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Posts Tagged ‘reference’

Book Review: Claws and Saucers by David Ellroy Goldweber

June 18, 2012 4 comments

Paw reaching for alien spaceship.Summary:
An alphabetical guide to scifi, horror, and fantasy movies made between 1902 and 1982.

Review:
One thing I have learned from the two movie reference guides I’ve received for review since starting this book blog is that movie reference guides are not for me.  Frankly with things like, oh, the internet, they’re just not useful the way they were back when I was in undergrad and professors wouldn’t accept IMDB as a reference in your English paper comparing books to their movie versions. But I digress.

Putting on my librarian cap then why does this reference guide get 2 and not 3 stars? (3 indicating not for me but maybe for others).  It frankly bothers me how not academic it is.  It essentially reads as a list randomly assembled by some random dude down the road, not a professor of the history of film or a film critic or anything like that really.  This would be great for a blog, but not for a serious reference book.  Additionally, maybe the print edition is better, but the ebook version is badly formatted and contains none of the pictures promised in the blurb.

The book basically then is your neighbor yammering in alphabetical order about random movies he selected from the early 1900s with all of the natural individual prejudices and caveats that go along with that.  There’s nothing academic about it, and when push comes to shove, it’s something that would be better off as a blog than a book.  I will give it this though: the title and cover are excellent.

2 out of 5 stars

Source: Netgalley

Buy It

What Librarians Talk About (MLA12 Seattle: Plenary 3: Janet Doe Lecture by Mark E. Funk, AHIP, FMLA)

The first plenary is given by the MLA president, the second by someone who is not necessarily a librarian but has something interesting to say that will aid us in our profession.  The third plenary, however, is given by a librarian.  Mark E. Funk’s presentation was entitled, “Our Words, Our Story: A Textual Analysis of Articles Published in the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association/Journal of the Medical Library Association from 1961 to 2010.”  Here are my notes.

  • An analysis of the words revealed four key areas that librarians talk about: environment, management, technology, and research.
  • Although we talk more about building than people, that gap is narrowing.
  • We are basically almost not talking about books, but we are increasingly talking about journals.
  • Reference is steady.  Searching is increasing.
  • Information is the #2 word.
  • As our information world becomes more complicated, we are talking more and more about teaching.  “I predict teaching will become ever more important.”
  • We are now concerned about what we can do to improve health.
  • New groups we’ve reached out to include: clinicians, consumers, and patients.
  • We use management words to tell our story.
  • We are no longer running our libraries like academic environments; we are running them like businesses.
  • We are early adopters and write about it.
  • Sometimes new technology becomes so embedded in our lives that we don’t mention it anymore.  For example, you say you talked to someone but don’t mention the telephone.
  • Our attention has shifted from automating to digitizing.
  • We don’t talk about the internet.  We talk about the web and navigation.
  • The word with the sharpest rise and fall is: Gopher
  • IMRaDification of our profession.  (IMRaD–Intro, Methodology, Results, Discussion)
  • MLA strategic plan encouraged us to do more research, and we responded.
  • Hockey Stick terms–little to no use, sharp recent uptake.  May indicate future usage but it could be a drastic rise and fall. Only time will tell.
  • EHRs are white hot now. (EHR–Electronic Hospital Record)
  • Why do we study history?  It’s very good at explaining change.  Answers the question, how did we get here?
  • De-emphasis on physical.  Emphasis on information.  Prefer evidence-based.
  • Emphasis on health.  Expanded audience.  Outside the library.   Teaching people.
  • Libraries more business-like. Technophiles. More research articles using IMRaD.
  • History can hint at the future, but it can’t predict it.
  • Our story is being written every day.  We can’t skip chapters to see what happens next.