December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!
Originally uploaded by desertlibrarian
I hope that everyone has a joyful, merry holiday this year, whatever holiday you may choose to celebrate. See you again in the New Year!

December 16, 2008

Careers, Tattoos and Archie McPhee

Yes, they really do all have something in common: they're in today's Random Tuesday Musings.

* US World and News Report has released an article (by Marty Nemko, 11 December 2008) stating that, yes, once more, Librarian is a great career for 2009. (The flame war that broke out on NextGenLib may provide some alternate opinions, though.) I personally have a lot of issues with the way the article is written - I mean, to be honest, I don't know a single librarian who kicks back in the morning with a cuppa and "leafing through catalogs from online database publishers and book reviews in Library Journal to decide which titles to add to your collection" - we've got way, way, way too much else to do as well!'s always nice to see the profession presented in a positive way, and Nemko certainly does that.

* Surely you remember Archie McPhee - the company that brought us the Librarian Action Figure! If you've ever wanted to know more - such as, Why?!?! - then this interview with founder Mark Pahlow by Jack Broom at the Seattle Times might help. Yes, we feature prominently ;-) and I think I'm going to check out this book - I love perusing the catalog and plan on getting many things to fill my son's toybox as he gets older!

* Lastly, just an interesting photo collection: the Science Tattoo Emporium.

December 8, 2008

The Librarian 3 on TNT

Yes, of course I watched it, and of course I have comments! I also have a new .sig line *grin*

Ahem. OK. Once again, bring your willing suspension of disbelief and your bowl of popcorn to enjoy Round 3 of TNT's Librarian movie series: "The Quest for the Judas Chalice", starring Noah Wyle as Flynn Carsen. Vampires! New Orleans! Action sequences! Memorable lines! (The first that popped up: "Maybe some women are ok with the wild and unpredictable lifestyle of dating a librarian, but I'm not!")

Yes, I thought it was cheezy fun. No, it didn't have anything to do with what we all think of as a "real" library, or librarian. But - let's face it - wouldn't we all love to work in Flynn's Library? (I know I would! I actually believe it to be an extended branch of the Middleton Public Library, to be honest.) Seeing it as the repository of history and artifacts through the ages (even if they are mythical artifacts) lends a bit of respectability to the name. I will admit I got the grins each time Flynn spouted details and in-depth history on anything and everything that crossed his path (wouldn't you hate to play against him in Trivial Pursuit?). And I think Judson (Bob Newhart, once again stealing all his scenes) is just wonderful.

To sum up: Tongue-in-cheek fun that requires you to leave your serious side out of the TV room. And to close: "I think it's only fair to warn you that I am, in fact, a librarian."

Play that Funky Librarian Music

Are you a musician? Are you a librarian? Have you always wanted to have your music in the soundtrack to something? Well, this is your chance!

Mitchell Davis of BiblioLife is seeking bands (made up of librarians) or an individual librarian/musician that would like to contribute music to a video project (on digitizing old and rare books) with BCR, University of Colorado Boulder and Denver UniversityUniversity of Denver. (Free promotion and credits if they use your music!) If you're interested, drop Mitchell a line at

December 5, 2008

I leave you with a tease...

I can finally come right out and say it: I wrote a book. And Information Today, Inc. is publishing it, early next year. I'm borrowing a cover tease idea from SBTB and sharing just a peek - watch this space for more!

Giddily wishing you an enjoyable weekend -

Random Linkdump

Yes, folks, it's time for another catch-all post of things I've had tucked away. Here we go!
72° and sunny. The sunlight on the grass outside my window is particularly pretty today!

December 4, 2008

PAM News: Stipend for New Librarians

Happy post-Thanksgiving to you all; I hope you had a lovely holiday. I sure did! Now, onto the news:

The Institute of Physics generously continues its commitment to libraries by providing financial support for new physical sciences librarians to attend their first SLA annual conference! Read more about it over on the PAMblog. If you qualify, please submit an application; if you don't, but know someone who does, please pass this information along!

November 17, 2008

A Dewey thing

Dewey coverNo, not Dewey the YA librarian from Unshelved, but Dewey the Library Cat! Seems Hollywood has taken a liking to Dewey's story by Vicki Myron, "Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World," and is making a film about it starring Meryl Streep. Streep will play Myron, "who works at the library and observed the impact that a kitten had on the townsfolk once it became the library mascot after wandering in through the after-hours book return slot on a cold night."

Thanks to Kathy for the tip!

November 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary To Me

Yesterday marked my 17th anniversary with AURA, the parent organization of both companies I've worked for shortly after I graduated with a BS in astronomy and no clue what to do with my life. Due to the incestuous nature of large telescope design projects, I'm working with (either still or again) many of the same folks who first met me as a 22-year-old... who have had no compunction about telling me how much I've changed since then :-D

Provided things don't implode in the next six months thanks to the economy, I should make 20 years easy. That's kind of odd to think about.

November 10, 2008

Blog Analyzers

Found via Stephen's Lighthouse:

Typealyzer provides a Myers-Briggs type analysis of your blog. This blog analyzes as ESTP, which probably doesn't surprise many folks :-)

Genderanalyzer determines what sex you write like. It seems I'm a gender-neutral writer!

Readability Test - determines what grade level your blog is written at. This one came in at college (undergrad) level.

Fun and funky - check 'em out for your own blog!

November 7, 2008

The Library at Carlisle Bay

Carlisle Bay Library
I've been carrying this ad around for months now, finally getting it posted! It's from p.106 of the 11 April 2008 issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Victoria Mather writes, "Library as disco at Carlisle Bay, Antigua. [...] The books are pristine new publications and frequently replaced—not dog-eared, suntan-oiled paperbacks left behind by previous guests."

It's been labeled as the "coolest" and the "funkiest" library in the world. How can I turn that into a research trip justification to see if it is, in fact, so?

Spine(less) Label Printer?

This ad for Computype spine label printers was on the inside cover of the July/August 2008 Computers in Libraries. I have an urge to run around yelling VERY LOUDLY about this spine printer. Because, of course, librarians are never loud.

But... but... what happens next?!?

Rex Libris #13
In case you haven't already read: the last issue of Rex Libris was released at the end of October. "Titans clash and chaos reigns as the most powerful evil forces on earth find themselves embroiled in a life and death struggle with the freshly awoken minions of Cthulhu. Team Librarian is caught in the middle of the mayhem, and it will take all their ingenuity and experience to survive!" Things were already tricky at the end of Issue 12... I have to know what happens next!

I own every issue, the first trade collection, the figurine, the Tshirts... what will I spend my mad money on now?!? (Do you have mad money? Spend it here.) I'm off to my local comic book store to pick up - and then cancel - my standing order. I'm hoping for a second trade collection from Mr. Fabulousness, James Turner - the extras were worth it - and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the mused-about Rex Libris movie will actually, really happen.

I <3 ya, Rex! I'll miss you greatly.

November 4, 2008

OPAC Mashup

So, part of what I've been doing is trying (and trying!) to get caught up on some of the backlog of library literature piling on my desk (and in my inbox). Whilst reading Library Hi Tech, I came across an article I thought was just a nifty, nifty thing, so of course I wanted to share!

