Tuesday, December 15, 2009

space cadet

Everyone wants to be an author, and there's no stopping the flow of information, right? We received a self-published book donation in the mail today: The Nuts & Bolts of Space Colonization. My favorite quote from the book: In space, big men will need more food and air than small women. Of course, the author says nothing about the needs of big women as opposed to small men. Well, I'm afraid this is one case where the flow of information will have to stop.

Monday, August 24, 2009

it's nap time!

The new semester is upon us, and no doubt there will be a flurry of new favorite reference desk interactions to come. So far, my favorite interaction today was:

Student: Where is the best place in the library to take a nap?
Me: Try the Dean's office anytime before 2pm.

I'm not sure she got the joke though. I think she was too sleepy.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

gorilla librarian

Monty Python skit about librarians!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

crappy librarian jobs

I should probably make this a weekly feature because there are so many library position advertisements that I could draw from. The latest advertisement is from Saint Mary's University in Minnesota.

For the generous salary of $28,500 a year the university is looking to hire an instruction/reference librarian who will work 30 hours a week (12 months) providing duties that include "but are not limited to" (notice the wiggle room which means you will have other things to do as well):
  • Providing reference and instruction services including teaching groups and individuals how to perform library research, creating online instructional aides, promoting library services, staffing the reference desk, and working with faculty members to integrate Information Literacy and Instructional Technology concepts into the curriculum.
  • Assisting with collection development, Web page authoring, circulation, and Interlibrary Loan.
  • Identifying, evaluating, and implementing new developments in library services.
And they sweeten the deal by adding: "Evening and weekend hours are required. Some travel to off-campus educational sites is required."

Furthermore, applicants should have the following qualifications:
  • Education-related Master's degree or Master of Library Science from an American Library Association accredited institution.
  • Ability to anticipate needs of users, work with adult and distance learners, and use current technologies to enhance learning.
  • Experience with electronic library resources, Microsoft Office programs, and web page authoring.
Considering the generous salary, they don't ask for much, do they? Oh, and of course there are no health benefits mentioned because the job is 30 hours a week. On the positive side, you'd be living in Minnesota and you'll have an extra 10 hours a week on your hands so you can work on becoming a real alcoholic.

Hurry, because the review process starts on June 5th 2009.

Monday, June 1, 2009

dirty words

I've commented elsewhere on some of the words in linguistics which sound hilariously dirty: labials, fricatives, copular verbs, and so on. So now in the interest of being fair, I'm going to list some dirty-sounding words from my other passion, the library world:
  • collocation
  • depth indexing
  • full entry
  • fuzzy set
  • subject entry
  • syndetic structure
No joke, these are all real terms from the field of librarianship. Don't you wish you were a librarian?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

what's in a name?

Here's something I wish I was making up, but it's actually true. We have a new administration building on campus. I know times are bad and budgets are scarce, but I guess they'd started the building before the economy tanked. Anyway though, what cracks me up is that they're calling the building "DBD," an acronym that doesn't mean anything. Everyone on campus knows that the building houses Administration and Student Services and that the real acronym for it is ASS. Kind of fitting too, because right now the biggest project coming out of there is the Campus Re-Accreditation Plan (CRAP). With the obvious genius that goes into naming things on my campus, I'm glad that the library is just called "Library."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

biblio burro

Do you remember the bookmobile? There used to be a time when crowds enthusiastically awaited the arrival of the big shiny bus, and children greeted the librarian on board like Santa Claus. Unfortunately, in an age of getting what we want at the speed of a mouse click, the bookmobile has become a faded relic of a slower past. But there are people still interested in this type of service. Here is an absolutely charming article from the New York Times about a Colombian man who delivers books on his two donkeys. I love this kind of stuff: Acclaimed Colombian Institution Has 4,800 Books and 10 Legs.

Monday, May 18, 2009

flowers for algernon

One of the reference desk interactions today:

Student: I'm looking for a biology book. I think it has a picture of a flower on it.

Me: We have a lot of books at this library. Can you be more specific?

Student: I think it's a periwinkle.

Well, I gotta hand it to her, that certainly was more specific!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Teenagers don't talk in full sentences anymore. It could be a result of texting, it could be that everyone is in a hurry all the time, or it could just be that we are all getting stupider--I don't know the answer. But I had a kid come to the reference desk the other day, look at me, and say "internet?" The one-worded question sounded so random that I said the first random one-worded answer that came into my mind: "Chinchilla!" I replied. I could see that the kid was thinking hard because the look on his face conveyed WTF? The non sequitur went right over his head, but I guess he was shocked enough that he repeated his question in a full sentence, sort of: "Where can I get internet?" I showed him where and we've been BFFs ever since.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

let's start at the beginning

So you're wondering about the title of this blog. Well have you ever heard anyone call the library a "liberry?" That's where my title comes from. Now that you know why I chose this, can you guess what the tone of my blog will be? Yes, there might be a little cynicism involved, haha!