.D. - The Catcher in the Rye
Shakespeare, William - Hamlet
Shakespeare, William - Macbeth
Shakespeare, William - A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shakespeare, William - Romeo and Juliet
George Bernard Shaw - Pygmalion

Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
Silko, Leslie Marmon - Ceremony
Solzhenitsyn, Alexander - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Sophocles - Antigone
Sophocles - Oedipus Rex

Steinbeck, John - The Grapes of Wrath
Stevenson, Robert Louis - Treasure Island
Stowe, Harriet Beecher - Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Swift, Jonathan - Gulliver’s Travels

Thackeray, William - Vanity Fair
Thoreau, Henry David - Walden
Tolstoy, Leo - War and Peace
Turgenev, Ivan - Fathers and Sons
Twain, Mark - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Voltaire - Candide
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. - Slaughterhouse-Five
Walker, Alice - The Color Purple
Wharton, Edith - The House of Mirth (but like everything else she wrote)
Welty, Eudora - Collected Stories
Whitman, Walt - Leaves of Grass
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray
Williams, Tennessee - The Glass Menagerie

Woolf, Virginia - To the Lighthouse
Wright, Richard - Native Son
Thursday, June 24, 2004
  STLQ: Thoughts on Mastering the Chemical Literature
Randy points to an excerpt from Dana Roth posted to CHMINF-L. It's from an interview with Nicholas J. Turro who recently received a prestigious ACS award. This is relevant to all areas of science and engineering. By posting a link to it here, I'm preaching to the choir. Maybe I can leave random copies around the library?
Read from the link at the top for the high points or the full text from The Spectrum v. 17 n.1 (Spring 2004): 4-9. Available: http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/photochem/Spring2004Spectrum.pdf.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
  RSS (instead of ATOM feed)
I used blogstreet to create an RSS feed because some aggregators still don't deal well with ATOM. If this gets any comments/use, I'll add it to the template.
Monday, June 21, 2004
  Blogs vs. Forums and transfer of copyright
A very good (in fact, I'm married to him) friend of mine frequently publishes very technical, well thought-out, posts to various engineering and car forums online. He has designed various aspects of engine performance upgrades and ECM work. He noticed that many of the boards recently updated their pages to say that they own the copyright to any and all content posted to the boards. He asked me if they can do that. I don't know but I think it's possible.

My suggestion, of course, is for him to create a blog (copyright statement on there, if he likes), and insert a permalink into the forum post. This way he might be able to wean some of the forum junkies to blogs and eventually publish a collection of his designs in a book.

It's scary that the boards are doing this. How do they intend to use the information? Do they intend to use it without citing the source? Is it even legal?

I would refuse to post any designs anywhere I don't retain my copyright.
Thursday, June 17, 2004
  Peter's Digital Reference Shelf - June: Cross Ref
Pointed out by the Resource Shelf. Dr. Jacso describes his very thorough testing of the CrossRef search I mentionedearlier. You can see some of the results of his testing on his poly search site and even test the results through his tool.
However, I think we all agree that using the individual publishers' sites yields better results. I think CrossRef should actually be compared to a comercially available federated search engines covering the same material. As I mentioned, CrossRef in no way, under no circumstances, can compete with the highly indexed, powerful science databases (like PubMed, INSPEC, COMPENDEX, BIOSIS, etc.). The power is in searching across for cheap. Even better, someone should compare it to DIALOG Select with credit card access. I'm willing to bet that DIALOG Select would beat it hands down. Even though I'm a DIALOG Classic snob.
  Discover.Com|Emerging Technology: The Art of Googlebombing
(by Steven Johnson?) Discover v.25 n.5 (May or Jul? 2004).* Pointed out by C.B. via private e-mail.
I still have people e-mailing me about the WMD googlebomb and the Bush googlebomb. The more press, the better. Will journalists et al finally stop using Google results to measure popularity, pervasiveness, or fame?
*A couple of inconsistencies on the page regarding the exact citation.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
  ScieCom: What is Digitometrics?
6/7/05 by Sara Kjellberg, pointed out by the Resource Shelf who found it on the Open Citation Project.
Basically updates bibliometrics to include web server logs as well as citations. Uses automatic indexing/crawling for citation analysis like CiteSeer. There are already lots of ways to game bibliometrics, but at least there is some level of selection. With server logs, someone could have opened the article and determined that the abstract was misleading or that the author failed to support or prove his argument. This shouldn't count toward the impact. If someone chooses to cite the article it is perhaps more likely that they read the article (although not necessarily) and see something important that they want to reference. Downloading doesn't even meet this low threshold. See my other post on fame and using Google for citation analysis.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
  The Backlash Against Power Point
The most recent issue of American Libraries is one of many places I've seen articles lamenting presenters reliance on Power Point. (Steven J. Bell, "End PowerPoint Dependency Now!" American Libraries v. 35 n.6 (Jun/Jul 2004): 56-60. Available through Academic Search Premier for subscribers at http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=13347884&db=aph.) To this I have to say, FINALLY! Ever sit in a session with someone reading their slides word for word from the screen and not even turning around to look at the audience? Ever been so caught up in all the movies and animations that you forgot what the presentation was about? I'm pretty sure that some people hide behind their slides to get over the fear of public speaking. Read this article and others on the subject and learn how to talk to your audience with occasional references to the slides.
(edit) Here are some other valuable discussions relating to scientific/technical information and powerpoints: Michael Nielsen (see the comments, too), Doron Zeilberger, Aaron Swartz, all pointed out by Sean Carroll.
*Aside: why can I only find the article through a paid database? Why is the ALA access to ebrary 2 issues behind?
Monday, June 14, 2004
  Proposal for next SLA: Why don't we all get together?
There were so many bloggers at SLA that I didn't get a chance to meet in person but would have liked to. Finally, in desperation, I posted a note on the bulletin board for Randy Reichardt of STLQ to find me. He, Teri Vogel of Georgia State, and I got together for some valuable sharing of information. I met Catherine Lavallee-Welch of EngLib and John Dupuis of Confessions of a Science Librarian in the PAM suite, but they missed meeting Randy. I also got to meet Jessica Baumgart of j's Scratchpad and Garrett Eastman of RIHLIB News but only briefly and after I looked for them for a while. I missed talking to Sabrina Pacifici of beSpacific and a bunch of other bloggers.
Can we all plan a get together for next year? How do we do it so it doesn't conflict? Everything always conflicts. None of us need a session on how-to, but maybe we could go for drinks?
  Links to presentations from SLA's Winner's Circle of Best Science Websites
I attended this whirlwind tour of science websites and took notes, but the online presentations are worth saving to have the links:
Kristen Anderson of ERMD discussed Marine and Aquatic Sites --
See in particular, NOAA's chart maker, the ASFA thesaurus, and the Scripps reference page for the directory
Joe Kraus of PAM discussed Astronomy sites --
His website is beautiful. For anyone who attended, New Horizons will launch in 2006 to reach Pluto in 2015.
Jennifer Rojas of Biomed discussed Biomed websites --
Into every Sci/Tech librarian's life a little biomed must fall... but eNature is certainly a very cool site with more than 1,200 online field guides. You can even customize by zip code!
A. Ben Wagner of Chem discussed Chem websites --
His methodology was a bit different. He talked of movement in the Google results and then mentioned newly discovered and classic websites. Definitely a keeper.
  Responses from the various vendor reps on RSS
While at SLA last week, I asked several of the vendor reps when they were going to start doing RSS feeds. IOP, of course, already has a lot of great ones. So does Nature (scroll all the way down and look for the little font). Here are my limited and unscientific findings. The British resources are much more likely to have feeds.

