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Vendors - what are we paying you for? 

Like, sure, I could see them being concerned that it wouldn't meet our quality standards or whatever, but they could at least _try_ and say "Okay, here's what we did to make it meet our requirements--is this okay? Or do you want to go back to your graphic design team (HAHAHA) for a custom logo?"

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Vendors - what are we paying you for? 

"The image you sent us is wider than 300px, so we can't use it for your logo."

Okay, I'll take the 30 seconds to run it through ImageMagick to create the required size. Thanks for putting more work on us!

Alma library system grumbles 

So we were asked what character we wanted to use as a subfield delimiter before every setting hands on an Alma system. Of course I chose ‡.

Little did I know that a) Alma's record editor is basically a big text field and that means we would have to type that ‡ for every subfield and b) Alma isn't really set up for alternative delimiters, as it loads every record with its default $$ delimiter and then raises alerts about every field not using the right delimiter.

Blaming generations not cool 

Presenter started a presentation about yet another ILL product saying millenials / gen Z want all the information, and they want it now, and they want it to be easy to get.

I posted in chat that that's not a generational thing: we all want that.

It's not cool to stereotype a certain generation as lazy and demanding, and it doesn't help sell your thing to me.

Dan Scott boosted

I hate to ask, but here goes.

I'm looking for a role as a #frontend #developer. #Contracts or #fulltime. Preferably #UK where I have previous #remote work ex from.

I've been looking a while and nothing with the right fit has come along. Work life balance is super important. If UK, happy to work completely in your timezone!

My site is and I'm happy to email you my CV/resume. Will start immediately once we're on the same page. 💯

#Boost please?


"One advantage I haven't mentioned yet: shifting away from Audible is great news for libraries, since neither Audible originals, nor Kindle originals, are available at all for library purchase. Imagine a publisher boycotting libraries!"

Cory Doctorow, hoping his DRM-free audiobook will sell enough to encourage other authors to follow his route away from Audible/Kindle lock-in:

Sadly, as a librarian, I had never considered that outcome of Audible/Kindle originals...

Also, found a topographic map I could mark up for my kayaking trip this weekend, thanks to Canada's open data portal for such stuff:

Upgraded my Raspberry Pi printer server from Fedora 31 to 32 today. It took _way_ longer than I had anticipated but it eventually came back up, all systems were go. Huzzah!

library system migration data verification; all-caps 

Still can't believe that this will be the only test load we get before going live. WTH?!?

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library system migration data verification; all-caps 

"Verify that the patron has the same number of active loans in Alma and the source system"


work force envy 

I'm attending a virtual miniconference on library UX for the new consortial system (based on Ex Libris Alma) we'll be joining and all of these presenters are talking about their system teams, working teams composed from four library departments, etc... There were a few years when I was part of a team, but the (great!) systems librarian assistant left and was never replaced.

I'm getting tired of bearing all systems work on my shoulders. And it shows in our degrading UX.

Dream, work, research 

Last night I dreamed I was prepping for a research presentation and had filled a blackboard with a grid displaying my data.

Then my boss started adding some nonsensical colours and annotations to it.

I told him his work was meaningless and glared at him as I erased it all and began again.

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!

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