Things seen in New York…

  • Man with a gun wrapped in a newspaper
  • Diner called “The Usual”
  • Brooklyn brownstones waiting to be demolished and replaced by a mall
  • City dogs, patient and tolerant
  • Fashion victims, many and hideous
  • Deli salad bars with better food than most Ithaca restaurants
  • Rat-like dog
  • Dog-like rat
  • Four drunken librarians
  • One Contemptuous waitress
  • Parents lugging strollers down the subway steps
  • Ice skating in the NYPL backyard
  • Park Slope, “where New York goes to breed”
  • Excellent hats, knitted by Alexandra
  • Anorexic woman doing extreme yoga in a store window
  • Giant whale

Tonight, we fly to Paris on Air India. Stay tuned!

Plagued by reference questions…

I haven’t worked at a reference desk for almost ten years, but I still get reference questions.

I’m convinced that Librarians and Library Workers have some sort of radiant askability that compels people to ask us stuff.

Like this confused gentleman here:

I’m looking for photos of ‘The Avengers’…

Alas, my friend, it’s Librarian Avengers, not Avengers Librarian. I could sell you some photos of our cats, if it’ll help. They, too, wear catsuits.


Hey Kids! Be a Librarian for Halloween

Target sells these INCREDIBLY accurate Librarian Halloween costumes in its online store.

Still, why spend $59.99 on a costume when we librarians can just open our closets and wear one of our many ALA-mandated cape/miniskirt combos?

Not to nitpick, but my book-skirt is a bit longer.

Update: Holy cow. Here’s another one.

It’s hard out here for a digital library interface designer/product manager

Photo by パックマン

10:40pm and I’m still at work.

Science Magazine is publishing a blurb about our library of animal sounds on Thursday. We got an award for second-best “educational interactive”. Yay.

Unfortunately, this means that a huge group of people are going to visit our site.

And our site was, up to a few weeks ago, still half-baked. We’ve got one of those higher education software teams, consisting of five underpaid geeks and a couple of CS students. Ebay, we are not.
These last few weeks have been a blur. Everyone on my team is pulling dot com hours, working for twelve hours on Sundays, and generally being foolish with work-life balance.

Tonight we ate dinner at the mall food court.

The weird part is, I love this.
I love the focus.
I love the commiseration.
I love the feeling of doing something good for the world that I get working at a nonprofit.

But right now, I would really love a beer and some sleep.
Goodnight, all.

My Conference Can Beat Up Your Conference

Hi there sexy library creatures. I’m spending this weekend doing prep-work for the upcoming South by Southwest Interactive conference. In my case, this means re-dying my hair, e-shopping for warm weather gear, and drinking a lot of water. Chris and I are flying to Austin on the 9th – we’ll be hunting down margarita machines and Shiner Bock soon thereafter.

The cool local burlesque troupe that I wanted to take you guys to isn’t performing this month. Still, I promised a party so I’ll do what every good librarian should: utilize existing resources. I’ll meet everybody at the Frog Design party (they had belly dancers last year). I’ll be handing out Librarian pins and buying beer for anyone with a library degree. If are going to be in town, lemme know and I’ll send you my cell number. Chris is an Austin native, so we’ll be hitting some good Mexican food joints throughout the week. Finally, I’ll leave you with a list:

The Ethos of ALA vs SXSWi

Gobs of free books Gobs of free drinks
Shoulder Pads Electronic Notepads
Informative panels about last year’s technology Informative panels about next year’s technology
The Caldicotts The Bloggies
Meet Winnie-The-Pooh Meet famous pornographers
Nuclear politics Nuclear tacos
Blue hair Pink hair
Power suits and eye shadow Power symbol t-shirts and iBooks
Sponsored by: Demco Sponsored by: Tito’s Homemade Vodka

Rock Rock Rock n’ Roll Librarian

Hey avenging librarians… A few weeks ago, Bill Harmer wrote a letter asking for our help. You may remember Bill as the founder of the Rock n Roll library tour that was featured on This American Life. I wrote about the show here.

Bill wants to take the Rock n Roll library tour nationwide. Last summer the Michigan tour was a big success, and he wants to get at least one library to sign up in each of the 50 states. This is a killer after-school program that serves the dual purpose of getting reluctant readers in the library, and busting through some myths about how the library is boring. You know? Those myths? Now you can do something about them.

After some initial hoo-ha-ing, the ALA got its act together and is sort of helping out. You can now register your very own ever-loving library for the tour. You’ll be booking library rock n’ roll veterans The High Strung for an all-ages show and a question and answer session afterward.

Just read the press release, then write to Bill and he’ll make it happen.

I hope they come here. Ithaca is desperate for decent music. There’s a large Contra Dance movement here that MUST BE STOPPED. Also, if anybody has suggestions or offers of help, I think Bill would be glad to hear them.


Last year I attended the Bloggies at the South by Southwest Interactive conference. The presentation was wonderfully low-budget, like a high school assembly. But, oh THE FUNNY. Not only were funny people doing the presenting, there was a huge screen next to the stage showing the IRC conversation about the presentation. So, imagine a presenter saying something funny, and then almost simultaneously, more funny people chatting about the presenter and mocking him. It was so meta that several audience members actually turned inside-out and had to be rushed to the hospital.

Anyway, I’m going again this year (yes, you’ll get your feminist strippers – hang on) and I WANT A BLOGGIE. Gimme gimme. Please. Although there are far more worthy candidates, I’m asking anyway. Won’t you nominate me? Please? I have included this emotionally manipulative kitten to help you with your decision.

To nominate Librarian Avengers for the Best Topical Weblog category, go here. Yes, I know I’m a publicity whore. La la la. Tttpth.

Here are the other fabulous blogs I’ve nominated. I left out some of the obvious ones, like Boing Boing, since they were well-represented last year. Check them out, but not while you are drinking anything that will hurt if you snort it through your nose. I’m just saying.

Best weblog application
Spam Karma

Best Australian or New Zealand Weblog

Best American Weblog
Mimi Smartypants

Best Tagline of a Weblog
Bad News Hughes – Striving to find a way to punch people in the face by using the internet.
My Life as an American Gladiator – Caution! Do Not Insert In Ear Canal!

Best Entertainment Weblog
Pink is the New Blog
Gallery of the Absurd

Best Weblog About Politics
Low Culture
Salon Broadsheet

Best GLBT Weblog
The Book You’re Not Reading
Pink is the New Blog

Most Humorous Weblog
Bad News Hughes
Mimi Smartypants
Cat and Girl Donation Derby

Best Writing of a Weblog
Echidne of the Snakes
My Life as an American Gladiator

Best Web Development Weblog
A List Apart

Best Designed Weblog
Jenny’s Realm

Lifetime Achievement
Dave Shea

Best-Kept-Secret Weblog
Dog Blog
The Ten Thousand Year Blog

Best New Weblog
50 Books