Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Playwright Wendy Wasserstein '71, "an articulate champion of Mount Holyoke," died yesterday. I treasure her commencement address to the class of '87 (I think it was) more than my own. Link.

Monday, January 30, 2006

I was one of four YA librarians in our system to purchase this year's Printz Prize book, Looking for Alaska. Here's the author's blog, on winning: JOHN GREEN : SPARKSFLYUP.COM.

In other news, it's very, very quiet here in my house since the fridge broke.

Capital City weather: fog clearing, highs in the 60s.
Spotted at Ellwood Thompson: Happy, the muralist, and Connie, owner of Halcyon

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I tuned into this NPR : Motown Building Razed for Super Bowl Parking story in the middle the other day. How is it possible that such a big company had no records management program?? How did they leave so much of their corporate archive behind? (Ugh, I wanted to link you to a good definition of records management, but I had blocked out Dr. M's class and The Claw: I forgot that it's very bureaucratic!! See ARMA or NARA for instance. It's just a system for taking care of your business or club or society or agency papers and electronic records and stuff for legal requirements and for historic purposes.)
Camp K readers, please note that I added a couple more plates to my list of camp-names-on-Va.-license-plates, here. (Is it possible I've never seen "Mickey," and variations there of?? Maybe I never have a pen when I do see it.)

Good Citizen readers (Virginians), go here to keep up on what our General Assembly is up to. Please e-mail your state reps if what's going on troubles you!

Monday, January 23, 2006

What are friends for? For one thing, they can push you to do better. Longtime reader CGB wondered if I could make links open up in new windows, and ta-da! I can. I hoped it would be a check-box kinda thing, but it turned out I had to learn a tad more html. Go ahead, give it a try!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Media Scanning

In January 2006 issue of American Libraries (p. 22):

A 2005 OCLC survey of library users found:

- “Borrowing printed books is the library service they use most often, and users perceive books as the library’s brand….”

- The majority of responders age 14-65 think search engines do a great job of getting them the info they need

- Expectations for facility include “clean, bright, comfortable, warm and well-lit”

As for the last item, NP would get a perfect score if it weren't so durn chilly all the time. And the first . . . well, they know we keep some books, but I bet 2 dozen people a day come in just to use the computers. Which is, of course, cool.
On the Phone, Yesterday:
Yes, yes you should pull the car over to give me your lib card number so I can place Sue Grafton audio books – on cassette! – on hold for you.

Birdwatching, today:
Brown creeper, cedar waxwings.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Some Follow Up

Okay, no film of people being cross about the new computers at NP. And now that the stress and confusion is 24 hours old, it doesn't seem that interesting. In short, the installation of 40-some new PCs didn't go well. "Images" (what public users can access -- it's a way of dumping any documents left on the desktop or bookmarks, or even cookies, I guess) didn't take, printers weren't networked, fiber optic cable that's been broken for weeks didn't get replaced, and the OPAC (er, catalog) didn't want to play.

And of course the first 10 people in the door had critical printing and computing needs: boarding passes for flights later in the day to print; directions to a meeting; the page that proves someone took and passed an online test -- that sort of thing. Add in the usual 3 patrons trying to bully you into putting a hold on a book not even in the building, and a small side of bad communication, and it was a stressful morning.

By the time an 11 year-old fella asked "why are all your computers busted?" I was cracking lots of great jokes in my head. "Because we hate our patrons and want to annoy you!" "They're not busted -- they're new!" Yeah, I'm easily amused.

Another bit of follow up is to an ep. of "Cosmos" P & H & I watched last night. It's the one where he posits an Encyclopedia Galactica and thought, How sad that he didn't live to see h2g2 online and Wikipedia. Sure enough, the later has a splendid entry on the EG, here. Educators and librarians who bemoan Wikipedia underestimate the passion people have for their subjects; they will fix anything that gets muddled; they will delve deeper than any print book could hold (Adam's print one, after all, needed several fleets to haul it around).

Saturday, January 14, 2006

New PCs Cause Drama at Local Library
Film at 11.

Great Read: So Yesterday, by Scott Westerfield. Cool hunting, NYC, and a mystery. Awesome read.
Capital City weather: thunderstorms overnight

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Two good blogs for public librarians to remind you that you are not alone: lots of library users don't carry their cards and/or feel sure we are trying to scam them by asking them to do so:

Tales from the "Liberry"


Thursday, January 05, 2006


Many in Capital City mourn the loss of a family of four this weekend. Driving home from Maggi's on Tuesday, I noted a mound of flowers outside World of Mirth. My own sadness stems from empathy. She was My Local Merchant; they were friends-of-friends -- or a layer beyond that; more hip than me, but similar to so many folks I know. Maggi mentions Capote; his In Cold Blood comes to my mind, too. I can't bear to think of the moments before the end, when I remember that book or when I listen to the news.

An odd tangent -- two odd tangents -- come from the media. WCVE ran a locally-produced editorial. The speaker had not only sadness and outrage for the murder, but also for the lack of (small amount of?) national media coverage. His point, as I recall, had to do with the reasonably high-profile nature of the family and the reported brutalness of the crime. I believe he named the Washington Post. I took only a quick skim through the edition of the Post we get at work and found nothing. I'm not sure what that means, if I agree with the editorialist. It's just lingering in my mind.

In less emotional news, Ed Slipek decries Richmond's lack of complaint about having Governor Kaine's inauguration stolen from us by a "theme park." CCDesk readers may recall that Dan made a similar complaint (see comments, here). That both men suggested the Carillon as an alternate locale is, one suspects, a coincidence with no symbolic meaning at all.

On the Muzak at Ukrop's: Madonna, Borderline

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Dewey Blog points to this fine rap, for those of you wanting to get those numbers more firmly in mind.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Alternate title for year's picture from Christmas: "Same top, different fella," since I am wearing the same shirt as in the photo above it, from 2004. Go here and scroll down. By the way, the American Modern coffee pot I am holding is a favorite gift to me from the folks. The cat toy a few entries back was for the farm cats, but Nephew 1 played with it all day. (No new photos of Nephew 1, or any at all of Nephew 2, in electonic format.)