December 31, 2009

Musings on 2009

It's the time of year when we all think about the year that's passed, and what may come next year. I've been thinking about my significant events of 2009.

Professionally, it was a very rewarding year. A big event was the publication of my book. I still can't believe that I wrote a book, and that people are reading it! Thank you! I'm sure the SLA Alignment Project will be an equally large part of 2010; it flavored almost all my dealings with SLA events and issues in 2009. I'm going to continue to be deeply involved with SLA; in 2010 I'll be the Chair-Elect for the Physics-Astronomy-Math Division, and will continue as the Information Systems section chair for the Information Technology Division. Although it's in limbo while SLA shakes things out, I hope the Innovations in Technology Committee has a chance to do its thing again too; it was a fascinating process to be a part of last year. And the Arizona Chapter has some big changes coming, too!

MPOW passed some pretty significant milestones, the biggest one being approval to move to construction. (I get to keep my job! Yay!) And I learned a lot with MOPOW (my other place of work); my time with them has come to an end but they provided a large portion of new tech experiences for me in 2009. I had a lovely, stress-free year running our web site with Drupal; in 2010 I'll be taking us to Drupal 6, and then will finally start the migration of our parent organization into it as well. I'm excited! Hopefully I'll also be bringing a new file server online, and upgrade/migrate all our major systems (including our EDMS) onto it.


Personally, it was a more challenging year. I lost my father-in-law, a great guy who is deeply missed. We had a fun quirky less-than-thrilling experience with our first major house repair when the bathroom ceilings fell in. I ended up in the emergency room more times than I'm really happy with. On the up side, though, thanks to some new medications, I'm not getting devastating migraines nearly as often as I used to, so I'm pretty pleased about that. My family continues to be a source of amazement and joy to me. And, hey, I get to keep my job!

I met some great people this year, both in and out of the library world, and I'm looking forward to seeing what 2010 will bring in all the arenas of my life. I hope it brings wonderful things to you, too.

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou - Feliz Año Nuevo - Happy New Year!

December 16, 2009

The Calendar for 2010


It's true, it's true! There's another in the long line of calendars that feature librarians available now to order: The Mildly Attractive Men of SLIS Calendar. Brought to you by the Library and Information Science Student Association (LISSA) of the University of South Carolina, it features male librarians in "iconic poses from the history of film." Get yours today!

December 10, 2009

SysGrunt, or, A Day in the Life of a Systems Librarian

Just, y'know, because. This was actually a fairly quiet (and abnormal) day, as I spent most of it working on just one task... aah, it was nice!


Make coffee.
Email (95 messages)
Spec out a new engineering laptop (mmm, Asus).
Cancel account for no-longer-used web conferencing system.
With help from programming friend, figure out bug in application script.
Web site update.
Tweak bogus registry keys for EDMS system, hopefully to fix a recurring bug.
Document processing (update database, update docs with approval info, share appropriately, PDF, post to web)
Lunch.
Email (32 messages)
Install new software.
More document processing.
Install yet more new software.
Last batch of email (22 messages)
Out.

December 9, 2009

Thank You, AzLA!


Thank You, AzLA!
Originally uploaded by desertlibrarian

So I put 280 miles on the car yesterday driving to Phoenix to present at the Public Library Division's business meeting at the Arizona Library Association (AzLA). I had a good time, and hope I entertained and informed the attendees; thanks to Mary and the rest of the PLD for having me up!

I then was fortunate to attend a SIRLS reception and boy, howdy, are we everywhere! That was pretty cool, and I met some great folks from the school who I hope to continue conversing with. I guess it shouldn't come as such a surprise to see so many of us there, but it was, and a pleasant one at that.

I'll be joining AzLA; have you joined your state library association?

November 19, 2009

Librarian Meetup


November Meetup
Originally uploaded by desertlibrarian
Thanks to the folks who came to share a nice selection of beer, some really good pizza, and a great wide-ranging discussion about librarianship at Old Chicago tonight. I hope some of the topics discussed lead to greater things, especially a re-energizing of the Arizona Chapter, and I also really hope some of the tips shared help with job searches.

A tip o'the frosty beverage to Robert, Cindy, Jennifer, Lisa and Leslie, and a hoist for Cindy who was sick, Laura who had dental work, and Joe who was just cold (and, you know, lives in Colorado). Cheers!

November 11, 2009

Never Forget

In remembrance of all the veterans in my life, past and present - I thank you.

In honor of today I want to share a memory with you all from a military brat who grew up in the Benelux. I shall never forget the day my brother and I - I was 14, so he was 10ish - made a quick run to the local Delhaize supermarket. A tiny, bent, withered old woman came up to us, hugged us both, and said "Thank you". I asked her what she was thanking us for, and she said "Americans saved my life and my family in the War." Then she hugged us again, and left.

It was so powerful - I mean, of course we learned about the Wars in school, but it was detached, from a textbook - easy to read about and then move on. This woman changed that. After this chance meeting we paid closer attention to the land and structures around us and it was everywhere - we were in a part of the world that had been overrun by armies over and over, where many of the forests still held the dead, and where the old people in our neighborhood had been there since the last time it was battled over. It gave us both new eyes - and new respect - for the rest of the time we lived there.

The veterans of the old World Wars are being replaced by veterans of these new World Wars - never forget what they have done for their country and by extension, for you.

November 5, 2009

Internet Librarian 2009

I'm doing things a bit differently this year - and a bit later, ah well. I'm not going to summarize everything I went to and everything that happened - there are plenty of places to read about the conference. Instead I'm just going to touch on highlights, things that worked well for me or made me groove. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
  • Seafood, every day. 'Nuff said.
  • The hotel I stayed at, where I will definitely be staying again.
  • Meeting with my mentor Stephen for a nice chat about future possibilities.
  • The Digital Library Practices track on Monday, especially the session on visualization and virtualization. (Not the same thing at all, but they got put together into one session.) I'm looking forward to trying out Graphviz, the open-source tool used by the UNReno folks.
  • The book signing event Monday night!
  • I really enjoy Paul Holdengraber's passion and humor, and his keynote interview with Erik Boekesteijn was great. (And thanks SO much to the Shanachies for all the streaming video they did throughout the conference!)
  • Meeting my Drupal guru in person. At last! You rock, Cary.
  • Having lunch - including buffalo artichoke hearts, nom! - with my most awesome book editor Rachel.
  • Surviving my talk... and actually having folks attend it! (Thank you!)
  • Rockin' Battle Decks. I haven't laughed that hard at a conference session in a really, really long time. (and there are too librarians in the desert! Ha!)
  • Bluff the Internet Librarian at the closing keynote. Cracked me up - both the way the speakers presented it (quiz show style) and the amazing-but-real things used as the quiz items. Who knew?!?
  • Last but far, far from least: Library 101. Really, Michael Porter and David Lee King are just amazing in their creativity, and if even a quarter of us can channel some of their energy and enthusiasm for libraries into our own arenas, we will KICK BUTT. (If you haven't seen their earlier video presentation "Hi-Fi Sci-Fi Library", go watch that too.)



