ten years in libraries

desk, with papers and broken tape dispenser
Today marks my ten year anniversary working in libraries, which is not a very long time to have worked in libraries, but it is a very long time for me to have done anything. I’ve never lived in a house or an apartment for more than four years, ever, and I’ve never had a job for more than five years. Some jobs I’ve had for less than five days. So a decade in one profession seems like a very long time.

I walked in to my first day — my first night, really, as I worked exclusively nights and weekends as a part time Youth Services Assistant — at my new library on Ash Wednesday 2005. The town had a large Catholic population, and seemingly every other person I saw that night had a smudgy forehead. I am Christian, of the Episcopalian variety, by both birth and inclination, but I was living with my deeply agnostic grandmother at the time and wasn’t attending church. I wondered about the ashes on the foreheads of many of the staff and how they made patrons feel. I wondered about the lack of ashes on my own forehead, and what that meant. But mostly I was excited. I’d been trying to get a job of any sort in a library for a long time (in my hometown, it’s hard to get even a volunteer position at the library because it’s so popular), and here I finally was, a semester into library school, and I finally had one.

I was very excited when I started working in libraries, and I was also very lucky. The excitement lead me to start a blog just a few months after starting my job, and the luck led me to attend the Radical Reference meetup and the OCLC Blog Salon at ALA where I met all sorts of wonderful and talented people, many of whom I now call friends. Getting into libraries changed my life, and I’m grateful every day to have found a profession where I fit in, where the codes make sense to me, for the most part, and where I get to do at least some things I’m pretty good at.

When I started I spent a lot of time thinking about all the things I was excited about. Alternative literature in libraries! Books I hope people will read! Intellectual freedom! Useable, fun library websites! Blogs! Folksonomies! I was the biblioblogger at the local branch library.

I still think about some of those things, but mostly I think about other things, the kind you see taking up space on my desk. I think a lot about tape. The big tape dispenser, used by volunteers, is missing the thing that the tape rolls around in, which renders it somewhat useless. So I snagged another tape dispenser out of the supply drawer, but it was the last one there, so I put the box and the broken tape dispenser on my desk to remind me to mention all of this to the person who orders supplies when she gets back to work. She’s out with a sick kid today. I’m also supposed to be thinking about receipt paper, and whether I want to get special receipt paper that we could use for holds or if we just want to keep taping the hold slips to the books with removable tape. There’s a list of some books I should go weed because I’ve pulled the rest of the books in the series due to low circulation. There’s a list our praticum student has been working on of mystery series we own, because we make little paper shelf tags for the series, and they need to be updated. (I’ve also taken our practicum student with me to look at all the fire extinguishers in the buidling, because the City wants to know when they were last inspected, and to the bank with the coins we’ve pulled out of our fountain, which are too dirty to run through the change counter and thus must be separated by denomination (thank you, library volunteers!) and then weighed.) There’s a list of some other stuff I should do. There are some paper purchase suggestion forms, because we still use a lot of paper forms here, even though it is 2015, because in many cases, paper is still easier. There’s my email, which always contains a much longer list of to do items, frequently related to gaps in the desk schedule or discrepancies in the cash register or ebook titles that are about to expire because of ridiculous publisher limitations. We recently decided to get MARC records for our ebooks, but that’s creating complications, because the MARC records don’t disappear when the books expire, and some of the books we’ll rebuy and others we won’t, and we share the collection with another library, and some they may rebuy, and I can rant all I want to about how much I hate DRM, the publishing industry, and current ebook licensing models, but none of that will deal with the immediate problem of the records in the catalog and what we want to do about them.

There’s a song by some indie band I can’t recall that I used to listen to in college a lot, and I find it running through my head these days. “I’ve become every thing that I hate / As if tragedy were my trade.” I think a lot now about how much people complained when I started out in libraries that we could never try new things, and I think about how wary I am of new things now, ten years later, when people propose them, and then I think about history repeating itself first as tragedy and then as farce. Then I shake my head and remind myself that I need to answer the emails that have shown up while I was typing this.

You’ll notice that there’s one thing in the picture I haven’t talked about. It’s a book. We still have those at my library. Ten years later, there are some things that haven’t changed. We still have books, and I’m still telling people that libraries are about far more. I expect that will be true in another decade, too.

nine years

Nine years ago today, I decided I had to start a librar* blog. I’d been reading blogs for a few months, and in 2005, that seemed like more than enough of reason to be expert enough to do one of my own. And I have never lacked for things to say.

