Book Meme

I have a lot of half-finished posts sitting in my drafts folder. I’ve been busy with school, Scouts, conferences, and various other things. I saw I got tagged for a meme, though, and since I’m currently procrastinating on a paper, I decided to go ahead and do it.

Book Meme Rules
1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people

All places of public resort require the restraint of a police, and places of this kind peculiarly, because offenses against society are especially apt to originate there.

The next three sentences take up about a page: it’s John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty.

Consider yourself tagged… but I think I’m the last person to do this meme.

Second Life

Despite my frustration with Second Life, I’ve been hanging around there more than I was ever able to before (new computer.) The Library 2.0 people have done a fantastic job with the design! I really hope I am able to make SL work with my graphics card when the new update is made mandatory, because I would love to get into volunteer reference or reader’s advisory. I’m a member of 2 SL library groups, but I haven’t heard anything from them for a couple of weeks, so I’m not sure if they’re having the same problems I’m having.

I know I’ve been mostly negative about SL in the past, but I can really see the potential. Tonight, two classmates and I were trying to figure out whether we would have time to get together and discuss our projects. Something like Second Life would be very cool for that. Yes, it would just be chatting with our avatars as visual representations, but it would add another element for those of us with learning differences.

Second Life

So, my old computer crashed and I had to get a new one. It’s beautiful… a Dell Latitude D620. Everything I had hoped the old Toshiba would be. However, I have hit a snag. I was hoping to get more involved in Second Life. I’m a member of two library groups in Second Life. I logged on tonight, enjoyed the terrific graphics and the beauty of Rachelville (that is a very nice place!) Then… CRASH. Turns out the developers of Second Life do not support my video driver… one that happens to be fairly common in education laptops. So those who would like to use Second Life as a vehicle for education might want to rethink that idea until the developers see fit to support more than two types of graphic cards.

I’m both attracted to and repelled by Second Life. I LOVE the idea and think some of the execution is wonderful. However, I see it as a further enforcer of the digital divide. My brand new, best computer I can afford on a graduate stipend with student financing is not compatible with Second Life. Where does that leave people using refurbished P2s? Or schools? Second Life is currently solely for the technological elite, not for the regular people. Which is sad, because I really wanted to get involved and finally have a computer that’s fast enough.

Seattle!

I’m in Seattle! I was busy from 7:30am to about 10:30 pm yesterday. A lot of great sessions on youth services, mostly focusing on school librarians. The conference site charges for wireless, but our hotel has complimentary wireless! Not that I’ll have a lot of time. I do still plan to live-blog ALA, since they will have complimentary wireless.

It’s great here! I’ll try to post later, but now I have a class to deal with.

Blogging ALA

I said yesterday that I would be blogging ALISE and Midwinter (live-blogging will depend on whether I have an electrical outlet handy, since my computer has a battery life of less than an hour.) Shortly after I posted that, I got an e-mail from ALA about how they’re enabling bloggers. I can even get a blogging badge! I’m not sure what the purpose of that is, but it sounds neat. I joined ALA’s Midwinter Flickr group, so I will be posting some of my pictures there. I’ll also be posting other pictures on my own account so my family can see what I’m up to.

I love technology!

Another Semester

It’s almost the start of a new semester. I’m working on finalizing the syllabus for Literature for Children. This is my first time teaching adults and it’s one of my favorite subjects, so I’m very excited.

I’m starting the semester in Seattle. I’m attending my first ALISE conference and then attending the ALA Midwinter conference. I’ll be observing and recording a focus group on romance novels. I also hope to gather audio for LISRadio shows for this semester. I plan to try to live-blog the conferences as much as possible, with pictures.

The first semester went by in a kind of haze. I was overwhelmed by the transition… it was much more difficult than going from being an undergrad to a graduate student. I wonder if it was made harder because I was in the same institution, so I was used to things being a certain way. Being a doctoral student is definitely an education.

I was pleased with how my classes went in the fall. I came out of them with two ideas that I’m going to work into presentation proposals.

Search Patterns

This is a very interesting idea. Jon Udell is tracking his search process. He says “I’m less inclined to accept that some people are natural information hounds, and others aren’t, and that’s just the way of it. Innate talent clearly plays a role, but so does learned skill. What the learnable component of effective search may be, though, is very unclear. So I’ve begun to reflect on, and document, my own search habits in order to try to discover what it is that I’ve actually learned how to do.” He’s tracking his own search patterns at del.icio.us and would like for others to do the same. I’m intrigued and might play along. I like to think of myself as a good searcher. If it’s the kind of thing one can find on Google, I can find it. But maybe that’s not true. It would be interesting to submit my tactics to the scrutiny of all.

Via The Distance Librarian.

LISRadio: Adam Nelson

This week’s LISRadio showcase is an interview with University of Wisconsin professor Adam Nelson. Professor Charley Seavey attended a session with Adam at a recent conference and was intrigued by what he had to say about the connection between print media and education. I was especially interested in what he had to say about how video games and new media can lead kids back to books. As kids learn about events and subjects from their games, they look for more information about those things… in books. New media allows kids to learn guided by their own interests.

Reading: The Book Thief

I am a fan of Markus Zusak. He is one of my favorite newer YA authors (along with John Green). I ate I Am the Messenger in just a few hours. The Book Thief was much more difficult to read, and shows another dimension of Zusak’s imagination.

Liesel Meminger lives with a foster family in a small town outside of Munich in the early 1940s. Her accordion-playing foster father teaches her to read, although her career as a book thief begins while she is still illiterate. Her family takes in a Jewish man, the son of a man who saved him in World War I, and Liesel befriends him. The story is narrated by Death, who gives a different perspective on life and war.

The story has the dark humor you would expect from a book narrated by Death.

The Book Thief