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Mark Kille

Mark Kille

Librarian, even when I'm not. You know how it goes.
Shameless plea: Librarian colleague is working on a reference question, "Looking for an account of a trip a British writer took on a freighter out of Basra. The writer recently died." We are ge-stumped.
my first question is: what part of the question is wrong? Basra? Freighter? British? writer? #NotHelpful - Stephan!e•CogSc!L!brar!an
Thanks everyone! We are also thinking it might be Gavin Young. -- - Mark Kille
I love my coworkers: "Here are somewhat blurry photos and a short video of our D&D session for marketing purposes. This was more interactive than waiting for the Dungeon Master to control the map using a laptop and ceiling mounted projector. The next step is to build a table which...
...the monitor can be embedded into. The touchscreen stood up well to pewter figurines and pizza fingers." - Mark Kille
Now that everybody at work knows, I can be public about it: starting in July, I will be working part-time at the Central Library in downtown Portland. I'll be a library assistant in Information Services. (Free Geek has kindly accommodated my proposal for a reduced schedule, so I get to keep doing both, which I am very pleased and relieved about;...
Double-monitored at work now! Efficiency will actually legitimately increase. Of course, first order of business: live octopus cam on full-screen to accompany regular work.
I work at a place called "Free Geek." We do computer reuse and recycling. WHY AM I COVERED IN FLOUR?
Cream sherry: strong enough to make green tea mixed with white wine sound like a good idea. Happy new year!
New blog post: "On the cultivation of virtue." -- http://contemplativelibrarian....
New blog post: "Thoughts on staff development and succession planning" -- http://contemplativelibrarian....
Interesting as an anecdote about decentralized decision-making on a large scale (standard disclaimers about the plural of anecdote not being data apply): "Something Has to Give: Accreditation Crisis Hits City College of San Francisco" --
"City College has only 39 administrators, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which broke the news about the commission’s report. The college employs more than 1,800 faculty members. The result is a cumbersome, sluggish planning process, according to the commission, which has been made worse by the budget crisis." - Mark Kille
New blog post: "Do librarians need a boss?" -- http://contemplativelibrarian....
mm. dude who's running the IR now is the living paradigm of your #4 fireable. - RepoRat
#4 is The Worst Thing Ever to have to deal with. Gah. - ωαřмaiden ❤Bassetmom❤
oh man. #4 gives me flashbacks to dealing with certain ppl i was responsible for during my time at Reed Elsevier. makes me want to drink just thinking about it. - Big Joe Silence
I have had lengthy meetings where multiple people capable of doing their own jobs took time away from those jobs so they could argue over the right way to handle people who weren't doing theirs. THE PAIN. - Mark Kille
Only one bar on my phone so I'll respond later - but yes, I agree that you can't have an org that works well if everyone agrees to tolerate people's who can't/won't work. Hiring well is super critical. - barbara fister from iPhone
Hmm the problem here is many bosses thrive on micromanaging, so if you take away the need to report to them all the time, what are they going to do to prove their value? - aaron
I would argue that #3 is at least as painful as #4 if not more so. Having seen an institution that practiced the third item and where no one seemed to have the authority (or the willingness) to actually make a decision, nothing ever seemed to get finished. - ellbeecee
Barbara, I look forward to your response...I see firing well as the necessary complement of hiring well, because someone who is right for an organization's needs when hired might drift into not-right territory over time as the organization's needs change. - Mark Kille
Aaron, if people can't demonstrate valuable contributions without bossing other people around, then they'd fall into #4 territory. - Mark Kille
Ellbeecee, #3 is definitely super painful. I personally see #4 working as a corrective response to #3, which is one reason I think of it as "most important"--but I also personally suffer more in #3 situations than #4, because I can route around slackers but not around gridlock. - Mark Kille
"NLRB Takes Sledgehammer to Social Media Policies" --
Good. - barbara fister
"Score One for the Robo-Tutors" --
Breaking news: robotically-taught students will score just as high on already-roboticized assessments as their peers? - Marianne
That, or statistics as a subject lends itself well to that kind of instruction... - Mark Kille
"Higher Education Management" blog -- http://highereducationmanageme...
Ask LifeHacker: "Do I Really Need To Encrypt Every File on My Computer?" --
I finished the third Hunger Games book last night. I think what impressed me most is that the author chose to make the one thing happen that makes it impossible for the main character to ever answer the question, "Was it all worth it?" Which leaves the reader also not answering it--or answering it for her, putting us in the same position as all...