Michael Vandenburg of Kingston Public Library, Kingston Canada wrote an article in Vol. 26 No. 1 titled "Using Google Maps as an interface for the library catalogue." It caught my eye because of the other mashups I've been reading about - how neat, to have a systemic map of your catalog onto a world map so folks can choose resources based on clicking a country! Hopefully they'll be able to bring it online in the real world soon; the only bummer was that it's still in development so there are only the screenshots in the article, not a live URL to try out. Best wishes to Michael and his library!

IL2008: The Networking Aspect

Now that I'm starting to recover from the Internet Librarian Death Flu (thanks to whoever brought it and shared it with all of us!), I can finally post my final IL2008 wrapup: while there were great sessions, and good tips and tricks, it really was all about the networking. Seeing conference friends again from past years and places, meeting folks F2F for the first time that I've known online, and making new connections - it's really invaluable. I'm quite pleased to have met all the folks I finally did, and it's always such a great time to see friends again.

Plus, you can't discount the social aspects:

Ruth & Robin gettin' down Me and the Webgoddess gettin' down at karaoke!

Merry & Ruth Miriella and I agree on a favorite color.

Cybertours: Kneale My own very modest contribution to the IL Cybertours.

And now: back to the usual holdings-forth! Currently 78° and sunny; a lovely day.

Vote, Dammit!!!

I've been sick with the Internet Librarian Death Flu for the past week (at least I wasn't alone, ha ha) - but dragged my butt out of bed today to go to my polling place and cast my vote.

Please - PLEASE - if you're eligible to vote in today's election, DO SO. Never think that your vote doesn't count... this is where you decide everything from the licensing on the person who cuts your hair to who will be the next President. Every vote counts.

October 22, 2008

Internet Librarian: Day 3

Lemme just say: Holy Cow! I'm so glad I've finally had a chance to see danah boyd in action - her keynote this morning was amazing! So much to think about, so many new perspectives - it was full of awesomesauce, to borrow a phrase. I didn't have a chance to blog her talk, but others have - it's worth checking out!

The rest of the morning was the last of the CyberTours. Thanks to all the speakers this year!

Got to attend my first Pecha Kucha session (20 slides, 20 seconds each) - on marketing, trendspotting, organization - very cool format, very challenging! Also quite entertaining depending on the speaker. Stephen Abram made me laugh, Nancy Dowd made me sniffle a bit!

And now, The Steven M. Cohen Show on What's Hot with RSS. His presentations are always lively and there's always a new tool to check out. I consider him the master of feed reading so seeing what he uses to get through his 1000+ feeds is always illuminating.

The conference closing keynote is Liz Lawley, and for once I get to hear her speak! (Last couple of years I was always on the way to the airport when she was speaking.) Technical/Tangible/Social - full of yummy Internet-capable tools and toys and now I want them all!

This wraps up another great conference in Monterey. I'll be posting more later as I dig through links and tools and references, and find/post pics and videos. Internet Librarians FTW!

October 21, 2008

Internet Librarian: Day 2

Today is all about the CyberTours! Come to the exhibit hall and check us out!

October 20, 2008

Internet Librarian: Day 1

Monday in Monterey kicked off well; kudos to Pino's for their coffee and great service!

Tom Hogan opened the conference with a great list of responses to last year's question "What do you call a non-Internet Librarian?" Top ten answers are:

#10 - Shelf-Pointer Librarian
#9 - Analog Librarian
#8 - Legacy Librarian
#7 - Unplugged Librarian
#6 - 3x5 Librarian
#5 - InterNot Librarian
#4 - Retrobrarian
#3 - {Supervisor's name here} Librarian
#2 - Wallenda Librarian
#1 - Librarian 1.0

Much laughing in the room!

Keynote: Howard Rheingold was interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking about mass communication as a mode of knowledge. Talked about OhMyNews in Korea, the Penguin Revolution in Chile, reaction to the Spanish train explosions - and the Danish protests in Syria after the cartoon incident. (Flash mobs, or smart mobs, are not always positive things.) I'll be looking up his book, Smart Mobs.

Next up for me was Super Searcher Shares with Mary Ellen Bates. Learned about some new aspects of known search engines, plus some new search tools. Searchme, SiloBreaker, Loki, Twing, and more...

Fast & Easy Site Tuneups was next, from Jeff Wisniewski. Pretty much a F2F presentation of his article of the same name from the June 2008 Computers in Libraries (so check it out for his very good suggestions).

As always, Cool Tools for Library Webmasters was great! I always come away with something new to try out from Darlene Fichter and Frank Cervone. This time around, I'll be checking out VisCheck, ImageFlow, Browsershots, and some of the online CSS repositories.

Steven M. Cohen, once again, did a great show with Tips for Keeping Up. I will definitely be checking out some of his suggested tools - I use about two-thirds of them and want to see what I can do with the rest!

The day (well, except for the social bits!) ended at the Opening Reception, where I was able to score a copy of the ShanachieTour book, signed by the DOK guys. (Not sure who they are or what they do? Read "Discover Innovations at DOK".)

Weather report: Today was cool, crisp and sunny - a beautiful day! It hit 92° back home today; I don't think it got above 60° or so here in Monterey.

October 14, 2008

PAM International Membership Award

Do you know a great physics, math, or astronomy librarian in a developing country? Tell us about it! Nominations are now open for the SLA Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics Division's International Membership Award; the award provides a two-year membership in SLA and travel to the SLA Annual Conference. Read more, including nomination deadlines and contact information, on the PAMblog.

Recently Read: "Between the Stacks"

I haven't posted book reviews much here before, but I think that might change. I just finished "Between the Stacks", by Barry Bowes (Landesman, 1979) and quite enjoyed it. Set in a public library in the UK, it follows the trials and tribulations of the staff at the Pike Lane library, told from the viewpoint of the (interestingly unnamed, throughout the book) senior assistant. It's quite amusing, while also illustrating the frustrations of the reference interview, being the unpaid babysitters, and many other well-known PL issues. The issues at Pike Place frame an introspective journey by the main character, who's trying to evaluate his future, both personally and professionally.

It's not an easy book to come by; there wasn't a copy anywhere in my state (thanks, ILL!). Amazon has a few used ones from international sources, and I'm pondering placing an order, but we'll see. Even Library Thing, with its gazillions of books, only shows four copies. If you do have access to it, though, give it a read!

October 13, 2008


Found via LISNews, this video of poet Jon Goode reciting his poem "The Librarian" just gave me goosebumps. Yes! Not just an ode to the power of librarians - the power of ssh - but a philosophical musing on honor, infidelity, war, and much more. Give it a watch.

(yes, I'm catching up. And yes, I'm a weather wimp: highs only in the low 70s last couple of days, I wore a coat to work this morning!)

October 2, 2008

The $900,000 Librarian

Untitled Film Still #13Holy cow! A collector at a recent Christie's auction in New York spent $902.5K on a photograph by artist Cindy Sherman". Read the article over at Forbes.

"Sherman poses as a librarian, gazing beyond the shelves of books that surround her. [...] There is a certain kitsch appeal to the black-and-white photos, but the underlying message is more serious and draws attention to female stereotypes in our society."

via LISnews

September 30, 2008

Warning: Political Ranting

ObDisclaimer: My rants! No one else's! Nyaah!

* 1st Presidential Debate: Rude much, McCain? I have to admit: for a long time I liked McCain, and not because he's one of my state senators. But ever since this whole race started, he just keeps dropping in my estimation. Watching the debate - just the rudeness he displayed to Obama - floored me. Shame! (But, hey, at least there was a debate, and the grandstanding from earlier in the week came to nothing.)

