Round-Up! 5/19 to 5/26

by Brian Michael Foote

Hello Commons!

The week started off with a birthday!  The New York Public Library turned 100 this Monday.  The crew over at the Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies lead the way with some birthday well wishing.  Fun fact about the NYPL – they still have all of these amazing wood phone booths down in the lower level.  If you ever find yourself pining to pretend you’re on a very important phonecall to your editor in Moldova that’s the place to do it.

It finally happened this week and while looking at the Commons no less.  I clicked on Tony Picciano’s @APicciano link to the Times about Bill Keller’s less than optimistic take on social media and was halted at the door by the paywall.  My paltry allotment of stories from the paper of record had expired.  From the clips it sounds like Keller thinks social media is something akin to crystal meth.  Yes, Facebook causes its users to become skeletal, lose their teeth and cripple their community by assisting in the transmission of terrible diseases.  It’s just like that.

I get it, it’s hyperbole, but still you could always…I don’t know…tell your daughter she can’t use Facebook.  Especially if you think it’s like ‘a pipe of crystal meth.’  On a side note, what would that make the Commons?  Are we the Advil of the social media world?  Sherry maybe?

Lee Hachadoorian @leehach was blogging again over at Free City.  This week was about the incoming fleet of Nissans to the New York taxi scene and grew into a really amazing piece on some faults in our current Clean Air Act policy.  Thank you for bringing this to the Commons.  Maybe I just don’t keep an eye for these kinds of stories so its great to see knowledgeable policy blogging around things like the Clean Air Act.  It’s well outside my area but I had never considered how the act would account for local provisions.

Andrew Boyarsky @aboyarsky , blogging at Stop Playing Games had us thinking about the role of avatars in tech and where they’re headed.  As an early adopter I’m kind of excited about using virtual spaces for teaching and holding courses but it’s hard not to feel like we’re squarely in the awkward phase of that kind of technology.  Your take away at the end is right on too.

Erika Iverson @eiverson had a beautiful post up this week.  If you missed it you should circle back and check it out.  Thanks for the work you’re doing Erika!

Finally – Brooklyn College Library is starting a zine collection.  I know.  No seriously, I know.  It sounds amazing!  Please keep up with us here and let us know how it’s going.  Zines were pretty much the best part of the 90s.  Hell, you can still find them and they are still fantastic.  If you actually grew up with a computer and have no idea what a zine is ask your cooler older sibling – they made them with a type writer and by cutting out and xeroxing collage art.  Occasionally if you were really fancy you had one of those extra long staplers.  I can’t wait to see the collection!

Till next week!