It turned out to be an excellent time to start a blog in libraryland. The biblioblogosphere had an old guard, to be sure, but it was small enough that it seemed possible to read all the blogs you could ever want to, and it was even possible to meet most of the people whose blogs you read at the first ever OCLC Blog Salon. (It was such fun, as you can tell from my eloquent contribution. It was the sort of thing where people took silly pictures and made elaborate inside jokes.) It wasn’t that long ago, but it feels like another lifetime.

I look back at my early entries and often cringe, as one does when coming across versions of oneself from long ago, particularly when one was in a slathering puppy dog sort of developmental stage, as I was when I was in library school. I believed in many things that I no longer believe in now.

I no longer believe in the dream of the single search box. I think that the truth of searching is that finding things is hard. It’s hard not because it requires you to remember whether enter a * or a ? as a wildcard (though that is hard, too) but because it requires you to develop habits of mind, to think about ideas in conversation and in community, and to think about how other people might think about something in order to find what they have to say about it. Certainly we can make search interfaces better, but we cannot — and should not — make them do the work of a human mind.

I no longer believe that every library and every library person should of course start a blog. I’m not sure I ever quite believed that, but certainly I would have encouraged it. It had not yet occurred to me at that time that not everyone does have something to say, or that they do not have something to say all the time, or that they do not have it as an institution, or that they might have several other things of more pressing and immediate concern, such as why are some people suddenly not getting overdue notices in the new system.

But I also look back and am pleased. I care now as I did then about library services in extreme temperatures, and I have advocated for my city to publicize the library as a place to warm up or cool off. I still talk to people about how the world is not flat. what for and for what? remains perhaps my all-time favorite post about sources of information (and it includes, I now notice, a lovely combination of what I’d been reading at the time both in print — in fact, I got my copy of Victor Navasky’s book at ALA that year, where I also go to hear him speak — and online).

I don’t agree with everything I’ve said here, but I’m strangely proud to have kept on doing it, albeit sporadically, all these years. Thanks for reading and writing along with me.

help the LSW send Walt Crawford to ALA!

On Saturday, Walt Crawford, friend to many of us, foe to the absolutist, “library voice of the radical middle,” author, blogger, lover of stone fruit and old movies and the Lovin’ Spoonful, and probably the foremost expert on blogs by library people in the English-speaking world, announced that he had lost his job and that he might thus not be able to go to ALA this year or to continue Cites & Insights. In the course of chatting with a few people about this, Laura Harris said it would be really great if the LSW could somehow sponsor Walt to go to ALA, with any extra money going toward Cites & Insights. Meg Smith came up with a clever way of soliciting help on FriendFeed without Walt knowing about it. After Steve Lawson and Rochelle Hartman pointed out this morning’s post from Walt, though, we decided we’d better go ahead and tell him, and I’m very happy to say that he has accepted our sponsorship.

Since Saturday night, when we first announced this project, 26 people have so far donated $815. If you’d like to help out (I figure this will get Walt to Washington, D.C. and lodged for a bit, but he might want to get back to California at some point), you can send your contributions

  • to me via PayPal (my account is newrambler at gmail dot com)
  • to me by check (Laura Crossett, Send Walt to ALA Fund, PO Box 85, Meeteetse, WY 82433)
  • directly to Walt via the PayPal button on Cites & Insights

I was a wee baby blogger five years ago, when I first heard the name Walt Crawford. Everyone in the library blogosphere was abuzz (we were not yet a-twitter; Twitter didn’t exist then) with the word that Walt Crawford was going to start blogging. I’d never heard of the guy at that point, but I went ahead and subscribed to this new blog, and to the RSS feed for this other project of his that people were always raving about, a monthly ejournal called Cites & Insights. I soon learned that Walt was smart and funny, that he had a great talent for reading and synthesizing information, and that he had little patience for grammatical gaffes. A few months later, I met him in person at the first ever OCLC Blog Salon at ALA in Chicago, and I learned that he was also personable and generous (Walt, you may not remember this, but you offered to share a cab with me, and you were deeply apologetic about not paying the whole fare, since you had to get off first).

What I really learned, though, was that Walt wasn’t cool because he had a blog (although it was cool that he had one). Walt was, and is, cool because he takes us seriously. He reads our blog posts and our FriendFeed conversations; he points out the flaws in our logic, and then he writes cogently and well about the ideas he sees emerging.