* Bailout Whining: If Pelosi's speech didn't actually change the bill (and, erm, it didn't), then why should what she said affect how folks were going to vote? Regardless of how I feel about the bailout bill itself (which I promise not to get into here), this whining and finger-pointing about "Those almost-votes didn't vote because of what she said, waah, waah" reminds me much too much of my 3-year-old son's schoolroom. Grow up, people!

* "Gotcha" journalism: If you don't want what you said quoted back to you and it shows you up badly, oh, I don't know, check your facts first. Or, gee, don't say it at all. (I laughed and laughed when McCain told Obama "That's not something you say out loud" and then Palin pretty much said exactly what Obama had the next day. Priceless.)

* The upcoming VP debate: Can. Not. Wait. I don't think it's going to change much race-wise, but boy, is it going to be entertaining (one way or the other).

September 26, 2008

Friday Fun

Today: T-shirts! All from the folks at Instant Attitudes.

  • Radical Militant Librarians Want!

  • Go Broke Buying Books Don't we all?

  • Decaf is the Mind-Killer For the other coffee-holics out there
I hear there's this thing called "fall" happening in other places. Right now, we've got 90° temps with mostly sunny skies. Yay!

September 25, 2008

This is a sexy librarian look?

Marni Fall Line
My first reaction: outright laughter.

You are looking at a preview of the fall line from designer Marni: "The Italian label offered its take on sexy librarians this season."

My second reaction: More laughing, with a bit of a wince.

Thanks to the.effing.librarian!

Three Beautiful Things

Thursday Edition!
  1. Having a song sung to me on the way to work in a little piping voice about a monster, a starfish, a shark, and lava dragons.
  2. Learning that the name of the spider we've seen in the bushes every day this week is, in fact, Darth Vader.
  3. Hearing from two friends that their babies arrived safe and sound and everyone is healthy, happy and tired. Congratulations, Kevin & Linda and Chris & Jen!

September 23, 2008

September 17, 2008

Dr. Dewey Decimal!

ScaryGoRound has a new Tshirt available for order: Dr. Dewey Decimal! Also be sure to check out Books Rule from the same great shop. (thanks, Jeff!)

I love it when fall arrives in the desert; sunny days in the low 90s, clear nights in the low 70s or high 60s. From now until March, this is the weather that makes living here worth the summer heat!

September 12, 2008

Shopping, Marketing, and Fantasies

Yes, it's another catchup posting!
  • Check it out! Shelf Check has a store now! The Twitter button especially made me laugh.
  • Coming out next month: The Shanachie Tour book and DVD! If you haven't had a chance to see the DOK guys speak in person (they're inspiring), this is the next best thing. Highly recommended!
  • Shelf Talk has a great post about Fantastic librarians, or librarian fantasies? "Could it be that librarians’ staid image is now bursting the seams of naturalistic fiction and spilling forth into the realms of imagination and empires of wonder?" Love the post, and now I have a few more books to read, too.

Currently a pleasant 86° and sunny.

Call for Papers: PCA/ACA

The Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association Annual Conference will be held April 8-11, 2009, at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana. Scholars from numerous disciplines will meet to share their Popular Culture research and interests. Prospective presenters should send a one-page abstract with full contact information by November 30 2008.

September 9, 2008

Fredricksen Library Bookcart Drill Team

Brilliant! Be sure to check out the Fredricksen Library Bookcart Drill Team as they do an awesome quick-change from Marian the Librarian to Queen! (I can't seem to embed this one properly or I'd have done so...go check it out!)

September 5, 2008

Friday Fun

Two funnies, and a not-so-funny:
Weather report: Jurassic Librarian isn't far off on his solar system chart; we hit 101°F today, supposed to hit 102° tomorrow. I hear there's this thing called "fall" happening in other parts of the country...

September 3, 2008

Food Meme: Nom nom nom!

Snagged from WarMaiden and HedgehogLibrarian... I've not done one of these "list memes" before but... it's food! The idea is, that this is a list of 100 foods that every omnivore should eat sometime in their life. The idea is to bold the ones you've eaten. Being not only omnivorous but foodiily-adventurous, or so I think, I thought I'd give it a whirl!

  1. Venison
  2. Nettle tea
  3. Huevos rancheros
  4. Steak tartare
  5. Crocodile
  6. Black pudding
  7. Cheese fondue
  8. Carp
  9. Borscht
  10. Baba ghanoush
  11. Calamari
  12. Pho
  13. PB&J sandwich
  14. Aloo gobi
  15. Hot dog from a street cart (No, but I have had shawarma from one, would that count?)
  16. Epoisses (Assuming it's the cheese, no. If it's something else, well, then, no.)
  17. Black truffle
  18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
  19. Steamed pork buns
  20. Pistachio ice cream
  21. Heirloom tomatoes (I just don't do raw tomatoes. Blech.)
  22. Fresh wild berries
  23. Foie gras
  24. Rice and beans
  25. Brawn, or head cheese
  26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
  27. Dulce de leche (OMG, this is fabulous stuff)
  28. Oysters (tried 'em once, skip 'em now)
  29. Baklava
  30. Bagna cauda (on the want-to list)
  31. Wasabi peas
  32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
  33. Salted lassi
  34. Sauerkraut
  35. Root beer float
  36. Cognac with a fat cigar (Cognac, yes.)
  37. Clotted cream tea
  38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O -Shots
  39. Gumbo
  40. Oxtail
  41. Curried goat
  42. Whole insects (I ate a bite of a grasshopper once, though. It was all I could bring myself to eat.)
  43. Phaal (I don't have the guts, ha ha)
  44. Goat’s milk
  45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (thanks, Chris!)
  46. Fugu
  47. Chicken tikka masala
  48. Eel (I love eel!)
  49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (Still don't see what the fuss is about.)
  50. Sea urchin
  51. Prickly pear
  52. Umeboshi (one bite, once. VERY salty.)
  53. Abalone (in Chile, many times. Very tasty!)
  54. Paneer
  55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
  56. Spaetzle
  57. Dirty gin martini (I don't like gin)
  58. Beer above 8% ABV (it would seem yes - Chimay)
  59. Poutine (another on the want-to-try list)
  60. Carob chips
  61. S’mores
  62. Sweetbreads
  63. Kaolin (wait, what, the clay? No.)
  64. Currywurst
  65. Durian
  66. Frogs’ legs
  67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
  68. Haggis
  69. Fried plantain
  70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
  71. Gazpacho
  72. Caviar and blini
  73. Louche absinthe
  74. Gjetost, or brunost
  75. Roadkill
  76. Baijiu
  77. Hostess Fruit Pie
  78. Snail
  79. Lapsang souchong
  80. Bellini
  81. Tom yum
  82. Eggs Benedict
  83. Pocky
  84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant (find me one and I'll do it!)
  85. Kobe beef
  86. Hare
  87. Goulash
  88. Flowers
  89. Horse
  90. Criollo chocolate
  91. Spam (I did live in Hawaii, where you're not allowed to say you don't like Spam)
  92. Soft shell crab
  93. Rose harissa (lordy, do I want to try this one; I love North African food)
  94. Catfish
  95. Mole poblano
  96. Bagel and lox
  97. Lobster Thermidor
  98. Polenta
  99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
  100. Snake
So... not too bad, eh? Some of these I had to look up, and for some things like the venison, snake and (hey, it's not on the list!) javelina I have to thank some friends of my folks who retired out in the middle of the desert. Oh, and pigeon pate. That's thanks to them, too.

