MRM's blog

Rad Ref at the 2007 USSF

So I recently returned from Atlanta, where I attended the first ever US Social Forum, along with a few other librarians. Here is my report back.

My impressions of Atlanta were that it was hot (I guess that goes without saying, but this was an especially enervating heat), there's almost no one walking on sidewalks in the part of downtown where the Civic Center is located, and I got asked for change more times in four days than I have in the past several months in NYC. The Atlantans I did speak to (including the guy working at the Kinko's below the Marriott and most of the people asking for money) were super friendly, though. While there were a few (overpriced, sorry) vendors set up on one of the streets bordering the Civic Center, there seemed to be only chips and candy for sale at a station inside the center itself, and given the packed schedule and lack of access to busier city streets, I was hungry most of the time.

May 25 in Brooklyn: Dance Dance Library Revolution and Books Through Bars book drive!

The Desk Set, a hip bunch of librarians in Brooklyn, will be hosting a dance event that includes a book drive for Books Through Bars - NYC on Friday, May 25. Here's their blurb:

Films about libraries at Proteus Gowanus in Brooklyn on Sept 17

Proteus Gowanus
543 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215

The first of a monthly screening of films from The New York Public

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Cheat Sheet

Today a colleague printed out Paul English's IVR cheat sheet for the reference desk. Do you sometimes have to call customer service departments of large corporations?

Bicycling Resources page on Rad Ref site

For those of us in mass-transit-less NYC (and elsewhere!), remember the Bicycling Resources page on Rad Ref's Reference Shelf. You can also go directl

My night with the NYC Bill of Rights Defense Campaign

On Wednesday evening I went to a meeting of the Federal Legislation Committee of the New York City Bill of Rights Defense Campaign (NYCBORDC). The talk was of how best to educate and mobilize people about the PATRIOT Act -- get people to lobby their elected officials, generally make our fellow citizens understand what's at state in terms of threats to our civil liberties. Discussion was spirited. When do we try to "reform" something we're against (or publicly support one mediocre option just because it's better than the alternative), and when do we stand firm and say we will settle for nothing less than, say, the repeal of the entire PATRIOT Act?

Another tale from the April 29 Critical Mass

I biked from work over the Manhattan Bridge (taking care to note the new gaps in the Brooklyn side anti-bike barriers [see Infoshop story for related communique]). It was close to 7:30 by the time I crossed Houston on Lafayette, and instead of riding all the way up to Union Square, I latched on to a group of 30 or so cyclists I encountered as they were heading west. We rode through the West Village and SoHo for a while, periodically whooping and cheering and dinging our bells, getting smiles and thumbs-ups and the occasional angry honk -- all in all, a very pleasant springtime Critical Mass experience.

Military Recruitment in Schools

Rethinking Schools has published an interesting article on military recruitment in high schools and a Portland, Ore., high school's unit on these recruitment techniques and the reality of enlistment.

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