I don’t always agree with Walt, and he can be exasperating (although who among us is not, at some time or other? — I certainly am), but I admire and respect the work he has done. His one-time co-author, Michael Gorman, famously ranted about the “Blog People.” A lot of us ranted and raved about that, and proudly put up “Blog Person” badges on our sites, and added Gorman pictures to the lolbrarians group. Walt didn’t do any of those things. He read our blogs, and he thought about them, and he wrote about them — and he continues to do so.

If you’ve ever read Walt at Random or Cites & Insights (or just searched for your name) or talked (or sparred) with Walt in a comment thread, please consider making a donation.

open argument 101

I’ll admit it: there’s almost nothing I like more than drama and action on the internet, and the past 24 hours or so have provided plenty.

Yesterday afternoon saw the release of the much-hyped Library 101 video and its attendant website, which was largely, but not exclusively, lauded. Yesterday evening my FriendFeed brought me the white paper on open source ILS systems [pdf] by SirsiDynix VP of Innovation Stephen Abram, which has been largely, but not exclusively, criticized and ridiculed. (ILS, for my non-librarian readers, stands for Integrated Library System — basically the software that runs your public catalog and your backend record-keeping — cataloging, aquisitions, circulation, statistics, the whole works.)

Along with 64 or so other people, I tuned in to the UStream broadcast of the Library 101 presentation yesterday, or at least the video part of it. My connection was a bit shaky, and while the video itself seemed to work fine, I couldn’t hear much of what the presenters were saying. I’ve watched a few things from Internet Librarian this year on UStream, and in general it is pretty great, so my thanks to the folks who set it up. Since then, a couple of people have said to me that they didn’t think it was really that great, or that they didn’t really understand it, or that they had some other reaction that was not entirely positive — and they felt that because their reaction wasn’t entirely positive, they couldn’t say anything. And that made me really, really sad.

I read the white paper last night and participated in some of the early online commentary, and I’ve had several discussions about that with people, too, and today I read Stephen Abram’s blog post on the subject, where he seems to be quite hurt by the pileup of criticism. Reaction has so far not been terribly sympathetic.

Two events, two commentary pileups, two very different tones. Why? We’ve talked in the biblioblogosphere in years past about uncritical me-tooism and how it stifles conversation and shuts down thoughtful, critical voices. We have also seen plenty of trainwrecks: comment threads rife with personal attacks and you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists mentality. (In this particular instance, Abram’s paper has a bit of that quality to me — you use a standard ILS (preferably SirsiDynix’s) or you’re stupid (“Proprietary software has more features. Period. Proprietary software is much more user-friendly.”) — but then it is a piece of marketing material from a for-profit corporation, so to some extent, that’s to be expected.)

But I digress.

I was underwhelmed by the Library 101 video. It was neat to see so many faces in it (although, like Jessamyn, I would have liked to see them in the credits), and it’s clear from the video that Michael Porter and David Lee King care about it deeply and are enthusiastic about libraries and the future to a degree that few of us can manage. The site, although somewhat annoyingly slow to load, has a lot of good resources, and I look forward to reading the essays that people have submitted. I don’t really get pouring that much of one’s time and money and effort into an online video project, but if it gets some librarians to think about their skills and what they need to move into the future, and if its creators had fun doing it and there are people who enjoy watching it, that’s all to the good. Despite what readers of this blog may think, I actually think there’s a great deal more to being a librarian than being tech-savvy, and I’d like to focus more on some of those things, but I know there are a lot of people who still need to hear the tech message, and perhaps this video and its attendent resources will reach some of them.

So maybe you can’t in fact really criticize Library 101. It’s a labor of love and a labor with a message. The message is hard to criticize, and while you can critique the artistry, you have to remember that it’s a couple of guys doing this in their spare time. They’re not out to make money — in fact, from what they’ve said, they have lost money on this thing. I don’t want anyone to feel that they can’t criticize the video, but at the same time, I don’t think there’s much damage done by the pile-up of compliments.