Farewell for this year, Monterey and IL. I'll see you again next year.

October 28, 2009

ITI Authors On Parade

The booksigning event at Internet Librarian was a blast - what a great bunch of folks to be a part of! Thanks to Libraryman Michael Porter for the photo op... and for buying one of everyone's books!

October 15, 2009

Thoughts on SLA's Name Change

Once again, the specter of "what does that name mean anyway? Maybe if we change it to something else things will be better" rears its head.  SLA - the Special Libraries Association - is proposing a name change, this time to "the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals".

To say the discussions are running hot would be an understatement. Even the quieter listservs I belong to had over a dozen postings since yesterday, and the larger ones had many more.  A glimpse at the Twitter feed for #slaname will give a decent overview of the hullabaloo. I won't even go into the details of what folks have been saying about the acronym, "ASKPro" - I bet you can figure that out by yourself.

How do I feel? I'm - baffled. If the whole point was to find a name that expressed our profession better, I don't think this one is it. I also have never felt the way to solve the problem with the image of librarians is to remove the word "librarian" from the discussion (but, that's just me, and I admit it). Many of the discussions I've seen include some variation on "What does that mean, anyway?" and to paraphrase a post in one of my listservs, having to define what your name means to your membership = FAIL. I just don't think this is the right choice for us.

It does seem an opportune time to mention a new discussion group called "Libraries Need Librarians", where this topic has been one of the most discussed to date. It's a new discussion group, based on the need to support the role and necessity of librarians. Take a look.

October 7, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I'm just sayin'.


Call for Nominations: PAM IMA

The Special Libraries Association (SLA) Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics (PAM) Division is now calling for nominations for the International Membership Award. The SLA-PAM Division will present this award to a librarian from the developing world; it provides a two-year SLA membership, for the years 2010 and 2011. For complete information, please visit the following web page: http://units.sla.org/division/dpam/manual/awards/pamimadetails.html

Please submit nominations to the co-chair/s of the International Relations Committee (IRC) of the PAM Division (address below) by November 1, 2009. The award will be announced in December 2009. Thank you.

Objective:
The purpose of the award is to provide an opportunity for librarians from the developing world to be an active member of SLA and of SLA-PAM.

Components:
  • The award will provide SLA membership, including PAM Division affiliation, for a period of two years.
  • The award recipient will serve as a member of PAM's International Relations Committee (IRC) during the term of the award.
  • SLA-PAM will fully fund the award recipient's attendance at SLA's annual conference during the first year of the award, including travel costs, lodging, conference registration, and related expenses. Please note: travel to the conference is contingent on several factors including procurement of a visa to travel to the United States. This is the award recipient's responsibility.
  • The award recipient will prepare a short report on the state of scientific information/libraries in his/her country, to be presented to the membership at the annual SLA conference either in person or in writing.
  • The award recipient will also prepare a final report reflecting on his/her experience with PAM and providing recommendations for future improvements to the award program; this report is to be sent before the end of the second year of the award to the PAM Executive Board and PAM IRC.
Qualifications:
  • The nominee must reside and work in a developing country and have basic English skills.
  • The nominee must be working currently in a library, information center, library school or other information-related capacity, in one of the subject areas related to science and technology. Priority will be given to applicants working in Physics-Astronomy-Mathematics areas.
  • The nominee will not have had a previous opportunity to become actively involved in SLA, such as by attending an SLA conference or other professional library association meetings in the U.S.
Nomination Process: Self nominations are encouraged. Nomination documentation should include the following:
  • A letter highlighting the candidate's professional career and qualification and explaining why this person should be granted the award.
  • The candidate's current professional resume.
  • Contact information for the nominee: name, position, business address, and (if possible) email address.
Nominations are to be submitted by 1 November, 2009, to the PAM IRC chair, and the award recipient will be announced in December. Selection will be made by the PAM Executive Board in consultation with the PAM IRC Chair/Co-Chair.

Please submit nominations to:

Mangala Krishnamurthy
Chair, SLA-PAM International Relations Committee
Rodgers Library for Science & Engineering
University of Alabama Libraries
The University of Alabama
P.O.Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
Phone: (205) 348-2109 | Fax: (205) 348-2113 | Email: mkrishna@ua.edu

Or

Kiem-Dung Ta
Co-Chair, SLA-PAM International Relations Committee
Oklahoma State University
Edmon Low Library
Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078
(405) 744-9743 | Email: kiem.ta@okstate.edu

October 5, 2009

Guybrarians, machinery & merriment

Not all at the same time, mind you...

* "When I tell people what I do for a living, a now expected look crosses their faces, somewhere between a suppressed chuckle and a barely contained rolling-around-clutching-their- bellies guffaw." Rob Huffman shares his confession about "why he became a guybrarian" and addresses those who make that face at him.

* It sucks to be in Leicestershire UK, where the County Council is replacing all the library staff with automated machines. No, really. Staff is not surprisingly against this decision - 19 of them will lose their jobs over it - but the locals are also pretty upset. What a rotten situation.

* Horror stories (and sometimes happy stories) from the stacks! Check out The Merry Librarian, a new site that collects and shares true library stories (some more wince-inducing than others).

September 30, 2009

Thank You, SABL!

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of speaking to the Southern Arizona Biomedical Librarians here in Tucson about the librarian stereotype, pop culture, and why it's important to be aware of how we're presented. It was a really good talk, with an energetic and involved crowd, and I had a lot of fun. Thanks again to Cindy for the invitation to join them, and thanks to the SABL folks for sharing their stories with me!

