The Answer is the Library

Jason Kramer nails it!

The Downside of Being Universally Liked | Advocate’s Corner (posted by Library Journal on May 15, 2013)

Some excerpts:

In the highly competitive and aggressive world of politics, no enemies usually means no allies. In my experience elected officials (and staff) have nice feelings about libraries, not strong feelings. As a result libraries, politically, suffer from benign neglect. The warriors don’t go where there is no war. …
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Another Librarian’s Response to "What’s a Library?"

I love Rita Meade’s (@ScrewyDecimal) reaction piece to Michael Rosenblum’s op-ed “What’s a Library?” that was posted by the Huffington Post on May 8, 2013.

A Librarian’s Response to “What’s a Library?” (posted on Book Riot on May 13, 2013)

[With apologies for plagiarizing her title.]

Let’s be kind – let’s give Mr. Rosenblum the benefit of the doubt and assume he was honestly trying to critique the current state of libraries in some kind of difficult to discern attempt to help.

He still failed.
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QWERTY & UX

The Lies You’ve Been Told About the Origin of the QWERTY Keyboard by Alexis C. Madrigal (posted by The Atlantic, May 2013)

This article strikes me for two reasons:

  1. It’s a great example of a user-focused design process – the QWERTY keyboard was designed based on user feedback to serve user need.
  2. It’s a great example of why a user-focused design process can’t ever stop – because this isn’t the best design for users anymore.

It’s so tempting, once a design project is pushed out to the public, after a lengthy development and feedback process, to say, “We’re done!” This is what happens with many, many websites in particular. But really – once it’s public, that’s just the beginning of the next stage. The user feedback should never stop.

Shakespeare and the Notion of Love

It would seem that this is going to be the year for Romeo and Juliet. There’s a new movie coming out (starring the wonderful Hailee Steinfeld) and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre has a production slated for their 2013-2014 season.

I’ve never particularly liked Romeo and Juliet. I feel like I should but I’m always disappointed by productions of it. For this, I blame a professor from my freshman year of undergrad. The reason I’m consistently disappointed by productions of Romeo and Juliet is because I have yet to see a production of it based on his interpretation.

This professor’s interpretation of Romeo and Juliet starts with the line Juliet says to Romeo after they have their first kiss – she tells him, “You kiss by the book.”

She’s not speaking metaphorically – she’s referring to an actual book. And she obviously doesn’t think that kissing by it is a good thing.
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