Archive for July, 2011

#cpd23 Thing 8: In which I date Google Calendar

July 28, 2011

You think I’m gorgeous
You want to date me
Love me & marry me

–Agent Gracie Hart, Miss Congeniality


To those who know me off-line, it’s no surprise that I’m in love with my phone. It’s the first thing I handle in the morning, the last thing I handle at night. I might lose my glasses, my keys, and my mind, but never my phone.

It carries my library. It carries my phone book. It carries my sketchpad. It carries my social life. And it carries my calendar.

I had tried Google Calendar a while ago and was not impressed. I still had to copy events into my feature-phone or onto a paper calendar. It was fine, as far as it went, but I wasn’t always in front of a computer.

Once I bought an Android, though, everything changed. Suddenly the Google Calendar was relevant. Suddenly it was convenient. Appointments I had scattered between three calendars (work, personal, religious) could be all in one place. Google Calendar can even switch bewteen secular and Jewish dates.

I do wish I could attach pictures to appointments, though. It would be wonderful to be able to add a photo of the map included in an invitation, or attach a photo of an event to its date on the calendar.


Now if Google could only explain to me how I, who never have any appointments, suddenly have one nearly everyday, I could go to sleep happy.







#cpd23 Things 6 & 7: When a global village is all the village you’ve got

July 27, 2011

Little known, but trufax: Israel is a resource-poor country. We don’t have oil. We don’t have much water. We even have to import our reality TV shows.

What we do have in abundance is protekzia. No, not the recombinant version of human butyrylcholinesterase. Not the cuspated drainage systems. I mean Vitamin P, networking to the extreme, Jewish Geography, cronyism, nepotism, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” It’s the national sport.

P Mosaic CC photo by Leo Reynolds

A few real life examples:

1. My daughter-in-law’s sister got married last month. My son was in an Officer’s Training Course, the kind where they might give you a day off for a funeral — if you ask nicely and bring a death certificate. And if the death certificate is your own and you swear to be back in uniform at 0 dark 30 the next morning. But my son’s mother-in-law wanted Sonny Boy to attend the wedding. She called around, found a relative who had been Sonny’s commanding officer’s commanding officer (back in the day) and got Sonny a night off.

2. Before Sonny Boy and DIL were married, DIL’s mother wanted a certain woman to give DIL her mandatory pre-marital religion classes, but the woman was fully booked. Turns out the woman’s husband is my kissing cousin, and though we had never met before or knew of each other’s existence. I called in Family Chips and DIL got her lessons.

So you’d think Israel would be all up in real life networks, wouldn’t you?

Ha. There are only a few Israeli LIS organizations.

The big one should be ASMI, the Israeli Association of Libraries and Information Centers. If you visited that site, I apologize. It’s a hot mess (posts from 2008 sandich posts from 2009 and from this year). You’d think LIS professionals would know better. They do offer one year free membership to LIS students, but the only value the organization adds, aside from publicizing other organizations’ events, is their job board.  Since I’m not currently looking for a job and most of the posts are public anyway, I’ll hold off on joining until I am or the last year of library school, whichever comes first.

There’s also ICL, the Israeli Center for Libraries. Most of its training is most relevant to working public, academic, and school librarians. They host a relatively expensive yearly conference, with no student discounts.

The one real-life network I am involved with is IFISH, the Israeli Forum for Information Specialists in Hitech. Like the  Israeli network websites, the website is hopelessly out of date. Membership is free, the email list is very active and very helpful, and there are a few free meetings each year featuring new technologies and services for information professionals. It was due to protexia that I joined IFISH: I went to network with one librarian who happened to be heading to an IFISH meeting that afternoon. She offered to take me with her. I hung around her library all day. (Yay for telecommuting to my day job. On the internet no one knows you’re not in your office.) I tried to register for IFISH online before the meeting, but the webform wasn’t working. No problem — the 2 founders were my lecturers in Business Information and I had their email addresses. Zipped an email over to one of them, got a confirmation, and I was in. Next year I hope to be more active, if there are any volunteer opportunities in the network.

So where does that leave an Israeli LIS professional who wants to network? On line, of course.

On line, and alone.

