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LOTR Librarian

This blog is for lovers of LOTR wishing to find information about Tolkien, discuss Tolkien, or for librarians who happen to love Tolkien's books. (No movie discussion here, please.) It is also for general librarianship rants based on experiences or beliefs of the LOTR Librarian. Attention Spammers: Your comments will be deleted. Don't waste your time here. Go elsewhere. English-only comments please. If you want to comment in Mandarin, German, Spanish, etc; frequent blogs in those languages.


"Oyarsa" for those who don't know, is the name of an archangel (or "god" with a little 'g') in C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy. I liked the character, so I stole the name. Who am I? I am a library science student in Illinois who has a variety of interests--too many to list! I have worked in libraries for five years and counting.

Are you a good person?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Did Bush Lie? Google It!



Welcome, OpenSource Media!

Just ran across their website today. I wish them all success. I will be linking to their site shortly in the links list.


What is Open Source Media? The best way to answer that is through the explanation of its founders, bloggers Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson:

OSM’s mission is to expand the influence of weblogs by finding and promoting the best of them, providing bloggers with a forum to meet and share resources, and the chance to join a for-profit network that will give them additional leverage to pursue knowledge wherever they may find it. From academics, professionals and decorated experts, to ordinary citizens sitting around the house opining in their pajamas, our community of bloggers are among the most widely read and influential citizen journalists out there, and our roster will be expanding daily. We also plan to provide a bridge between old media and new, bringing bloggers and mainstream journalists—more and more of whom have started to blog—together in a debate-friendly forum.

In the 1960’s, the medium may have been the message, but in the new century, it’s time for the medium to get out of the way. Call it the blogosphere, call it citizen journalism, or call it (we hope) Open Source Media—but the next phase in the democratization of ideas has begun. Stick around, read some blogs, and come back often. Our door will be open.

Internet is Safe!! (for now)

A deal reached at the World Summit on the Information Society will allow the US-based ICANN oraganization to retain control over the Internet's root server and domain names. Open Source Media has a good roundup of news and opinion.

Well, kiddies, it looks like one of the largest tools of free speech and expression is out of the hands of an organization influenced by the likes of Castro and Mugabe.

Let's celebrate!


Monday, November 07, 2005

Librarians = Better Drivers?

Take a gander at these charts from an MSN Money article.

 Occupations that get the speeding tickets -- and those that don’t
Top 5 occupations Ticket rate*Bottom 5 occupations Ticket rate
1. Student8836. Teacher/professor30
2. Enlisted military7837. Secretary/clerical27
3. Manual laborer7838. Law enforcement39
4. Politician7639. Librarian24
5. Architect7240. Homemaker21
*Average for all occupations was 45.
Note: Speeding tickets is a subset of moving violations.
Source: Quality Planning Corp.

And politicians, who ranked near the bottom for accidents, moved up to the top for citations:

 Occupations that get the most moving-violation citations
Top 5 occupationsCitation rate*Bottom 5 occupations Citation rate
1. Student12136. Firefighter39
2. Manual laborer11237. Secretary/clerical38
3. Architect10638. Librarian33
4. Enlisted military9939. Law enforcement32
5. Politician9740. Homemaker31
*Average for all occupations was 63.
Source: Quality Planning Corp.

"Homemakers, teachers, librarians and secretaries ranked near the bottom of all three lists. So, too, did law enforcement personnel. Cynics may argue that cops are giving each other “professional courtesies" -- not writing up violations, for example. But it just might be, given their training and the number of humans they see made into road pizza, that cops are more careful than the rest of us."

So there you have it. Next time someone asks you why you chose the field of librarianship as opposed to, say, engineering, you have a new reason: tell them you had a vested interest in the greater odds of keeping your number of speeding tickets and moving violations low.


Saturday, November 05, 2005

"Don't Fear Google"--Forbes

Forbes has an excellent article on why Google's print project shouldn't be feared. A snippet of the article is below:

We already permit such uses of snippets for the development of book reviews. Google’s proposed technology is an extension of that. It permits much wider dissemination of relevant snippets of books--in doing so it will whet the appetite of a reading audience that is now global in scale. Authors and publishers stand to benefit greatly.

There's lots more at the link.

The Irony of Jessamyn West

"Is this the sort of thing the ALA needs to have a stated opinion about?" -- Jessamyn West. This is the same Jessamyn West who evidently saw no problem with the organization drafting a resolution on withdrawing troops from Iraq. How do I know? She voted on the issue.

But then, I don't suppose I should be surprised at such things. After all, she's a councilwoman for an organization whose members voice concern about the "commercial nature" of such things as the Google Digitalization project.

Some librarians seem to forget how commercial enterprises revolutionized our profession. It's sad how some are unable even to acknowledge the role the for-profit crowd has played. But then, I've always felt that if libraries ever lose their relevance in our rapidly changing society, it will be our own fault.

Library Webinar on Podcasting

For the interested, OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries) is offering a webinar (a seminar on the web).

Here's the information I got from Lori Bell.

OPAL is offering a Podcast 101 for Libraries. Podcasting is an exciting new model for distributing audio content and is generating buzz across the Internet. But what is it exactly? And why should librarians care? We'll discuss the hows and whys of podcasting including how to tune in, how to find interesting content, and how your organization can take advantage of this powerful technology to reach more people in your community. The presenter is Greg Schwartz, Circulation Supervisor at the Louisville Free Public Library and blogger and podcaster of the Open Stacks blog. The program will be offered live on Thursday, December 8 at 1:00 p.m. central time. To attend, go to the OPAL online auditorium at, type your name and click enter. As you go into the room, a small software applet will download to your computer.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Now a Blogshares Blog.

Click on the button to go to LOTR Librarian's page on Blogshares.

Listed on BlogShares