Now I'm hungry!

Rex Libris, Stereotypes, and All That Jazz

Hi, all - I'm back! I've been saving up a few things but rather than stuffing them all into one big posting I'm going to dribble them out over the next couple of days, get back into the regular-post thing :-D

Check out "When Stereotypes No Longer Apply," an ACRL blog posting by Melissa Mallon. Good stuff, and good comments, too. Yes! We need to move towards a time when it doesn't matter what the librarian looks like, but what the librarian does. (Bet it doesn't happen anytime soon, though.)

I simply cannot stop singing this catchy tune: Hi-Fi Sci-Fi Library! Michael Porter (Libraryman) and David Lee King have done an amazing job. Check out the lyrics, too, if you miss a few during the video!

Just in case you haven't read about it (or heard it) yet, the group My Morning Jacket's recent album release "Evil Urges" has a song called "Librarian" on it. I think I've already commented on the lyrics.

Rex Libris #11Rex Libris #12 After a small delay, Rex Libris issues #11, "R'lyeh Rising", and #12, "Space Balls... of Evil!" are now available. Go forth and get!

August 25, 2008

How I became a librarian meme

(Sneakin' one in under the hiatus blanket...) First outright tag for a meme - tagged by Christina! Thanks! Started by Jill, the question was what got us interested initially in our fields of interest? Lemme 'splain... no, that would take too long. Lemme sum up...

I've always been in and around libraries (my mom was a career librarian until her retirement last year; my dad was career Air Force so we were always on the move, but wherever we were, there was a library). I fell in love with astronomy in 7th grade Earth Science and knew I'd be in the sciences one way or another when I grew up (I read my first copy of Jastrow & Thompson when I was 15). I originally went to college on an Air Force scholarship to study aerospace engineering, but a game of ultimate frisbee gone really wrong ended those plans, and I switched my study focus to astronomy, which is what I wanted to study in the first place (I will always miss Dr. Tom Swihart, my most excellent advisor). I landed a student job at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab, which led to my first post-college job with the Mt. Graham International Observatory. I moved from there to the new Gemini 8m Telescopes Project (which became the Gemini Observatories when it went operational), and one of the things that I took on was managing the engineering documentation.

I really got a kick out of it, and was also contemplating going back to school - these two things finally clicked together and I headed down the street a couple of blocks to the School of Information Resources and Library Sciences. I met with Dr. Charley Seavey, who became my advisor, and it's all thanks to him that I even made it through, as the philosophy and social epistemology stuff really threw me off (I did great in statistics, though!). But make it through I did, with a focus on technical librarianship (fairly new at that point, this was back in '97-'99), and I graduated with a job offer in-hand from the Gemini Observatory in Hilo (Hawaii) to come out and set up the new research library. I jumped in the deep end at that point - up until then it'd all been databases and engineering archives!

Although I will always treasure the time I spent in Hawaii, the two years I spent out there setting up and managing a traditional library really brought home to me that I was much happier in the computers - webmastering, DBAing, things like that - and with engineering documentation. When the time came to move back to the mainland, I looked around at other large astronomy engineering projects, and hit up my current employer for a job. (Obviously, it worked.) I love being part of something no one's ever done before, and the skills I've built along the way have made me especially suited to dealing with both scientists and engineers, managing various electronic documentation systems, juggling configuration management issues, and configuring new web site management systems. That's what I spend my days doing now; I do order an occasional book, and snag journal papers and conference proceedings for the scientists and engineers, but I'm quite happy in my life as a systems librarian and intend to do so for many more years :-)

OK, so that's a bit long for a sum-up, but believe me, it's shorter than the whole story! I'd be interested in answers from Hedgie, G, Emily, Stephen, and Effing, if they'd like.

August 15, 2008

Hiatus, I has it

I know things have been sporadic at best for the last month, and particularly quiet lately. They're going to remain so for the next few weeks; I'm near the end of a rather large and sticky project that's taking most of my focus. I hope you'll stick around, because I already have things planned for next month that I hope you'll find interesting!

In the meantime: be safe, have fun, and keep those links coming; I promise I'll post a big 'ol summary when this is all over!

August 4, 2008

Happy Dancing People

How did I miss this?!?! July 22nd's Astronomy Picture of the Day (always amazing) was actually a movie. Of people. Around the world. DANCING! I defy you to watch this without smiling. (I was smiling so much by the end of it that my cheeks hurt!) As a lifelong dancer, I heartily applaud Matt Harding and his team for this production. Thank you!

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Pop Goes the Library: The Book!

Pop goes the Library
Congratulations to Sophie and Liz, the great minds behind Pop Goes the Library, on the publication of their book! Now you, too, can gain insight into how to use pop culture to jazz up your library services - and have some fun along the way. To top off the publication, they've gone social-networking-mad; there's a blog, a wiki, a Flickr group, and a Twitter account , and a Facebook page in progress. w00t! So pick your way to learn their secrets :-)

August 2, 2008

Librarians FTW!

Thank you, thank you to the 1,213 librarians who participated in my recent re-survey "Do you look like a librarian?" - you all ROCK. There is a ton of new data to sift through, and then the fun part starts: comparing it to the survey data from 2001. Any bets on if, or how, things have changed? (I'm expecting that they have, just not sure how.)

I'll be sharing the results at a future date; keep your eyes on this space!

July 24, 2008

Random Music

Only just this afternoon noticed some interesting stats in my music player; it may reveal heretofore hidden facts about me! Top 5 artists by number of tracks:
Artists 6-10 are Tangerine Dream, Andreas Vollenweider, Secret Garden, Durutti Column, and Hossam Ramzy. Make of this what you will.

100°, 27%Rh, 23%PoP. Feh.

And now, a moment of squee

So, I was browsing a list of what sites are being run with Drupal. I knew The Onion was a Drupal site, but was very surprised to find out that Warner Bros, Nike, FedEx, and a whole huge heaping pile of others were too. Very cool!

Should we ever have more than a dozen users at a time, at least I know the CMS I chose can handle it :-D

The Librarian Song

Found thanks to Just Browsing browsing through YouTube, I present Joe Uveges' "The Librarian Song." Be sure to listen to the whole thing :-)

"Librarians come in all shapes and sizes,
Full of facts and figures,
and a few surprises..."

A balmy 97° with 60%Rh and a complete who-knows for rain...

July 18, 2008

Library Day in the Life

Every once in a while I do a SysGrunt here (a nod to RefGrunt), and now there's a "Library Day in the Life" meme going around the library world. So here's another SysGrunt , aka "A Day in the Life of a Systems Librarian", for 17 July 2008:

Arrive at work. Get snagged about slow network access speeds in hallway.
Open office, fire up computer.
Another complaint about slow network speeds.
Make coffee.
Reboot router.
Check email.
Router reboot didn't help. Neither did server or workstation reboots. Now what?
Seems tied to single software package. Send email to tech support.
Many conversations in hallways about slow access and what to do about it.
Download SP4 of EDMS package.
Upgrade CAD package from 2007 SP3 to 2007 SP5. Learn that the rest of the team has upgraded to 2008. Sigh.
Wait for 2008 package to download from web site.
Start catching up on backlog of library journals while files are downloading.
Wait some more.
Check email.
Finish upgrade.
Open macro editor, stare at vendor-supplied VBA module. Panic.
Batch dump a directory listing with 18293 lines to feed into macro for renaming script.
Start directory sort and renaming list.
Listen to complaints about not being able to listen to streaming radio today.
Spend rest of afternoon working through renaming list. Uncross eyes.