Image CC stonepix_de

There aren’t very many Israeli librarians in the online networks. As far as I can tell, I’m the only Israeli on LISNPN. There are a few other Israeli librarians in my Twitter stream, but they don’t network with each other, much less the outside world. I’m friends with a few on Facebook, but those are ones who are friends in real life, not just online, so I’m not sure they count; most of the time I didn’t know they were librarians when I friended them. I am making an effort to keep my Google+ more professional than personal, but it’s still a very quiet place.

Another place I’m beginning to network is over at Mendeley, where I’m a member of several groups which match my LIS interests. I may have to pull out of the site soon, though, once they decide on their policy about the Middle East peace talks. (Yes, I know. A research management tool shouldn’t really be defining political views, but if they allow one side in a territorial dispute the right to claim certain cities in the disputed area and don’t allow the other side to claim other cities as a policy decision, well…. It’s been nearly two weeks since I asked for the right to list either my hometown or the town in which I’m a library volunteer and I’ve been told they need to have a board meeting about it. If I want to claim the nearest Arab city as my hometown, though, it’s ready and waiting for me.)

LinkedIn lives almost entirely separate from my LIS persona. I don’t find the connections or the CV capacities very helpful, but the groups are amazing, particularly in the area in which the corporation I’m currently doing information work for is involved. Where else would I be, within a week, on a chatting basis with the CEOs of potential partner firms?

And now a note for Israeli LIS professionals.

תשתתפו איתי בעולם הווב 2. אני מבטיחה שזה לא עולם גדול ומפחיד. שיטת חבר מביא חבר עובד נהדר ברשתות החברתיות. תשאלו מי שניסה!

#libday7 Library school never taught this

July 26, 2011

Things library school never taught me

To be an LIS professional you need:

  • A big checkbook
  • Graphics skills
  • Muscles

So what did I do all day? In my day job, I spent the day digging up old bills that had never been paid. (Hello, no one has paid the water bill since March or the electricity since January? And we still have service?). Then I spent about 10 hours doing drawings for patent applications (which, for obvious reasons, I can’t post at this point).

Around 7 pm my public library director calls and asks if I can help set the library up for the Minister of Culture’s visit. The advantage of living alone is that I can do spontaneous hings like this (yes, isn’t my life just too much fun?!?).

Our first task was straightening two rooms full of shelves, so the place looked good. Aside from a few obvious mis-shelvings (a book of Jewish law on the shelf with books on cults, for example) we didn’t try to organize, just fix this:

Clear all the furniture out of the children’s area, set up the speakers’ area

And put out 60 chairs for guests.

When I grow up, I want a job in a library with a maintenance staff!

#libday7 Day 1: Cataloging the Blues

July 25, 2011

I wear three different LIS hats. At work I’m the information officer for a boutique investment firm, currently seconded to a tech start-up in the field of 3D displays. On the weekends I’m a volunteer in a small community library. And during the school year I’m a student in a post-grad LIS program.

My library week starts with my volunteer cataloging work.  I work on administrative mornings (meaning we’re supposedly not open to the public), and our library isn’t the sort that people casually stroll into.

matnasKarnei Shomron community center

No, the whole building is not the library. We’re up two flights of stairs, in the back of the building.

Yet somehow this is how the library looks on a day it’s closed:

2011-07-24 10.31.25View from the admin/check-out desk to the computer area.
Kids’ library is to the left, periodical and the future home of the music library is between the desk and the computers.

(Three boys at the computers, two girls reading. Does this say anything about socialization and gender issues?)

In addition, though we are not open, we had a reading club come for a tour of the library, and our head librarian gameified their visit with a treasure hunt amongst the shelves.

View from the admin/check-out desk through the kids’ library to the YA, reference, English, and adult section.

But I wasn’t there to take pictures. What did I go to the library for again? Oh, yeah:

Too bad it’s not laced with gin….

What do you mean I’m not here for the tea? Oh, right. Music library cataloging. I was hoping you’d forget…

Step 1:  Gather discs from the cabinet, push uncatalogued returns out of my work space

Step 2:  Log into cataloging system. Hello, Agron! Hate you so much! You’re so wonderfully flexible (not)!

Step 3:  No matter what they teach you in cataloging class, the disc, wrapper, and booklet are not sufficient sources of information.

When the resources which come with the disc fail me, my first stop is MUSIClassical. Most of what’s missing is the first names of composers, and the website has most that I’ve needed. When all else fails, Google steps in.

