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CTA EL Train Crash : Feb. 4, 1977

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 2/4/07 (2:55am)

Thirty years ago, I had a part-time job at Carson, Pirie, Scott in Chicago. It was a Friday night and I had just gotten off of work, walking down Michigan Avenue to catch the 151 Bus.

When I got to the corner of Lake & Michigan, I looked west and saw the most incredible thing: a CTA EL train dangling from the overhead tracks all the way to the ground. There were police cars, fire trucks and ambulances all over the place. Huge spotlights shone on the train.

It was an incredible sight -- something you'd see in a Hollywood disaster movie or a child's train set. But it was all too real. One of the great people working at Carson, Pirie Scott was in that train and while she survived, she was unable to ever come back to work.

I was reminded of that scene by a report on WBBM Radio. They have a article about it on their site. Chicago-l.org also had an informative page on the accident.

It's something I'll never forget.

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Famous Last Words in IT

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 2/2/07 (6:10pm)

What do you mean we need a paper record for our Electronic Voting Machine System?

Sure, it only works on Windows. What's the problem?

Let's just use Mr. Sid!

Trashbin to delete files? Typing 'DEL' plus the file name is so much better!

But it breaks the 'back' button!!!

People don't want all that eye-candy on the Web, they just want information.

Welcome to our Scholars' Workstation Gateway Portal Social Network!

Does anyone ever read the manual?

Dear User: Your password is required to be at least eight characters long and contain at least one small letter, one large letter, a number and a punctuation mark. You are required to change your password every six months. (This last is dedicated to the IT people at NYU.)

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Go Bears! (CTA Edition)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 2/2/07 (10:22am)

Go Bears!

The Chicago Transit Authority makes clear its preferences.

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Current Cites for January 2007

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 2/1/07 (2:43pm)

Current Cites Logo

Current Cites for January 2007 is out. I've got three citations again -- and I might've done more, had I been able to get my hands on Electronic Library in time. In any case, you can find the issue here...

End-User Manifesto

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 1/30/07 (5:53pm)

gapingvoid posts an interesting list called the "End-User Manifesto". It's billed as "things that need to be in the mind of anyone building software, particularly for the Web." Here are the first four items:

1. Don't waste my time.

2. Help me do the right thing.

3. Respect my decisions.

4. Design well, and guide me to make the right decisions by that design.

Form of the Week: Registration at Odeo.com

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 1/30/07 (1:02pm)

Props to Odeo.com for making our lives a little bit easier:

Mayor Daley at UIC

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 1/29/07 (9:10pm)

Mayor Daley at UIC

Chicago's Mayor Daley came to speak at UIC today. While some of his talk seemed to ramble on and was, to be honest, less than inspiring, it was clear that Education is a big deal for him. He literally said it came after God and Family.

A funny moment came (at least for me) when he was talking about how even prison immates needed vocational training and then as an aside, said something along the lines of:

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Metrics of Success for Library 2.0?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 1/29/07 (3:57am)

When I read posts like this, I really have to ask myself what is the measure of success for incorporating new technology: the fact that it's been incorporated at all (nice) or that it's actually being used (even better).

"[S]ocial software, Weblogs, linklogs, folksonomies, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds, and Web services" are definitely advances in the Web as we know it. I routinely use many if not all of these myself. But their simple inclusion (whether real or imaginary) into a library's website doesn't by itself constitute a "success".

It's important when trying to incorporate the tools of Web 2.0 that we don't forget the lessons of Web 1.0: you don't shove technology down the throats of your users simply because you've become enamored by it. Rather it's your users who define what your priorities are and whatever they want, you'd better be in a position to deliver on -- big time! That's the measure of success that counts.

Everything else is bupkis.

UPDATE: Apparently this has been on the minds of a couple of people. Have a look at Sarah Clark' "Dark Side of Library 2.0"

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Washington Post Issues Correction on Fairfax County Library Story

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 1/28/07 (8:48pm)

The original story that appeared in the Washington Post about Fairfax County's weeding of classics from its collection raised a nationwide "firestorm of outrage".

New ALA Wiki: Read Write Connect

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 1/27/07 (11:07pm)

ALA Logo

Bill Drew (SUNY Morrisville) posted a link on Web4Lib to the American Library Association's new Wiki, 'Read Write Connect'.

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