This meme was started by Bobbi over at Librarian by Day... good idea, Bobbi!

July 17, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog

Watch it. Go watch it now. Then tell your friends.


2% "Other"

Over on TCM's Movie Morlocks Blog, Moira Finnie has posted a fun graph ("The World of Work According to Classic Movies") and then headed into a great summary and review of librarians in classic movies titled "One of the Invisible Professions on Screen". (Librarians fall into the "2% Other" category on the chart.) More recent portrayals of librarians show up in the comments, too. It's worth a read not just for the summaries, but for the enjoyable way they're written. (thanks to Folderol.)

Currently 101° and no rain in sight.

July 16, 2008

All Hail Biblia!

If you aren't already reading Warrior Librarian Weekly, now's your chance to start! The most excellent Biblia (aka Amanda Credaro) has included a photo and lovely little mini-resume about me on the front page of Issue #256 (yes, my hair's still purple), and links to You don't look like a librarian!

Thanks tons, Biblia!

July 12, 2008

Take My Survey, Please!

(Insert bad stand-up comedic sounds here...)

No, seriously, folks, I'm looking for librarians to give me input to a survey about perceptions. I'd really appreciate the help. Pretty please with sugar on top?


(Addendum: This is the same survey I sent out about a month ago; I'm hoping for more input. If you've already participated, thank you! If not, please consider it.)

July 10, 2008

I <3 Rex

So. If you've been reading this site for any amount of time you know I have a thing for Rex Libris, the world's most awesome, bad-ass butt-kicking librarian around. Well, the new web site for Rex has been rolled out (so go check it out!), and to top it off, SLG Comics is offering a FREE COPY (yes, you read that right) of Issue #1, "I, Librarian" - you just pay for shipping.

I can't wait to run down to my local comics shop and pick up my copies of Issue #11 ("R'lyeh Rising") and #12 ("Space Balls... of Evil!") as soon as they're released. I'm keeping my eye on the site... and passing the time by browsing through the new Rexopedia.

As the cool kids say on twitter, I <3 Rex.

July 9, 2008

Hot from the Doorway

One of my engineers just this minute told me that his cousin's wife went to SLA, too (first-timer). "She's a meek, quiet little thing, the perfect librarian type."


July 8, 2008

Literary Tattoos and the LSW

OK, not together... well, not yet, at least... but I wanted to mention them both today!
  • Literary Tattoos, Books category. A lot of patience went into some of these inscriptions... reminds me of the Skin Project, "a story published on the skin of 2095 volunteers."
  • Hey! The Library Society of the World now has a website, in addition to the wiki! (Bonus: it's in Drupal.)
Speaking of Drupal... things are going swimmingly. I couldn't be happier! I'll actually be embarking on a new Drupal installation in the coming weeks, this time implementing web-based forms (a whole new module set to investigate!). I'll, no doubt, whine about the whole thing here :-D

It's only 96° so far today, with a 30% chance of rain (and 30% Rh; just enough to feel sticky.)

July 2, 2008

A big 'ol catchup

You may already know about some of these, you may not; I've been bookmarking them to chat about once the SLA furor was over. And now that time is here!
The monsoon season has started, but no rain today, I think. Currently 102°.

June 30, 2008

My Recent Wordle

My Recent Wordle
Originally uploaded by desertlibrarian
Here's a wordle of my latest blog postings, heavy on the SLA stuff. Thanks to nengard for the info on the tool; it's pretty nifty!

We'll return to posting about librarians, pop culture, and systems stuff tomorrow :-)

June 27, 2008

SLA: Wrap-up

Due to a camera glitch I have few photos of the conference, but thankfully plenty of other folks stepped up! Here's some collections:

And, of course, you can just search Flickr for all images tagged sla2008...

This posting wouldn't be complete without a link to the video of SLA Librarians Gone Wild! (And this was taken early in the evening. Trust me, it got wilder.)

SLA Day 5: Wednesday

Wednesday morning came much too early after the dance party Tuesday night; the Astronomy Roundtable, which I moderated with help from Michael Blake, kicked off at 8am. Bless SPIE for sponsoring the coffee service (thanks, Kevin)! After some Info-Expo non-conflict time, which I used to finish packing and check out of my hotel, it was time for the IT Division Board Meeting. I'm just dipping my toes in (as chair-elect of the Information Systems section), so this was my first IT board meeting; it's made up of a lively bunch, that's for sure! Next year should be interesting :-)

Then it was off to the Closing Session with a closing keynote by Seth Godin (better notes than I took by jbaumga here). Funny and informative, all at the same time! I twittered the things he said I liked the most (and borrowed this idea from nengard):

After he was done, it was time for the Annual Meeting, and watching folks flee the session was quite interesting. I hung for a bit more and then headed off to the hotel to meet my folks and start my vacation!

SLA Day 4: Tuesday

(Way behind in posting; will catch it all up today!)

Today kicked off with the PAM Business Meeting; I said my two cents (well, a bit more than that) as Division Treasurer noted it in more detail over on the PAMBlog. I ran around for a bit afterwards catching up on email and getting more coffee; then I headed to the Tech Support Roundtable where I hobnobbed with a bunch of other systems/IT librarians and learned a lot. (Thanks to Anna Burke for the Office 2003->2007 how-to link, and I also learned about summize from another attendee whose name I've sadly forgotten.)

I am here... Then I played hooky for a little while.

After a lovely lunch at the Sound View Cafe (mmm, crabcakes) I headed off for the Blogger's (and Webmaster's) Social, hosted by Blogger Extraordinaire Nicole Engard. Fun and socialization was had all 'round (we overflowed the original table and pretty much took over the bar area!) and I can highly recommend the mango mojitos and the satay.

Prom Party Thus fortified, it was off to the Sheraton to set up for the IT/PAM/LMD dance party, "Under the Sea Prom Night". What a blast! Photos are starting to show up scattered about the place; here are mine and Jill's , more will show up soon I'm sure!

I didn't quite make it to midnight; the energy reserves failed around 11:30 and I staggered back to the Roosevelt to try and get some sleep before the early start of Day 5!

June 16, 2008

SLA Day 3: Monday

Today kicked off with a great session called "The Science of Coffee" by Dr. Joe Vinson. Entertaining and also packed with real science. Check out his Coffee Science and Information Center web site! Then it was off to the exhibit halls again to finish schmoozing with and thanking the PAM sponsors.

After lunch, it was the PAMwide Roundtable; new format this year, a series of short presentations. Flora Grabowska talked about open access publishing initatives; Susan Koskinen talked about SCOAP3; Pat Viele discussed information fluency in physics; then Tony O'Rourke updated us about the IOPScience developments. (Tony's always a fun speaker.) After the break, Mandy Taha, the 2008 International Award winner, spoke about science in Egypt and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. (Be sure to look for her handouts on the SLA web site!) To round out the session, Joe Murphy talked about Library 2.0 issues.