Step 4:  Type, rinse, repeat.

Due to the way the printer is set up, as well as the way Agron handles printing (as far as I can tell, an early version of Word’s merge function), we have to print up labels 24 at a time, no more and no less.

Step 5:  Prepare the barcodes.

Have I mentioned how much I hate Agron? If I made a mistake in counting and have an extra CD cataloged, it’s a PITA to extract that item during the next cataloging session and add it to the new discs awaiting barcodes. I have to clear out the temporary database, manually input all the item numbers one by one, and then print the new temporary database onto stickers. At least at the end of it I get a little play therapy.

CPD23 Thing 5: The non-retro-reflective edition

July 15, 2011

Things I did instead of writing about reflective practice:

1. Read a lot about reflective practice.

2. Knit a pair of yoga socks.

3. Updated our corporate blog.

4. Updated statistics for marketing projections.5. Watered my newly poured patio three times a day.

6. Followed many, many links from lemurph‘s post on Thing 4.

7. Hung out with my daughters.

8. Went to a Yemenite henna ceremony.

9. Pic-spammed a huge huge post for my fangirlz. (And no, no link. Linking between my fandom and my professional life is just what I’m trying to avoid in my branding!)10. Played with my cat.

11. Realized that I’m avoiding the issue.

My sign is “keep out”





I’m a preparer. I read and plan a lot before I do anything, including getting out of bed. I’m the geeky student who’s done all the required and recommended reading three days after the syllabus was released. I’m the one who keeps her inbox down to zero and her RSS feeds all read. Before I volunteered to catalog a music collection I read books and websites about music cataloging. And there it ends.

I plan, I do, I move on. If I’m going to do something again I may analyze what went right and what went wrong, but it’s not so much reflection as it is preparing for the next volley. In the world of information seeking behavior I’m less Ellis* than I am Bates**. (Incidentally — raspberries? Best thing evah. Mulberries? Ditto.)

Photo CC by mccun934

And this is about as much reflection as I can take. Off to plan my weekend.

* Modeling the information seeking patterns of engineers and research scientists in an industrial environment, D Ellis, M Haugan (1997), Journal of Documentation 53 (4) p. 384-403

** The design of browsing and berrypicking techniques for the online search interface M Bates (1989)

CPD23 Thing 4: A push too far

July 6, 2011

Thing 4 should be a walk in the park, right? I tweet (endlessly, some would say; according to Tweetdeck I average 1.8 tweets a day, and I have 25 hours a week of Sabbath, so no tweets then). I’ve been doing RSS since the knit bloggers were all nuts about Random Acts of Kindness blogrings (I think that was the dark ages of 2005). So not much I would learn or talk about, amirite?

But then there was Pushnote. Well, what can be said of Pushnote that hasn’t been said of New Coke? I played around with it for a few hours, and that’s a few hours of my life I’ll never get back. This may be a good idea, but it’s not ready for prime time.

creative commons photo by Sarah Korf

And for once I’m not just talking out my hat. One of the things I do at work is looking at start-up offerings and seeing if it’s something we should invest in. My proudest accomplishment to date was turning down an ostrich egg sized personal media player which had to be loaded and recharged with the entire family’s PMPs. 3 months after I turned it down the iPod came out; the huge PMP would never have made any sales. And Pushnote? I would have said it’s not developed enough to go out in the wild. No way to edit posts. No way to check your stats. No way to segment the notes aside from friends/neighbors/everyone (keywords, guys?) I wonder if Pushnote would have gotten off the ground in this state if it didn’t have Stephen Fry’s name attached to it and have to wonder why CPD23 and CAM 23 are devoting time to it.

Does anyone see value in Pushnote as it currently is that I’m not seeing?

טוויטר שאלה 1

July 6, 2011

1.      פתחו חשבון בטוויטר

מצאו אותי בטוויטר,AhavaCohen@.

Follow AhavaCohen on Twitter

טוויטר שאלה 2

July 6, 2011

2. חפשו  מתוך טוויטר בתיבת החיפוש שבראש המסך נושא שמעניין אתכם. הגבילו את התוצאות לתוצאות עם קישורים בלבד. דווחו על כך בבלוג

מתיבת החיפוש חיפשתי library school, ומהטאב הימני הגבלתי את התוצאות לאלו עם קישוריות.

