Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Journals, Academic

On occasion, I read something, and I am so moved by it that I have to share. You know, like when you are reading the New Yorker - and you see a comic that you JUST KNOW will delight a friend - and you scan it and send it to them. They respond that it was just the most perfect and funny cartoon they have ever seen. OK. Right now - capture that feeling of euphoria! Make a note of that good tingle.

And now, flip it over. Make it the exact reverse.

Now you know what I am feeling right now.

I was asked to read an article (which for now will remain nameless) from a reputable publication. To ice the cake it was written not by one, NOT two, but THREE authors! Mazeltov! You've been published! In an Academic Journal!

After reading the article (which had been photocopied - so everyone could read it before our staff meeting today)- I sought out the original publication. For one reason.

I had to check the date on the Journal. I was astounded to see that it was March of 2012.

And now, the details. This 12 page article dealt with using blogs as a teaching tool. To encourage discussion. To create an environment of like minded people outside of the walls of academia. Most references sited dated back to 2004.

I was embarrassed to have read this article. And I wonder why people are afraid of technology explosions in libraries? Perhaps its because people are still finding out about things that happened 10 years ago. I wonder what would happen if they found out about facebook? Or blogger? They might explode.

On a light note, I am happy that the luddites who authored this article were able to submit their story to the publisher.

A colleague played Devil's Advocate. And G-d bless her. She insists that this is directed at Educators who have already left the hallowed halls of academia. The problem is, according to a quick search - that this journal is on the shelves of some of our finest institutions. It is being consumed by tomorrows educators.

I was quick to point out that out of the 30 or so works cited - most of them are from the late 1990's or early 2000's. An article on technology? I'm embarrassed for the authors.

I'd like to propose a new type of Academic Journal, that is not peer reviewed, and has open enrollment like a community college in the Appalachians. It can even be hand written! Submissions can be sent via pigeon post.

Moral of this blog : The Internets are not new. Either are the blogs. Happy 1996!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Memes, Creating

Because there wasn't one that quite fit me, I was forced to create on myself.

It has always been a joke among my librarian friends that everyone thinks we sit at work and read all day long. The truth is, we do not. I would have never imagined that I would be providing technology instruction for senior citizens, doing a story hour (!!!) with little kids, or organizing programming for a Museum. Yet, I do it all.

Moral of this blog: I look good in all sorts of hats.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ties, Bow

Sometimes, at the end of a very busy week - its good to just relax.

Having a supervisor who pushes you to do your very best is beneficial, and exciting. However, by Friday I am tired.

Moral of this blog : Tired can be hot too.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Interns, On having

internsOnce upon a time, I wrote a list of things that were important for shadows to know. I thought that I had really nailed it then, but in hind sight - I've learned that there is something even better than a shadow.


I like having interns.

These eager folks volunteer (at least here) for up to 40 hours a week. I sort of can't imagine what life was like without them. I used to think having an intern meant:

-Never having to sharpen my own pencils again
-Never having to pour my own coffee again
-Always having my jacket hung up for me

When really, that's only part of the great stuff that goes on.

But what do you do when an intern just isn't working out? How do you fire someone you never actually hired? Do you just stop giving them projects? Do you have them sweep the parking lot?

But a few things that interns should know before becoming an intern :

-Your work is relatively thankless, but essential.
-If you like being patted on the back, and need constant stroking, Museum/Library work is probably not for you. We don't get thanked either.
-Being an intern means that you need to dress the part.
-Be prepared to do a task that you've only been taught once - by yourself - and probably the next day.
-If you have time to brag about your internship on Facebook, Twitter or on your cell phone we aren't giving you enough work.
-Speaking of Facebook, do not friend your boss. Keep your relationship professional. The people you work with day to day are OK to add, but we don't want to know that much about you.
-Do personalize your space, if you are lucky enough to get a desk, but only with a shoe box worth of objects. You have a home. Keep your necessities there.
-If you need time off, just say you need time off. I don't care why. Do not tell me about your gynacological problems. I'm a librarian. Not a doctor.
-Sometimes you need to work nights & weekends. Do not act surprised or put out. You are replaceable. Seriously. We only picked you because you were the best applicant - not the only one.
-When you are finished with your internship - send a thank you letter. Who knows when we'll have a job opening. If you were that good - we might want you back.
-Create a description of what you did for your boss. Pretty it up, and put it in a binder. It helps us with the next intern, and is a great record for us AND helpful for your resume.
-A note to the bosses WITH interns. They have names, please use them. "Hey you", and "Over Here!" are only funny once.

I'm not going to lie. I'm demanding of the interns. I want them to realize what they are capable of. The bosses I remember most, and think the highest of, always pushed ME to my limits. And now look at me. I'm a celebrity librarian.

Moral of this blog: Do what I say.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ties, Short

Why does a librarian need to take a 2 year break? To bring back the short tie, of course. Apparently, a big knot and a short tie are quite controversial. People stop me.

"Did you tie your tie wrong?"
"Did you know your tie is short?"
"Is that a childs tie?"

And to answer them:

"No, it is just how I want it"
"Yes, I tied it this way, just this morning while I was getting dressed"
"No, it's a mens tie. From the mens department"

I do think its kind of everyone to notice my short tie. Actually, as much as I'd like to take all the credit for it, mens fashions of the 30's was actually responsible.