Then, after a short break, it was off to Von's Grand City Cafe for the PAM Bookgroup and a yummy dinner. Thankfully everyone seemed to enjoy the book I picked, and I've gotten the nod from the chair-elect to run book group again next year :-)

Then it was off for the PAM Open House, over at the Sheraton. I could hear the noise as I got off the elevator! What a great party!

Monday in Seattle was gorgeous weather-wise... just lovely. I had to go shopping to get a short-sleeved shirt, I was so hot in my heavy winter shirt... gorgeous surprise!

SLA Day 2: Sunday

Sunday morning came much too early after the late night Saturday; at 7:30am I was at the Leadership Development Institute. I learned a lot about the SLA Innovation Laboratory and was really floored by everything that's in there - congratulations to the SLA staff who put it together! Then it was time to dash across town (so, of course, I dashed in the wrong direction for about five blocks, so it was a much longer dash than originally planned) for the Newcomer's Lunch at Tulio's - very nice, and very well attended by a batch of first timers! Afterwards was the PAM Board Meeting, also at Tulio's.

Then it was back to the convention center for the Networking Reception - damn tasty nibblies this year, I have to say! - and then it was off to the Nite Lite Lounge for a LSW meetup. My goal to find a dive bar to be rowdy in seems to have succeeded! A subset of us went out searching for food, and let me tell you, finding an open restaurant at 9:45pm in Seattle on a Sunday night is hard. Thankfully the Fox Sports Grill took pity on us, and fed us - best! restaurant! evah! It was weird eating dinner hours past my usual bedtime, but it certainly didn't affect my sleep :-)

SLA Day 1: Saturday

(finally have a few to catch up on blogging!)

Saturday was all about the flying and the ferrying. Had a good flight in and arrived stunned to sunshine! Got to the hotel - nice enough room, and less than a block from the convention center - and was able to get registration out of the way right off the bat. Then it was off to the Washington State Ferry for our Early Bird dinner out to Bainbridge Island. What fun! The ferry ride was quite enjoyable (I spent most of it looking at the water... what a novel occurrence!) and dinner at Madoka was lovely. It was a good start to the conference.

June 14, 2008

The sun is shining, and I am stunned

So, Seattle is gorgeous in the sunshine! This is, and I kid you not, my first trip up here in the summer and what a difference! I'm staying in the Roosevelt Hotel, and first impressions are quite good. It's also less than a block away from the convention center, which is fabulous. I'm going to head over to Pier 52 and take a ferry to Bainbridge Island for dinner - whee!

Hello, SLA. Commence conferencegoing!

Currently in Seattle: 63° and sunny. Currently in Tucson: 106°. Whoa!

June 11, 2008

Put a bell on that librarian!

OK, on the off chance you've always wanted to meet me and will be at SLA, here's where I'll be. Look for the purple hair and ever-present cup of coffee.

Saturday 14th: Arrive in Seattle, check into hotel, head to PAM Early Bird Dinner. (NTS: Bring dramamine for water taxi ride.)

Sunday 15th:
7:30-noon, SLA Leadership Summit meeting
12-1:30 PAM Newcomer's Lunch
1:30-3 PAM Board Meeting
3-5 Info-Expo Reception
5-7 Opening Session
7-9ish LSW Meetup @ Nite Lite Lounge; join us!
After that, IT Mystery Night Open House

Monday 16th:
9-10:30 The Science of Coffee (but of course!)
Non-conflict time - will probably be either in the exhibit hall or Blogger's Alley
1-2:30 PAM RT and IT Business Meeting (split, because I want to hear the PAM International Award Winner's talk - she's from the Alexandria Library!)
3:30-5 either Wonderful Wacky World of Wikipedia or Games for Training
6-7:30 PAM Book Group
8ish-9:30ish PAM Open House
After that, IT SciFi Night Open House

Tuesday 17th:
7-8:30 PAM Business Meeting
9-10:30 either New Faces of Special Libraries or Using Tech to Deliver Training
11-12:30 Tech Support RT (geeky librarians venting together!)
Non-conflict time (same as before)
3:15-4:45 Social Tools and the Enterprise
5:30-7:30 Bloggers and Webmasters Social @ Wild Ginger
8-who knows when: Under the Sea Prom Dance! After helping set up, I'll be at the front door from 8:30-10, then jammin' down on the dance floor. (Look for the loud fish shirt and tiara.)

Wednesday 18th:
8-10am Astronomy RT
Non-conflict time
12-1:30 IT Board Meeting
2:30-4:30 Closing Session

After that, it's time to run away for some vacation time with my family! But if you see me, don't be shy - come on over and say hi. See you there!

June 10, 2008

Uh oh.

I am gonna be in so much trouble...
  • Forecast high today, Tucson: 105° (we've hit 102° so far)
  • Forecast high today, Seattle: 55°. Long-term forecast suggests temps might actually get up into the 60s.

June 9, 2008

Monday humor

From the interesting online comic Cat and Girl...

Librarian sticker

Ha, I say, ha! (thanks, Tad!)

June 6, 2008

Random Musings: Friday Edition

Just wanted to share some tidbits from the week, from all over the tag map:

* My Drupal site is now live. Finally. *wibble*

* "Bikes, books and busting stereotypes," over at the Gloucester Advocate, is a great article about the Biblio Turismo tour and the folks behind it. What a neat idea!

* As an astronomy geek, Tag Galaxy is just - well, it's just darned spiffy. What a nifty cool groovy way to search Flickr images.

* Real Job Titles for Library and Information Science Professionals. Well, the title sums it up pretty well. If your job title isn't here, contact Michelle and she'll add it!

* As a gamer geek married to a World of Warcraft addict, the fact that a Librarian Guild has formed in WoW just makes me feel, well, all warm and fuzzy.

Weather update: hello again, triple digits! Today they're saying a high of 99°, but I think that's just to line up with the forecasts of 100° Saturday, 101° Sunday, and 102° Monday. Who knew the forecasters were funny this way?

June 4, 2008

Resources for SLA2008

Gearing up for Seattle, for the 2008 Annual Special Libraries Association conference - woo hoo! Busy as ever but it's going to be a good time. A couple of references I've recently bookmarked:

* The conference wiki

* Not for Tourists - Seattle edition

Lots of info in both these resources.

88° and sunny... the forecast for mornings for the foreseeable future.

June 3, 2008

New Survey for Librarians

Help a girl out! I'm interested to see if there have been any changes since the last time I asked librarians what patrons thought of them, back in 2001. So I've set up a new survey to find out. Please consider taking a few moments and sharing your thoughts with me!


June 2, 2008

Monday tidbits

Just some random bits to share:

* The new Indiana Jones movie has a hilarious scene in a library (well, I thought it was hilarious) involving a motorcycle and a reference question.

* From Playing for Keeps, by Jane Waterhouse: "Kitty Katz, everyone's idea of a librarian---each angular, beige part of her neatly tied with pearly ropes from which hung glasses, cardigan sweaters, even keys." (p.231) As Pat (who sent it to me) says, "I don't feel beige..."

* My Drupal site goes live (finally!) in the next 24 hours. *wibble*

Back to the nervous triple-checking, and closing my window; it's already 86° heading for 102°.

May 27, 2008

Librarian Glasses...

