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Archive for the ‘23 Things’ Category

It looks like this blog, which started as an exercise for a 23 Things class, is going to get a lot more personal. At the request of several friends and colleagues, I plan to document – sometimes in words and sometimes in pictures – my next big adventure: moving from Western Massachusetts to Southern California.

This is a journey of rebirth in so many ways. For starters, for the last 20 years or more I’ve been telling myself and anyone who would listen that I’m moving “out west” someday. In the ’90s I spent all my vacation time in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, the California coast, New Mexico, the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, and the mountains of Colorado, backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing, biking, and visiting friends and family. When any opportunity to hop on a plane and land myself in the western wilderness presented itself, I took it. The first time I flew to Washington I glued my face to the window from the Rockies westward, hoping for a glimpse of Mt. Rainier. When I finally saw it, glowing pink in the 10 pm dusk, it’s 14,411 feet looking close enough to reach out and touch, I burst into tears. From that moment on, the west was more home to me than was Boston, where I lived at the time. The light was different, and the size of things, and the sense of space. I felt more than the usual post-vacation disappointment each time my return flight made its decent toward Logan Airport. I promised I would stay out west someday – right after after I finished school and found a career that really fed me and found love and had kids and…..you know how it goes.

And suddenly, over ten years passed. Over ten years filled with moving to Western Massachusetts, finishing my college degree, getting a job, being laid off from a job, changing careers, going to grad school, getting married, being diagnosed with cancer, getting divorced, getting another job, getting well slowly, etc. etc. And in the midst of all that, the West faded into dream and memory. I couldn’t seem to find the time or money or physical stamina for vacations there anymore. Not to mention the stomach for visiting a place that tugged at me painfully every time I had to leave it to return to “real life” in the East.

And then, just as suddenly, something clicked and I realized it was time to resurrect the dream. I was ready. I was established in my career. I was healthy and ready to get back to the mountains, back to the physically active person I used to be. My life was stable enough that I was ready to shake it up a bit. I was ready for change! Or to begin preparing for change anyway. I developed a relocation plan. A five-year plan. Five months later, I’ve quit the job I’ve had since 2005 and I’m poised to start a new one in California in August. Another reminder that you can’t control the pace of rebirth – or the magic of it. I’m sure there are adventures to come that I can’t even imagine. Stay tuned to hear all about them!

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So I just created a Technorati account and claimed my blog. I’m increasing the chances of people finding me, if not the chances that I’ll actually have something interesting to say! So far, so good.

But I’m not clear on the whole category vs. tag thing. The Technorati help page on tags says that “categories will be read as tags.” Does that mean that the tags I’ve given my posts won’t be read as tags? If so, should I start using the categories the way I’ve been using the tags?

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It looks like I’m getting caught up!

I’ve been using del.icio.us to manage my bookmarks for a long time now. I can’t imagine going back to browser-based bookmarks though. I hated being bound to a hierarchical structure (unless I wanted to nest the same link in different sets of folders)  and it was a nightmare to try to manage my bookmarks on multiple computers.

But I haven’t really gotten into the social networking aspect of the site. I share most of my bookmarks, but I can’t say I’ve explored the sites other people have bookmarked. We created a del.icio.us account for our library, and one of the projects on my long to do list is to add the reference resources I’ve bookmarked on my own account to the library account so we can share them with our patrons more easily.

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I love the idea of LibraryThing, and I like its features better than the similar tools I’ve looked at (like Shelfari and Goodreads). I created my LibraryThing account a few years ago, and set about cataloging my entire personal library. But I ran out of steam and I haven’t been able to get back to it. For a while I was cataloging all the books I borrowed from the library, so I could have a record of what I’d read, what I wanted to purchase someday, etc. But after a while it just seemed so time consuming – probably in part because I was way more meticulous about cataloging the right edition and tagging consistently than most non-librarians would be. I do like that LibraryThing tags and similar books are now included in the C/W MARS libraries catalog.

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The more I explore this tool, the more I see it’s relevance for our library. We have an online “Virtual Reference Center” that is now basically a collection of links to websites. We’d tried to create Google search boxes for each of the categories, but the coding was cumbersome and we never got it to work properly. Rollyo seems waaayyyy more user-friendly, and it seems you can have just one search box with a pull-down menu that allows you to select which “searchrolls” to search (I have to check on that), which would be a big improvement over the Google search we were trying to set up.

In searching for ways to link my del.icio.us bookmarks to Rollyo, I came across Addictomatic which also seems like a cool tool. It’s sort of a hybrid of an aggregate search engine like Dogpile (does anyone still use that?) and a feed reader, with results appearing in an easy-to-read layout. But I still want to know how to create a Rollyo searchroll from all of the urls I’ve given a particular dag in del.icio.us, without having to do it manually. Possible? Anyone?

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OK, I just started looking at it, but so far I think Rollyo is the coolest thing! I often search specific sites on Google by typing searchtopic site:whatever.com. But to be able to do this with multiple sites at once, and to save that collection of sites is super cool. It also looks like there’s a lot of flexibility – I can add to or delete the websites listed in Rollyo’s existing categories, for example. I can totally see myself starting to use this instead of Google for certain searches that I do regularly.

Now if Rollyo could play with del.icio.us to allow me to search all the websites I’ve given a particular tag, I would be in search heaven. I can’t be the first person to have thought of this. Is it possible to do this already??

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I’ve had several LIS blogs bookmarked in del.icio.us, but I rarely read them. Maybe I will now, once I add them all to Bloglines. I was a little overwhelmed by the process of searching for more LIS blogs.  Is it just me or have they multiplied like bunnies in the last few years? It seems every grad student/recent grad has a blog now….not to mention all the libraries that have blogs.

One of the most intriguing things I found  (through Technorati) is a blog listing LIS jobs in India. Hmmmm, I always wanted to work overseas at some point in my life!

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