This is so completely me when I play games. --
This may be the single most tempting library job I've ever seen, for all the many layers of meaning that "temptation" can have. --
I dunno, that job description reads like "fall guy/gal so the director can have a shiny image" to me. Maybe I'm too cynical. - RepoRat
I knew the/a previous person with this job. "General dogsbody" is more the size of it, from my impression. - Catherine Pellegrino
My former workplace has one of these positions. There, it's typically an entry level, non-faculty position. The individual in the position basically does research for the dean, writes first drafts of presentations, writes articles with the dean and can, if a position opens, have a line into some administrative positions - the woman who was in the position when I started is the director... more... - ellbeecee
Definitely not an entry-level position at NCSU. The guy I knew was *awesome* - a perfect behind-the-scenes, got-his-shit-AND-the-director's-shit-together kind of guy. Of course, it also required a staggering amount of discretion because he was privy to well nigh everything. Not a job I'd ever want, personally, but I had a tremendous amount of respect for him and how well he did that job. - Catherine Pellegrino
No comment. - Mary Carmen from iPhone
Concur with RepoRat there, then again, I tend to cynicism as well. - Angel R. Rivera
I'm a sucker for trying to redeem the fall guy positions, among other traits. - Mark Kille
Also tempting: How Catherine described it, I grew up in the RDU area, and I wouldn't be taking sides in UNC vs, Duke. I'm not leaving Portland, but still, sometimes it tugs at me when I see things like this. - Mark Kille
I like having empathetic and observant co-workers, but it's weird to be stopped in the hall by someone asking if I'm okay.
Are you ok? - Kirsten
Mostly. :) - Mark Kille
I didn't know until this morning that peppermint schnapps was so high on my list of things I really, really don't want the bus stop to smell like.
Highlight of the day: accessing store camera footage to identify the man who may have tried to run off with someone's donated laptops.
Today I had saltines for breakfast and a donut for lunch. I think I went so far away from nutritious, I circled back to a healthy, balanced diet.
I wish I knew why days off make me more tired than working days.
has an unusually needy cat this morning. She's brought me three socks, climbed in my lap, and licked my hand.
I have two statements that require "authoritative sources" to support them. With mild shame, I ask if anyone has good candidates that they know off the top of their head, since I am used to them as just common knowledge. (Alternatively, if you disagree with one or both, that would be helpful too.)
"Defining the significance of local ownership and the meaning of local ownership in an environment of hosted content and services adds more issues to be addressed, especially given the increasing reliance on peer-reviewed journal articles in undergraduate research." - Mark Kille
"An uncontroversial example of this shift is the radical increase of library acquisitions budgets dedicated to journal and database subscriptions, relative to the budget allocated for scholarly monographs and other books. (The shift itself is controversial, but its existence is not.) University presses and other publishers are exploring subscription models for long-format texts that libraries used to purchase." - Mark Kille
Ithaka report for the 2nd one? - Hedgehog
And, of course, the second quote should have the word "academic" in front of "library," but is fairly typical of ac-lib literature in assuming that the only libraries that matter are academic libraries. Irrelevant to your quest, I know. - Walt Crawford
Walt, I suspect that the beginning of Mark's paper firmly establishes an academic-library context. Not so, Mark? - RepoRat
Could be. The sheer number of statements from ac. libn's that assume that all libraries are academic libraries makes me sensitive on this point. Sorry. - Walt Crawford
We're all academic, we're all public, and we're all special... so that means nobody is (if one were to riff off of IncrediBoy/Syndrome from the Incredibles) - Aaron the Librarian
Yeah, it's very explicitly only about academic libraries. Academic libraries supporting undergraduate degree programs, even more narrowly. Thanks for the suggestions! - Mark Kille
Shorter Phil Davis: "Blame weak-willed librarians for the serials crisis, not publishers." --
Excellent translation. - barbara fister
Even shorter: "Phil Davis channels Elsevier on serials costs." Except this time he did it so clumsily that even one of the SK Brigade broke ranks briefly (when he basically says academic libraries are just used for naps between classes). Still, the Brigade Stands Strong in fighting off any comments... - Walt Crawford
Unlike. - Joe
Funny thing is, librarians are THE major readership on SK as far as I can tell. Wonder if THEY just introduced the revolver to their foot. One can hope... - RepoRat
Sigh. On that one, I'm not so optimistic. Librarians blaming themselves for [whatever] is a pretty popular game. - Walt Crawford
There was an article awhile back that showed that the shrinking bit of the budget pie has been going on awhile. Never heard a whole lot about how libraries were fighting back during the budget process to get it back and show outcomes/assessments to justify it, though. - ωαřмaiden ❤Bassetmom❤
Sure we should. But not for the reasons Phil's suggesting -- plus, Phil's subtext is pretty nakedly BLAME ANYBODY BUT PUBLISHERS. Which is not cool; it's not *all* our fault by any means. - RepoRat
Absolutely - I didnt mean that the declining share of the budget pie absolved librarians of blame. but in addition to blame for the serials crisis, putting a foot down and saying "We cannot do X [where X=something other than serials] if you're also going to keep hamstringing us in terms of budget" is also something we don't see a lot of. We "make do" and we "do more with less" and we go... more... - ωαřмaiden ❤Bassetmom❤
Totally agreed on that one. - RepoRat
The whole percent of E&G is kind of silly anyway - we have seen happening this forever. It's not that libraries get less, necessarily, but that Increasing costs in student aid and increases in medical insurance for our institutions along with other new expenses take a bigger piece of the pie. That is not necessarily a sign that libraries have failed to demonstrate their value or that... more... - barbara fister
Well, and if we're looking for documentation that what we fund has been the serials crisis, there's always the Ithaka report... - Hedgehog
The gut reaction is "Why are you comparing library spending all the way back to 1982?" I would have guessed that the expenditures would be higher because it was a pre-digital delivery era; you were buying print, microfilm or microfiche and other things that need storage. I'd be more interested in the 1996 (the early internet days, as I reckon) and onward spending, specifically what... more... - Andy
Or, buy the same number of horses, and they go up in price. What is an OA horse? - Joe
Working on a book chapter revision where I'm a second author. The most common criticisms the reviewers had for my sections were wordiness and being judgmental. I'll cop to the first--I was trained as a humanist. And I can always edit down. But I'm honestly puzzled as to how I should offer critique without making judgments.
