At the Ref Desk (1/2/18): 1st shift of the year! Waiting for the question: 'Do you have any research articles on 2018?' :-) [more...]
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QOTD: Not Your Grandmother's Horse-Drawn Tractor

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 2/9/14 (12:34pm)

UX Quote of the Day*:

"The designers of the Phelps farm tractor in 1901 based their interface on a metaphor with the interface for the familiar horse: farmers used reins to control the tractor. The tractor was steered by pulling on the appropriate rein, both reins were loosened to go forward and pulled back to stop, and pulling back harder on the reins caused the tractor to back up."*

The authors go on to say:

"It’s clear in hindsight that this was a dead end, and automobiles have developed their own user interfaces without metaphors based on earlier technologies."

*Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen. 1996. The Anti-Mac interface. Commun. ACM 39, 8 (August 1996), 70-82. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/232014.232032

Topic: 

Infrastructure on the Skids

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 1/25/14 (8:58pm)

"High speed" Internet provider AT&T tells me that my connection speed sucks but instead of trying to fix it, they're throwing in the towel and lowering my monthly rate.

"About Your AT&T High Speed Internet Service - We regularly test the speed of your AT&T High Speed Internet service to ensure you have the best Internet speeds possible. Recently we sent a letter to let you know that our testing has found that your modem speed is slower than the speed shown in the AT&T High Speed Internet Terms of Service. We're moving you to a lower-priced plan more in line with your current speed, although we cannot guarantee specific speeds."

Institution: 

We Want 'Addison the Cub'!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 1/15/14 (4:52pm)

So the dude's name is 'Clark'? Why that? Why not 'Addison'? This is so unfair! Outrageous! -- A message from the East-West Over North-South Local Justice Committee. (more here)

Institution: 

Last Project of the Year: Clean Out the Office Microwave

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 12/20/13 (6:52pm)

At MPOW, we each volunteer for a whole month to clean the office microwave. Being the last day of work for the entire year, I thought it about time I fulfill my promise.

Institution: 

Esteemed Colleague, Frosty the Snowman

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 12/8/13 (4:37pm)

Hanging out with one of my esteemed colleagues at the library.

Institution: 

Big Week Out: Four Days, Four Different Events

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 12/4/13 (10:42pm)
  • Event #1 (Wed., 12/4/2013): Tech Cocktail Chicago, Frank Gruber interviewing Jason Fried of 37signals.com. My favorite part: where Fried said that the best sites don't consist simply of some huge photo plus parallax. People want services, he said, and oftentimes to deliver those services the site needs to be a little messy. Totally agree. Anyway, as usual, a great representation of the entrepreneurial side of web and digital development in Chicago.
  • Event #2 (Thurs. AM, 12/5/2013): UIC Urban Forum. Toni Preckwinkle giving opening talk.
  • Event #3 (Thurs & Fri., 12/6/2013-12/7/2013): Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities & Computer Science, Thursday Afternoon presentations (there's way more tomorrow).
  • Event #4 (Sat. AM, 12/7/2013): DrupalCamp Chicago 2013, Opening Session.
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Current Cites for Nov 2013

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 11/27/13 (2:11pm)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for November 2013 is out! You can find the issue here...

I wrote about an usually sharp article in IFLA Journal from a librarian who obviously was writing from (less than happy) personal experience. The article is called, "Non-librarians As Managers : The Case of State University Libraries in Saudi Arabia".

Never Forget

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 11/22/13 (11:17am)

Current Cites for Sept 2013

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 9/30/13 (9:10pm)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for September 2013 is out! You can find the issue here...

Roy has got the latest version of Current Cites up. I wrote about an interesting article that looked at how librarians can appear more "approachable" to patrons by smiling and looking up. It's something I think about every time I'm at the Reference Desk waiting for students to drop by.

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