September 24, 2009

Sterotypical Linkdump

Yes, I know, I need a new name for the "Hey, here's a bunch of articles I found interesting and want to share" pile -

* WestLaw just doesn't get it. "Are you on a first name basis with the librarian? If so, chances are, you're spending too much time at the library." Read the furor and the fallout!

* Today’s Librarian: Hip, Delusional, and Doomed. A well-thought-out and thought-provoking article by Michael Antman, discussing ye olde stereotype, the future of libraries, digital versus print, and so much more. I'm still chewing it over!

* The Librarian Stereotype War. "Can we please just stop debating about the library’s image and what a librarian is and just go out into our community–whether a city, a hospital, or a university–and do what we do best? No more debate will be needed when our community is well-aware of our existence and that *gasp* librarians are people. Who’d have ever thought it, eh?" - Yes, please! I would love for this to be the case, really I would...

* They're called net generation librarians. Librarians in the Philippines tell it like it is!

* It's Not Generational. In a recent NextGen Librarians column at LJ, Erin Silva points out "One of the things I've been pleasantly surprised to learn in my time as a blooming professional is that the generation to which you belong does not determine how forward-thinking you are."

September 22, 2009

Would any of this be news without librarians?

I'm always cheerful when a fellow librarian gets their name in the paper, but I wonder if there are similar articles out there about, say, lawyers, or police, or other professions?

* Jennifer Garner wanted to be a librarian when she grew up. "...my dream was to grow up to be a librarian, because I had a librarian named Mrs. McCann who I thought was the most magical woman on the planet." (Go, Mrs. McCann!)

* It's hip to be a librarian! "Yes, a librarian can now be anyone -- from your cute neighbor or cool classmate, to that sophisticated babe or handsome hunk."

* Tiny librarian is hell on wheels. "She's petite, she's middle-aged, she's bookish, and if she gets a chance, she'll knock you on your keister."

* Hefting kettlebells, hitting the books. "You know you're not in the average librarian's office when two Apollo brand kettlebells -- one 70 pounds, the other 53 pounds --are positioned directly across the desk."

September 16, 2009

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

A note: this has nothing to do with librarians, libraries, image, perception, or pop culture. Feel free to skip it if you want.

This week - September 14-20 - is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. While I'm not a member of the group that's putting on the conference referred to at the website, I am a member of the group of people it targets. In that spirit, here's my blog entry in support of this week.

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Fibromyalgia

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2006 (formally, at least)

3. But I had symptoms since: the mid-1990s. Several docs diagnosed me with various chronic inflammations. Lots of fun. When it got to the point where I had one doc treating me for seven different chronic inflammatory situations it was conjectured that perhaps, just perhaps, I really did have a systemic issue!

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Mentally accepting there are things I just can't do anymore. I tell you, it makes me so angry sometimes... I'm still working on this step.

5. Most people assume: that it's no big deal, or that I don't really mean it when I say "I'm fine as long as you don't touch me". Really, I do mean it.

6. The hardest part about mornings are: First putting my feet on the floor. Some days I have to really work at making myself to stand up that first time.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: Don't have one, actually.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my Treo!

9. The hardest part about nights are: Getting to sleep, followed by staying asleep.

10. Each day I take 13 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: absolutely positively believe in and find relief from therapeutic massage & myofascial release. (I wish my insurance company did.)

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Oh, that's a toughie. Having seen how folks react to visible situations in this "enlightened" age, I'd probably stick with invisible. At least I don't get pigeonholed right off the bat.

13. Regarding working and career: I have a great and very understanding boss and team I work with who are totally not fazed if I IM them rather than walking down the hall (because some days that's just tough to do). I can telecommute if I need to, as well. I love what I do and am glad I haven't had to change my career path because of the fibro.

14. People would be surprised to know: how physical I used to be, and how much I miss it.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: See #4.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Put in a new floor. It took a really long time and my husband was really patient!

17. The commercials about my illness: There's a commercial?

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Dancing! Oh, my god, I miss seriously dancing. I still do it - I can't live without it - but now I have to weigh the fallout against the benefits. Sometimes I can't dance more than five minutes - but damn if I'll give up those five minutes. (In my head, though, I live life dancing...)

19. It was really hard to have to give up: Some forms of physical exercise. I miss rock climbing and hiking - I have a great trainer at a great gym but strength and resistance training just isn't the same. I also really, really, really hated giving up learning and teaching bellydance... can't do much of a routine if you can't dance for more than a few minutes at a time. (Dammit!)

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Uh.... damn. No, really, I have hobbies.... let me think....

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Dance dance dance dance dance! Oh, and maybe get a few hours of solid uninterrupted sleep. Yeah, that'd be nice too.

22. My illness has taught me: an incredible new level of respect for my mother, who also suffers but has it much worse than I do (between fibro and diabetes she had to take early medically-necessary retirement). It's also teaching me how to get on with life in spite of it!

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: "It's all in your head." Come live in my skin for a day and try to say that again!

24. But I love it when people: Don't judge me if I walk slowly or have to take the elevator instead of the stairs.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "Hurts if you lie still and do nothing, hurts if you get up and get on with life; might as well get up!" My motto, from something my mother said to me once.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: That this is manageable. It ain't fun, but it also isn't the end of your world.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How much it impacts every aspect of life, and I mean *every*.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: My husband will let me shut myself in our room and just rest, whenever I need to. It hasn't been a "once he did this" thing, either -

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I've met some amazing folks who also deal with invisible illnesses and they're inspiring. I've found a support group through it. I honor my mother because of it. And I wish the doctors out there who still think fibro is imaginary would learn something more from it.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Nervous! This is the first time I've really put it all out there - my family and friends know, of course, but I feel as if perhaps I'm risking things by sharing this much. But as I said in #29, I've met some amazing folks, and maybe by sharing my own bits and pieces I can be amazing for someone else.

August 25, 2009

The League of Librarians

Let me just say: BRILLIANT!

