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Archive for November, 2007

Not even at the library, apparently. At least not in certain counties in England anymore. What I don’t understand is why the plan seems to be so ill thought out. The Policy Director, Guy Daines, says they used to give advertising bookmarks, and he’s concerned about the work of putting ad inserts into all the books, or whether the ads will remain timely if someone doesn’t check out the book in awhile. Um…so why not just continue to give advertising book marks? They pretty much meet the same ends, and can be given at the circulation desk. And bookmarks are actually useful, and in a way, less offensive, even if they do have ads on them. Is there a particular reason to go with inserts instead of bookmarks?

And yeah, it rankles me that libraries have to resort to putting ads in books to stay afloat (granted that that is the situation). Is this already happening in libraries in the US?

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Alright, so I am a bit behind the times, but I just read Terence Fitzgerald’s article on Library Journal, “All Work and No Play. I thought it was so interesting and worth reading that I wanted to share. I am all about the idea of bringing playfulness into the workplace, to foster creative thinking and problem solving. And I looove his Austrian example: famous actresses reading Victorian erotica in a funny librarian pseudo-phone sex service? Awesome! That would never, never happen in America, because we are weird puritanical people, but what a cool idea! Anyway, I think it’s something to take to heart, to keep in mind in any work place when you’re trying to solve problems—just being a little playful can open the door to great solutions.

I’m trying to keep that in mind, myself, as I’m trying to teach myself XHTML and CSS. I find myself so afraid of breaking websites that I’m hesitant to just get in there and muck my hands up, to play around with them. It’s like I have to constantly remind myself that I’m not going to break the internet.

What I have been doing has been really fun, though. I forgot how much I like to build websites with actual code, instead of using things like WordPress (not to say I don’t love you, WordPress). I mean, I haven’t hand-written a website since 1999. And now you can make them look so much cooler! I have a lot to learn, but it’s surprising me how fast it’s coming to me. And it’s also surprising me to realize that I’m going to end up being a tech person, a fate I resisted mightily when I was in college, in favor of feminist critical theory and literature.

So I guess the lesson I’m taking away from Fitzgerald’s article is that playing around is good in all areas of life—work and school, and you know, I think probably even relationships. And I will try, through the stresses of these coming weeks, to stay playful and keep having fun. Because otherwise, what’s the point?

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