Amy Trulock

Future Librarian, Class of 2012

Continuing the discussion on the democracy of community, with a little help from the dictionary

Last night a lively group gathered at the Ukiah Library for a discussion of Rebecca Solnit‘s book, A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster.  Led by Anne Shirako, this was the second of three events focused on the democracy of community.

One of the main topics discussed was that of chaos vs. cooperation during times of disaster. When the term “anarchy” was mentioned, the group began to consider the true meaning of the word and its origins.  Branch Librarian, Eliza Wingate, promptly solved this query with the ideal source: a dictionary!

According to the Random House College Dictionary (Revised Edition): anarchy can mean either:

  1. A state of society without government or law.
  2. Lawlessness or political and social disorder due to the absence of Government control.

After discussing the definitions, many felt that “anarchy’ did not need to be synonymous with chaos, but rather with a non-hierarchical, cooperative, organizational structure. Anne Shirako concluded the thought-provoking discussion with the following quote from A Paradise Built in Hell:

We speak of self-fulfilling prophesies, but any belief that is acted on makes the world in its image. Beliefs matter. And so do the facts behind them. The astonishing gap between common beliefs and actualities about disaster behavior limits the possibilities, and changing beliefs could fundamentally change much more. (p. 3)

I left the discussion not only contemplating how I hoped I would act following a natural disaster, but also with a reminder to consider the origins of words when deep in debate. Don’t have a dictionary at home and can’t make it to the library? is a great, free online resource that also has apps for multiple smart phones, e-readers, and tablets (

If you couldn’t attend last night’s event, or wish to continue the dialogue, please feel welcome to do so in the comments section. The next discussion on this topic shall be August 14th at the Ukiah Library at 7:00pm.

Sponsored by the Mendocino County Library. This program is part of a grant from Cal Humanities, “Searching for Democracy”, California READS and in partnership with California Center for the Book.

Better than dancing e-readers…

Better than dancing e-readers…

Here’s the story behind Sean Ohkamp‘s video (via Torontoist).

19th Century Curiosity Libraries

“The nineteenth century was an era of widespread interest in curiosities for their own sake, not only those intended for popular exhibit by P. T. Barnum and others but also those collected by physicians—such as Frank Hastings Hamilton (1813–1886), Joseph Leidy (1823–1891), Thomas Dent Mütter (1811–1859), and Isaac Parrish (1811–1852)—for their own pleasure and that of their professional colleagues. Private “pathological cabinets” were quite common at the time. Yet these curiosities—such as tumors in jars, bullet-shattered bones, Chang and Eng Bunker’s conjoined liver, or anthropodermic bookbindings, which might seem bizarre, irreverent, or even criminal today—were not intended merely to entertain ghoulish physicians but to instruct. As such, they were intended to be protected and preserved alongside the medical books and journals themselves. Through most of the nineteenth century, medical libraries almost always existed in tandem with anatomical or pathological museums, and they were thought to go hand-in-hand as teaching tools [10].”

via Financing North American medical libraries in the nineteenth century.

Anonymous paper sculptures in Scotland’s libraries – Boing Boing




Anonymous paper sculptures in Scotland’s libraries – via Boing Boing.

DOIs and APA Style

Since DOIs (digital object identifiers) are one of the new aspects included in the 6th Edition of the APA Manual of Style that have caused the majority of confusion in discussions with fellow library students, I am posting this video discovered via the APA Style Blog.

How did I ever live without Bb IM?

One of the best parts of being a LIBR 203 Peer Mentor this fall has been getting to play with SJSU’s latest tech toy, Blackboard IM. I’ll admit, I wondered if I would feel cluttered having yet another window open on my desktop while attempting to study online. Now, I simply wish that I’d had this great tool two years ago when I started the program. All you new SLISers are lucky ducks! One of the most difficult aspects of online education is feeling isolated from your classmates. Attending live Elluminate sessions in class and hitting up as many local student library get-togethers helps alleviate some of that feeling. Now, Bb IM gives me a sense of being connected anytime, or at least whenever I am literally connected online. No matter what time of the day or night that I have been working on a course, there is always at least one fellow classmate online as well. It’s a comforting feeling knowing that I’m not the only one burning the midnight oil.

I got a sense of this in my first year while taking LIBR 246 with Meredith Farkas. As it was a course on Web 2.0,  all students were required to have Twitter accounts for the semester. I loved the realtime updates from classmates, especially in the days leading up to an assignment deadline. I particularly fancied living vicariously through a fellow classmate that kept me informed of the latest and greatest (or rather, worst) movie on SyFy while we worked across the country from one another.

However, now with Bb IM it won’t be just one course that I’m connected to, but rather all (or hopefully all) of my classmates and instructors. If you’re hesitant to add yet another application to your online education arsenal, I definitely encourage you to try out Bb IM and even set it to launch when you start your computer. If you see other classmates online, it just might be the motivation you need on days when you’re feeling sluggish. I know that when I’ve been a bit tired and was tempted to get some shuteye in lieu of what-I-really-should-be-doing it has helped immensely. Oh, and one more handy dandy tip before I go: add your classmates that you work with this semester to your favorites list (click on the plus icon next to their name and it turns into a smiley face!) and you’ll easily be able to K.I.T. the following semester.

Friday Funday: Grover In The Library

Hopefully, Grover in the Library makes up for my missing last week’s Friday Funday! Sarah Utter – Guybrarian







First, Sarah Utter created the “Reading is Sexy” shirt, then came “Future Librarian”. Now all you guybrarians out there have your own! BTW, there’s a $10 sale on until Thursday, and “Future Librarian” is going to be mine! ( Sarah Utter – Guybrarian)

Goodreads | SJSU SLIS Reads

Attention all future librarians! Who else is on Goodreads and is interested in meeting other fellow SJSU SLIS students? I just joined last month and discovered that there is a SJSU SLIS Reads group. Join me?

Hack Your Program – San Jose State University SLIS (Online) « Hack Library School

Looking for more feedback from other fellow/former SLIS students? Check out the blog by Brian McManus (& comments) at: Hack Your Program – San Jose State University SLIS (Online) « Hack Library School.

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