Friday fun: Librarian stereotypes and legos

July 26th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

lego librarian

Mr. Library Dude, with tea and tablet.

I generally avoid discussions of librarian stereotypes because: (1) I don’t believe that discussion does anything to advance our mission as librarians; (2) I don’t think anyone outside Library Land cares that much; and (3) I am a walking librarian stereotype (sans cats). That said, playing with representation (gender, professional, age, or otherwise) and expectations of such can be a fun pastime, especially for a degenerate English literature student like myself.

Joe Hardenbrook has created a parade of library-themed Lego characters, most of which I identify with in some way. Though if asked to choose, I probably fall somewhere between the “I quote ‘Buffy’ and none of the students get it! Can you believe it?” character and the “I desperately want to be a hipster librarian with my pencil mustache and bowtie!” character (though, I am sadly unable to pull off successful facial hair).

What about you? Which Lego character are you? Happy Friday!

OK Google

July 18th, 2013 § Comments Off § permalink

john wearing Google Glass

I’ve been teaching Orientation classes for incoming first-year students at USC the past few weeks. The students who attend the class are usually self-selecting and tend to be extremely energetic and excited about library spaces. The one-hour session starts with a brief photo-taking activity and ends with a Special Collections “petting zoo.” In between, I give a 10-15 minute spiel on the various campus libraries (organized by proximity to dorms and late-night food options).

Today, one of the students came to the session wearing Google Glass. He’s a developer and a future engineering student. He was kind enough to let me try them out. I have strong objections to Google Glass from the standpoint of privacy, but in a moment of overwhelming technolust, I squealed like a child.

I’ve already discussed with him the possibility of developing a library app. =)


Happy Friday: motivation to go

June 21st, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

Whether you’re an MLIS student, a n00brarian, a veteran of past library wars, a passionate LibLeader, a dedicated LibFollower, a developer of collections, an instructor of minds, a magical metadata fairy, an administrator of action, a director of the digital, an emcee of embeddedness, an archivist of the arcane… whatever your job or your place within LibraryLand, I hope you’ll remember that the cheese monster will never be satisfied by cheddar, but only by the cheese of accomplishment. Happy Friday! Go forth and start something!

Friday fun: Harvard debate on “Are Libraries Obsolete?”

April 27th, 2012 § 3 comments § permalink

Clearly, there was not enough alcohol involved in this debate. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the following Oxford-style debate about the usefulness of libraries. Personally, I recommend skipping to 37 minutes in to watch David Lankes and John Palfrey.

Friday fun: (Orson AND whales) OR (data AND “Brian Eno”)

April 13th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

Conferencing can take a lot out of a person. Thankfully, the internet does not lack for pleasant distractions. Case in point, a mashup of Moby Dick, Orson Welles, and Led Zeppelin, via Open Culture:

But if that doesn’t float your boat, perhaps you would enjoy pointing your mental harpoons toward creating data visualizations. Information if Beautiful is sponsoring “the world’s first global awards, celebrating excellence in data visualizations, infographics and information art.” Not only could you win up to $5000, but Brian Eno will be on the panel of judges. Closing data for submissions in May 31st. Go forth and compute!

Friday fun: improving your catalog search-fu

March 23rd, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

Yesterday, I picked up a copy of Magic Search: Getting the best results from your catalog and beyond by Kornegay, Buchanan, & Morgan (my apologies to whichever colleague I recalled this from!). The tagline on the title page reads “subdivide and conquer with LC subdivisions!” The book is essentially a list of search terms and templates, arranged by topic and based on LC subject headings, that librarians and researchers can use to improve search within the library catalog.

Some choice examples include:

[research interest or person/group] AND quotations
to find words of wisdom on any topic

[research interest] AND (sources OR archives)
to locate primary sources on any topic

[topic] AND (anecdotes OR cartoons OR humor)
to find not-so-serious treatments of any topic

[ailment] AND (treatment OR therapy)
to find a cure for what ails you

Honorable mention:

[research interest or person] AND (sexual behavior)
because the world is full of interesting characters and traditions

Go forth, and multiply [your search results]! Happy Friday!

Friday fun: it’s fantastic!

March 2nd, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

It’s Friday and that means nothing too serious here at Ink and Vellum. Except maybe a revelry concerning the transformative power of books. The 2012 Academy Award for Best Animated Short went to a film by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg entitled, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin the story for you, but I would like to note a few things:

  1. There are two bow ties in the film. See if you can spot them.
  2. Scotch tape!?
  3. Morris is a great name.

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday fun: the Prince-Joffrey-would-approve edition

February 24th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

In case you missed it (though I’m not sure how you could have), The Oatmeal posted a succinct and brilliant comic detailing why many of us many people resort to downloading media via “non-traditional” channels. The dynamics of media production and retail are more complex than “the networks are greedy old-fogies” (at least, so my wife, who’s in the entertainment industry, tells me): there are other key players involved including investors, distributors, theaters, ISPs, advertisers, and a boat-load of other third-parties. Still, if you can’t remove barriers between consumers and a desired product, someone else will remove it for you.

The same could be said of libraries as well. But it’s Friday; we’ll have none of that today. Just read the comic and start dreaming about your weekend!

Friday Fun: A note from the future

February 10th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

wrong address

The wrong address? Or a letter from the future! I’m not sure which part of this mistake excites me the most: being in a position of leadership or having an office in Doheny. Happy Friday!