covid, masks, family, sad, profanity 

I mean I guess we could pretend like there's no pandemic and no risks, and we have been very isolated and careful, but I laughed when she said nobody wants to wear a mask all day.

"Mom", I said, "if we send our kids back to in-person schooling, they will be required to wear a mask all day. If I go back to work in-person, I'll be required to wear a mask all day. This is how it is now!"

We're all tired of this but it's no time to stop being vigilant.

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covid, masks, family, sad, profanity 

My elderly mom, who we haven't seen since March, wanted to visit our family for a couple of days, on the condition that she would not have to wear a mask. This would be after she went and visited a couple of other family members.

I offered to instead drive the family down and spend the day hanging out with her & stepdad on their porch, go for a walk, check out her garden--all outside stuff. She just said no, maybe we can visit next year.


work, mh- 

I laboured for days to put together a remote intro to library research workshop (with polls and breakout rooms) and comments like the following *should* be the reward: "Sorry but I can't give any bad feedback. Dan Scott was incredibly helpful and was able to properly explain everything with clarity."

But I mostly just feel tired and like I should have been able to do a much better job

Continuing library admin hijinx 

Oh, plot twist: I looked into the print & scan software that our university uses and discovered that it offers OCR out of the box (

So I guess our library admin didn't know that and didn't want to look like they had made a mistake in setting this up without including librarians with their "no we will not include OCR" stance - or they've deliberately not implemented it.

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Continuing library admin hijinx 

Scans will be created without OCR. If anyone wants an accessible version, they'll be directed to the Accessibility office.

OCR is one short step and it adds the ability to copy, search, and have the text read out loud: universal design!

I'm considering setting up a web-based Tesseract OCR service and apologetically telling students, staff, and faculty to use that. But first I'm asking teaching faculty to campaign for OCR, because they won't listen to librarians.

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Continuing library admin hijinx 

Hey cool in addition to suddenly announcing curbside pickup, our library admin also rolled out a scan-on-demand service today--again without consulting with any librarians, including your friendly neighbourhood systems librarian who has managed a fairly large digitization project in the past.

Cool cool cool.

library patron private info 

Just called out our library admin for making phone number a required field on our university library curbside pickup request form. We have avoided gathering personal info such as phone number and addresses for a decade to minimize the possibility of abuse--now they're requiring a phone number? At best, make it an option if the patron prefers that mode of contact.

This is what happens when admin bypasses their librarians entirely, I suppose.

Slow library system migration processes 

Our library is migrating from Evergreen to Ex Libris Alma (not my choice). One thing that drives me up the wall is that their test load takes two weeks, and they're only doing one test load before production.

When I migrated us to Evergreen, we were doing test loads on at least a weekly basis for months, so that we could iterate towards perfection.

Why is their loading process so slow? It's 2020, damn it!

MS Word keyboard shortcuts; maybe I'm the idiot 

So now I've typed a straight quote in a browser window, copied it, and have pasted it using the Paste options -> Unformatted text so that I can copy and paste it to replace the smart quotes.

Not my desired user experience, I have to say.

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MS Word keyboard shortcuts; maybe I'm the idiot 

Oh hey and now I've disabled the auto-formatting of straight quotes to smart quotes, but it's still inserting smart quotes when I type them manually. That really sucks for code snippets. OMG. I hate that I have to use this software.

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MS Word keyboard shortcuts; maybe I'm the idiot 

What idiot thought it was a good idea to remove CTRL-Shift-v as the shortcut for "Paste unformatted text" and replaced it with right-click -> Paste options -> Keep text only?

uhoh I'm doing the bad thing where I know I should fully document every step I've taken to accomplish this test data extract so that I can reproduce it four months in the future, but I'm just so tired...

@adr you use Teams on Linux, yeah? I tried it for a video call for the first time today and had major microphone issues (cutting in and out, mostly out). Ever run into that and figure out a fix?

Microsoft has known about it for 7 months now and done nothing, apparently:

I'm teaching Ex Libris' data import specialist this morning that Excel just displays barcodes using scientific notation and that the underlying data is still perfectly valid.

This, after they saw the 3.00000E+17 values in Excel and admonished me "Please do not open the csv file in any type of editor that will modify data"


Library vendor, cumbersome TLS cert processes 

Ex Libris response to asking them to use LetsEncrypt to generate certs with our hostname:

"We do not use CertBot or LetsEncrypt certificates in the Cloud. Our security standards and processes rely on Certificate Authority certificates [such as] GoDaddy, DigiCert and others, where we create the Certificate request (CSR) along with a key for the customer to issue and sign the certificate with a CA."


Kudos to whoever created the item "Not a user friendly library system" in this Alma training sandbox

Dan Scott boosted

This is neat... open to a new window somewhere else in the world:

It's also neat that you get sound. Just opened to a window in Dubai with the Beatles playing...

I don't mind self-hosted training videos but *please* let me increase playback speed and give me a full text transcript!

Lame joke; collective writing 

I just ended a call to discuss a paper that I'm working on with a few other people by saying: "All right! Lets... all... write!"

Yeah you know you want to work on a project with me.

Dreams, difficulty sleeping 

My sleep has sucked for weeks. Partially an overly tight lower back, partially the heat.

Anyway I was doing a little coding yesterday and I guess it infected the dream that I had during last night's 4.5 hours of broken sleep.

I was helping someone create a pop-up window using JavaScript and noticed they were trying to call a static method instead of using a constructor to create an object and then call the method on that.

Yeah, hell of a dream.

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