אישית, אני מעדיפה לעקוב אחרי נושאים. פעם זה היה יותר קל מהאתר של טוויטר, אבל עכשיו או שחייבים לעשות חיפוש ולשמור אותו, ואז לזכור להיכנס לחיפוש השמור, או להשתמש באפליקציה כמו טוייטדק.

ETA: מאז שכתבתי את הפוסט, טוייטר שוב שינו את האתר. עכשיו קל לעקוב אחרי חיפושי קודמים (טאב “חיפושים” מדף הבית). אבל עכשיו יותר קשה להעלות תמונות ולקצר קישורים בציוץ. צעד 1 קדימה וצעד 1 אחורה. (11.07.11)

כדי לעקוב אחרי נושא אני בודקת אותו או באתר של טוייטר או בהאשטגס. אם אני בטוחה שאכן ארצה לקרוא את ההאשטג, אני מוסיפה אותו כטור בטוויטדק.

מהעיקוב שלי אחרי הטג libraryschool קבלתי רוב אלו שעוקבים אחרי, מספר נכבד של רי-טוויטס, וגם הזמנה לכתוב לבלוג של Hack Library School.

טוויטר שאלה 3

July 6, 2011

3.      חפשו חברים שאתם רוצים לעקוב אחריהם בנושא  טכנולוגיה  או בכל נושא שתבחרו ובחרו לעקוב אחריהם

די מעצבן לחפש חברים בטוויטר. אני לא יודעת אם זה כי יש כל כך הרבה פחות אנשים בטוויטר מבפייסבוק או מה, אבל ניסיתי לחפש 15 חברים שלי, ומצאתי רק אחד. יש גם נטייה לפתוח טוויטר ולא להשתמש בו. אפילו התוכנית שלנו פתח טוויטר, שלח ציוץ אחד לפני שנה, והפסיק.

אני כבר, משאלה 5, מצאתי ידיד ותיק שעוסק, כמוני, במידע עסקי. אבל בשביל השאלה הזאת בחרתי למצוא חברה בתחום שכרגע אני עוסקת בו — תלת מימד. חיפשתי בתיבת החיפוש 3D, ומהסיידבר מימין, בחרתי אחד מהמתחרים/לקוחות עתידיים שלנו, פנסוניק. אחרי שהתחלתי לעקוב אחריו, הטוויטים של פנסוניק מגיעים לי לרשימה כמו של כל אחד אחר שאני עוקבת אחריו. קצת חבל שהם שולחים טוויטים מאותו החשבון בהרבה שפות, כי יש חלק שאני לא יכולה לקרוא (ביפנית) או בקושי רב מצליחה להבין מילה (רוסית). אם היה פייד רק באנגלית, הייתי נשארת רשומה כעוקבת אחריהם, גם לאחר התרגיל.

טוויטר שאלות 4&5

July 6, 2011

4.      בחרו לעקוב אחרי המידענית  Mary Ellen Bates

5.      הוסיפו גם שני אנשים ש- Mary Ellen Bates עוקבת אחריהם  following   לרשימת הנעקבים שלכם.

כבר זמן מה אני עוקבת אחרי libraryfuture@, שגם mebs@ עוקבת אחריו, אז הייתי צריכה להוסיף עודאחד. בחרתי לעקוב אחרי arthurweiss@, שהוא ידיד ותיק שלי עוד מימי רשומת התפוצה Trek Cochavim ( רשימת מייל בנושא הסידרה “מסע בין כוכבים” והלכה יהודית, בסביבות 1995). בסמסטר האחרון, לקורס ‘מידע עסקי’, הייתי חייבת למצוא אותו בלינקד-אין. אמרתי לו, והוא אהב שבלימודי ספרנות ומידענות בארץ מחפשים אותו. עכשיו, אחרי שעקבתי אחריו, דווחתי לו (דרך טוויטר, כמובן). הוא שוב אהב את הרעיון.

מוזר לחשוב שבן אדם שאני מכירה כ”כ הרבה שנים, שאפילו טרח בעבר להגיע כל הדרך מלונדון לבית שלי עם אשתו, הוא שם דבר בעולם שבו אני לומדת.