the music of solitude

home stereo set up

Wintertime is for woodshedding. For me this is a combination of catching up on reading (current title is an ARC about the North Pond Hermit), catching up on housework and home care, and catching up on correspondence (email, postal mail, social communication). I spend a lot of time busy usually, enough so that it’s a little hard for me to figure out what to do when I’m not doing paid-for work. Helen and Scott Nearing, when they were talking about their version of “the good life,” spoke of splitting up their day into thirds; roughly a third for vocation/wage earning, a third for the community, a third for fun and hobbies. Mine seems to go in bigger chunks: a day for fun, a day for community, a day for work.

Today I woke up determined not to do job-work and applied myself to more of the house projects here. I’m sure from the outside it looked like work. It can be hard to explain to people that, to a librarian, or at least to THIS librarian, putting things back in place is a deeply pleasing activity. So, I rewired the stereo, dusted all the bookshelves, found out when I went to put the iron back that there was already an iron there, hung up a few pictures and listened to some records. Yesterday I was the house manager at the Chandler for a talk by Amy Goodman and Bill McKibben, two favorites of mine. I got to help people find parking, help them find their seats, help the volunteers find their coordinators, help lock and unlock doors and keep the place running. It reminded me a lot of the work I used to do at the Odd Fellows hall and made me wish there was a little room in there somewhere where I could live. Jim was up before that and we went to VINS and admired the birds and I got to cross three more libraries off of my VT 183 list (Woodstock! Northfield! Quechee!) a list which is sort of slow to get filled out.

Wintertime is also for Wikipedia. I have more free time, enough that that if I learn a new thing (particularly if I got it from a print source), I try to add it to an article if it’s not already there. The next few weeks are a project called #1lib1ref, a campaign to try to get every librarian (or anyone really) to add a citation to Wikipedia to help make it better. There is a tool called Citation Hunt where you can look for articles needing citations in categories you are interested in. I found the five articles about African American Librarians needing citations and went and tracked down some sources. A lot of this can be done with some determined Googling and some Wikipedia-wrassling to get the citations right.

It’s more challenging finding citations in categories like this because history is often racist and the historical achievements of people of color didn’t make the papers in the same way achievements of white people did. One of the things that helps with this is libraries and the (Googleable) finding aids that they create. Not everyone can become famous for single-handedly recording 40,000 VHS tapes worth of TV news footage, sometimes you have to dig harder to make the connections and verify the claims. And all the while I got to do this stuff while listening to all my old records. Woodshedding may look like work, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.

keep, she said

The wikipedia deletion debate ended with a more-or-less consensus of “keep.” You can read, but please do not edit, the discussion which is now over, at Wikipedia. I hemmed and hawed about proposing a paper for the Wikimania conference and decided against it. I don’t know at this point if I’ll want to travel to Egypt in the summertime and right now I feel pretty well-socialized and in need of some non-travel time. I also had to pass on an invitation to Bulgaria in May which was a little too close to NOW to be something I could reasonably do. I’d really like to go back to Bulgaria a whole lot. I haven’t been since 1996.

In between that last post and this one, I went to Michigan and had a quick fun flyby of a trip. I gave a talk I really liked about teaching technology, I topic I hope to return to. I also went to the Tuba Museum, saw a bunch of old and new friends and got driven around a lot looking out the window. When I got home, it was snowing. What else is new? I’m in hunker down mode because it’s Spring tomorrow and even though there is icy blech coming from the sky today (and a small scrabbly sounding mammal running around downstairs that I just do not feel up to investigating) I can see a little mud in the ice of the driveway and I went out without a scarf today. It’s something.

blah blah me blah blah links, woo

I have two links to show you.

  • There was an article about Wikipedia in the local paper, Sunday supplement even, that has some quotes from me and even a picture. No, I don’t know what is up with my hair. Close readers may notice that this is the second time I have been photographed for the Times Argus holding a laptop. I’m not sure what happened to that other picture, it was almost seven years ago.
  • I went to see the Tunbridge 55th Annual Show (youtube link. their title, not mine) a local fundraising effort from the Tunbridge Civic Club. Apparently in days of yore this was a minstrel show and now it is decidedly a non-minstrel show (except for the guy in blueface?) with an introduction explaining what the show used to be like. I made a little movie of some high points. Still learning how to use all the camera + software + youtubery.