But it is entirely legitimate to criticize Abram’s paper. ILSs are big money, and they are sold largely by for-profit companies and paid for — in the public and state university library worlds — with public money. I am not an expert on open source ILSs, but I think they are an important and worthy development. It’s possible that the flaws Abram cites exist. I could point out a number of flaws that are present in SirsiDynix systems, too. But the existence of flaws is not an argument against development — if anything, it is an argument for it. I value open source projects because they are, to my mind, ideologically aligned with libraries in a way that corporate enterprises never will be. That doesn’t make them perfect; that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think long and hard before adopting any given ILS. But it makes them worthwhile — and worth defending.

the 2.0 aesthetic: a draft with some comments

One of the great pleasures of college was that I got to spend time around a lot of very smart (and often very funny) people. It was a lot like the biblioblogosphere in that respect — the biblioblogosphere with cafeteria food. Among the smartest of these friends was the guy who introduced me to the idea of an aesthetic — that is, to the idea that what you wore and what you listened to and what you liked expressed not just a peculiar set of preferences but also, quite frequently, something about your socio-economic status and your politics and your belief system. I was bowled over by this (please remember that at the time I was 19 or 20 and it was probably 3:30 in the morning at Denny’s in Poughkeepsie).

I’ve been thinking a lot about aesthetics lately, and about how thinking about a 2.0 aesthetic is helpful in thinking about some of the thornier — and often unacknowledged — problems in what we want to do in libraries.

First, let us admit, for the purposes of this argument, that we have an aesthetic. We like Gmail better than Hotmail. We think Flickr is a better way to share our photos than Kodak Gallery. We’re opposed to unnecessary file formats, and we generally think CSS is better than tables. Many of us like Moleskins and are Mac devotees. We are RSS bigots. LibraryThing is better than Shelfari! Twitter and FriendFeed are duking it out!

I’m generalizing, of course, and I’ve undoubtedly offended more than a few of you, but can you honestly tell me that you relate to nothing in that list, or in a list like it? I doubt it. I’m guilty on multiple counts.

We have this aesthetic, or these aesthetics, and they play a big part in our lives, since a good chunk of us spend much of our lives in front of a computer, using a web browser. I’m always stunned that there are people who find Internet Explorer an acceptable way to surf the web, but you know what? A lot of people do find it satisfactory.

I worry sometimes that we are so caught up in our aesthetic that we let it guide our decisions without questioning whether what we are doing is really in our patrons’ best interests or is simply what we would want as library patrons. Awhile ago I was putting together a presentation about how to make a website. My initial opening involved showing a bunch of what we would all consider really ugly websites. Then I showed a few slides to someone and realized that, to them, these sites didn’t look that bad. They weren’t picking up on what was, to me, an obvious aesthetic difference between “The Wizard” and, say, the lovely chicago6corners site. What I considered to be obvious and immediate “bad” and “good” weren’t obviously bad and good to everyone.

Aesthetics tend to be associated with looks, but there is more to an aesthetic than just design. In much of the web world, “free” is as essential as rounded corners and valid markup — so important that Chris Anderson is making money on it. Things that are free on the web make up a big part of my life these days. I love Twitter and I love the LSW Meebo Room, and, like most other denizens, I get frustrated when one of them isn’t working. But I wonder how much of that frustration is really justified. I mean, think about it — Twitter is running this huge service for free for all the thousands of us who use it. I have no idea how they’re funding the thing — I assume they’ve got venture capital to spare and are counting on getting us hooked enough that we’ll put up with ads later on, the way that people still shelled out money for cable TV even after it started to have commercials. If we were all paying to use Twitter, I could justify the anger. But we’re not — we’re just expecting people to cater to our addiction to the thing. (Many of us might well be willing to pay, of course, but we’re not, not yet.)

That kind of expectation of entitlement is dangerous. It’s dangerous because expecting things to be free means you’re increasingly willing to let advertising enter your life. And it’s dangerous, as Walt points out, because it means we no longer value people who make things, particularly intangible things. I’m all for Creative Commons licensing — most of what I put on the web comes with a Creative Commons license. But (with very rare exceptions) I don’t write for free to other people’s specifications. I don’t work for free at my library, either. I get paid, and I get paid with public money that has been put aside under the understanding that there are certain things in life that should be out of the control of the market. Anti-commercialism is a big part of my aesthetic, or so I believe. But some days I run up against things that make me question whether my other aesthetic principles are in accordance with the ones I hold most dear.

three little candles

I’ve been trying to remember lately how I first figured out RSS and when I got myself set up with a Bloglines account. I remember that Morgan told me there were a lot of great radical librarian bloggers during the summer of 2003, but since that was before I even thought of going to library school. I stowed that information away somewhere, I think, and dimly remembered it when a friend sent me the Wired article about Jessamyn West. I know I saw the early announcements for Radical Reference through some lefty discussion list in the late summer of 2004, just as I was starting library school.

