December 14, 2007
Some Holiday Gift Ideas for Law Librarians
Here's some products really generous library employers should provide because they are all work-related. If you're not in that kind of situation, you may want to give some as holiday gifts to your colleagues or ask your significant other to give them to you. My wife has already vetoed the LCD monitor listed below. Apparently I don't need a monitor that costs more than my desktop.
Dictionary of Legal Bullshit (2007) by Randall Young, is a humorous resource into law's archaic and convoluted language and is sure to make anyone you know in the legal profession laugh out loud at its accurate absurdity. [Recommended by a blog reader who would get credit for this suggestion if I find her email. Sorry, email me here.]
Control + Alt + Delete: A Dictionary of Cyberslang (2007) by Wired magazine's "Jargon Watch" columnist, Jonathon Keats. "Not since Dr. Johnson explained the English language to the people of his time has there been a lexicon so witty, deep and indispensable. For any citizen of either the analog or digital space who wishes to live in this century instead of the last, this is required reading." --Stanley Bing, author and columnist for Fortune magazine.
When all else fails, comic book software is a great tool for creating guides for the technophobic (e.g., "How to use a DVD player in the classroom"), part-time staff (e.g., "Loose-leaf filing 101"), etc. Plus, personalized comics are fantastic attention-getting additions to law library blogs. If you don't have the graphic artist chops that the creators of Shelf Check or Unshelved have, check out the Marvel Heroes Comic Book Creator app. It provides 300+ Marvel backgrounds, characters, action words, and more. But it you do, I recommend Comic Book Creator 2.0.
New Monitor. Forget the tablet PC, the Wacom Cintiq 21UX is an interactive, pressure-sensitive pen-driven display that will "wow" your colleagues after their hearts has stopped racing just from the sight of this 21.3 inch beautiful high resolution (1,600-by-1,200) LCD monitor on your desk. At $2,500, your boss may not ante up the cash for it right away but once you've demonstrated how much better your comics are, that will change, Keep the receipt!
New Mouse. Replace the campus map or text instructions to the courthouse with 3Dconnexion's SpacePilot 3D Mouse. There's no better tool for navigating the virtual 3D space of Google Earth. In our Web 2.0 world, shouldn't this be the way we give directions? It's the Law Librarian Blog's Reference Desk Tool of the Year -- "50% fewer mouse clicks, 30% greater productivity" according to the product description. And it is a must-have for your library's Second Life site.
New Clock. "Time is money" in the law firm world so the Kinetic Motion Clock (image left; click to enlarge) is the ideal present for the law firm librarian who is billing his or her time. The product description says, "you’ll be amused every minute as a chrome ball is added to the track and travels to the minute tray on this time machine. Then on the hour when the tray becomes full, it automatically empties, sending one ball to the hour tray and the remaining balls cascading back to the hopper for the next hour’s use." More likely, you will be driven to distraction.
Portable PA System. Plug the Griffin iKaraoke microphone into your iPod and, voilà, you have your own personal karaoke machine...or...a portable PA system for your library. "The library is closing ... because the night belongs to lovers.." Patti Smith on YouTube
Interactive Circ Desk Assistant. Using voice recognition technology, The Interactive Parrot can record and repeat phrases spoken to it. The Interactive Parrot has amazing potential if it can be trained to answer in classic parrot squawk common Circulation Desk questions. It could replace untrainable student assistants. "Squawk, no. that book can't be checked out, squawk."
Some Gadgets for the Traveling Law Librarian
- The Skype Travel Mouse is a mouse with an integrated phone. Details.
- The Spy Pen detects Wireless and RF Signals. Details.
One gizmo to put on next year's list: The Cell Phone Pen (better order two so you have a back-up after losing the first one). Details.
Happy Holidays to All! [JH]
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These are all great gift suggestions. Another great librarian gift and one of my personal favorite is the Brother P-Touch labeler. My sister-in-law gave me the PT-1950 model for Xmas three years ago. I was entranced and immediately launched into a wild delirium of joyous labeling. I labeled everything that didn't move (and some things that did!).
For example, the reference desk scissors, which went MIA several times a week, suddenly sported the warning, "Take these and die." It proved to be remarkably effective. The desk scissors haven't been missing for two years and counting!
Suffice it to say that at one point my husband suggested I try to find a Labeler's Anonymous group to help with my labeling addiction. The problem is...I don't want to be cured!! Hahahahahah!!
Here is a link to this magical device...http://www.brother-usa.com/ptouch/
Posted by: Amy Hale-Janeke | Dec 14, 2007 7:11:11 AM
These are all good suggestions. But the best librarian-oriented gift I ever got was the Brother P-Touch Labeler (model PT-1950). For weeks after receiving it, everything that sat still (and some things that didn't) got labeled.
For example, the scissors at the reference desk which regularly disappeared suddenly sported the warning, "Touch these and die." It proved to be remarkably effective. The scissors have not been taken from the desk now for two years and counting!
I still use my labeler and love it! I might have to start going to a Labeler's Anonymous meeting, but the problem is that I don't want to stop!!! HAHAHAHAH!
Here is some product info and a link so you too can experience the addiction: http://www.brother-usa.com/ptouch/
"With the PT-1950, you can print laminated labels from ¼” to ¾” wide, created via either the built-in keyboard or your PC. It comes with label design software, a black and white ½” starter tape and an AC adapter.
Used by itself, the PT-1950 prints in 2 fonts, 8 type styles and 8 type sizes, and up to 5 lines. When connected to a PC, its label creation possibilities are virtually endless. Additionally, the PT-1950 boasts an automatic tape cutter which accurately cuts labels to length, even unattended multiple copies. Its’ two-line display allows easy text entry and editing."
Posted by: Amy Hale-Janeke | Dec 14, 2007 7:02:56 AM