Archive for February 2010

The world’s best search engine

February 24, 2010

Seems like librarians are under siege recently. Shrinking budgets, claims that in the Internet age they are obsolete. Well, not so fast…

Google Technology Director Craig Silverstein recently said their goal is to make a search engine as effective as a librarian.  “The idea is having the computer be as smart as a reference librarian…(Librarians) put some element of intelligence into it that a computer cannot,” he said.

A recent book by Marilyn Johnson makes the same claim–even with many resources being digitized and online search capabilities improving, librarians are still more important than ever. Her book, This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, points out that librarians can find “hidden” resources that might not be available on the Internet. “It’s an illusion that everything is digitized and at our finger tips.”

NPR’s On the Media recently did a radio interview with her. And, Salon has a piece also.

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Baseball fan photos

February 11, 2010

Despite the Super Bowl only being over less than a week and many people already jonesing for football (myself included), it is undeniable that American’s have a special relationship with baseball. It is called America’s Game and there are some people who are addicted to it (myself not included). I had a friend who had a photo he took of the Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer at a game blown up and put up in his bedroom wall. It really wasn’t that great a shot, but it meant a lot to him.

You can see this fantacism in the photos on display at an exhibit at the Central Library. The display, entitled Fantography, was compiled by local author and baseball lover Andy Strasberg. It includes family shots taken of professional players. Strasberg is collecting and archiving the images and hopes to publish them in a book one day. The exhibit is on display through the end of February.

Click the image below for a news story Larry Himmel did on the exhibit.

Andy Strasburg with Fantography exhibit.

What’s with all the kids?

February 5, 2010

A new library opened in San Diego in December. It’s the Logan Heights Branch Library on 28th St.  It’s a beautiful building with strong Aztec and Hispanic architectural influences. Beyond the new books and other resources now available at the 25,000 square foot branch, the cool architecture alone is worth a visit. 

And, if you have kids, bring them along. They won’t be alone. This library is packed with kids. The library actually sits on the grounds of Logan Heights Elementary and is adjacent to Memorial Middle. Kids have access to it before and after school. I was there on a Thursday afternoon recently and there were kids everywhere. In the computer room(s). In a cool little room called the Child Development Center. In the large Spanish language section.

It looks like the community is getting a lot of use out of the facility. In the old building, which was just under 4,000 square feet, they circulated 4,400 items in January. In the new library this January, more than 14,000 items were checked out.

To see this library and hear about its design, check out this video…

Strange characters at the downtown library

February 2, 2010

There are some strange characters in the second floor hallway of the downtown Central Library.

Along the walls of the corridor leading to the computer lab, you will find 40 original pen and ink drawings, primarily JD Abel artworkportraits, by San Diego artist J.D. Abel. The exhibit shows original drawings created by Abel over the past decade and recently published in The Last Word: 56 American Epitaphs. The exhibit is free to the public. All of the works in the exhibit are for sale and the proceeds will be divided between the Library’s Visual Arts Program and the San Diego Art Institute. For more information on the exhibit, VISIT HERE.

The Union-Tribune’s Robert Pincus reviewed the show recently. His article is HERE.