Wendy Harman of the Red Cross on Use of Social Media in Disasters

The American Red Cross employs social media “listener” Wendy Harman to monitor social networking sites such as flickr, twitter, Facebook, etc. to uncover, aggregate and share back with the public news and information about natural disasters. Read this interview with Beth Kanter on how Wendy uses social media.

New listserv for librarians interested in disaster preparedness

I’ve been on DISASTER-OUTREACH-LIB from NLM/NIH for a couple of months now, and I see some pretty good information come through. It’s not a super-active list, so it’s easy to keep track. There is a f ocus on health information, since it sponsored by the National Library of Medicine, but I’ve seen other topics covered as well.

Find more information about it and other NLM resources here.

Job Opportunity: Medical Librarian with Focus on Disaster Preparedness

Interesting opportunity in Bethesda, Maryland for someone with a health library background to engage more directly with disaster preparedness.

Final days at WebJunction

So I just posted what is my last conference blog post to BlogJunction. I’ll be leaving WebJunction for other opportunities in February. It’s been a great couple of years, and I’m grateful to everyone I’ve worked with, both staff and members, for giving me so much to learn and be inspired by. I’ll still be keeping up to date my WebJunction profile, if anyone wants to contact me through it.

Most of my efforts right now are focused on getting Interface up as an excellent communication tool for the wonderful organization ASCLA.

Reaction to Battle in Seattle

So I went and saw Battle in Seattle on Saturday night. I warned my husband that I was probably going to get emotional, and that he just needed to be prepared. As I am pretty passionate/emotional usually, I felt I needed to give him fair warning. But to my surprise, instead of being angry or sad, I just felt, withdrawn. I had difficulty talking about it, which lasted well into Monday. An unusual reaction for me, because I usually like to talk about a movie, discuss and dissect it, and connect it to greater world issues. But this was different.

Why was it different? Because I was at the WTO protests. And watching a Hollywood love story sentimentalizing what was for me a deeply-felt political awakening was devastating.  But I think it was also seeing the archival footage that tore me up. I witnessed some of the police violence during those protests, and seeing it again on film was difficult.

To be fair to the movie, they allowed for the characters to voice the messages behind the protest. And they didn’t completely romanticize the characters (though there was some painfully awkward dialogue. How seriously can you take a 26-year-old saying wearily “how long have we been trying to save the planet now?” to another guy in his mid-twenties).

One piece of dialogue that I think captured both the passion and naivate of the protesters was from Andre Benjamin’s character Django. I can’t quote it exactly, but it was something like: “People at least know what the WTO is now … well, they probably don’t really know what the WTO is, but at least they know it’s bad.”

I’m not going to tell my WTO story here. I’m saving it to contribute to this wonderful community history project, organized by the Community Alliance for Global Justice, an organization continuing the work of activists involved in the WTO protests in Seattle.

I do hope that everyone who goes and sees this movie realizes that it is FICTION. While there are elements of truth to the movie, I think the overall effect is to distort what really happened. Instead of it appearing as if 50,000 people shut down the WTO meetings, they made it look like it was the work of about 6 people. Using this Hollywood convention of making a story with strong leading character mischaracterizes the communitarian effort that the WTO protests really were.

Link salad

I generally hate seeing these in my feed reader as I can’t be bothered to go click on a list of links if the author can’t take the time to give me some idea of what I’m going to be finding there (that good ol’ information scent).

But I haven’t been able to post all the stories and resources I’ve been finding, so here’s a list of links that I think you should go to:


My first conference presentation

So I’ve survived my very first professional conference presentation. I think it went well. When I occassionally looked out into the audience while I was speaking, I saw heads nodding and faces smiling. Good sign.

It was a bit surreal listening to the translator speaking into the microphone at the side of the room while I was talking. And seeing the delayed reaction of the people who were wearing the headphones to what I was saying. But bravo to Reforma National Conference for providing such a great service to the multi-lingual audience.

You can see my presentation slides, and those of my co-presenters Loida Garcia-Febo and AnaRita Puertas-Meyers on Webjunction at http://www.webjunction.org/conferences/articles/content/12912047.

I spoke about online communities, storytelling, and user experience design. I’m a dilettante, at best, in all three, but I hope I was able to connect the dots for some people. It was fun researching and writing the presentation. If we get accepted to the ALA conference 2009, then we’ll have a chance to give the presentation again.