I can’t quite figure out just how I got into this reading blogs business, but I do know that three years ago today I decided to plonk my marbles down into the virtual dirt circle that is the blogosphere, and I started a little blog called lis.dom.

she started to sing as she tackled the thing

Meredith Farkas says such nice things about me that I’ve had to spend the better part of the last few days keeping myself from repeating them, ad nauseum, to everyone I know. (I feel rather like the other lion at the end of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: “‘Us lions,’ he said, ‘us lions.’ That means him and MEEEEEE!”).

Dorothea Salo says things that are so true they hurt — though I mean that as a compliment. You get more points in this world for being pretty than for being truthful, and we ought to acknowledge that, unpleasant as it is. But it is true that if not for Dorothea and the goth cats, my knowledge of open access would be close to nonexistent. It’s also true that if Meredith (among other people) hadn’t responded so kindly to my first half a dozen or so idiotic questions about editing wikis, I might well be one of the people who goes around saying they can’t do wikis (or blogs, or cataloging, or whatever.

I do not generally get questions about how to become a rock star (in fact, I’m fairly sure I’ve never gotten one). Since I’m not particularly a rock star, this doesn’t bother me, although I will add, for the benefit of anyone hoping to glean such information from this little ditty, that moving to a town of 351 people is not really the best way to go about rockstardom. (Had I only thought to move to a town of 300 people, and acquire a coyote, and live in a cabin, and take beautiful photographs! Ah well.)

In the course of thinking about all these things, though, it has occurred to me that perhaps the way I go about things is a little peculiar. I am the branch manager of a tiny public/school library. Most of my day at work is spent reading book reviews, ordering books, helping patrons find stuff (mostly books), doing various interlibrary loan tasks, walking down to the post office to get the mail, organizing programs, submitting people’s timesheets, and trying to remember to schedule people to work on Wednesday nights. Now that I’m also (by self-declaration) the virtual branch manager, I do a little website maintenance and a little statistics gathering from databases and such, too. But there’s really very little call for me to know much about open access, or link resolvers, or college-level bibliographic instruction, or any of the other things that I spend time reading about almost every day.

There’s no call for me to know all of that as the Meeteetse librarian, it’s true, but I feel there’s plenty of call for me to know it simply as a librarian. I can’t advocate for net neutrality or open access as a member of my profession if I don’t know what they are or how they affect it. And, quite frankly, like Dorothea, I can’t imagine going through day by day without at least trying to learn something.

I’ve been lucky to have found myself a place where I can do some of that learning and a community of people who provide friendly encouragement and answer even the stupidest questions. This morning I started my new project, which is learning PHP. PHP is actually directly related to my job, in that I’m learning it in part in order to build a little application for the library. All I’ve managed to do so far is build a little form that captures a word you type in and redeploys it as part of a sentence. Not much, but it’s a start. And, thanks to the many people I know out there doing cool things, I felt that it was a start that I could make. My mantra in such projects is always, “Hey, if John Blyberg / Jessamyn West / other librarian rock star can do it well, then surely it’s worth it for me to do it poorly.” Or, as the godawful poem I learned in third grade put it,

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That maybe it couldn’t, but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

solidarity, virtually: my CiL2008

I’ve been watching Computers in Libraries (and Internet Librarian) from afar for three years now, starting with the OPML file Steve put together for CiL in 2006. I’ve watched the conference tags make it into Flickr’s hot tags list every year, and I’ve seen hundreds of sea lion photos from Monterey. I’ve read the complaints about internet access, read scores of blog posts about conference sessions, and I’ve watched attendees plan dinner dates via an ever-evovling series of technologies, from wikis to Twitter.

But there was something different about this year. Usually, as much as I love following the action, I get depressed looking at all the pictures of people having drinks and fun because I’m not there and I’m sure I’m missing out on things. This year, for some reason, I didn’t feel that way. Maybe it was the increased level of wifi that meant more people were Twittering. Maybe it was the back channel in the LSW Meebo Room. Maybe it was that I got to be at the conference by being in the LSW Room when Josh, Steve, and Rikhei were talking about it. Maybe it was that I got mentioned in that presentation. Maybe it was that at least one person I talked to via some medium thought I was at the conference. Whatever it was, though, it left me feeling as though I was in fact there, and today, it’s giving me that post-conference let down, where you suddenly realize that you have to take all your great ideas back home and deal with the 179 emails you’ve accumulated and the garbage you forgot to take out and making dinner instead of going out for sushi with your friends, and you’re exhausted because you haven’t slept much all week.

