Showing posts from October, 2007


Sadly, this is the first year in quite awhile that I haven't costumed up for my stint at the reference desk. Call it moving fatigue, call it paycheck fatigue, call it "leaving-for-a-week-and-a-half-on-Friday-and-tons-left-to-do" burnout. I know. I'm disappointed in myself. Way down deep, there's a pirate gypsy that's dying to make her entrance. Having only been here three months at this point, I think I'll wait until next Halloween to bust out my glaringly ridiculous Halloween self. Hopefully, by then they'll love me far too much to retract the employment offer. *grin*
But I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that not all librarians are as lame as I happened to be today. In fact, I harbor some serious nerd-love for the Maker of the MARC Pumpkin. not that I have general affection for makers of MARC records, as a rule - while I appreciate their work, catalogers are a breed I cannot claim to understand. The Librarian Avengers draw our atten…

Nerd Love and Librarians

Do YOU want to be a librarian? You should, after watching the music video.
The music video by HauntedLove, "I want to be a librarian," was posted quite awhile ago, but I'd like to re-post it here, because it's the most fabulous song about librarians ever. (Not to mention that they squish a problem patron in the movable stacks, which I have been tempted to do...muahahahaha.)

I want to be a librarian
I want to check out your books
Please give them to me
With the bar code facing up
Please don't bring them back too late
or I'll have to charge you fifty cents a day
(and you won't like that)

I want to be a librarian
Wearing glasses every single day
Don't you find me appealing
in a nerdy sort of way?
Please don't talk so loudly

Meet me in the closed reserve
I'll let you read all the new magazines
I'll let you touch the first editions
If you promise me
If you promise me
If you promise me your hands are clean

(To all the folks who wil…

Librarian After Hours

What does a librarian do after a long day of answering reference question, reading books and writing reviews, planning presentations, teaching classes, conducting some original research and pondering podcasting? I could give you the dull (but true) answer that I read. I read ravenously. (You would too, if what you read for reviewing were titled "The Beginning of Collegiate Education West of the Appalachians, 1795-1833: The Achievement of Dr. Charles Coffin of Greeneville College and East Tennessee College." No offense, Mr. Patrick.)
While that last title may prove fascinating, I approach what I deem my 'trashy reading' with far less apprehension, perhaps because the titles are shorter - or because no one's expecting a review, so they feel a bit less like homework. Pressfield's Gates of Fire, Byrne's new book of poetry Flammable Bird, and Catherine Coulter's Blindside (which I happen to be reading completely out of order, because I didn't reali…

The Digitization Debate

We hear a lot about how many librarians and IT folks figure that with all of the nifty technology we've got nowadays, they'd much rather run their libraries off in the ether, behind the scenes without having to deal with that nasty, germy face-to-face business we have in walk-in libraries now. Most of the rhetoric surrounding \that has to do with the fact that hey - doesn't it increase access if you put it online? Then you don't have to deal with building hours! Or staff time off! Or worrying about creepy porninators coming in and bothering everyone! Jolly good!
These are the same folks who believe that digitization is a panacea for all building-laden woes, that if can be made available online, the physical access to something is just a ridiculous redundancy. As it was stated in the Billings Gazette: "phasing out services associated with the library as public space" is part of the plan. *sigh* Those pesky patrons again, bothering us in person, when they could …

Library or Information Science?

Lately, one of the more interesting and lengthy discussions on the JESSE listserv (for L&IS education discussion forum) has been the tension between information science and library science, and whether the 'shift' to information science is happening in theory, but not for practitioners. There have been a number of thoughtful posts on the subject, and (chatty librarian with big, fat opinions that I am), I decided to put my two cents in. One of the more recent postings asked whether, indeed, librarianship is distinctive from information management, and if so, if librarians actually had knowledge and skills that were sufficiently up to date and advanced. As a practitioner of librarianship (and as someone who turned down a job in information management because of the severe - and to me, horrifying - differences), I stand firmly by the belief that there are sharp contrasts between the two, and that both are necessary...but this doesn't mean they are the same thing, nor shou…

Life of the Librarian

Life is good. I've acclimated to Chattanooga (by acclimated, I mean 'they barred my way home and I spent an entire late evening lost but made it back anyway'). The apartment is great, but for the small issue of a Korean family below me who likes to play their music loud and host MTV-esque parties into the wee hours. The creative writing juices are flowing, which is just as well, since the MFA program needs me primed and ready for the November residency in Louisville. But mostly, I'd like to take a gander at the two months I've now got under my belt of academic librarianship. The real kind, with the actual job title.
Work is good. No, work is fantabulous - I love it. I teach classes - so far, the Freshman Life library intro class and the introductory English class library sessions - and I love it. The freshmen have so much energy! Plus I find it fun to teach them databases in a semi-interesting way. (I mean, c'mon. You can only make Academic OneFile so exciting, …