Off the Record- http://offtherecord.archivists.org/
This blog is through the SAA Jackie Dooley, who serves as president of the SAA, is the main contributor. There are two other contributors though Dooley has supplied all the posts for the year so far.
The tagline is “Join the Conversation with SAA leaders.” Under the About this Blog tag is the description, “Off the Record is an informal communication channel on which conversations can take place about ongoing SAA activities and issues, as well other topics of broad interest to archivists. We want to both highlight such topics and spark discussion” (Dooley, 2013).

Issues Discussed
There are not very many issues discussed in the blog. Most of the posts are about SAA news with some stories of interest pertaining to the field. One of the non-SAA related posts has to do with the Georgia Archives. Historians, genealogists, archivists, librarians, and other Georgia citizens came together to fight for increased funding and the transfer of responsibility of the archives from the Secretary of State to the University System of Georgia (Those Amazing Georgia Activists Keep Fighting Dooley, 2013). The university is working hard to research and address the issues that come with transferring responsibility of the Georgia Archives (Dooley, 2013). Thee SAA has also been providing input and will submit a letter highlighting the issues they feel are important for the university to consider (Dooley, 2013). While this post is not directly related to the SAA it is about something with which they are involved.
The only other post that is not directly related to the SAA is titled “Should a Legal Right to “Archival Privilege” be established?” The post stemmed from a SAA council discussion in January 2013. This post is actually very relevant to what we have been discussing in class, privacy and ethics. The Boston College Library was served with a subpoena in May of 2011 by a Federal District Court to turn over closed oral histories because they were believed to contain information relevant to a murder investigation in Northern Ireland. There have been many appeals and a request to review that case is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court (Dooley, 2013). The basic question pertaining to this case is “how much confidentiality can an archivist legally guarantee to a donor” (Dooley, 2013)? This is an interesting post and if you have time I encourage you to visit the site and read it.

Personal Observations
There are not very many posts in this blog, but this is understandable as the contributors are all busy professionals. On average, there are about two posts per month. This really is a blog about the SAA with a little bit of related news included. The posts are also short and to the point so busy professionals, and students can read them quickly.

What I Learned
I learned more about SAA from a non-official perspective, “off the record.” This would be a good site to read about SAA news and current events.

References

Dooley J. (2013) Off the record: Join the conversations with SAA leaders. Retrieved from http://offtherecord.archivists.org/.

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Disruptive Library Technology Jester- http://dltj.org/
This blog was started and is maintained by Peter Murray, Assistant Director in the Technology Services Development at Lyrasis. Lyrasis is a company that “collaborates with libraries and information professionals to transform their institutions, operations, and technologies, enabling them to meet the current and future needs of library users more effectively and with greater efficiency” (Murray, 2013). Murray’s blog is mainly an outlet for his ideas, concepts, and references. The blog’s tagline is “We’re Disrupted, We’re Librarians, and We’re Not Going to Take It Anymore” (Murray, 2013).

Issues Discussed
As the title suggests, this blog is about technology. The technology is discussed as it relates to library information science. The main issues discussed in the blog posts are about changes in the world of technology and how it affects the field of library information science. The blog is first and foremost an outlet for the author to discuss his ideas and observations about these new technologies (Murray, 2013).
One of Murray’s posts that I found particularly interesting is about the ALA and open source communities. In the post from February Murray encourages library professional to vote in favor of including his talk about open source software at an “ignite” session at the ALA conference in Chicago this summer (Murray, 2013). Murray believes open source communities are greatly important. Murray’s presentation would show libraries how they can be part of an open source community (Murray, 2013). If Murray is able to give his presentation I look forward to attending it if I am able to go to the conference.
Not all of the posts are library related another post from February is a review of an Airbender Keyboard for an iPad. The iPad attaches to the keyboard to give it more of a laptop feel. For the most part Murray seems to have positive feelings about the keyboard with only a few issues (Murray, 2013). This is the only post that is not directly related to library information science.

Personal Observations
This blog has more posts than the other one I followed. There are an average of 3-4 posts per month. However, a number of the links to the posts do not work. On the main page of the blog one can look at a list of links to posts by category, tags, or dates. Looking at the posts by date, two of the three links to posts for January do not work. All three links to posts work for the month of February while three out of four do not work for March. I tried searching for the title of the post as well but with no luck. Perhaps the posts were removed and that is why they cannot be found.

What I Learned
I learned more about technology and how it relates to the field of library information science. This would be a great resource to read about changing technologies from the perspective of someone in the field. The blog name and tagline are catchy and memorable. Honestly, the name is why I chose this blog in the first place. However, I was not as impressed with the blog as I thought I would be. Still, if you have some extra time check it out. Hopefully more of the links to blog posts will be working.

References

Murray P. E. (2013). About the blog. Retrieved from http://dltj.org/aboutblog/.

Murray P. E. (2013). Disruptive library technology jester. Retrieved from http://dltj.org/article/resourcesync-draft/.

Murray P. E. (February 2013). A great ipad keyboard/case combination: New trent airbender. Retrieved from http://dltj.org/article/new-trent-airbender-review/.