I’ve been trying to place the sense that I got while the conference was going on, and it finally dawned on me: it felt like the sit-in.

While we were at Weeg, we ran through Heidi’s e-mail accumulated over the past day, almost all of it from the USAS listserv. It’s not just us and Purdue, it’s all over–and spreading like wildfire. Kentucky, Tulane, Michigan, Oregon, Yale, Wesleyan–they’re all holding buidlings or camping out or hunger striking or something, and I know there are schools I’m forgetting. This movement is national, and though the national media haven’t picked up on it yet, we know it (thanks to the wonders of modern technology). But sitting there, reading all those posts from all over–somebody compiled all the letters asking for support and sent them out in one mass e-mail–we felt it. All over America right now people are sleeping, but some of those people–a critical mass of those people–are college students and supporters, camping out on lawns and in libraries, in hallways and on doorsteps, demanding change, demanding a voice, demanding a better world.

Well, not exactly like that, of course, but it had much the same energy, much the same silliness promanading with serious intent.

I’m happiest when I think I’m changing the world. I’m not certain that Information Today Inc. is changing the world, or not in exactly the ways I would like it to, but I’m certain that the people in the Library Society of the World are changing librarianship, and I like thinking that I’m a part of this amazing group of people who are all tinkering away in our own corners of the world. Someday I hope to meet more of you in person, but I think it’s a testament to the power of the intertubes that you all feel like comrades already.

with a lot of help from my friends

This post is long overdue.

On October 3, I did the official soft launch of our new library website. There are still some improvements to come (online library card sign up!) and some things I’d like to do but which may be hard to institute (MeeboMe reference!) but on the whole, it’s done.

It’s basically a WordPress installation with some of the bloggy parts taken out, a modified WordPress theme, and a highly customized sidebar. I use Google to run the events calendar, because I wanted something that would easily handle repeated events such as story times. There are still some little problems (for instance, the header has a blue background in Internet Explorer and none in Firefox), and the header does kind of hog a lot of real estate, but given the amount of time it took to get it working at all, I decided against trying to do more with it right now). On the whole, though, it wasn’t really very hard to set up, despite the devils in the details, and if you’d like more information, just let me know.

Websites don’t usually come with acknowledgements pages, but they should. This, then, is an acknowledgements post.

First, I’d like to thank everyone in the Park County Library System: our director, Frances Clymer, for giving me permission to go ahead with this project; our IT person, Ty Wright, for doing the WordPress installation; everyone on the web team for putting up with multiple logins, long instructions, incessant e-mails, and general nattering from me; and the library staff for embracing the new site.

Thanks to Mitchell Szczepanczyk for doing the test site WordPress installation and to Mitchell and his co-worker Holmes for various troubleshooting.

Thanks to Desiree Saunders at the Wyoming State Library for her indefatigable database access fixing and for pointing out a number of decisions I’d forgotten I had to make.

Thanks to Aaron Schmidt for showing what a blog-based library website could look like.

Thanks to Dorothea Salo for pointing out some faceting errors in an early iteration of the Research page and for sending me this at a crucial point. The Research page still has problems, but those aren’t Dorothea’s fault.

Thanks to Michael Sauers for blogging about the importance of valid code. I know ours isn’t perfect, but it’s a heck of a lot better than at least one (far more expensive) example he cites.

Thanks to Andrea Mercado and Jessamyn West for their offers of assistance. Thanks also to Jessamyn for writing the post that inspired me to make the iPod options page into its own front-and-center page rather than just having it be a post.

Thanks to Steve Lawson for fixing every CSS problem I created and some I didn’t. I am planning to leave a bequest to Colorado College when I die mandating that they always employ at least one person who can fix other librarians’ CSS problems, since I think that’s on the verge of becoming an official part of Steve’s job description.

Thanks to the Twitterverse and all the regulars in the LSW Meebo Room for advice, encouragement, and general good humor.

And thanks to the people behind WordPress, Twitter, and Meebo for creating the tools that made all this good stuff possible. (Oh, and Google, but they get enough props, right?)

Thanks to everyone I forgot.