New job! New home!

I haven’t updated here recently, but for very good reason – it’s been a really busy month.

Starting on May 4th, I am going to be the Research Librarian at Perkins (formerly known as Perkins School for the Blind, but they do a lot of other things besides being a school these days.)

The job involves providing reference and research assistance for people at Perkins, for people who are interested in the unique collections there, and supporting the research of educators who come from various places (including 67 countries) to learn new techniques and skills. You can learn more about the Hayes Research Library (including links to finding aids and archival materials that are online) on their website.

I’m really looking forward to learning a lot more about their collections and resources (they have the largest non-medical collection of materials about blindness in the US).

I’m also very excited to be moving back to Massachusetts, much closer to many friends and to my mother and brother (and his family) so it’s a great move in multiple ways.

I expect to pick up regular posting again in a couple of weeks.

The Librarians and the City of Light

IMDB : aired January 18, 2014 : previous episode  
index and explanation of these posts


One town. Some UFO conspiracy theories. Other mysteries abound.

Continue reading The Librarians and the City of Light

Links of Interest : March 13, 2015

Welcome to this fortnight’s links!

Continue reading Links of Interest : March 13, 2015

Links roundup : January 30, 2015

Welcome to this fortnight’s roundup.

Continue reading Links roundup : January 30, 2015

Links of interest: September 10, 2014

I would normally wait until Friday to do this, but a particularly timely link came across my RSS reader last night…

Ada Initiative campaign:

When I read my RSS feeds last night, I discovered that a number of librarians have coordinated a campaign to donate to the Ada Initiative, which supports women in open technology and culture. You can read more about the matching donations campaign. That post includes links to other posts why this is so important for librarians and people working in (and using, and caring about) libraries that are worth reading too.

Continue reading Links of interest: September 10, 2014

Link roundup: August 18, 2014

(My current reading is at the end, since discussing it got long, because I’ve been reading awesome things.)

Continue reading Link roundup: August 18, 2014

Oyster update

Per their blog, there are several notable things today:

1) The iPad app is out, so if you prefer reading on the iPad, have fun. (You do need to be running iOS7 – the join page, linked below, has device specifics info.)

2) They’re removing the invitation system (and you get a free month trial) – you can join here.

3) They’ve added the ability to browse their catalog on the website (you still can’t search, but if you’re trying to decide if there are enough books you might want to read, the browsing will be a big help.)

I’m still very happy with it, but I know there’s a number of people who were interested in finding out more, or who were waiting for the iPad app.

IM chat

I’m spending a lot more time on instant messenger chat than I used to. And I have to admit, I really enjoy it.

Continue reading IM chat

Links of interest

Of course, just after I did the last one, I ended up finding a bunch of seasonally relevant ones, so here, bonus.


Libraries and related topics:


  • The Discovery Channel has announced footage of live giant squid! (The link comes from Deep Sea News, and the author talks about whether one can trust the announcement – apparently, yes.) 
  • Bad Astronomy also explains the awesome Cassini photo of Saturn I linked last post.

My technology ecosystem : the tools

To put the “Ok, so what am I doing with this new computer” into context, it’d help to know what else there is:

My geeky stuff: 

My work computer is a Dell laptop, running Win7, and a variety of software, including the Adobe Creative suite. I mostly live in my web browser, Word, Excel, and forays into various Adobe products, but less than I did before most of our website management moved into WordPress from Dreamweaver.  Our IT policy is that we can use work machines for reasonable personal use, but in practice, it lives on my desk (plugged into a widescreen monitor) unless I’m at the reference desk or on my fortnightly evening reference shift. (However, if I ever *did* have a trip where I really wanted a computer, not the iPad, I could easily bring it.)

At home, I have: 

  • My primary computer (since 2009, this has been a MacBook, it is about to be the new iMac). It lives on a small rolling desk by my couch, and I often have a small black cat within arm’s reach when I’m home. (Not the best ergonomics ever, but awesome on the ‘reach out and get purred at’ quality of life scale.)
  • An iPad 2 and a keyboard case (now my primary portable device: it doesn’t do quite *everything* I would want in a primary device, but it’s manageable even for a week-long trip.)
  • An iPhone, which (as I’ve commented to various people) is less phone and more “portable computer that fits in my pocket that occasionally makes a phone call.” I am really not a phone person.
  • A Time Capsule, which stores my backups and also purchased digital downloads (movies, TV series) that are not in active use. It is also my wifi router.

Other bits of tech: 

I should note here that I don’t own a TV and haven’t since 2005. (This has been largely for space reasons: I watch things via Hulu, Netflix, and various other streaming tools.)  But part of why I’m excited about the iMac is that watching something while keeping an eye on my IM windows will now be much easier.

I will eventually get a USB DVD drive, but this past week is the first time I’ve stuck a DVD in my computer in about a year.


I believe in naming my technology. And sometimes renaming it. Here’s my about to be naming scheme:

  • the Time Capsule: alexandria (really, what else do you name a storage device if you’re me?)
  • the local wifi network : musica humana (the term for human-made music in discussion of music of the spheres)
  • the new iMac: diapason (the term for a perfect octave, in Pythagorean ratio discussion of music.)
  • the iPhone : diapente (the term for a 4:6 or 2:3 ratio in Pythagorean ratios of music, a fifth.)
  • the iPad : diatesseron (the term for a 9:12 or 3:4 ratio in Pythagorean ratios of music, a fourth.)

You might notice a relationship between the screen ratios on the last two devices and their names. They’re imperfect, but amusing.

Hi, I’m Jen

Librarian, infovore, and general geek, likely to write comments about books, link collections, and other thoughts related to how we find, use, and take joy in information.

I'm the Research Librarian at Perkins (You may know the name as Perkins School for the Blind but they do a lot of other things these days). More about my job.

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