Friday, April 15, 2005

this is a cool little utility

If you're looking for a particular book, but you don't want to buy it, you can find out if there's a library near you with a copy using Find in a Library. You can search by city, by zip'll come back with a list of libraries, how many copies of the book each has, how far away it is.

I know I've been quiet lately, and dull when I do post; things are hectic. But I just got back from a very productive couple of days in Los Angeles, doing research for a writing project I'll be delivering in stages through the end of June. It involves sifting through a tremendous amount of information, so I sat in a sort of back room on the tenth floor of the Metropolitan Water District building (which is, interestingly, much more attractive on the inside than the outside), looking at slides, reading transcripts, and puzzling over scientific papers. One really cool thing about the project is that I have my own researcher, a woman who's been brought on specifically to get the information I need. After I got over the strangeness of such a thing--of, essentially, having an eager and competent assistant--I found that I liked it.

As much as I prefer to do my own interviews, and track down my own bits, there's too much here for me to do by myself. Especially since I'll be working remotely for the first five weeks. And this woman is so organized. I came home weighted down with a great mass of xeroxes, and a feeling that I had a much better grip on what I'm being asked to do.

More on that when it's done.