I am extra impressed and uber-jealous of the "League of Librarians" covers created by the librarians from Carleton College River Campus Libraries of the University of Rochester, and "kudos to Marc Bollman who came up with the concept, took the photographs, and made magic happen." The Facebook photo album of images is posted to Katie Clark's profile, and I really encourage you to check it out!

thanks to Liz for sharing!

Updated to fix my incorrect library credit; also, the set's available on Flickr so you can see it even if you don't have a Facebook account.

August 14, 2009

Superheroes & Sterotypes

It's Friday so there must be blog reading!

* A new superhero at Comic-Con? Hmm...

* Cat and Girl does it again with "Long Time Listener". Amen to "it's a start"!!! (via about a half-dozen blogs)

* I am a slacker; I've only just found the Library Leadership Network. (I need to add this great resource to my Information Systems wiki!)

* Just for fun: Non-Wrecky Children's Book Cakes. Beautiful!

* Necessary Science Stuff: Check out Experience the Planets, "our solar system through the eyes of artists" - amazing, amazing, amazing!

August 10, 2009

Yet Another Random Link Share

Yes, I'm catching up... and for the 9% of readers who haven't already seen these, well, now you have!

* The Australian TV show "The Librarians" may be coming to the US!

* Give it up, punk rock: Mick Jones of the Clash has become a librarian.

* The "Tattooed Ladies of TLA" calendar is now available for purchase!

* Could an actual librarian be up for the Librarian of Congress position?

* Darn it, I missed this year's "Library Day in the Life" project. Foo. I love reading about what other librarians do and deal with, though, and you might too!

I'm sure more will pop up later.

3BT: Catchup Edition

Three Beautiful Things, albeit a bit sideways....

1) The wonderful photos in the slideshow at my beloved father-in-law's funeral.
2) Having ceilings in the bathrooms again, rather than large holes.
3) The air conditioner working properly again.

Also, this is my 500th post.

(So, what's been up with you?)

July 17, 2009

Random Fridays

Bits-n-pieces to end the week!

* More on the forthcoming calendar from the Texas Library Association. (thanks to many!)

* The secret side of happenings at the ALA conferences? (NSFW language)

* I just love precision book cart drill teams, especially ones that channel Marilyn Monroe. (thanks Coleen!)

* Speaking of bookcarts, don't forget that Unshelved's Pimp My Bookcart contest is accepting entries!

Yeah, sorry, that's all I've got for now. More next week! Currently 103° and thinking about rain.

July 13, 2009

Tattoos and Cartoons


Thanks to Pamela A, who I met at SLA and who then sent me a photocopy of a cartoon that just made me laugh, you too can check out the winners of last year's Caption Contest of the Pittsburg Post-Gazette. To the right you can see the cartoon to be captioned; be sure to check out the top suggestions! My particular favorites:
  • "Miss Vivian hoped that her 'extreme makeover' would put muscle behind the 'no food or drink in the library' rule."
  • "With the entire Dewey Decimal System tattooed on Ernie's body, the library saved a ton of money on costly computer systems."
In other news, the Texas Library Association is at it again with their calendar fundraiser, this time with the "Tattooed Librarians of Texas". Brilliant!

June 29, 2009

Random Linkdump

Aaaand now that I've caught up on SLA postings and the book interview announcement, it's time to share a few other tidbits from the last week:

* Get your geek on at Geek the Library! (thanks to Libraryman)

* "The Librarian 3: Quest for the Judas Chalice" wins the Saturn award, given by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, for "the best presentation on TV". Heh.

* OK, wait, what? School librarians reassigned into teaching positions in Bellevue, WA? I don't know about you, but I'm sure not qualified to teach. (My reference class teacher from grad school would back that up 100%.)

* Just in case I haven't already mentioned it (and if I have, well, I really like it so I'm going to mention it again) : Girl Genius. Go. Read now. I'll wait!

Longshots Podcast Now Up!

I'm pleased to announce that my book interview with Sarah Long for her LongShots podcast is now available! We talked about - yes, it's true - the image of librarians, why you should care, and what we can all do to help continue to update that image. It was a great interview and I was really pleased to have the opportunity!

SLA 2009: Day Five

Wednesday, Day 5, came grey and gloomy...

SLA IT Board MeetingThe morning kicked off with the second IT Board Meeting and plenty of bacon. (These things are important!) This one was about a third as long as the first one; we just needed to finish working through the agenda for the year. A division this large has a lot going on! Astronomy Roundtable I then had to immediately gallop off for the Astronomy Roundtable, which ended up being standing room only - always well attended, Jane did a great job this year of keeping the conversation flowing and on-topic. (It's always neat to hear what ADS has up its sleeve, as it's a resource I use quite often.)

Closing Keynote That was pretty much the last formal session of the conference for me; the closing reception of the Info-Expo hall was next (including my second book signing, which went as well as the first one - yay!), followed by the Closing Keynote. This year it was a panel discussion again, moderated by Judy Woodruff and consisting of Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium), Robyn Meredith (Forbes magazine), and John Patrick (Internet visionary, formerly with IBM). It was pretty cool - I always love to hear Tyson speak, his passion is just wonderful - and hearing all three discuss the global information changes that are coming from such different popints of view was really interesting.

After helping to fling beads at the Closing Reception on behalf of the 2010 conference committee, I enjoyed a beignet or two and then ran away to do some touristy bits at the Library of Congress. I'm going to close my SLA postings with this shot of a wall mosaic from the LoC, as it really says it all as far as I'm concerned:

Knowledge is Power

Onward!

SLA 2009: Day Four

(I swear I'm going to get these finished today, dang it. I have other stuff stacking up behind them!)

Day Four, Tuesday, was going to be the longest day on the schedule - from the 7am start of the PAM Business Meeting through the IT/PAM/LMD Dance Party that night. Oof!

Dana Roth, Achievement Award WinnerDr. Helmut Abt, Division Award WinnerThe big items at the PAM Business Meeting were the Award winners. Dana Roth was given the Achievement Award for the multiplicity of his work relating to scientific literature; Dr. Helmut Abt was given the Division Award for his work in citation analysis; and Thomas Heverin, Michael Peper, Kara Young, and Yun Zhang were the IoP Publishing Travel Stipend Award winners. Congratulations to them all!

Then it was off to moderate the "History of PAM" session, which was well-attended and chock full of good memories of division folks and events. A write-up will appear in the PAM Bulletin later this year, and the Division History section of the website will also be updated.

