Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Updating the Ol' Blog for the New Year

Every so often, I get tempted to move this blog to one of Blogger's snazzy new templates. There are lots of widgets that make editing and moving all that sidebar stuff easy. We used it for the wedding blog, and I use it at work - it's nice. When think about doing it, I get to the part that reminds me that I can't transfer any of the stuff currently in the sidebar, and I give up the idea. I don't feel like doing all that.

What I can do is say farewell to retired blogs (bye-bye, Ref Grunt! Best wishes, Juice [who actually has a non-liberry blog, now]) and add a few new finds.

I've been laughing along with Miss Information for a while, but never had a quick link before. The Swiss Army Librarian is a newish discovery. The 12/14 week post finds him grappling with the ever-popular reply, "I can't show you how to do something illegal."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"What I Wasn't Taught in Library School"

Here's a good wish-we-had-learned blog.

I clicked over there because of the book repair story. Since I went to library school wanting to be an archivist or museum librarian, I took a proper Conservation class. I recall disagreeing with my classmate and pal who worked in a NoVa public library. She'd try to explain to the instructor that of course it makes sense for a public library to slap some everyday tape on books and magazines. And I thought, But no! Even your copy of Green Eggs and Ham deserves treatment with archival supplies: it will last longer and therefore save money! It took only a few weeks' real-life experience to see that, really, it makes no sense to spend that kind of time and money on a disposable collection. Make a repair that will suffice. We're not collecting for All Times, here. Let kids chew on that Dr. Seuss for a few years, then buy a fresh one. By the time the hinge tears on that Grisham, it's probably not circulating enough to bother with.

Now, back when I was in the museum bizz, that's when I learned about another poster's point: wear machine washables! Hmm, and then there's the plumbing one. Now, I haven't learned that trick, but working at summer camp afforded me lots of opportunities to clean up icky messes, including taking a plunger to the toilets at the dining hall.

If I often draw on skills from beyond library school, is there something I wish I had learned during that fun-filled year? Resume coaching? How to say "no" to resume help and school paper proof-reading?? I'll have to think on this one.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The last several times I've scooted up the Boulevard, I've said to myself, I need to blog about how nicely that movie cinema in the old factory is looking. I like that they left on a wall sign and retained the industrial feel.

Just the other day, I noted a slightly cheesy sign announcing the location of one of the parking lots -- and an official Opening Soon banner! Here's a notice my Boss sent to me today.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Keeping Me Going

What's keeping me going for the last hour on a drab December afternoon on the ref desk? The kid with a Civil War project who said, by way of thanks, "You are a very good helper."

Cool mashup, here, helps you find a US mail drop box. I see a correlation between the niceness of the neighborhood and the placement of a box. (via

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Friday, December 05, 2008

Good ol Ed Slipek has written a nice sketch of some of Capital City's early 20th century literary figures. It's a great refresher on -- or introduction to -- Cabell, Glasgow, and Freeman. Alas, I was unimpressed with how he got us there.

Looking for Cabell at VCU's bookstore? Come on, you can do better than that. If Southern Lit isn't being taught this semester, they won't have it. Or, if you must make the point that "these folks aren't Popular or Classics," okay, but don't give the impression that a reader can't get a hold of these works. WorldCat is offering 1330 copies (78 different editions) of Jurgen! Don't want to request a copy via inter-library loan, or renew your borrowing privileges at the City library or a handful of local academic collections? Why not read something by Cabell online, at Project Gutenberg?

I'd also encourage Slipek to broaden his horizons on contemporary local authors. Wolfe and Cornwell are all very well and good, but where's that favorite Richmond author of so many of my patrons, Nikki Turner?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Nate and Emily

Cool Coworker drew my attention to this boingboing item on Emily the Strange. After finding a copy of Nate the Great Goes Under Cover "hiding" on the book-with-audio rack, I took it over to two high school seniors I know.

Does this picture remind you of anything?

- Yeah, isn't that, what's her name? Emily?

Got it in one.

Our only Emily the Strange book doesn't have that picture featured on bb; and, it doesn't circ much. We're more about Spider-Man and InuYasha, here.
New at Our House!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Awesome Word!

I'm going to start using the word "loungerie" tonight! Etymology: this ad.

I have a swell vintage velvet item that might be a dressing gown, but also might be an opera coat. I often spoil myself and wear it as a robe, but sometimes I feel bad for treating such a pretty thing so casually. And I have a terry robe that's nice after showering, but it's too bulky for lounging. So I lounge in an MHC sweatshirt or an ancient chamios shirt over PJs. Since the latter is lavender, it kinda-sorta has the feel of the swingy little robe in that ad. I would love to find a little robe like that! At the least, I can start calling a chamios shirt-over-pajamas my loungerie.
Awesome Website

This site answers that perennial question, Should I bring an umbrella?
Awesome Criticism

There's some good conversation about an article in The Atlantic on YA fiction that includes the sentence, "I hate Y.A. novels; they bore me." Guys Lit Wire gives you a sense of the dismay, and there are some links to other blogs; the actual article is here.