More random stuff for ALA, etc.

Happy Friday! Oh, my goodness am I ever ready for the weekend. And yes, I know that ALA isn’t for another two weeks or so, but I thought for those of you who like to plan ahead might find some of this week’s random stuff helpful. Plus, I’m leaving on vacation prior to ALA fun and might not post anything next week except lovely photographs from my trip because I am looking forward to being mostly unplugged for a week. So, allons-y! (let’s go) as the good Doctor would say (sorry, had to include that again as I’ve finally managed to persuade one of the interns that his life truly wouldn’t be complete until he’s watched the new Doctor Who).

Before delving into some of the really interesting, and or fun, stuff that may (or may not) be useful for your ALA trip, I had to share this wonderful post Intimidation that Hanna [link is to her awesome blog] sent to me. This is a fantastic post that sums up how I feel when people say I’m “intimidating.” I especially like this bit, “as a shy woman who stands all of 5’3″, I can’t say that I see myself as especially terrifying.” But then again, apparently Hanna and I were considered intimidating once people had a history seminar with us. There is a definite power dynamic in the instructor/student relationship no matter how much we try to smooth out the hierarchy so that we are all learning and teaching together which, along with shyness (that can be perceived as aloofness or intimidation), probably leads to the “scary” instructor effect.

Just goes to show that instructors can be misperceived as often as their students and really, in the end, we are all just people. And this may help you at ALA in all those receptions and mixers–just remember shy doesn’t equal antisocial. So just come over and say hi. Though perhaps, just so people don’t have to guess where you stand on the whole “social interaction thing,” you might want to get this shirt from xkcd.

I love traveling (well, actually I don’t like flying very much but I like how traveling is the means to the end which is seeing new places and meeting people). But sometimes those transatlantic and flights from California to the East Coast get really long and boring. So to the rescue, why don’t you check out one of the Top 10 Difficult Literary Works from your local library to ponder on the flight? Found via ALA Direct, it is lovely for the sheer hilarity of the descriptions of some of works. As soon as I told my office mate about it, he immediately asked if Tolkien’s The Similarion was on the list–it’s not, but I bet some of the books you were required to read in your studies are on the list. So what do you think is the most difficult literary work to slog through?

Here’s another great post from Lifehacker that will help you make the photographs you take at ALA really shine: Top 10 photo fixing and image editing tricks. Come on, you know you’ll take photographs at ALA, so why not take the time to take/make great photographs?

Oh, and while your at ALA, if you need to hook into a meeting happening back at your workplace, check out the Lifehacker guide to the Five best web-based conferencing tools and find something that will work nicely. I’m hoping to try out a couple of the free ones at my library for our meetings because we always have at least one librarian at another physical location during meeting times. Still, I’m just waiting for the holographic projections, or really good virtual reality, to make meetings more fun (and productive, of course).

This is amazing: locals and tourists flickr set helps you avoid tourists on vacation, find local favorites. What a cool use creation and use of data pulled from flickr images. Alas, it appears that just about everywhere in DC where ALA events are happening is tourist-central. It would be nifty to create a similar type map using data from all the photos by librarians attending ALA. Just a thought.

Finally, something fun to end another Friday post, a clip explaining the Friendship Algorithm (thanks to Hanna from the great idea of having Friday posts include videos and to my sister for basically forcing me to watch this show). It’s fantastic, nerdy fun.

Have a lovely weekend, read a lot, and the Waki Librarian will be blogging about the actual ALA Conference very soon.