Tatty Devine necklace
...on a necklace! Interesting. From Tatty Devine, via Shiny Shiny. (Not sure I'd want to spend $44 + S&H on one, though...)

Twitter Away at SLA

SLA is officially encouraging twittering at the annual conference! Nifty. Read the details over at Daniel Lee's blog (he's from the SLA Innovation Laboratory, amongst other places). Hopefully by the time the conference starts, Twitter will have sorted out the problems they're currently experiencing... Follow along on the SLA2008 twitter feed.

Currently 92° and sunny.

May 23, 2008

Random Friday

A random collection of things I've been keeping lying about:

* Changing from Dewey Decimal to Library of Congress? Ha! (thanks to Jeff)

* Bookhunter. "The year is 1973. A priceless book has been stolen from the Oakland Public Library. A crack team of Bookhunters (aka. library police) have less than three days to recover the stolen item. It's a race against the clock as our heroes use every tool in their arsenal of library equipment to find the book and the mastermind who stole it. "

* Weirdly addictive, is Typeracer; also kind of fun to see my wpm score. I cannot imagine the 149wpm current high scorer; does s/he burn through keyboards on a regular basis? (I'm a bit more prosaic at an average of 84wpm.)

Cold, grey, and rainy today. Hard to believe we hit 103° three days ago; we haven't even hit 70° yet today.

May 19, 2008

Library War: Summaries

Library War logo
Thanks to the most excellent TangognaT for posting episode summaries and a few screen captures! Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are done and I'll be watching for more.

Ice Break on the Rillito: 2008

Yep, today's the day, folks: we've just officially hit 100°F for the first time this year. I believe we're going to actually go past it a bit - last forecast I saw was 103° - but today's it. Bye, bye, spring - hello summer!

My prediction, not that it's very difficult to do: another 100 days of 100+ degree weather. Not starting just yet, but in, say, another month? Yep.

May 12, 2008

Old Maids, Policeman, and Social Rejects

In the latest version of The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship, v.9, no. 1 (Spring 2008) is an interesting paper by Maura Seale titled "Old Maids, Policeman, and Social Rejects: Mass Media Representations and Public Perceptions of Librarians." Some serious analysis went into this research paper, which discusses the "five categories" of represented librarians (the old maid librarian, the policeman librarian, the librarian as parody, the inept librarian, and the hero/ine librarian). After reading it through, I have to say Ms. Seale is spot on; although almost of her references are older ones (late 90s-early 00s) I can find examples of each and every one of those categories in a media bit presented within the last year. I also have a few new articles to go check out, thanks to her reference list!

It's worth a read - check it out! (Originally via popculture-l; thanks to all the folks who also sent it along to me.)

May 9, 2008


There's a nice little meme going about the biblioblogosphere to make a square for a library-themed Passion Quilt. This is my contribution... As usual, I'm late to the game, and everyone I would have tagged has already done one, so check out to see 'em all.

Urban Dictionary: bite me.

(Note: Links will more than likely contain NSFW language.)

So, thanks to Library Bitch, I was introduced today to the Urban Dictionary's definition(s) of "librarian". While I quite like Definition #1 ("One to be worshiped") I can't say much for #10 ("a librarian is a weird usually older(middle aged) lonely woman"), or many, many others. Read through 'em and be sure to cast your vote.

89° and slightly overcast. Whee.

May 1, 2008

More Made of Win

If I can keep knocking out the small-yet-annoyingly-frustrating issues like this, I'll be golden!

Today I figured out the display ordering rationale in the image gallery module. It's such an easy module to use that I didn't want to discard it in favor of custom-built views for every single gallery every time one was created or modified, or (and I admit it) learn how to modify the php template, but not being able to display the images in the order I wished - or use a specific thumbnail to identify a gallery - was really getting on my nerves. So today I played around with a test gallery, tested file name, title, etc etc - and finally realized it sorts in an absolute, last-in-first-out order. Now that I know that, I can work around it; I just have to remember it down the line. As usual, it's a very small thing that was causing my much larger frustrations... but now I've gone into all my galleries, rearranged them to the engineers' satisfaction, and it's all good. Hurrah!

I've also taken the "oh, boy, here we go" step of sending a final review statement out to all the staff. We are, finally, approaching the last step before going public with this and being done with this task! Woo hoo!

79° and sunny. :-D

April 24, 2008

Today: Made of Win

Today has been a pretty good day.

1) After battling the front page display of my new web site for a while, I threw it out to a local CSS expert (thanks, Mark!) and to the Drupal4Lib community. (I wanted dual background images, one at the upper left and one at the bottom right, and no matter what I did the front_page module was only showing one image.) I got a lot of great suggestions to fidget with things and arrangements, which led me to think about swapping which images were called from where. When I flipped the body and wrapper background images, it worked! Not only did it work, it works across every browser I've tested so far, even IE (!!!!), and under both Windows and Linux. (I'll test from the Mac when I get home, but I expect it'll be fine.) Needless to say, a happy dance was performed :-D

2) I got to play with javascript and replaced the static image on our main web page with a script that randomly displays one of eleven images. Makes me happy, and more importantly, it seems to have made the scientists and directorate happy. Thanks, JavaScript Source!

3) I get to shop for all the table decorations for the big "Under the Sea" party at SLA. Hee hee!

Currently 84° and sunny. (expect to see that a lot in the future, ha ha)

April 22, 2008

Social Events at SLA

The calendar is rapidly filling up:

* PAM Book Group, Monday evening
* Blogger's Social, Tuesday evening
* LSW Meet-up, time and date still TBD.

Plus open houses, early-bird dinners, and the much-looked-forward-to Under the Sea PAM/IT dance! Thank heavens we'll be in the City of Coffee...

April 15, 2008

Random Video

Busy, busy, busy - here are some things to keep you occupied...

* Thumbs down: Erik the Librarian. Seen around the net, and in Library Journal...4 episodes posted so far. The summary says "Erik is a reclusive, introspective, yet very vocal librarian on a perpetual quest to make himself understood." LJ said "'s a low point in the ongoing wars against the librarian stereotype. [...] Actually, he's obnoxious, manic, grating, and aggressive to the point of stalkerish." And, you know, I just can't top that. (I also couldn't watch anymore past about halfway through episode 3...blech.)

* Thumbs up: Library War. "The action comedy anime adapts Hiro Arikawa's popular novel about battles fought to preserve libraries when a new law threatens to clamp down on freedom of expression in 2019." I watched the video (no, I had no idea what they were saying) and just hope it gets released here with subtitles! Reminded me a lot of Yomiko Readman, aka The Paper, from Read or Die. (Watch it, if you haven't!)

* Two Thumbs Up! "Blood In The Stacks: Ravaged By A Vampire Librarian." (No, really, it's totally SFW.) Since even my stick people are sometimes unidentifiable, watching this vampbrarian (ha, ha) come to life was wild!

April 14, 2008

18 Sexy Trips to the Library Stacks

Entertainment Weekly celebrates National Library Week in their own film-based way.

Spring is on the way out; today it's supposed to hit 95°. Thus begins summer's approach...

April 3, 2008

What She Said

Y'all know my stance on the whole MLIs-librarian versus non-MLIS-librarian thing. But Mary Carmen really hit it with her post "You Call it Being a Professional; Some of Us Call it Being an A$$hat". She links to several other blogger's posts as well, and I certainly can't say it any better.

