LibrarianShipwreck

Libraries, Archives, Technology, Impending Doom

Reference Desk: 50 Sh…ut up, that book is terrible.

By now we all know that 50 shades of grey, its sequels, and its movie adaptation are all the worst, and have no redeeming value, literary, moral, or otherwise, beside … Continue reading

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Confused about Copyright and Fair Use? That’s Understandable…

The folk singer Woody Guthrie would frequently attach a serious warning regarding copyright to copies of his lyric sheets. This sobering statement informed one and all that: “This song is … Continue reading

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Cultivating Reform and Revolution – A Review of The Fragility of Things

Mountains and rivers, skyscrapers and dams – the world is filled with objects and structures that appear sturdy. Glancing upwards at a skyscraper, or mountain, a person may know that … Continue reading

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A Dark, Warped Reflection – An Analysis of Black Mirror

Depending upon which sections of the newspaper one reads, it is very easy to come away with two rather conflicting views of the future. If one begins the day by … Continue reading

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(Libraries and/or Archives) + fire = bad

While playing the somber game of “what is posing an existential threat to libraries and archives this week?” it can be easy to focus on slow destructive forces such as … Continue reading

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Two Years of Steadily Sinking

Some ships sink rather quickly, but for other ships the process of sinking can take quite awhile. The latter is, evidently, the case here at the Librarianshipwreck as today marks … Continue reading

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Pat Skarda, Professor Emerita & Spinster Aunt to Thousands

I don’t always read my undergraduate college’s alumnae [do stop checking my Latin, though I’ve never studied it, I promise all the feminine declensions are correct] magazine, but I do … Continue reading

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The Speed of Snow

Snow has a remarkable ability to turn a speedy city into a stationary one. The societal imperative to always be on the move collapses when government officials start issuing warnings … Continue reading

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On Broken Glass

Depending on one’s personal stance, the news that Google is halting production of its polarizing product Glass is either cause for celebration, disappointment, or – for most people – simply … Continue reading

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To-do: grants, awards, etc.

It’s that time of year: when the masters deign to grant a paltry few with some scraps and pennies in pursuit of all the vast realms of knowledge, which rightly … Continue reading

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How to Read a Large Book on Crowded Public Transit

At some point in your life you may find yourself waiting for some mode of public transit to arrive. When the aforementioned public conveyance finally comes you may feel a … Continue reading

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Warding off General Ludd – The Absurdity of “The Luddite Awards”

Of all the dangers looming over humanity no threat is greater than that posed by the Luddites. If the previous sentence seems absurdly hyperbolic, know that it only seems that … Continue reading

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Resolve to Remember 2014

Not many people will lament 2014 coming to a close. Certainly, as with any year, there are numerous individuals who experienced moments of great joy and personal fulfillment over the … Continue reading

December 30, 2014 · 2 Comments

Seeing Each Other in the Candle’s Light

There is a Yiddish folk-tale that tells of a foolish man who gets lost in the woods during Chanukah: Having hoped to make it back to his home before sundown … Continue reading

December 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

Awaiting the Other Shoe

Patience ranks high amongst the virtues that are commonly celebrated. It seems to represent the coming together of a host of other vaunted values: selflessness, calmness in the face of … Continue reading

December 11, 2014 · 2 Comments

Holding pattern

Dearest pirates. One of us has the flu while writing finals & the other is working their tail off on organizing street politics & jail support. We’ll be back soon, … Continue reading

December 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Moral of the Story

When surveying the news of recent days, weeks and months it can be a rather troublesome exercise to ask the question: what is the moral of this story? Granted, not … Continue reading

December 4, 2014 · 17 Comments

#GivingTuesday

Let’s see. Yesterday was Cyber Monday, and I’m not quite sure what that meant, but none of y’all submitted naughty comments, so. Before that was Sunday, and I don’t even … Continue reading

December 2, 2014 · 1 Comment

Looking for the Best Deals on Black Friday? (try the library!)

Regardless of what the barrage of advertisements tells you to the contrary – you will not find the best deal in any store or on any website this Black Friday. … Continue reading

November 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Looking Up, With Our Feet Still On the Ground

It is important to look up. Not just from whatever it is that is occupying our attention at any given moment, but to look up as in “way up” – … Continue reading

November 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

How to Avoid Ruining a Book

“The club had a lending library. I was delighted by a poster that described in detailed words and in pretty colored pictures how many ways there were to avoid ruining … Continue reading

November 13, 2014 · 13 Comments

Archiving for Activists: Resources

Or for anyone, really, who wants to arrange & describe their own collection of papers, ephemera & memorabilia. On Sunday night Amy & I gave a workshop at Interference Archive; … Continue reading

November 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Accustomed to the Unacceptable – Harassment 2.0

There are few types of praise that have not been directed at the Internet at one point or another. Such accolades range from the prosaic to the promising, but at … Continue reading

November 6, 2014 · 2 Comments

#teamharpy, Ghomeshi, and What We Know

[Content Note on all the below for discussion of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape.] A Canadian media personality, Jian Ghomeshi, has been making news over the last week or … Continue reading

November 4, 2014 · 2 Comments

To-Do: The Activist’s Guide to Archiving Ephemera

Pirates! My colleague Amy & I are giving a workshop at the Interference Archive here in Brooklyn this weekend: “The Activist’s Guide to Archiving Ephemera.” From Interference’s website, Do you … Continue reading

November 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Facing Reality – Reflections on the IFG’s Techno-Utopianism Teach-In

Occasionally, an acronym does the work of an entire argument. Case in point: FRED, which stands for Facing the Reality of Extinction and Doom. A good acronym need not be … Continue reading

October 28, 2014 · 3 Comments

Between the Scythe & the Reaper Drone – A review of Nicholas Carr’s “The Glass Cage”

Here is a thought experiment: reflect back on the last forty-eight hours of your life, how often did you find yourself relying on computerized technology for performing a function that … Continue reading

October 23, 2014 · 2 Comments

Emma, Utah, You, and Me

Pirates! One of your faithful librarian got laid off last Thursday, so you will probably be hearing more from me, as I try to fill the hours and days of … Continue reading

October 21, 2014 · 5 Comments

The Good Life or “the Goods Life” – The Thought of Lewis Mumford

Possessing tremendous foresight is not always an uplifting attribute. Likewise, a keen sense of hindsight may provide as much of an education in ruins as in woebegone romance. Yet it … Continue reading

October 19, 2014 · 7 Comments

Program and Be Programmed – A Review of Wendy Hui Kyong Chun’s Programmed Visions

Type a letter on a keyboard and the letter appears on the screen, double-click on a program’s icon and it opens, use the mouse in an art program to draw … Continue reading

October 16, 2014 · 1 Comment

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