PublisherTesting/PlanningRSS What?

Update: AIP does have an RSS feed for Physics Today (thanks Garrett). I wonder why the people at the booth didn't know about it? Science has one for careers, too.
Update (2): This might have been a bit harsh. There are, no doubt, people in each organization who are well aware of the benefits of feeds and are working on them. I just find it annoying that the people who come to the booth aren't able to talk to me about them and for Nature, that they're hidden down on the page.

Friday, June 11, 2004
  Post-SLA blogging of SLA
Turns out I made a grand total of one post from SLA due to a shortage of computer time and overwhelming information overload (redundant?). Now I'll make a pile of posts to provide updates on what I learned.

Overall it was a very successful conference with a lot of great sessions and networking events.
Friday, June 04, 2004
  Search for Public Libraries
Pointed out by Gary.
Use this National Center for Education Statistics form to find all kinds of neat information on public libraries. You may also download the data as an Excel file or compressed Zip Excel file.
  Results of a brief survey of PAMnet participants
I recently asked the readers of Special Libraries Association Physics Astronomy Math Division discussion list if they were bloggers, and if so, are the blogs personal/hobbyist, library-related, or sci/tech. I also asked if they blog at work for work.
First my observations, then the results. Several people replied immediately to say that they did not blog and did not read blogs. This is surprising because I didn't really expect many negative responses. Another surprising thing is that I already subscribe to the feeds of 75% of the blogs listed. This points out that it is still a small community. Some of the people who currently only blog in personal blogs are planning library blogs-- mostly for news or new book announcements.
Of the 17 responders, there were 9 personal/hobbyist bloggers, 8 library science bloggers, and 4 sci/tech bloggers. These categories are not well defined because some people blog on their personal time about science librarianship/libraries.
  A European example of copyright absurdity: out-law.com: Ireland argues copyright of James Joyce
6/2/04, Pointed out by Law.com (e-mail newsletter 6/4/04)
Regarding the annual Bloomsday celebrating Ulysses by Joyce:
Stephen Joyce, the author's grandson, has threatened to sue the library and other organisations involved in the celebrations for breach of copyright, if any public readings of the author’s works are made.
There has also been concern that the mere exhibition of drafts of the novel, held by the Library, would fall foul of the copyright laws.

The argument deals with updates to the EU directives on copyright extending copyright to 70 years from the death of the author. It was 50 years.
Thursday, June 03, 2004
  Super Librarian - NJ Libraries
Pointed out somewhere... when I figure out where, I'll update this.
I love it! It makes me want to move to New Jersey. Check out the video. Good job guys in marketing what wonderful resources you all are.
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
  I'll be blogging SLA, too
I'll be attending SLA in Nashville from Saturday thorough next Thursday. I'll post snippets as I get the chance here.

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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

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