Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

Knowledge Economy is a Farce

I was thinking about the Librarians strike in Vancouver today. The key strike issue, historically low pay, because it is "pink collar" work, is trying to be overthrown. I see this pattern repeated over and over. Male dominated jobs, forged in the mid 20th century or earlier, remain well paid, and I'd argue way over paid, while many knowledge occupations remain poorly paid. ALA and others chat up the shortage of librarians, especially in rural areas and sunbelt cities, while the reason the shortage exists is abysmal pay. $22,000 to $32 000 starting salary for a masters degree? You have to be kidding. Even if you made the mistake of going to "library school", you're going to apply yourself where you can get paid much better than that. Schools have the same problem as libraries. What do they do? Bring in bodies from Asia willing to work three jobs to make ends meet. Can libraries do that? Not as easily.

You can find good paying jobs in library land, but the odds of success are not much better than dreaming to be a rock star. Lots of dreamers, but realistically, few ever become rock stars. I mentor so many capable, skilled and trained folks who are spinning their wheels, jumping across the country, to move up the salary ladder. Is that what the politicians and elites talk about, when they praise education as a cornerstone of the knowledge economy? No way hose, I'm telling my son to get a trade skill, run his own company. At least that way his brian will get a living wage.

Why hasn't the knowledge economy lived up to promise?

1. Greed. Workers are not seeing the fruits of their labour. Capitalists are.
2. Young people don't vote. To redistribute wealth from one group to another requires a mandate and support. We don't, so the people who can change laws to allow market forces to re-balance the labor market, maintain the unequal status quo. Public transit cashiers can make $75 000 a year while the people who maintain the website make $35 000.

Widget Test - Embedded MP3 Player

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powered by ODEO

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Code from BoingBoing...and ODEO.com

Really cool!

Grading Comment Libraries

Many Ontario teachers, aka, drones (deliver canned curriculums), are asking that grading software include "comment libraries", so they can increase grading productivity. Nice race to the bottom don't you think? Some dedicated teachers put useful insightful personal comments onto report cards, to give grades context, while others either don't care to or do it half assed. I'm guessing they don't like heat from parents about their laziness or lack of dedication. Comment libraries even the field to make sure nobody stands out to make their peers look bad. Nice. People wonder why private education is failing. Maybe it is an attitude thing...


"Webscabs claim they're just posting their books for free in an attempt to market and publicize them, but to my mind they're undercutting those of us who aren't giving it away for free and are trying to get publishers to pay a better wage for our hard work."

Howard Hendrix

Hired Eyes and Code to ID Copyright Infringer Content

BayTSP Inc pays folks to scan video sharing sites like Youtube, for pirated content. Companies pay up to $500 000 a month for the service. Offending videos are given notice-and-takedown requests. Thousands can be sent out daily.

Maybe we need a few folks auditing the content on our courseware systems?

Hacking Wikipedia to Point to Library Resources

Add your library's resources to the bibs on wiki articles.

Neat way to game the system?

Library 2.0 on Under $5 a Day

For those of you who are into this stuff...

Libraries Interact



E-LIS is an open access archive for scientific or technical documents, published or unpublished, on Librarianship, Information Science and Technology, and related areas. There are presently 5,780 documents in their collection.

Visual Data Mash-Ups?

Again, I'm into visuals. Another neat mashup.

and another.

Feed A Website Without Feeds


Feedity is a service that will create an RSS feed for any webpage--alerting you to changes to that webpage.

More power to me!

The New York Public Library has just installed an Espresso book-on-demand machine and they'll print any of over 200,000 public domain titles from the Open Content Alliance free of charge for any patron.


Web of Science Now Back to 1900!

Web of Science is now online back to 1900!

Can you believe that searching power?


is a service to help authors track the sale of their books. Many it seems are addicted to the checking. Seems like there is a service for everything these days?

Out With the Soft Seating!

"Just a decade ago, the trend in the bookstore industry was to fit nooks and crannies with big chairs for browsing, which, it was hoped, would spur buying. The idea was to recast the bookstore as a community place or an extension of the home. Out with sterile bookstores where customers stood at attention to check out a book; in with warm, sinking chairs where book lovers could be by their lonesome.

But now the availability of so-called "soft" seating - overstuffed chairs and sofas - is on the decline at some bookstores, done in by various complications: homeless squatters, overly enthusiastic young lovers, food trash left behind.

"We were finding people staying for hours and hours and not necessarily buying books," says Juliana Wood, district marketing manager for the Borders chain. "We obviously hope browsing turns to purchasing, but that's a chance you take when you offer people a really comfortable setting.""

Baltimore Sun

We libraries have the same problem...folks hanging around browsing, reading but not signing things out. Maybe if we too reduce our soft seating our bottom line will improve? Is that what you are thinking Stephen?

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What do I do with ATOM?