Tea, cookies, and some links

(While I’m waiting for the laminator to heat up for something for tonight’s conferences, today’s cookie recipe, and other links.)

Today’s cookies: the slice and bake palette cookie recipe used in previous weeks. This time with about 1/4 cup of good cocoa powder, and about 2 tbs of ground coffee, and half dipped in chocolate. They’re a little less coffee heavy than I’d hoped in flavor, but as people keep taking more, I am not worried.

(Why coffee? Tonight is our evening conference meetings, so faculty are here from 7:30am to as late as 8pm tonight.)

Links of interest:

The American Library Association posted the new core competencies today – these are the things they expect anyone graduating from a ALA accredited school to be able to manage. (I’m glad to say they all look within my grasp, personally.)

I think they also make an interesting look at the profession – ever since starting (and then finishing) my MLIS, I’ve run into people who go “You need a degree to do that?” Yep. And here’s why. A lot of it is similar to other academic disciplines – but some things, like an understanding of professional ethics, free access to information, and how to handle reference and selection decisions without echoing your personal preferences or biases, are not always intuitive things.

Strangemaps has some fascinating visual images – mostly maps, but some other kinds of visual information. A friend linked me to one that shows which languages point to which *other* languages are incomprehensible.

For example: we say, in English “It’s all Greek to me.” (Well, unless you’re me, in which case I pick something else, because I actually do read classical Greek enough that I can make sense of many things with a little help.) Anyway, the Greeks point to Arabic, and a whole lot of people point to Chinese. Seeing the patterns in the map is fascinating, and makes you think about geographic proximity versus trading partners and when these phrases might have entered the language.

Hivemind: There’s a recent great article about¬† ask.metafilter.com
and especially how they manage to keep threads civil. I’m a regular reader (I don’t read everything that goes by, but do skim when I have time and answer when something catches my attention – and it’s starting to become one of my first stops for information about odd questions that benefit from human experience – what to know about eye appointments when I was getting glasses for the first time, cooking questions, things like that.)

Anyway, the other thing I find fascinating about it is how they manage comments – the site’s got a pretty good (imperfect, but every site is…) track record of keeping the Ask Metafilter threads reasonably civil. Since I’m really interested in how you create online civil conversation spaces, I liked the details the article gave (and found the list of topics that get heated pretty realistic).¬† An interesting read, all in all.


Thursday tea and cookies

I didn’t manage to post yesterday, as I spent a chunk of the day at a very useful meeting of independent school media specialists (and came back with some cool new info.)

The cookies this week were another version of the slice and bake palette cookies from the Smitten Kitchen. This time, I did 2 tsps of vanilla extract, and a combination of nutmeg, ginger, and cardamon, to make vanilla spice cookies. (Proportionately, it was more nutmeg and cardamon than ginger, but I did it by smell.)

Books this week were about choices, values, and how we make them – we’ve had some recent conversations about academic integrity, so several books also deal with issues of plagiarism.


Cohen, Randy. Good, Bad & The Difference – How To Tell Right From Wrong In Everyday Situations. New York: Broadway Books, 2002.

Foss, Kathleen, and Ann Lathrop. Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era: A Wake-Up Call. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, 2000.

Harris, Robert A.. The Plagiarism Handbook: Strategies for Preventing, Detecting, and Dealing With Plagiarism. los angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, 2001.

Killinger, Barbara. Integrity: Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007.

Lipson, Charles. Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic Success, 2nd Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing). Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2008.

Morrow, Lance. Evil: An Investigation. New York: Basic Books, 2004.

Myers, David G.. Intuition: Its Powers and Perils (Yale Nota Bene). New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004.

Rudacille, Deborah. The Scalpel and the Butterfly: The Conflict between Animal Research and Animal Protection. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

Shermer, Michael. The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Care, Share, and Follow the Golden Rule. new york: Owl Books, 2005.

Global Values 101: A Short Course. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006.

Facebook privacy options

Just came across a great post on 10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User should know.

Several of them were new to me – mostly because I keep what I post to Facebook to stuff that I’m willing to share with people who range from childhood friends to teenage horseback riding friends to college friends, to professional colleagues and the occasional student.

Thing 24: Blogs I read

(These are not all the blogs I read. These are the ones that I think might be of interest to readers here/in my professional life. Just so we’re all clear …)

Library & technology related:

  • Jessamyn’s Librarian.net has great links, commentary, and other useful things about library and technology of the day.
  • danah boyd focuses on technology (and especially social networking sites) and teens at apophenia
  • Our IS group worked with David Warlick at the start of this school year, and I’ve been reading his blog ever since. Good comments about technology and education.
  • And for fun, Unshelved and Shelf Check, both library comics.

Authors and writers:

  • Wil Wheaton
  • Laurie King (who is currently doing some fascinating things with Twitter and various other technologies in preparation for her upcoming book launch.)
  • Neil Gaiman‘s blog
  • Dear Author (while I read only the occasional romance – I’m much more about SF and mysteries as genres – I really like their comments on publishing industry, fan community, and a number of other things.)