You see, men actually wore their trousers at their waists then. With braces. (or suspenders for you laypeople). If a tie were worn at the length we wear them today, it would have hung between their legs.

And as exciting as that language may sound, the resulting aesthetic would have been very unkind, and unflattering to the wearer.

I was actually inspired to wear a short tie for a few reasons. One, I love old movies. Second, I saw a waiter with a short tie. The restaurant has since folded, and I feel sure that no one will be able to connect me with said closed facility. And no, I wasn't the waiter.

It is a matter of shifting the material up, and creating the knot out of the thick of the tie. You tuck the long thin tail between the second and third button on your shirt. No one knows.

And then, of course, finish with the tie bar. It's an essential part of wearing a tie anyway. Long or short.

And while I don't usually advocate shunning length, in this case - I advise it. You'll feel like a stylish, yet naughty school boy.

Moral of this blog : size matters.

People, Cat

I would be remiss to suggest that all librarians are cat people. I'm sure there are plenty of librarians out there who have dogs. Or parrots. Or goldfish. Or gerbils. Or all of the above.

But it seems that librarians tend to be cat people.

Why is this?

Perhaps its because of their independent nature, their curiosity, and aloof devotion that makes them the perfect sidekick for a librarian.

At anyrate, this is my new kitten Mamie. Adorable.

Moral of this blog : Don't touch my cat.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tough Subjects, Dealing with

Super not hot. So, on a daily basis I deal with a really tough topic. Not only do I see people cry almost every single day, but often times I provide people with death dates of lost love ones, provide photographs of unspeakable acts, and verify quotes by Hitler.

I have been thinking about what other professions deal with tragedy every single day : ER Doctors, Funeral Home Directors, Insurance Agents. Seriously, not what I thought I was getting myself into when I went to Library SchoolTM.

I thought perhaps that I'd have a job that allowed me to dress in a suit and tie each day, with my black horned rimmed glasses (check and check) and each day the security guard would nod and say "Good Morning Mr. Sackel" (check) and I'd have hoards of well dressed old women coming to visit me and asking me to lunch (check). I guess the surprise comes in with the information I am able to provide access to. Even I'm surprised. I thought I knew lots about my subject, but it turns out, I am learning something new everyday - and figuring out ways to make this information more accessible to the public.

My new friend is technology. It's always been a friend, but now - more than ever, I am embracing it. It is fantastic to transmit video via FTP, provide links to amazing resources, linking PDF's right through the catalog, scanning and e-mailing information. It is amazing to have information sent to me from France in a matter of 15 seconds. I am proud of the I in my MLIS.

I know the I stands for Information, but I've always imagined it had something to do with technology. Maybe it doesn't, but shut up. I don't want to change my mind.

Plus, I look hot pushing "send".

And at the end of the day, isn't that all that really matters?

Moral of this blog: Technology is almost as hot as me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Alive, I'm

Super coy librarianWith Summer just around the corner, I have realized that my life has been the busiest it has ever been. Frankly, I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Since last I posted the library that I work in has opened. So has the museum that the library is contained within.

I have spent the last 26 weeks assisting the training of docents, volunteers, and working with other museum staff to get the place up and running.

I am proud to say that Elie Wiesel spoke, and was followed by our keynote speaker : former President Clinton.

I have learned so much about getting materials catalouged, prepared and shelved. About keeping a budget. About answering the most esoteric of reference questions. About linking electronic resources. About buying a library ladder (!!!)

But most of all, I have learned to be myself. I am really in the right place, at the right time in my life. I so badly wanted to come on here and write something filled with witty repartee, and biting double entendre - but find myself unable to do so - at this point.

Special libraries are indeed special. They serve such a specific public, yet really open the eyes of those who did not know about this topic - and are able to explore in deep detail.

Now that the flash bulbs and paparazzi have faded somewhat, I can start focusing on what I do best : explaining the world of library science.

Moral of this blog: special = hot

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Librarian, Dirty

Moral of this blog : Best Post Secret Ever.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Scientist, Library

Hot lab equipmentWith 2009 right around the corner, I have decided that I needed to redecorate a room in my house to make it "more WDL". Which would be the lucky room?

It was the bathroom.

The design is simple: Vintage Laboratory.


Don't question my aesthetics.

This means that I am using lots of graduated cylenders and test tubes to hold my bath products, laboratory quality containers for my cotton balls, and q-tips and bars of soap.

The white sear sucker shower curtain, with silver grommets is reminicent of a lab jacket.

The wall is decorated with a vintage framed print of a skeletal system diagram. I'm thinking that a diagram of the human eye might also be in order.

Toothbrushes in a graduated beaker! Mouthwash in a volumetric flask with a stopper! Gorgeous. Tylenol in specimin jars! hot. They aren't just for urine anymore! (specimin jars, not Tylenol..just to be clear!)

All of these things can be found at scientific surplus stores, and images can be blown up at Kinko's from old text books. Frames are a song at Target and other home interior stores.

All of these things are easy to wash, should they get slightly dirty...and best, I can see the contents of each container.

Moral of this blog: Experiment with your space in 2009!