November 2006

Home Economics Story, The (1951)

This little gem is an educational short from Iowa State Teachers’ College, clearly aimed at 1950s parents who might balk at footing a daughter’s college tuition bill. The subject matter and tone (the male narrator cheerily demonstrates how the girls’ academic pursuits are applicable to home-making) have become anachronistic enough to be laughable, as evidenced by the short’s hilarious lampooning on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

However, once you’ve gotten through the first few viewings and your sides no longer ache from laughing, take a moment and thank your lucky stars we’re not in the 1950s anymore. I know I did.

FYI: The video is about 25 minutes short. Har, har. Short. Get it? Ahem. Anyway, it’s worth it, just make sure you have a half an hour blocked out.


As per usual, I’ve found what seems to be a seminal article on a topic I’m very interested in….more than a year after it was actually published. Good going, me.

Tim O’Reilly on “What is Web 2.0?”

It’s news to me, but apparently Google has been publishing a “Librarian Newsletter” since December 2005. The newsletter has included articles by several Google engineers and “Library Partnership team members,” but interspersed in there are several by librarians who are (as far as I am able to deduce) unaffiliated with Google:

“Beyond Algorithms: A Librarian’s Guide to Websites You Can Trust” by Karen Schenider, aka The Free Range Librarian and director of the Librarian’s Internet Index (LII).

“Libraries and Google/Google Book Search: No Competition!” by Walt Crawford, a senior analyst at RLG.

Google has also recently launched a “Google for Educators” website. They’ve included a teacher’s guide to their major products (Google Earth, Blogger, Picasa). This includes a brief description of the product, general descriptions for how it might be used in the classroom, as well as several lesson plans for each.

The “Librarian Center” is sparse at best…it lists conferences that Google representatives will be attending, stories and videos of librarians who have had success using Google’s products, etc. Not awful, but definitely not earth-shatteringly useful.

The “Google For Educators” site seems to be far more fleshed out. In fact, there seems to be a marked difference in the amount of detail provided to educators vs. librarians on how Google products could be used in our respective daily professional lives.

Veeery interesting.

Snyder Book Collecting Contest icon

Snyder Book Collecting Contest icon,
originally uploaded by librarykatja.

This little guy appears on the header of the University of Kansas’ Snyder Book Collecting Contest web page. After I heard about this contest yesterday, I just had to post about it…it’s such a neat idea, and of the kind that is near and dear to my archivally-oriented heart.

The contest’s premise: currently enrolled KU students (one category for undergraduates and one for graduates) submit one collection, focused around a particularly collecting interest (ex: A.A. Milne, North American Mammals, etc.). The students also submit a collection bibliography and a brief (2-6 pg.) essay detailing the collector’s “purpose and method in building the collection. This year, there is a prize of $800….yes, $800.

Imagine getting that kind of prize for a collection that you’ve nurtured and grown and cherished as a hobby! Amazing.

This year is the 50th anniversary; although the original benefactor of the competition, Elizabeth Snyder, passed in 2004, she ensured that the contest would continue to be supported with an endowed fund.

My old site:

Hopefully my experience here will not:

1) cause my eyes to strain at the amount of pink.

2) constantly frustrate me by making it hard to make even miniscule changes to my layout.

3) irritate me with the constant presence of the “eBlogger” header that is completely out of place with the rest of the blog’s design template.

So, in conclusion…hopefully…yay!