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Making the Best of Bad Situations

March 10, 2009

It is the last week in the quarter at my university. This means that students, faculty and staff are all running on low and are ready for spring break. Which means, of course, that this post must be a mixed bag of things and information that just caught my eye. Without further ado, faithful reader, here is to Tuesdays–they have the grand distinction of not being Mondays and being one day closer to Friday and the weekend.

What does any of the above have to do with today’s post? Well, I was thinking about the situation the world is in (which gets depressing awfully quickly) and the last-minute panicking students at the reference desk, and then I thought–well we definitely need something uplifting. And I have to say that this post,“We live in Shakespearian Times,” captures the undying spirit of librarians quite nicely. I love this part: “How do I stay optimistic? I realize first the issues I face are miniscule to the good I can do.” This is how I feel about all the obstacles we face and how I stay optimistic. And if you missed the 40 inspirational speeches in 2 minutes video when I posted it the first time around, take a look at it now.

When people ask me why I stay positive, I simply tell them it is the best way to live. Why be all doom and gloom all the time? The world gives us enough of that. Or I just say one of my favorite quotes on being positive by Herm Albright, “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

Speaking of staying positive, it is very difficult when you read articles about more hard times for those looking for academic jobs. I think it is just wrong that we keep telling people to go further with their education, that it is the way to better jobs and security, when there aren’t many jobs at the top. It discourages me in the same way that all the debate over whether or not their will be a flood of openings in the library world when the Baby Boomers retire. Does this mean I’m against people getting doctorates or furthering their education? No way. But it is a loss when those with doctorates have no where to fully utilize their expertise. How do we fix this? I’m not sure, but investing more in education (at all levels) might be a start.

If this report is true, then Yelp is behaving badly. I love Web 2.0 and sites that allow people to interact and comment about places they’ve been, products they’ve bought, etc. But if a company is purposefully trying to skew reviews and ratings, that is completely ruining the experience and possibilities of We 2.0. It just goes back to the point I try to hammer home to my students–it doesn’t matter what you are reading or watching, always step back and evaluate where the information is coming from and how it might be biased.

Now for something completely cool, let’s celebrate NARA’s 75th anniversary. This site is full of information and news about the National Archives. Rock on archivists–the macho heroes of Washington!

Have a great rest of your day. More later in the week.

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