At the Ref Desk (8/18/17): So what happens if the moon just gets stuck? Then what do we do? #SolarEclipse2017 [more...]
Subscribe to Chicago Librarian RSS

Current Cites for Jan 2015

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 1/30/15 (8:53am)

go to Current Cites
Current Cites for January 2015 is out! You can find the issue here...

Although my focus is usually tech, I went this month with a set of articles from Library Trends that looked at the state of libraries in countries from the former "eastern block". How libraries fared in what used to be known affectionately as "communist dictatorships" makes for interesting reading -- as well as what they've done since.

Daddy in Wartime London with the ABSIE Team

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 1/24/15 (1:43am)

Amazing picture of daddy along with what looks like the rest of the 'American Broadcasting Station in Europe' (i.e. 'ABSIE') team in London in 1943 (see larger image). I just came upon it after going through a box of old pictures. Note, daddy is in the back with the headphones next to the guy in a sweater.

New York Times from Sept. 30, 1943.
The picture above is a close-up (flipped) of the New York Times that the fellow on the right has on his desk. It dates from Sept. 30, 1943 and has the headline: "Naples' Fall Near as Allies Break Line and Pursue Fleeing Germans on Plain; Russians in Kremenchug, Aim for Baltic".

Here's a write-up I once put together on his tour of duty: "Daddy Was a DJ to the Germans in WWII" (6/9/07)

Location: 

First Day at the Reference Desk for 2015!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 1/3/15 (3:22pm)

Not asked once -- not once: "Would you have my textbook up in the stacks?" Devastating.

Topic: 
Location: 
Institution: 

Steve Jobs and the Role of the Humanities in a World of Tech

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 12/15/14 (9:47pm)

I always thought the best preparation for any computer-based activity, such as web development, was a thorough knowledge of English poetry. Who knew that Steve Jobs agreed with me?

When asked if he was a "computer nerd", he replied: "I wasn’t completely in any one world for too long. There was so much else going on. Between my sophomore and junior years, I got stoned for the first time; I discovered Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas and all that classic stuff." (Playboy Interview with Steve Jobs, 1985)

Frosty Takes a Dive

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 12/13/14 (5:58pm)
Topic: 
Location: 
Institution: 

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."

Location: 

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!

Topic: 
Institution: 

1st Saturday of the (School) Year

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

Nice day; lot of traffic.

Topic: 
Location: 
Institution: 

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.

Pages