SXSW Interactive – Saturday

Lists. Lists are the secret to blogging during a panel while still paying attention. Watch.

Best things about SXSW Interactive so far:

  • The BlogHer meetup is described during the opening panel as “the biggest taco-fest in Austin”
  • Vendetta, 1999 – a more modern version of the humanist Jenson typeface
  • Seeing people from last year and feeling like they are old friends
  • Analog Tagging
  • Carrie Bickner at the NYPL gets it. Librarians don’t own metadata. Metadata, like all information, belongs to the people.
  • NYPL Labs
  • Breakfast tacos

Librarian meetup in Austin this weekend

Good morning, all. I’ve been death-on-a-stick for a week, thanks to accidentally ingesting some sort of peanut bi-product last weekend. The Epipen plays hell with my immune system. The good news is, I’ve gotten a lot of very important America’s Next Top Model watched. So, that’s done.

I am heading to Austin, Texas tomorrow for the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference. Jenny’s putting together a Libraryworker meetup in Austin on Sunday if you are in town.

I love the word “libraryworker”. It’s like sexworker, but you know, wholesome.

Librarain videos

These kids today and their wacky video freeculture.

libraryninja.jpgThey say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, after minutes of painstaking research, I have determined that librarians reign supreme on YouTube.

Steve Reed, kickass Library Media Specialist at Wilmington High School sent us a link to an excellent video some of his students made, featuring a library ninja.

As you know, one library ninja video leads to another, and another. Once I finished with the library ninjas and ninja librarians, I was naturally drawn to the librarian superheros.

Troubling indeed, were the librarian villains, librarian vampires, and librarian nazis. But worst of all, are the schlumpy “librarians” who shelve books all day.


Librarian vs. influenza: day you have got to be kidding

You guys rule. Thanks for the comments and updates. I’m still sick. Here’s some replies to the kind souls who wrote yesterday…

Carisse: Hook ’em horns! From what I hear, the philosophy department had one heck of a softball team.

nycejo.jpg Catrina:
I totally agree. I’ve beendrinking pints of DeTox and Breathe Easy, with a side of Echinacia and Chamomile mint. Stupid Ralph left for the day, but his friend Vertiginous Vinnie stopped by this morning. Which means I’m typing this with my eyes closed as the keyboard spins rather disturbingly otherwise.

Cute Overload is the best. I refreshmonkey their feed regularly. Bunnies cure all.

Steve: Thanks! This flu is like a writing exercise. My lit professors always said that constraints catalyze creativity. I’d like to add that vomit volumizes verbosity.

Has your son experienced a traumatic event? His DVD behavior sounds like a cry for help. But then, I’m a girl. It could just be a call for boxing gloves and a little brother.

Meg: Eggs? Org. Perhaps I should rethink my question.

Seriously though, the new kitty nurses. Like, he sucks on things. Schlurp schlurp schlurp. He’s a big snoring baby with hairballs. Schlurp.

Also, hooray to your librarian destiny! Mine got beat up by my better-pay-as-a-user-advocate destiny. But librarianship is an identity, it’s larger than a single profession.

Linda: I have no idea what movie this is. The only thing I really miss by not having cable is the movie previews. Sometimes I remember to check the apple site, but mostly I just rely on word of mouth and This was good? I should watch it? Better than Ang Lee’s finest? Will I require insulin? Will they even play it here in the cinematic desert of Ithaca, NY?

All: My friend Kara has put up some of our photos from NYC and Paris on flickr if you wish to travel vicariously.

Librarians: Mimi Smartypants needs our Help!

Mimi Smartypants is my favorite blogger. I want to say more about her writing and why I enjoy it, but everything I type comes out like: “blarg! cliche! gush! gush!”

So, I’ll just skip that and mention that she recently asked for comic book recommendations for her daughter. This woman needs a librarian! We are compelled to help! Here’s a thumbnail reference interview:

  1. The little girl in question is Preschool age
  2. Ideally, avoid mainstream comics. You know, ones with TV tie-ins or superheros.
  3. She currently enjoys The Far Side, and Sam and Max
  4. Violence/weapons are to be avoided.

I took a crack at it. Let me know what you think in the comments, and I’ll ship the whole list off to her Miminess at the end of the week as a tribute of librarianly esteem.

These are comics I have personally read and recommend. I take full responsibility if you think they suck. I avoided the Bone series, despite the cute drawings because those Stupid Rat Creatures can be pretty scary. Stupid, stupid rat creatures.

Librarian Powers: Activate!
Clan Apis – A view of life as a honeybee but without looking like a Mark Trail comic strip. Hilariously written by an entomology grad student who is allergic to bees. Great for kids, fun for adults.

Pogo Possum – I learned to read with these cartoons. Which gave me a rather unusual grasp of the Queen’s English. Still, you don’t have to be old enough to read to appreciate the indelible Albert Alligator and Porkypine.

Castle Waiting – These are the sweetest stories ever. Great art, gentle tales with subtle feminist undertones. Sort of the anti-Optic Nerve.

Liberty Meadows – Frank Cho. Why not? Talking frogs are funny.

Ok, go ahead. You try.

New Librarian Gifts! Happy Festivus!

librariansxxx.pngYeah. I couldn’t resist. You know how we’ve had all of this discussion lately about, er… attractive librarians and the Halloween costumes that celebrate them? So I was thinking, what would REALLY bring those reluctant readers in to the library?

Imagine a neon sign buzzing, zapping and blinking: “Librarians! Librarians! Librarians!” The library lights up outside with lurid pinks and greens. Imagine the untapped audiences of potential patrons! Imagine the circulation statistics! Imagine the improved wages once people start tipping.

Of course, a sign like this might keep away the homeschoolers, but you can’t make everyone happy, right?

Right. Hope you enjoy these ever-so-tasteful librarian t-shirts, heat-printed on a black cotton shirt.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! If you’re in town, stop by for spanokopeta and yamfries!

Desk Set

lady librarians from desk setDid you know that Katherine Hepburn and Spenser Tracey were in a Librarian movie together? Did you even know there were librarian movies? It’s called Desk Set, and we’re about halfway through watching it.

Desk Set somewhat unintentionally gives an interesting window into professional life for women in the late 1950’s. Apparently it involved lots of sexual harassment, patronization, and powerlessness. Oh, and trivia questions. Which is pretty cool.

We spend about ten minutes listening to Katherine Hepburn show off her black belt in historical and literary fact before her boyfriend (also her boss) lovingly tells her how stupid she is. In spite of the anachronisms, Hepburn’s character exudes competence, and it’s wonderful to watch a woman on film being unabashedly smart.

Like most pre-1980’s movies, it’s long and kind of slow. We got a bit bored, and will probably finish it later tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing the IBM “electronic brain” that is supposed to replace the reference department. I suspect it will involve lots of reel-to-reel tapes, blinking lights, and miraculous natural language processors.

Stay tuned.