Lunch was spent at the IT Business Meeting, where hearty congratulations were bestowed on Stephanie Buck, winner of the 2009 Joe Ann Clifton Student Award for her paper on emerging technologies, and the North Carolina Chapter was awarded the Outstanding Chapter Technology Programming Award. A rather nifty Flash movie of the history of the division was also shared.

Leslie Was RightLater in the afternoon found me at the Matchbox DC Bistro for the Tech Support Roundtable... a session that many RSVPd but few actually appeared. *sigh* But for the two folks who did show up, it was a lively and informative session, where we talked about Vista, cloud computing, and the kinds of things that are really required from technical librarians these days. Oh, yeah, and the food was awesome...

What really bummed me out about today was the arrival of a wicked migraine about halfway through the session, and I had to bail on the Embassy Ball Dance Party. I'm still searching for photos or posts about it... I can only imagine the attendees are still recovering!

June 24, 2009

SLA 2009: Day Three

Book Signing by jahw So, after completely discombobulating my brain with the fact that yes, Day Three is, in fact, Monday, I was able to shake it up and get going. Kicked off the day with an informal meeting of the Innovations in Technology committee - 2/3 of us, at least - but it was great to meet James in person. And then, it was the non-conflict Info-Expo Lunch Reception and (drum roll please) my first book signing! It went well, I think - the time certainly flew by! (Thanks again to Jill for the great photo!)

PAMwide Roundtable The afternoon was spent at the PAMwide Roundtable. The moderator, Joe, had a great idea this year; in addition to the usual round-the-room introduction, you were supposed to share a hobby, and something you were hoping to get out of SLA this year. Thankfully, he set aside the first hour for this, as it was a packed room! Then an experiment in social networking using Twitter was tried (with middling success), and a presentation of the International Membership Award winner's talk was given. (Sadly, the IMA winner, Ms. Adefunke Olanike Alabi, was unable to attend this year due to visa problems.) It was interesting and sobering to hear about the state of scientific librarianship in Nigeria, and I only wish Ms. Alabi had been able to deliver her talk in person.

US Naval ObservatoryThe evening was given over to the US Naval Observatory - and what an evening! After a brief but lively discussion about the tour bus scheduling, a group of us were off for the PAM Book Group discussion, held in one of the conference rooms at the USNO. We read and discussed "Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries" by Neil deGrasse Tyson; the discussion was lively and included comments on the readability of the book, how some folks had known the author while he was a postdoc, and a great back-and-forth about science and religion. (Really, it was pretty spiffy.) Thank You, USNO! By the end of our discussion, the other group of folks had arrived from the conference center for the USNO Tour, pulled together by Sally (who we cannot say enough good things about). After two hours of amazing thing piled on amazing thing, a full busload headed back to the convention center. Some folks went on to a reception at the Spy Museum, others headed to the IT Division's Sci-Fi night, but me? I went back to my hotel and crashed again!

June 22, 2009

SLA 2009: Days One and Two

I think this may be the first conference since I started blogging where I didn't live-blog it (or at least same-day blog it). It was both liberating and guilt-inducing (yes, those can happen simultaneously!). So here's the first of the post-conference catchups!

IT Board Dinner 1Day One: Saturday. The two events Saturday were, of course, at the same time, sigh. I missed the PAM Division Early Bird Dinner and walking tour (which I hear were both great) in order to attend the first IT Division Board Meeting. It was, shall we say, illuminating... plus the hotel had put out purple pens! After the chock-full-o-stuff board meeting we all headed off to the restaurant PS7 for a lovely dinner (I had the tuna au poivre, yum) and great conversation.

It's My Book! Day Two: Sunday. The work day kicked off with the PAM Newcomer's Lunch, where the division board welcomed new members who were attending their first conference. Unfortunately, we were all having so much fun eating & getting to know each other that we forgot to take photos (sigh). This was immediately followed by the PAM Board Meeting, always lively, and then the grand opening of the Info-Expo hall. Upon browsing the hall I was pleasantly surprised to come across a poster of my book prominently displayed at the ITI booth!

Gen. Colin Powell Sunday also included the opening keynote, by General Colin Powell. I know some find his reputation to be questionable, but I have a lot of respect for this man and what he went through, and I found his speech to be witty and charming. His comments about social networking and his grandkids just made me chuckle, and his story about his first airline experience after being Secretary of State was a hoot!

The closing event for the day was the AIP-sponsored PAM Open House. It's always a blast to see everyone and be able to do some serious networking over delicious food and drink. (Check out AIP's photos of the event over on Flickr!) I had planned on then heading over to the IT Division's Mystery Night, but I just crashed and had to head back to the hotel for the night.

Weather report for the weekend: ICK. How do people live in that humidity all the time?!? (The temperatures were lovely and mild but I felt like I was breathing through a hot wet washcloth all weekend long. Bleah.)

June 15, 2009

It's that Special Time Again

I am currently being inundated with all kinds of information and events at the 2009 Annual Special Libraries Association Meeting in Washington, DC. It's been a blast so far and I hope to have time soon to actually blog & photo-share about the events! Highlights for me so far have included Gen. Powell's keynote speech, the PAM Open House, and the US Naval Observatory tour. Tomorrow is the History of PAM session, which I'm looking forward to moderating for PAM, and the Technical Support Roundtable, ditto for IT. And then the party of all parties, the IT/PAM/LMD Dance Party - oof!

May 28, 2009

I believe...

"I believe in libraries and librarians." I totally agree with what Christina said, but she says it much better than I could. Bonus: she's now a blogger for ScienceBlogs - congratulations, Christina!

May 27, 2009

Random Linkdump

These have been collecting for the last couple of weeks; more to come later!

* thanks to Danny for letting me know about "Sit Down, Shut Up", a short-lived animated TV series featuring an "unappreciated librarian who often gets mistaken for objects such as brooms or toilet brushes." Makes me want to run right out and see it... er.... wait....

* librarygrrrl has written several Reference Desk Haikus that just need to be enjoyed. My favorite is "I am an expert / in tracking down resources. / I earned a degree."

* See! I told you not to mess with a Warhammer 40K Librarian!

