Lo! There Shall Be…a Speaking Out!

Yes, everyone and their parents have been blogging about it, but as an enemy of the USA PATRIOT Act and someone concerned about free speech issues, it would be remiss of me to not mention that the four Connecticut librarians who took on the US Goverment spoke out for the first time yesterday about the USA PATRIOT Act. And they’re not being wussy about it.

(I apologize for the Marvel Age title of this post, but after Karen G. Schneider called the librarians “the Freedom Four,” I just couldn’t resist.)

EDIT: Leslie Burger has a really nice post about these four librarians. Read it.

Igor! Throw the Switch!

Check your sanity at the door! Our Summer Reading Program begins today, and the library is pretty much a madhouse, a madhouse. I think our regulars are a bit Bambi-eyed at the noisy hordes that have descended upon our library this morning. Me? I’m fine, as long as I keep myself kneedeep in coffee.

Trademark 1.0

I’ve only just gotten up and had my first cup o’ joe, and I’m already cranky. It seems that O’Reilly‘s lawyers sent a Cease-&-Desist to a not-for-profit tech group in Ireland for using “Web 2.0” in a conference name. I would’ve told IT@Cork to take a page from James Joyce and tell O’Reilly to “K.M.R.I.A.” But as it turned out, O’Reilly apologized to the group and agreed to let them use the term in their conference name.

Agreed to let them use the term. Because O’Reilly still maintains that “Web 2.0” is their trademark and anyone else who wants to use it has to get permission first.

What’chu talkin’ ’bout, O’Reilly?

Sure, I could go into a hotheaded rant about why O’Reilly are getting this wrong, but Cory Doctorow said it first and better, so I’ll point you to his post about this. Basically, though, it boils down to this: is “Web 2.0” a concept, a practice of web design, or is it a business trademark, like Coke or Kleenex? O’Reilly can’t have it both ways: “Web 2.0” is either a way of using the World Wide Web that belongs to everyone, or it’s just a term like Hardee’s “Made From Scratch” Biscuits–meaningless, except in advertising their product.

So, on one hand, there’s this nifty l’il graphic.

And on the other hand, there’s this: if “Web 2.0” only applies to O’Reilly like “I’m Lovin’ It” applies to McDonald’s, then I’ll simply stop using the term “Web 2.0.” Because the term will have no meaning. If it’s not a concept that belongs to everyone, then, frankly, it’s a bullshit PR term. It’s just another lame way for O’Reilly to claim they “think outside the box” (a phrase I’m thoroughly tired of, a phrase that means sod all).

(Meanwhile, Michael Casey has already stepped up and declared that he’s never considered ownership of the term “Library 2.0”, despite having coined the term. Chew on that, O’Reilly.)

Planning for the Future

My supervisor tells me that if I put a request in early enough, she can request a budget allocation to send me to a conference in 2008. So, if I were to tramp off to one conference in ’08, which should I go to: PLA, Computers in Libraries, or Internet Librarian?

Slouching Towards OPAC 2.0

It’s getting hot in Kansas, and my office at home is particularly godawful hot and stuffy. Phew! So, no long posts for me lately. Instead, I’m playing the “link and nod my head in agreement” game.

And here I go again…

Basically, I’ve enjoyed the heck out of Karen G. Schneider’s epic OPAC smackdown trilogy, “How OPACs Suck.” Reading them is like…a fresh, cool breeze blowing into a small, stuffy room. (Have I mentioned my office is a bit uncomfortable?)

Part 1: Relevance Rank (Or the Lack of It)
Part 2: The Checklist of Shame
Part 3: The Big Picture