Christina's LIS Rant
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
  Just say no to Nature Geosciences
Support your local society publisher! Support the American Geophysical Union and the European Geosciences Union... especially the open access titles. See EGU's publications mission statement:

The European Geosciences Union (EGU), established by the Council of the European Geophysical Society (EGS) and the Council of the European Union of Geosciences (EUG) on 7 September 2002, is

Dedicated to the pursuit of excellence and free and universal accessibility of scientific publications in all areas of geosciences and planetary and solar system sciences for the benefit of the scientists worldwide

from http://www.copernicus.org/EGU/publication/mission_statement_for_publications.html

EGU has been forward thinking and even have open peer reviews. They use Creative Commons and publish under a Creative Commons Attribution, NonCommercial and ShareAlike License. Both AGU and EGU sponsor meetings...

I'd like to hear from a scientist in one of these fields to see what they think, but until/unless I'm proven wrong, this craziness must stop. Just say no...

BTW - there are also very good for-profit publications in this area


Sunday, May 27, 2007
  My type of communication in LIS
Mark made a comment, based on his experience in library school, "that many of the prominent, if not the most prominent in LIS, theories and metaphors of communication are based on engineering, mathematics, and/or transportation." One example of this is the ubiquitous requirement that we read the famous Shannon article.

I replied to his comment that, while I’d also read Shannon, I’d also read a lot of communication and other humanist works in the basic Intro to Information Science and Reference classes. Mark thought maybe this was my PhD classes and I said no, no (those, too, but)… 601, I have the binder. Anywho, he asked me to provide a couple of key references to support my claim or at any rate, recommend some readings for him.

Very difficult, because I know he's picky... and most of these are by - gasp - practitioners instead of philosophers!

Pao --nevermind this one

Rogers, E.M. & Kincaid, D.L. (1980). The Convergence Model of Communication and Network Analysis. In Communication Networks: Toward a New Paradigm for Research. New York: The Free Press.
> Rogers is the one who did all the diffusion of innovation stuff... in this article he's critical of the reductionist linear view. He defines communication as "a process in which participants create and share information with one another to reach a mutual understanding"(p.43). I guess it might help the most to say exactly where this is cited in the LIS literature, but with books, it's rather difficult.

In 650 (the basic reference class) we read:
Westbrook's 1993 overview of theory for practitioners. This was right when cognitive and affective elements were really starting to take firm root in the literature. (RQ 32 n4 1993 pp541-9)

Moody & Carter's 1999 description of the cognitive reference interview (Reference & User Services Quarterly 38 n4 pp389-93)

White's 1998 article on questions in reference interviews (jDoc v54 n4 pp443-65)

Of course a few of the Barry & Schamber or Schamber articles on relevance.

One of my very favorite articles of all time: Taylor, R. S. (1968). Question-negotiation and information seeking in libraries. College & Research Libraries, 29(3), 178-194.

Also the Dervin article on neutral questions... and Kuhlthau's ISP (that must be mandatory reading for anyone with an MLS?)

Now, if we started on my phd work, then there would be a different collection. Also, in my class on evaluating library programs and services we read a few things that would probably fit in this category, but I think my binder is at work.
  Interesting book review...
STEVEN PINKER (2007, May 27). The Known World. The New York Times (Sunday Book Review). Retrieved May 27, 2007, from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/27/books/review/Pinker-t.html (free registration required, or get from your local library).

Of course we tend to like things we agree with but there were a couple of things in this review that I liked:
Though we live in an era of stunning scientific understanding, all too often the average educated person will have none of it. People who would sneer at the vulgarian who has never read Virginia Woolf will insouciantly boast of their ignorance of basic physics.
Nice to hear from someone else who is as tired as I am at hearing people brag of their ineptitude with/ignorance of science (or math or statistics). I've heard this from some very smart people -- why do they think it's ok to neglect these areas of knowledge?

Another thing that resonated (very worrisome):
“The Canon” begins on an engaging note, lamenting what is one of my pet peeves as well — the idea that science is something for kids. When their children turn 13, Angier notes, many parents abandon their memberships in zoos and science museums for more “mature” institutions like theaters and art museums.
What might be most useful for me and for science bloggers is his concise dissection of how science is communicated to the public in the papers. He seems a bit tough on the analogies -- she no doubt goes overboard, but it's probably very rare and difficult to get an analogy that works on every level like the example he gives.

BTW- the book looks good, too :)
Monday, May 21, 2007
  Ever thought you or one of the groups you work for or with could use a Walt Crawford?
Why yes, frequently! I hope Walt finds a new place where we'll all be able to benefit from his experience and expertise. I'm looking around here, and I hope you all will be doing the same.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
  Hey, SD finally added feeds
Elsevier's Science Direct finally has article and citation feeds. No registration required, just hit the button. Cool.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
  Yep, structured procrastination...
Walt talks about the fact that there's a name for getting all kinds of other stuff done when you're supposed to be doing something more important.

I totally know what he means... while I have a huge and very important paper due, so far today I've done a couple loads of laundry (including matching socks and folding everything), made up my grocery shopping list... I've even debated -- gasp -- cleaning the house! Now I'm even blogging something totally irrelevant... sigh...

I think I can, I think I can....
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
  SLA2007 Schedule

That link should, I think, let you know where I'll be during SLA2007 in Denver


Thursday, May 03, 2007
  Reports of our demise are greatly exaggerated
via a Gale newsletter.

"Data released today by the American Library Association (ALA) indicates that the number of visits to public libraries in the United States increased 61 percent between 1994 and 2004.

According to the 2007 State of America's Libraries report, there were nearly two billion visits to U.S. libraries in fiscal year 2004 ...In the case of academic libraries, the number of visits exceeded more than one billion for the first time in 2004, up more than 14 percent in just the previous two years."

Hah! Take that. (emphasis mine). And this is *in person* stuff.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
  Best On-Campus Publication: Lav Notes - Best & Worse
[JHU] Best On-Campus Publication: Lav Notes - Best & Worse

This Rocks! Lav Notes are the library's newsletter. They're pasted above urinals (I'm told) and in stalls of the library bathrooms at the Eisenhower library at JHU. I thought they were terribly clever when I saw them and I guess the students like them, too. Bravo.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
  eVisioning Maryland Libraries Proceedings Posted
I live blogged eVisioning Maryland Libraries in January. This was a meeting to work on strategic planning for Maryland's Department of Education Division of Library Development & Services.

I think Maryland libraries are really doing amazing things and I also think that our public and school libraries don't do enough self-promotion. The joy and enthusiasm this group shared is very encouraging.

Please take a look at the web site and comment if you get the chance -- we're all in this together! Academic and special librarians should be the biggest supporters of public and school libraries (instead of bookstores).

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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

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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