Monday, August 28, 2006


Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. But the fact is, I don't feel much like celebrating or comemorating it. For me now, my life is about struggling to move on, not look back. In a way, for people like us who have been displaced, Hurricane Katrina has never really ended. It is still going on.

This is certainly true in New Orleans proper -- where there are not enough hospitals, not enough schools, where whole neighborhoods still don't have phone sevice, where two-thirds of the potable water in the sytem leaks out before it can be delivered, where the power still goes out every time it rains. And where the levees are still not fully repaired. Make no mistake, New Orleans is not OK. There is still a long, long way to go. Even in the Sliver by the River, life in the one-time City That Care Forgot grinds you down. This month I had my Mom come up and spend a few days with me in Baton Rouge, because she was getting so depressed, and she lives well Uptown; her home never flooded.

Normally I am no fan of supressing your emotions -- I feel the only way to deal with them, is to feel them fully. But in this situation, I see no point in dragging up all the grief and anger about the destruction of my home and may way of life, about the dead, the lost, and the city ruined. That grief, that loss is so huge, that I think if I give into it, it will consume me. I will never stop mourning. Never stop crying. It is too vast. I think this is why people obsessed over their missing pets so much -- that loss, that small loss in the face of so much death and desctruction, was something they could handle, a grief they could encompass. A way to express, yet contain the grief. It was just a dog or a cat, after all. Not a wife, not a parent. A child. A universe.

So I can't go there. If I think about evrything I have lost, how alone I am up here, I will just fall apart. No. I have to keep going forward, try and build a future. One lonely day at a time. The New Orleans of August 28, 2005 is gone forever. Whether here or there, we can only move forward. We have to keep on truckin. Like Scarlett O'Hara said, Don't look back. The past will only drag you down.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Katrina Anniversary Update

Oh, and in NOLA news, it seems City Hall has scaled back its official Katrina observances, due to a firestorm of criticism about its glitzy, convention-esque functions. No more Charity Jewels Auction or Platinum Gala. This is a good thing.

See if someone is organizing an observance in your own neighborhood. That would be more appropriate, I think. The civic association for Gentilly, my old neighborhood, is organizing a service at the London Avenue Canal, the breach in which destroyed the neighborhood. It will be hard, but good. Much better than some phony parade.


Today I joined the Library and Information Technology Association (, a division of ALA that concentrates, appropriately enough, on the use of information technology in libraries. In the past it concentrated on things like integrated library systems and retrospective conversion, but today it is mostly concerned with the use of the Internet and Web in libraries, a topic I am very interested in myself. It also covers Library education and technical issues such as authority control and Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information (MARBI).

My favorite committee is the Top Technology Trends Committee, which tracks and educates about emerging trends in library technology. They have a good webpage compiling information, available to the public, about new developments in IT. Check out their pages on blogging and folksonomies, for example.

Unfortunately, I sort of missed the LITA conference this year. It takes place before and during ALA Annual, which I did attend this year as it was in New Orleans, but at that time I was not aware of LITA and so did not seek out any of its events. I may have stumbled across some, but frankly I don't remember -- so much stuff goes on at Annual it is hard to keep it straight. A very similar experience to the World Science Fiction Convention, which I attended in 2000. Fun but exhausting.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I have updated my GA Journal.

I would be intersted in hearing anyone's thoughts on the Spike Lee documantary about Katrina, When the Levees Broke. I don't have HBO so was unable to see it. I hope it becomes available on Netflix soon.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Library 2.0 Nirvana

I have to say, this is pretty funny:

The Library 2.0 Generator

My favorite commandment was, "Attract Walt Crawford and reach Library 2.0 Nirvana overnight."

Although I have to look up Walt Crawford now.