Currently 93° and sunny. Looks like we might have an early monsoon season this year!

Book of Monsters now available!

Volume Two of the collected Rex Libris, "Book of Monsters," is now available! Get your copy from SLG Publishing today, or ask your local comic book store to order you one! If you weren't able to get the individual issues, this is the best way to see what you've missed, and based on the extras added to Volume One, "I, Librarian," there will be lots of fun extras in this one too.

May 26, 2009

Memorial Memories

(So much for scheduling; this was supposed to go up yesterday. The sentiment remains the same.)

Today is Memorial Day. It has become a day of BBQ by the pool, a day off from work, but the real meaning of the day is to honor and remember those who have died in military service, and that was brought home to me when the Missing Man jet formation flew over my house at 9am. Many of us also use it to honor those who are currently serving.

I wanted to honor the memories of my grandfathers, who both served in the early days of the Air Force in WWII. I also want to honor the men and women I attended AFROTC Det 020 with in the mid-80s, especially the ones from Bravo Flight Fall '88. Those "kids" - who were frenshmen and sophomores then - have now put in almost 20 years with the Air Force and I think of them often. Those years in Det 020 shaped me in ways I'm still coming to understand, and I believe all the lieutenants who come out of 020 - whatever year it was - have a core connection that ties us all together.

I specifically want to mention Karl and Kevin, serving in different branches now, who work their butts off to make sure the soldiers going into action have what they need, and James, whose awesome helicopter skills helped ensure their safety once they arrived.

Lastly but, in my opinion, most importantly, I wish to honor my father, John. He signed up with the Air Force the day he turned 18 and served with distinction for a quarter of a century. Because of the life he and my mother chose to live, my brother and I were exposed to cultures and ways of live that many Americans these days are not, and I am thankful every single day for that. I learned many valuable lessons from my father over the years; one that I have tried to incorporate into my daily life is something he told me when I was on summer break from college, and home working at the Air Force base for the summer. I had to deal with a particularly rude and belligerent officer that day, and that night my father told me: "When you become an officer, don't assume you know everything, because you won't. Having bars does not deliver omnipotence. Learn from the non-coms under you, because they're the ones who do know everything. If you can learn from them and lead them with respect, you'll be a better officer for it." It took a while, but I eventually learned that this lesson applies to every aspect of life.

I had every expectation of following in my father's and grandfathers' footsteps, into a military life. Sadly, the Gods of Knee Injuries had different plans for me and I was discharged between my junior and senior years; however, growing up in the military life and what I learned from my father and the instructors at Det 020 have helped shape me into the woman I am today.

Thank you, Dad, Grandpa, and Opa, and thanks and blessings to every single man and woman who serve or have served in our Armed Forces.

May 8, 2009

Lunch Money Loves Libraries

So, a friend of mine (hi Jeff!) asked me if I'd heard "I Love My Library" from Lunch Money's new album "Dizzy". I had not, so I trundled off to their web site and gave it a listen. This is great stuff! NPR thought so, too.

Snippets of the lyrics have stuck with me (as a big Nancy Drew fan when I was a kid, that line especially) but my favorite has to be this one: "All the places I could ever wander to…I have a ticket for free…and guess who tossed me the keys?"

Go forth and check them out! Then eat a cookie as big as your head.

April 30, 2009

Amusing, or Not?

It's been the kind of week where I just can't decide:

1) Garfield Minus Garfield: That Cute Librarian

Garfield minus Garfield

2) Personal Library Kit: You can be a Sexy Librarian Too!

Personal Library Kit

So, what do you think?

April 29, 2009

A Moment of Humor

Whilst in the local Trader Joe's yesterday, wearing one of my many librarian-themed T-shirts, I was serenaded by one of the workers with "Marian the Librarian" from The Music Man.

I was amused.


April 24, 2009

Linkdump!

Things continue to be crazy-insane; here's a few things I want to share, but without the usual commentary. (I miss mah commentary!)

* The World Digital Library was launched on April 21st! Cool.

* An interesting insight into information searching by scientists and astronomers concludes that what is not available online is not worth reading. Hm.

* Dear Mark Knoller: PHFFFT. Love, Librarians.

* Check out these videos from UT Arlington! Featuring a librarian and a stereotype having a dialogue, the introduction alone made me laugh out loud :-D

And it's that time of year when I start sharing my weather wonkiness with you, bwa-hahaha! Today: Only up to 86°. You know that's gonna change.

April 14, 2009

OPL Plus Reviews the Book

Judith Siess, Queen of the One Person Library and OPL Plus blogger, says in her review of my book (the first review, even!), "You should read this book and take its message to heart. If we don't change, we'll become irrelevant and disappear altogether." Thank you, Judy (and apologies for the mis-spell)!

April 9, 2009

My book, your book, Facebook!

I've just set up a Page on Facebook for "You Don't Look Like a Librarian!" Shameless plug: Wanna be a fan? (All the cool pages have fans.)

Crazy & insane, but worth it

It has been, to say the least, very intense around here for the past couple of weeks. But, it's all paid off, and today is definitely Boost Ruth's Ego day:

* The Project Manager for Job #1 told my boss today that he's very pleased with my recent performance, especially since he's aware of how many different hats I'm working under. Yay!

* The Project Manager for Job #2 likes the configuration management system I've set up, that had its big demo yesterday. Yay!

* My publisher, ITI, told me my book (currently a Featured Title on ITI's site) was the second best seller at CiL, behind David Lee King's book! Not bad at all, considering I wasn't able to be there to flog it and do a signing. Yay!

Today is just full of... well, Yay!

April 1, 2009

LISA VI Call for Papers

The Call for Papers has gone out for the upcoming Library and Information Services in Astronomy VI conference in Pune, India in 2010. Put your thinking caps on, astronomy librarians!

March 25, 2009

Celebrating Ada Lovelace

I lose some lady geek cred points here for not being up on this, hence coming to the Ada Lovelace Day party a day late. Sigh. Next year, I promise, although choosing just one tech-savvy woman to write about is going to be a major, major challenge!

(Who was Ada? Well, go forth and find out! Awesome lady, awesome skills, and way ahead of her time.)

March 23, 2009

I'm a Shover and Maker!