Murray P. E. (February 2013). Vote for an ALA2013 ignite session on open source communities. Retrieved from http://dltj.org/article/ala2013-ignite-session-on-open-source-communities/

Freedom to Read Week

March 18, 2013

February 24 marked the beginning of Freedom to Read Week in Canada; the U.S.A. has a similar week in October, Banned Book Week. These events celebrate our right to read whatever we want.
In honor of this week and our friends to the north, south if you live in the Detroit area, I read a book that has been challenged or banned pretty much ever since it was published and continues to be today. Published in 1974, The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is a young adult book. Teachers at the 1975 National Council of English Teachers Convention applauded the book, calling it “Watergate at the high school level” (Baldassarro 2012). When the American Library Association (ALA) released their list of the 100 most commonly challenged books from 1990-1999 The Chocolate War was number four on the list. Ten years later when the ALA released their list of the 100 most commonly challenged books from 2000-2009 it had moved up one spot to number 3 (ALA 1999; 2009).

Here is a short, spoiler free synopsis of the book:
Jerry Renault is a freshman at Trinity, a private Catholic high school. He refuses to sell chocolate in the annual school fundraiser, which may not seem very radical but through doing so he challenges a secret school society called The Vigils and their leader, Archie. What ensues is an all out war and the only question: Who will survive (Cormier 1974)?

Why it has been Banned/Challenged:
When I started reading the book I immediately noticed the language. The teenage characters use curse words. While this does not bother me, I know my parents probably would not have wanted me reading a book with such foul language, as they would put it, when I was a teenager, the book’s main audience. However, they would not have demanded the books be removed from the shelves, they would just tell me not to read it. There is also some sexual content nothing too graphic; it is on the teenage level. The main thing that probably makes this an often banned/challenged book is the violence. There are teenage boys getting beaten and the adult figures in the book do nothing to stop it. There is also no comeuppance for the main bully, Archie, who quite frankly sounds like a bit of a sociopath. I can definitely see why this books has been banned/challenged. Though I do not condone banning books and believe anyone who wants to read a book should be able to read it. If you do not agree with something in a book, do not read it. Do not take the book away from the rest of us by having it banned. Ok, that is enough of me on my soapbox.

Thoughts on the Book
I will admit, I did not enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. This had nothing to do with the content that made it a banned/challenged book, I just could not really get into it. I still may read the sequel, Beyond the Chocolate War, because there was an open ending to the Chocolate War, which I do not typically like. So I may need to read the sequel to see what happens next.

References

American Library Association. (1999). Top 100 banned/challenged books: 1990-1999. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedbydecade/1990_1999

American Library Association. (2009). Top 100 banned/challenged books: 2000-2009. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/banned/frequentlychallenged/challengedbydecade/2000_2009

Baldassarro R. Wolf. (March 12, 2012). Banned book awareness: “The chocolate war.” Retrieved from http://bannedbooks.world.edu/2012/03/12/banned-books-awareness-chocolate-war/.

Cormier, R. (1974). The chocolate war. New York, USA: Random House.

Mid-Semester Analysis

March 3, 2013

Well, we are at that mid-semester mark. My first semester in Wayne State’s MLIS program is halfway done. While I have been enjoying my first semester in the program, I am glad it’s halfway done. If I can make it through the first semester I think that’s a good sign for the rest of the program. Plus, it will be nice to have a short break before I start my next class in June. It has been a little difficult getting used to being a student again. Part of me misses all the free time I used to have and reading for fun.
In this post I will look back at some of my previous entries and see if anything has changed in the past six-seven weeks. Looking back at my first couple of entries, I still feel the same about LIS and the information profession. I still believe that libraries and librarians are essential and that they need to adapt in order to stay that way. I would also say that my personal goals and objectives are still basically the same. I still want a job that I love that also pays well. Though I am not entirely sure what that job may be anymore. There are so many different careers out there for a MLIS degree. Just because you have a MLIS does not mean you have to work in a library. Recently, I lead a seminar during class about Information Science careers beyond the library. I am glad that drew that topic for my seminar. It was very interesting to research.

Blogging and the Rest of the Semester
At first, I was not exactly thrilled about keeping a blog. It was something I had never done before; I did not really know how one kept a blog or even started one. Now, I find that I actually enjoy it and plan to keep the blog throughout my time at Wayne State University and maybe even beyond. This blog is a good way to make me think about the LIS program and what I want from it. It will also be a good resource when I work on my e-portfolio. That is the main reason why I plan on keeping the blog throughout my time at Wayne State. I would say the first two blog posts were the ones I valued the most. They made me think about why I am in this program and what I want from my MLIS degree. I did also enjoy the job analysis post, which gave me the opportunity to look through listerves for jobs I might want to do. It was a good way for me to determine the courses and experience I will need to find and obtain my dream job. Though looking at what all is out there I may have a few dream jobs now. That is another thing I have determined, there are too many things I want to do with this degree. I may end up jumping from job to job every few years unable to make up my mind. Maybe that is something to think about for the rest of the semester and throughout my time in the program. Hopefully by the time I graduate I will have a more focused idea of what I want to do with my degree. However, even if I do come up with a more focused idea, I am still the kind of person who does not want to do the same thing for the rest of my life. So I guess it’s a good thing I am earning such a versatile degree. For now, for the rest of the semester I will continue to try to stay on top of all my work and do the best I can. I would like to make A’s in both my classes.
All in all I would say not that much has changed about my beliefs, goals, and objective since the beginning of the semester. They are still at the core the same.