My mother forgot more in her 37 years as a non-degreed librarian (and yes, I believe she is now a retired librarian, not a retired paraprofessional library worker, dammit) than I will ever know. She, and librarians like her, taught me a lot about how you should treat fellow workers. I hope I live up to her lessons.

April 2, 2008

A Librarian at War

I found Shelby Monroe while researching a different topic, but I have to mention her here, and what she's doing. Miss Shelby, as she is known, is a librarian embedded with a division in Iraq. (Yes, you read that right.) She decided it was important to tell the daily stories of the soldiers in Iraq, and show pictures of the regular citizens, so she quit her library job and shipped out. Miss Shelby blogs about her experiences, and shares her photos, over at "101 Days with the 101st Airborne" and "Heads Down, Spirits Up!" (subtitled The Adventures of a Restless Librarian in Iraq).

What she's doing takes a huge amount of guts. HUGE. If you've read this for a while, you know I have a military background; IMHO it's one thing for a prepared (or semi-, as the case has been) soldier to go into a battlefield, but it's quite another to quit your quiet life far away from that chaos and willingly put yourself into it, then share the day-to-day realities of that chaos. I'm in awe.

Miss Shelby, thank you.

Random Things

Lots going on, very busy; just wanted to share a couple of things with you!

* Philip Flick emailed me last week (and I'm sharing with his permission): "I was closing down a bank account in one town because I was moving to another town where I was just hired to work at the public library. He asked me what my occupation was and I told him librarian. He offered the title, "media specialist". Then he commenced to say that sounded much better than librarian, because of all those things you (are supposed to) think of when you think of the term 'librarian'. I am sure I did not provoke him to this, all I wanted was to close my bank account, not hear some discourse on what stigmas there are associated with being a librarian. One thing about the incident that I thought was weird was that he never even bothered to 'catch himself' in the process of his insult. He just carried on and thought that his assessment of the profession was the norm." So, yeah, there's that image thing impacting our daily lives again...

* Judith Seiss (yay, OPL!) alerted me to "What is it about librarians?", a brief discourse from Millard Filmore's Bathtub on "racy" librarian blog titles.

10:30am, 71° - yay spring!

March 25, 2008

3BT: Tucson Spring Morning

1) Not needing a jacket on the way to work.
2) The lovely light smell of the new-blooming trees and bushes.
3) A free extra shot of espresso (and a kiss on the cheek) from the corner Coffee Dude.

Aaah, spring...

March 23, 2008

Conan the Librarian...again!

Conan the Librarian Conan the Librarian just keeps popping up - this time in an amusing action-figure vignette by Poe Ghostal over on Flickr.  I believe everyone who's had to deal with loud patrons has wished this at one time or another...

March 20, 2008

Blog Bits

Spent some time today reading blogs, and these caught my attention as things to share:

* I so want to work (and visit) here! Jenny Levine (the Shifted Librarian) talks about her trip to DOK . Wow. (I mean, what else can you say?)

* I don't know how Steven Cohen (Library Stuff) finds and keeps up with all this stuff, but he posted two fairly nifty Twitter tools: TwitterMap and Twitter Karma.

* Lee LeBlanc guest-blogged at Tame the Web about answers to his question "Why are you a librarian?" I really enjoyed the wide variety of answers (#32 made me chuckle).

Bronchitis is the pits. Special super cough medicine is fun. The weather is lovely. Yay!

March 17, 2008

Speed Bump: now in poster form!

Speed Bump by Dave Coverly One of my favorite librarian comics from Speed Bump has become so popular the author, Dave Coverly, is now making it available as an inscribed, color poster!  It's a bit spendy but would be very cool to have on the office wall.  (Hmm, gift idea!)

(Mr. Coverly gave me permissions to use this particular comic three talks ago... he's a groovy dude!)

IL2008 Call for Speakers

Bit late off the block with this, but in case you haven't already seen: the Call for Speakers for Internet Librarian 2008 is now open. Send in your ideas by March 26th!

Cold, grey and rainy here the last couple of days. Brr!

March 12, 2008

For the Guybrarians in your life

I loves me some effing.librarian, I have to say. His post on "to be a guybrarian" made me laugh out loud, but I'm curious... guys, do you agree with effing? Is this what you envision when someone calls you a "guybrarian"?

It. Is. Not. Snowing.

AL Direct notices me again!

My CMS article is mentioned in this week's AL Direct! How cool; even though I can't swing being a member of ALA as well as SLA, they still seem to like me! :-) (Thanks to Joe for letting me know!)

Shelving the Stereotype

The Houston Chronicle ran an article in late February on the changing face of librarianship: "Information isn't reserved for books", by Carolyn Feibel. Gotta love an article that starts off with the question "If Google and a librarian had an informational smackdown, who would win?"

Me, of course, I vote for the librarian.

Found via Folderol

March 10, 2008

CiL: I made the cover!

March CiL Cover
Wow. I had no idea that Information Today was going to use my article on choosing and implementing a CMS for their March cover! How exciting :-D Even more exciting, they've made it freely available online (although without the groovy graphics and tables and things). This makes my second article for CiL, and my second cover! What a lovely way to end a Monday!

It's a perfectly lovely 75°. Aaahhhh.... spring in Tucson!

March 7, 2008

Slog, Slog, Slogging Along

You may have noticed (then again, maybe not) that things have been somewhat quieter than usual around here lately. I'm continuing to slog through the new Drupal-based web site; am now nagging others for input to the image galleries (why post old images to a new web site?) and waiting on that, and the other big bugaboo is: the front page module.

You'd think, after reading the project page, that it'd be pretty straightforward. And for the uses I've done so far - basically, a link to log in, and a link to the sitemap for browsing - it was fine. But now I want to put an actual spiffy front page with a different look to it on the site, and danged if I'm not having a ton of trouble with it. The front page settings has a nice little box for you to use, and you can choose themed, full, or a redirect type. I've been using themed, which uses my theme from the rest of the site, but now I want to choose full and drop in a completely different page. I quote: "You can paste in the full HTML code for a complete page and include a different style sheet in the HEAD of the document if you want a completely different layout and style to the rest of your site." So, I do that, but does it work? NO. It basically seems to be taking my title and any other information in the head of the document (including the style sheet), stripping it down to plain text, and dropping it before any of my content. This leads to: a VERY UGLY PAGE.

I've had it for the day. Maybe whatever I'm missing will become clear next week...after a lot more coffee. Sigh.

More on the third "Librarian" movie

Bummer! Now it looks like winter '08 instead of fall... ah well, should still be a big bunch o'cheesy fun!
The thermometer says it's 70° but I'm cold... yes, I'm a weather wimp, I admit it!

McSweeney's Reasons

Discovered via twitter and laughed over openly, McSweeney's Ten Reasons to (be|not be) a Librarian is so very, very true... I totally classify things, I can't help it!

February 27, 2008

More from Rex Libris

My favorite a$$-kicking sesquipedalian librarian is back! Rex Libris #9 ("In the Grip of Ogpu!") came out just after Christmas, and Rex Libris #10 ("A Cock and Bull Story") has just been released... I love the standing order with my local comic store, I have them both to hand and will probably (finally!) read them on the plane this week.

Rex Tee #2
Plus SLG Publishing has come out with another Rex T-shirt, which I simply must have! "Have YOU returned your library books?"

I loves me some Rex! :-)