I get asked this question a lot. Sometimes it comes right after the “Oh, you have to go to school for that?” moment–you know, from someone who thinks a Master’s in library sciences means Basic Shushing 101 and Advanced Glaring Techniques.

Sometimes it comes up when I’m carrying around a couple of Guitar Hero controllers (or my new DDR pads–huzzah!) and I have to explain–again–why one line of my business card reads “Library Gaming Advocate.”

…Or sometimes it comes when I’ve just gotten back from an event with a swag bag that looks more like it came from a gay pride event than an educational conference. Read More →

Sometimes I furtively drink coffee at the circulation desk.

I’ve seen students photocopying school textbooks, and I’ve looked the other way.

More than once, I’ve kept the library open well past five o’clock–without kicking any students out or writing the extra minutes on my timesheet.

In short, I’m a library outlaw.

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As a school librarian in a district that uses WebSense, I’m all too familiar with the blocked page screen. For the mostpart, filtering seems to be limited to what someone recently referred to as “bandwidth hogs”–sites like YouTube, which could definitely tax district servers if too many students tried to browse all at once.’  Every now and then I’m frustrated by a block–like when a friend recommended a book to me, and for some reason the review she linked was blocked–but I generally understand the rationale behind most blocks, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it (*cough*Facebook*cough*).

But what happens when the blocker isn’t WebSense or internet filtering at all? What if you can’t access a resource because a colleague or an administrator or your community has decided you shouldn’t?

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In a profession filled with acronyms and specialized taxonomy, sometimes it’s easy to forget that not everyone knows what we mean.

Just one example: When a couple of my colleagues thought I should write a post for 28 Days of Advocacy, my first response was, “Um, I don’t think I know anything about advocacy.”

They laughed.

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Thanks to all who participated in YALSA’s first event liveblogged with CoverItLive! Despite a couple of interesting technical developments, I think everything went very smoothly. Particular thanks to the fantastic Kelly Tyler, who took an astounding amount of photos and video–some of which we even managed to upload during the session!

You can now view a replay of the session, which includes selected book covers, video, and commentary from several folks who participated via Twitter.
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I found myself in the awards with a great seat and an outlet and working wireless, so what the heck–I liveblogged the awards. You can now view the replay, although the ALA Webcast is more comprehensive. (Though I’m sure it’s putting quite a strain on the server at the moment.)
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I was just about to set up the CoverItLive session for MidWinter when I realized that the poll had only received six votes. As a wise man once said–d’oh.

I’m leaving the voting open until midnight tonight (Eastern Standard Time) so that more folks have a chance to have your say.

And one sort of embarrassing note–although the ALA Youth Media Awards Press Conference is currently in the lead (with a whopping three votes), that may not be the best choice; ALA is already providing a free live webcast starting at 7:45 (Mountain Time), as well as what I’m sure will be comprehensive coverage on Twitter. I’m sorry I didn’t consider that when I sort of arbitrarily provided the poll options. (But you can still suggest your own!)

I’m leaving the press conference as an option on the poll, though, because this is the democratic process, and if you want even more thorough coverage of the awards, well, then, we’ll provide it! (Um, when I say “we,” though, I might have to recruit some help if that’s the event The People choose–because in the interest of full disclosure, I have a 10:40 shuttle to the airport, and I was kind of planning on running the live blog.)

Please vote!

We’ll be doing a test of CoverItLive at 7:30 PM (Eastern Time) tonight, just to work out any kinks before Midwinter. If you’d like to join us for kicks, feel free!

If you’d like to try participating via Twitter, feel free to leave your username in comments. (Or if you’d like more privacy, you can drop me an email at eagle.mk@gmail with your username.)

Click Here to Join!

When the liveblog has begun, you can click to enter. After it’s closed, you can click to replay the session.

I first learned about CoverItLive through Feministe, one of my favorite sources for feminist news and community. Before then, I’d always thought of “live-blogging” as the poor-blogger’s stenographer–attempting to cover an event with text only, updating as frequently as possible, but without true “live” capabilities. When blogs I read in college covered meetings of the undergraduate government, “live” just meant bloggers would comment on a post every few minutes with updates. Not exactly high tech.

As I learned when Feministe live-blogged the 2008 presidential debates, however, a software like CoverItLive can really engage a community in real-time discussion, voting, and content creation.

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A few recently released studies on teens, sex, and technology have some folks all a-flutter. ZOMG! Teh sex! Before any of us use the results to defend our hard line on MySpace or cell phones in libraries, though, we should look a little bit more closely at what these studies–and so many like them–can really tell us about our teens.

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