And finally, Tor.com, which has a number of fascinating people writing intriguing things. Elizabeth Bear got me hooked on watching the TV show Criminal Minds through her comments about characterisation on her personal journal: she’s now writing more thematic analysis for the Tor site. Jo Walton is a long-time friend, and anything she writes, I’m interested in reading. And so on and so forth. Lots of intelligent conversation about SF, fantasy, culture, community, and just plain cool stuff.

Thing 24: Blogging

Once again, I’m taking part in an initiative by the Minnesota libraries to encourage library and web 2.0 initiatives. The first one was 23 Things On a Stick – this one is More Things On A Stick. Each ‘thing’ asks librarians to reflect on different aspects of web 2.0 technology, and to try out different tools and resources.

So, the first thing is to try out some new blogging tools, and to catch up.

1) I’ve shifted blogging sites.

While there was a lot I liked about Blogger, there were things I found frustrating about it. I have two Gmail accounts (one I use for professional emails, one I use for personal ones) and I found it really tedious to log out of one to go post. I’ve found it’s a lot easier to post something short and sweet now I’ve swapped the professional blog to WordPress. You can still see my previous 23 Things on a Stick posts over at the former blog, though.

I’ve been using WordPress for other projects for several years – both my religious blog, and the website I maintain for a community 501(c)3 educational organisation. I find it very easy to use, but flexible enough to let me fiddle with things when I wish to. (This blog is hosted via WordPress.com – the other two I handle via a webhost and separate domain.)

I tend towards simplicity and readabilty in blog themes and really like the readability of this one. I also had fun playing with the DoppleMe website to create the avatar at the bottom of the right column. You’ll notice the sheep – that’s because one of my hobbies is spinning (wool), and I couldn’t resist the sheep when I saw it.

2) Have I been blogging?

Yes, but not about library things – something I’m trying to get back into. I’ve got a blog about my religious path and practice that I update about once a week (and have for about 18 months now) as well as an active personal account on LiveJournal.com and a couple of other technological projects in the works.

One thing I’m still working out the balance on is my personal online life versus my professional one. My legal name is easily searchable, and yet there are some topics – religious discussion in particular – where I don’t necessarily want co-workers or students at the school I work for stumbling across individual posts out of context. If I want to share that information with them, I’d like to do it face to face, and in a way that lets me give them some context (rather than a blog post aimed at co-religionists, which assumes some shared background in the topic.)

Hence this blog, which is linked to my legal name – but which I often forget to update as much, because it’s not as interconnected with my personal life and close friends.

3) What do I like about blogging?

I like having an informal way to share thoughts and ideas. I’ve been using it recently to post links to recipes and booklists for my Thursday Tea, Cookies, and Resources project (a way to encourage faculty to stop by and say hi). I’ve been excited by the conversations that happen when we get them in here without any particular agenda (other than cookies!).

4) What blogs do I read?

A number of them – and I think they deserve their own post, so I’ll do that sometime later this week.

Happy Darwin Day! (Thursday tea and cookies)

Today is the bicentennial of Darwin’s birth (also of Lincoln’s), so in honor, today’s resources are books about evolution and variation among species. (As I noted in the email I sent out, the resources I pulled are lacking biographies of Darwin and Origin of the Species and such, because students have them out for a History Day project. This is as it should be.)

Want to learn more? Take a look at the Darwin Day Celebration website, and there’s an interesting looking podcast from Scientific American.

Today’s cookies are Black Forest cookies (chocolate and dried cherries) as I had some cherries I wanted to do something with.

Books of interest:

Gould, Stephen Jay. The Richness of Life: The Essential Stephen Jay Gould. New York: W. W. Norton, 2007.

Leakey, Richard, and Roger Lewin. Origins: The Emergence and Evolution of Our Species and Its Possible Future. Boston: Penguin (Non-Classics), 1991.

Roger, and Lewin. Thread of Life: The Smithsonian Looks at Evolution,. New York: 1982, 1982.

Tattersall, Ian. The Last Neanderthal : The Rise, Success, and Mysterious Extinction of Our Closest Human Relatives. Oxford: Westview Press, 1999.

The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin (New York Times Best Illustrated Books (Awards)). New York: Farrar, Straus And Giroux (Byr), 2003.

Witness: Endangered Species of North America. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1994.

Thursday Tea and Cookies

I spent most of my morning in a lengthy meeting, so the cookies are particularly happy things to have today.

Today’s cookies are the Honey Lavender Shortbread cookies discussed here. They are lovely things, and I particularly like the tang of salt in the midst of the honey and the lavender. It’s a really lovely blend of flavors. (There’s a variant I just found that includes lemon zest, which would add another layer of flavor in there, too.)

For today’s resources, I pulled out books on food – several on honey, but also The Hungry Planet and In Defense of Food and several other titles of that kind. (And a book on Shakespearean foods…)