I guess it had to happen eventually. After having pain in my arms and wrists for the last few months, I finally went to see my doctor. He told me it looks like I have a moderate case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Like most librarians these days, I spend a lot of time on my computer. I love my work and don’t want to have to quit, but the ideas of having surgery or of wearing those awful wrist braces are equally unappealing. What can I do?
Aching in Atchison
I feel your pain. Literally: I was diagnosed about 18 months ago with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and I’ve had to make a number of changes in my work space, both at home and at work, since then. Please note that what follows is very general information, and should not be used to substitute from the direction you receive from your medical professionals!
Fortunately for both of us, and for the other sufferers out there, there are many resources available to help us reduce the pain and discomfort through better posture and ergonomically sound design of our work spaces.
First, start by reviewing this excellent overview of CTS from the National Institutes of Health. There’s also an excellent article in Wikipedia on CTS. Cornell University has a dazzlingly comprehensive site managed by the University’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Group that addresses many issues of CTS, in the library and beyond. (more…)
Dear Curious George:
Will this winter never cease? I am mentally exhausted by the endless gray weather that seems to have been hanging around my community since the Eisenhower administration. I fear that I am starting to take out my frustrations on my library’s guests. Just the other day, I spoke sharply to a child whose only offense was to leave a lollipop in a Dr. Seuss book. What can I do to get back my old fervor?
Seasonally Affected in Decatur
I share your pain. I grew up in Buffalo, where, as the saying goes, we had two seasons: winter and six weeks of bad skiing. Now I live in Columbus, where, from October to April, the sun is barely a rumor. As I write this response, the weather out my window looks like the set for a big budget presentation of King Lear, complete with thunder, lightning and floods. The sky is the color of an old mattress cover.
So how do we beat the seasonal blues? Assuming we are not about to fly off for two weeks at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, let us consider our options. (more…)
This month we are trying an experiment with our long-running “I’m Curious George” column. As regular readers know, George’s pieces can often inspire reflection and occasionally lend themselves to group discussion. To facilitate such discussion we are posting the entire column here at BlogJunction. We’re optimistic that the “I’m Curious, George community will engage in a conversation right here in the blog comments. If this proves successful, look for more of our regular features published in BlogJunction. If it bombs, well, this is the web and we are supposed to try new things, right?
by George Needham
Dear George: When I was young, “kindle” was how we started a fire in the fireplace. Now, I see the name has been appropriated for yet another electronic book reader. I’m curious, George: What is it about e-books and e-book readers that make techies salivate? Don’t they realize that the good old paper book is the best possible technology for carrying information?-Passionate about Paper in Poughkeepsie
Before I address your question, full disclosure: E-content provider NetLibrary and WebJunction are both part of OCLC, and I work for OCLC. Second, I have a Kindle on order from Amazon for my personal use and to use in the workshops I teach. Finally, everything stated below is my personal opinion and not the opinion of OCLC or NetLibrary or WebJunction or the commissioner of professional football or the studio producing the movie contained herein.
That being said, many years ago I attended one of the first Public Library Association conferences where the keynote speaker was science fiction writer Isaac Asimov. He talked about writing a story in which he needed a high-tech device that was easy to produce on a mass scale, fairly indestructible, and compact, and that could hold vast amounts of information. Then, he said, he realized it had already been invented: it was the book.