Shovers and Makers 2009: I’m a winner! (So are you.) shoversandmakers.net
Thank you, thank you, to the Library Society of the World and the First Annual Shovers and Makers Awards. I'm honored and humbled. (Well, ok, one out of two ain't bad.) I would like to recommend you visit the main award site and read about my co-awardees - we're an amazing bunch of people!

March 20, 2009

Oh, good grief.

Found via the ever-fabulous Lipstick Librarian: "Check out a demo of an iPhone application that tells people around you to shut up when you deem them too noisy. Want to guess the name of the app?"

March 18, 2009

Heaven Forbid We Pay Them Their Worth

Ok, be warned, this one brings out the snark in me. On March 7th over on "The Daily Beast", Barbara Goldsmith has written a pointed article titled "Jennifer Aniston's $50K Hairstyle vs. Librarian Pensions." Go read it now (I'll wait), and if you're not annoyed afterward, well, you should be. These folks worked hard for decades in high-level positions in one of the most expensive cities in the nation, and now they're being harassed for their retirement? For shame! (Be sure to read through the comments, too - an interesting discussion went on there, too.)

"All this leads to the greater question of why teachers, librarians, scholars, and such—the very people who hold our present and future education and self-worth in their hands—are so undervalued?" Yes! Why is it the folks who hold the keys to the kingdom IMHO - the teachers and the librarians - are the ones who get kicked, cut, slammed, and shoved aside? ARRGH!

(Yes, this is a sore spot for me. It always has been.)

March 17, 2009

Internet Librarian Call for Speakers

IL09
I know I'm late out of the gate, but you still have ten days to submit a proposal to Internet Librarian for the 2009 conference, "Net Initiatives For Tough Times: Digital Publishing, Preservation & Practices." You know you want to!

March 16, 2009

What do you wish everyone knew about librarians?

Check out the winning essay and runners-up of the "What I Wish Everyone Knew About Librarians" contest from Smart Poodle Publishing. There's some interesting and thought-provoking things in here; I'm glad they made them available to read.

March 12, 2009

"We call it Book."

Penny Arcade for the win once more!

March 2, 2009

Nancy Pearl scores again!

Over on Cleveland.com, book editor Karen Long has a short interview with the one and only Nancy Pearl, who was in Cleveland moderating a panel of "Young Literary Lions". Of course, the Librarian Action Figure comes up!

Librarians + Rock Band = Trouble

Coolest librarians EVER in trouble for playing Rock Band
"Imagine, if you will, that you have entered a library. Imagine further that a librarian approaches and, upon meeting you, asks, "Would you like to play Rock Band?" Would you think that this librarian was A) the greatest librarian in the history of librarians or B) wasting taxpayer money?" Sadly, some Nebraska folks chose B...

Find out what happened - and watch the incriminating video - over at Joystiq.

February 23, 2009

And It Continues... this time in Pakistan

Ali Usman reports in the Pakistan Daily Times about the demoting of librarians at a staff level, and the outrage that followed. "The teachers and students of Allama Iqbal Medical College (AIMC) have condemned the AIMC and Jinnah Hospital administrations for advertising the post of librarian in BS-8, calling it a humiliation to the coveted post." Read the full article, "AIMC slammed for ‘demoting’ librarians," for the details.

Kudos to the staff and students who spoke up; I'll have my fingers crossed that the situation is resolved properly (i.e., librarians are back at BS-17).

February 19, 2009

It's an International Thing

Lest you think it's only us Americans who obsess about image and perception, meet Chooman, who emailed me earlier this week: "I'm a librarian at Thammasat University, Thailand. I'm one of us who always get the 'you don't look like a librarian' remark. In fact, my boss is quite annoyed that I don't look like government officer either. I like being a librarian. I got standing ovation telling stories to children at summer camp. I enjoy reference work. I am thrilled doing periodical index. Too bad index is being done by software now."

Thanks for the email, Chooman, and for permission to share your words on the blog!

Astronomy Science Fiction

"Astronomy professor and SF author, Mike Brotherton, had a brilliant idea. A lot of people get their ideas about science from fiction, but the problem is that much of the science in fiction is really bad -- like that whole exploding in vacuum thing. So he decided to put together an online anthology of science fiction specifically to use in conjunction with teaching astronomy. The National Science Foundation thought it was a good idea and funded the anthology."

This is just too cool. Check out Diamonds in the Sky, "an original anthology of astronomy science fiction."

February 13, 2009

A Compendium of Sexy Librarianness

Ha ha! Over on Library Journal is a great summary of "trope of the lascivious professional in American popular culture" by Heather McCormack and Lauren Gilbert. A great, fun (and occasionally NSFW) collection of web sites, movies, music and books featuring sexy librarians in one way or another! (Be sure to read "Never Mind the Bollocks, Librarians Invented Sex, Stupid!")

Hats off to the authors for a great pre-Valentine's Day treat!

February 9, 2009

And Now: The Interview!

And finally, I can brag that the Shanachies interviewed me at Internet Librarian! (It has been soooooo hard not being able to mention this until now.)


Internet Librarian 2008: interviews from Jaap van de Geer on Vimeo.

A Momentous Announcement: The Book!

YDLLaL CoverI am simultaneously pleased, nervous, excited, and terrified to announce the forthcoming publication of "You Don’t Look Like a Librarian Shattering Stereotypes and Creating Positive New Images in the Internet Age." With a foreword by the fabulous Elizabeth Burns (of Pop Goes the Library), it'll be available March 30, 2009 from Information Today, Inc. The companion web site to the book will go public on the official publication date of March 30th.

Writing this book has been quite a journey; what started out just being a frequently-heard comment has morphed over the intervening decade (yes, decade!) into a Thing. This Thing has led me to talks and articles, a regular column, this blog, and now The Book. I can't say thank you enough to everyone who's stuck with me, answered my surveys, and sent me articles and cartoons and music videos and so on. Thank you.

Don't expect the comments to stop, though, just with the publication of The Book! There's always more to come!

January 26, 2009

SysGrunt, or DILOLibrarian

Occasionally, I post what I call SysGrunts, in a tip-o-the-hat to the original RefGrunt blog. I'm also now involved in the Library Day in the Life project. This is my Day in the Life sysgrunt for Monday, January 26th. Whee!

