Monday, November 7, 2011

What's in a name?

I've heard from several people that they would write for The Silverfish, if only they knew what to write. I'm not here to tell you what to write, exactly. It has to come from you, or you won't have fun writing it. And fun is the point...for the most point.

I do have a general list of what we're looking for.

Reviews of books, movies based on books
Article responses
Action reports from conferences: reactions to conferences attended; Review of conferences-what helped, what didn't.
Class reports: Kind of like a "what I know now that I didn't know..."; "I took this class, and it was good because..."
Opinion pieces on issues that have arisen in your research (e.g. Why we should give money to libraries after natural disasters).
More breaking news, things and issues that will change quickly, can be posted here, on the blog.

If you're still unsure about what to write, but might have ideas, you are always welcome to bounce them off of us. Just email them to

Happy Writing!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Con Seeks Pro: Electronic Books

This is something a little new for us. We hope to spark conversations about different aspects of our information world by setting up one side of an argument. I'll be taking the con side in this discussion as I am a book snob, and I welcome comments from anyone and everyone on this topic.

As I wrote, I am a book snob. This title encompasses everything from content to smell. For the sake of argument, we'll focus on the snobbery that has to do with what makes a book a book. For me, a book consists of several pages (several being anywhere between 4 and infinity), with words and, sometimes, pictures that tell a story. This story can be fictional or not, it doesn't matter. It is usually made of paper and held together by glue. Books come in many different shapes, sizes and lengths. A book has heft. You can hear the paper as you turn the page. There is a specific smell to a book, especially if the pages have begun to turn yellow. It's slightly musty and sweet. It's welcoming and relaxing. A book that is falling apart, while a sad sight, shows that it has been well loved. Also, nothing beats cracking the spine on a paper back. I am well aware that such an act is really bad for the binding, but if they are privately owned books: love it well.

Before I become too carried away in my musings, I have to admit that I do own a Nook Color from Barnes & Nobel, and I think it's a very handy device. I can search the web, check my email, and download the readings for class directly. It saves money and paper in this regard because I do not have to print out anything. I have even downloaded and read a few stories on my Nook. However, I would not call the stories I've downloaded books. They do not meet my above requirements, though they are novels. An e-book is not a book because, despite what can be done with e-readers--added sound effects, added heft, covers that make it seem like a book--it does not, above all else, smell like a book. There are ways to change that. One could spritz it with a certain perfume from CB I Hate Perfume (In The Library), but it's not the same. Electronic books are posers that really don't deserve to be called books because they fail to meet my requirements of what makes a book a book.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Silverfish Podcast #005 -- David Laskin and The Long Way Home

The Cyberpunk Librarian sits down with the historian and biographer David Laskin. We talk about The early 20th century emigrant experience, the horrors of 'the war to end all wars' and the struggle for legitimacy by conscientious objectors during that war.

Also, weather.

This podcast is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and is dedicated to the memory of Corporal Frank Buckles, the last member of the American Expeditionary Force.

Or you can subscribe to The Silverfish Podcast by pointing your podcatcher here:

Or you can now:
The Silverfish Podcast

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'Fish Food

Recently, we had a very bad shock.

We realized that should the move to a fully virtual reading experience take place, the humble Lepisma saccharina, deprived of the glues and inks that give it sustenance, may in fact become extinct. As our slightly ironic mascot, we feel it to be our duty to provide a safe future habitat for this lovable (if disgusting and universally reviled) creature. We therefore take the following radical step:

The Silverfish Newsletter will be printing a supplemental issue of prose, poetry and black & white two dimensional art. As always we want this to be your publication, so we welcome your submissions!

Please send poetry, prose or image files to: prior to the submission deadline of May 1st 2011. We'll have broadsheets (11" by 17") ready in time for Summer!

(While your submissions cannot be returned, we promise that we will not feed them to any biological silverfish)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Silverfish Podcast #004 -- Dr. Janes vs Watson and The End Of Days

Karl and Dr. Janes discuss the implications of IBM's Jeopardy playing supercomputer. Will some clever assemblage of Big Data and Natural Language Processing spell the end of the Librarian as a profession? Find out here first!

Subscribe to the podcast here or at iTunes!

All Music © 2001-2010 Kevin MacLeod

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Silverfish Podcast #002

This episode features an interview with Conor Casey, Labor Archivist for the University of Washington. Conor walks us through his personal and family involvement with labor as well as his interest in the greater context of labor's influence on Pacific Northwest Culture. His library guide-page can be found here. The Labor Archives of Washington State at: is the long URL he mentioned at the end of the interview.

You can listen to this episode at:
or subscribe by pointing your favorite podcatcher at:

All Music © 2001-2010 Kevin MacLeod

Friday, January 7, 2011

All your blogs are belong to us (we hope)

The Silverfish's Blog Roll ( has been updated!

We've been keeping this list iSchooler blogs, websites and podcasts since 2008, and welcome your contributions. If you are blogging, podding or otherwise interacting in an internet-facing sorta way, we want to tell the iSchool community about it. Just send us a a link and a short bio and we'll do our bit to add to your web-based immortality.