We're just supposed to play nice and say nice things with everyone? Happy critiques only? - Hedgehog
Most people, I think, would not consider "critique" and "judgement" to be the same. Related, sure, but not the same. I'm not sure what is going on in your chapter, but perhaps your assessments are coming off as being critical of more than whatever it is your chapter is about (such as an institution, theorist, etc)? - Soup in a TARDIS
Hm, it has been more, "If you want to do X without Y, it is very hard." - Mark Kille
Is the fact that doing X without Y relevant to the chapter? Or is it an unneeded personal belief held by you? Some people view any kind of unneeded assessment or extra comment as judgmental. It's also okay to decide your reviewers are simply mistaken. If you don't think their criticism on this point is valid, then seriously consider dismissing it. - Soup in a TARDIS
It's always directly on-topic for the chapter, but the argument doesn't always fall apart without them, so I am usually erring on the side of keeping the reviewers happy and just cutting. - Mark Kille
Dunno then, mate. Reviewers can be a prickly bunch in my experience. - Soup in a TARDIS
Did the reviewer provide something more concrete than just "eliminate judgmental language"? If you're doing a good job as a reviewer and you find fault with the language you ought to be able to provide sample text to demonstrate to the author how to more effectively approach the topic - or deliver the required improvement. You could push back and ask the editor to have the reviewer... more... - steven bell
I would a) take as generous a reading as possible of reviewers' comments and see if they help you in any way, b) check with the editor if you aren't sure what the comments mean and can't figure out how they might improve your work and c) ignore it if neither you nor your editor can figure it out or if you decide their suggestion is not helpful. Reviewers are often wrong. My guess is that it has something to do with tone more than actual argument, but that's just a guess. - barbara fister
And if he tortured animals as a child is probably also a serial killer. Which would account for the unhelpful review. - barbara fister
Well, this thread went... somewhere - Aaron the Librarian
To be clear, the reviewers had many other helpful things to say, and as it will (if all goes well) be my first official LIS publication, I'm open to the possibility that I'm an opinionated jerk by LIS standards. (@steven bell, no, I didn't get anything more concrete.) - Mark Kille
(Any thread with bed-wetting serial killers in it is a successful thread.) - Mark Kille
Definitely ask for clarifying info and sample text. I gave notes for tone to an author, and was happy to edit some of the text to show how I recommended the sections be changed. Like Barbara, I immediately thought of tone, rather than argument. - kaijsa
New blog post: "Why I don't want to be a library director anymore." -- http://contemplativelibrarian....
On behalf of a friend: "Okay, people who know stuff: if a friend of mine was looking to donate a large-ish collection of good-condition vintage SF, what libraries have the sorts of collections that might want such a thing?"
That depends entirely on where he lives. In southern Ontario, I'd say the Toronto Public Library. - DJF from Android
A Google search for "science fiction library collections" without the quotes will bring up a number of them, too. - Prairie & I Know It
Toronto Public Library and University of Calgary have the two largest collections in the world. Toronto's is bigger, while Calgary's is more along the lines of vintage periodical speculative fiction. - Soup in a TARDIS
If said friend is in the States, there's the Browne Popular Culture Library at Bowling Green State University in Ohio: - Katie
What about the EMP in Seattle? - Holly's favorite Anna
Thanks for the good suggestions, everybody! - Mark Kille
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