Boot up, make coffee.
Read emails.
Put on hat for primary job.
Scan final form for year-end financial report, send to SLA.
Search and restore a problematic CAD drawing from backups for a designer.
Email.
Having been tagged by two more people in the "25 things" meme, actually wrote it.
Further editing on specification document.
Email.
Lunch.
Process newly-released document.
Continue implementation of traceback analysis database.
Bang on desk in frustration; go for brief walk to cool down.
Email.
Change hats to secondary job.
Continue work on configuration process in DocuShare. Make some progress, then bork.
Change back to primary job.
More search-and-restore of problematic CAD files....but first,
Upgrade SolidWorks to 2009SP2.
Read some biblioblogs while the update runs.
Confirm lack of notification of configuration process step. Stew some more about it.
Wait some more on the upgrade...63% now!
Email.
And now it's 5pm. Upgrade only at 66%, will leave running overnight.

Random Mondays

And now, a random list of things you should know about!

* 2009 is the International Year of Astronomy. (You'll probably hear more from me later about this.)

* 2009 is also (bonus!) the Year of Science.

* In the spirit of both these things, check out the Milky Way Transit Map. (via Folderol)

* I am, it seems, a Lawful Good Human Sorcerer in the D&D world. What D&D character would you be?

25 Random Things

Hey, random musings on random things! Heh. Have been poked multiple times on Facebook for this, so posted it there, then thought, hey, I love sharing random things! (See the next post, too.) So, here goes: 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about me.

1. I'm a military brat, which explains why...
2. I lived in 11 different places before I...
3. Left home for a college on the other side of the world from my family when I was 17.
4. I went to school on a military scholarship, to study aerospace engineering.
5. I blew out my knee in basic training, lost my scholarship, and changed majors to astronomy.
6. Astronomy changed my life!
7. I'm a voracious reader, and always have been.
8. I love to dance, particularly bellydancing. I would dance every day if my knees allowed.
9. I'm addicted to coffee (quite literally).
10. If money were no object, I'd be a forensic archaeologist.
11. I dislike raw tomatoes intensely. Also eggplant.
12. I learned to scuba dive when I lived in Hawaii. I miss it.
13. I never thought I'd be a wife, let alone a mother. (Both states are pretty cool!)
14. I never thought I'd be published as a writer.
15. A goal this year is to dance more often.
16. I fight the lure of World of Warcraft almost every day.
17. My husband and I were married at the Grand Canyon.
18. I have six tattoos, and often wonder what my next one will be.
19. Sometimes I dream in HTML.
20. I'm totally and completely surprised by how much I enjoy working out regularly.
21. Airports I have run through include Reykjavik, Santiago, Tenerife, and Gatwick.
22. Bugs - especially large ones that are unexpectedly nearby - make me scream.
23. I run my high school alumni web site.
24. I can't predict the weather for beans (seriously, I've lost the summer monsoon pool for three years in a row now).
25. Just seeing my son makes me smile.

I tagged folks in FB; if you have a burning desire to share, consider yourself tagged too!

January 13, 2009

Mercedes' Naughty Librarian Car

Well, it's been a while since we've had a comparison between librarians and cars. Thankfully, John Matras of the Phoenix Examiner has ended the hiatus, albeit in a sideways manner; I suspect most of us wouldn't mind being compared to a Mercedes-Benz!

In his "Road Test: 2009 Mercedes-Benz CL550 4Matic car review; Mercedes' naughty librarian" he brings up the "dowdy librarian type", and then says Mercedes has kind of been like that lately... "Good, solid, well-built and dependable, but with the sex appeal of a German banker in a dark-blue double-breasted pin-striped suit. With a watch fob." The rest of the article goes on to laud the changes in design and engineering that appear in the car.

I'd rather be a Mercedes than a Honda, you know.

January 12, 2009

'Typical' Library School Students

And lo, it continues:

At a new-to-me blog, Closed Stacks, Miss Information (one of five bloggers) posted A ‘typical’ library school student in December. A currently-enrolled MLS student, she writes "It is strange but invigorating to find oneself pursuing a career that has such powerful stereotypes behind it."

Nope, this topic ain't dead.

January 7, 2009

99 Things Blogchain

First seen over at Stephen's Lighthouse, then at Hedgehog Librarian, started by Walt at Random (I like blogchain): my 99 Things.

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to - leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog.
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii. (lived there!)
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland/world. (Want to go again with my son.)
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo.
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. (Does CSS count?)
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables. (I have such a black thumb, it's not even worth trying.)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run. (This is a sports thing, right?)
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language. (I'd settle for relearning one of the ones I've forgotten.)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant. (I've paid for someone's coffee, does that count?)
44. Visited Africa. (I especially want to go to Egypt and Morocco.)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted. (I was six. My mom and dad still have it.)
48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling. (oh, I miss scuba...)
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China.
57. Started a business. (also: Ended a business.)
58. Taken a martial arts class (Tang Soo!)
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood. (Back when I was allowed to, at least. Can't now, very sad.)
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. (Extremely sobering and thought-provoking
experience.)
67. Bounced a check. (Sadly.)
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar.
72. Pieced a quilt. (Not like my mom does, though!)
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person. (Got married there, actually.)
80. Published a book. (Coming soon!)
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby.
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee.

Happy New Year!

Happy 2009, everyone. In the spirit of the other new year memes running around, here's a summary of my 2008, although nowhere near in as much detail. (I'm too tired for details!)
  • All Year: Got a contract to write a book. Wrote the book. Became even more in awe of people who write books for a living. (PS - reviewed the galley proof over the holidays - it's even closer now to being a Real Dead Tree Thing!) Continued to be amazed by my son.
  • Mid Year: Began working up to half time for a second large telescope construction project. It's been quite interesting, working on a completely different document management system, and it's a good crowd. Also rocked another SLA, and got to see my folks.
  • End Year: Survived another round of major microscope reviews at the first large telescope construction project. Learned that moderating the Cybertours at Internet Librarian is tougher than you'd think. Got to see my in-laws.
It was an exhausting, exhilarating, nerve-wracking, and fun year. 2009 should bring more of the same (only different!). I have two resolutions: keep working on living healthy, and dance more.

Here's to 2009!