At the Ref Desk (5/22/18): Got an IM request explaining in great detail (several sentences in fact) what kind of article the person was looking for. Only thing missing -- the topic. Oh well... [more...]
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Leo Klein's blog

Happy Blue Beanie Day!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 11/30/14 (7:25pm)


Happy Blue Beanie Day! As Ethan Marcotte says, "...[C]ould you imagine anything like responsive web design without web standards?". #bbd14

What with all the talk of the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, I recalled an episode that happened to me a bit earlier while visiting East Berlin.

The way it worked is you got to spend a day there but had to be back by midnight or they'd make you pay a fine. Normally we'd go there, visit the sites (such as they were), head to a couple of bars to spend the practically worthless East-German marks, and then head back to Checkpoint Charlie.

One night as we were racing back, we got stopped by an East-German policeman or border guard or I don't know what -- on the final street right before Checkpoint Charlie. "Why", I asked the guard.

"Because you crossed the street against the light," he explained. The fine for this trespass was 20 marks (West German of course). Naturally I grumbled as I handed over the ransom money.

"But," he said by way of defense, "we have our laws, you have your laws. It would be the same in Chicago."

I looked at the deserted street I had just crossed and then the huge forbidding Wall stretched left and right with watch-towers, spotlights and men armed with machine guns -- all to keep their own people trapped inside.

"No," I assured the guard, "this is nothing like Chicago."

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At the Reference Desk: A Humble Request

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 10/23/14 (6:47pm)

People, could you please refrain from sticking pencils in dictionaries!

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1st Saturday of the (School) Year

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 9/13/14 (8:01pm)

Nice day; lot of traffic.

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Current Cites for Aug 2014

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 8/30/14 (2:04pm)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for August 2014 is out! You can find the issue here...

My pick this month was an article on modeling library instruction as 'performance art' -- from a librarian whose background not surprisingly is in theater. The focus was on instruction sessions but there's no reason why such an approach can't be incorporated, at least to a certain extent, in face-to-face interactions at the Reference Desk.

WebDev with a Bag Over My Head

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 8/27/14 (1:59pm)

Mystery website at MPOW. I inherited the thing. It was put together maybe 6 years ago or more. What system does it run on? Nobody knows -- not even the original developers. On the other hand, many of the pages end in 'aspx'.

Some links on the main navigation end in '#' (i.e. empty hashtag). "#"? You click on that link and you'll go absolutely nowhere. It's the web equivalent of a dead-end. What'd they do? Launch the site without bothering to develop those particular pages?

I guess you could call this the equivalent of walking into a house with a bag over your head. I think I'd prefer an actual bag.

Stormy First Day for Academic Year 2014-2015

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 8/25/14 (7:04pm)

Stormy first day for academic year 2014-2015.

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Certified 'Library-Lover'

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 8/16/14 (1:06pm)

Results from the PewResearch Library User Quiz. Of course, I took the thing while sitting in the library (Depaul) so you could call me biased.

Moon Landing in Eagle River, Wisc. (1969)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 7/16/14 (2:01pm)

The lunar landing in 1969 -- I remember it well. We were kids hanging out at Camp McCormick in Eagle River, Wisc. There in the darkness, under a star-lit sky, sitting on a hill overlooking the pine forests and lakes and streams of northern Wisconsin's 'Land O'Lakes', we listened on our portable radio -- TV not being allowed in summer camp -- as the Apollo 11 astronauts made their landing. When it happened and Armstrong said those famous words, we jumped up and cheered.

My, What Creativity with the English Language!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 6/25/14 (3:12pm)

Suggested alternatives to 'UICNursing' courtesy of YouTube (i.e. Google).

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