Jan 29, 2010

Interabang? Interrobang!

I have just discovered a not-quite-accepted punctuation mark I wish I had always known about: the interrobang. It's a combination of an exclamation point and a question mark. As someone who has always resisted using more than one punctuation mark at the end of a sentence, this is a godsend.

So hey, publishers and software developers: let's get working on spreading the interrobang! I would like to be able to use it while posting a blog entry instead of pointing people to the Wikipedia page, which has some lovely pictures of it in different fonts.

Jan 21, 2010

iSchool blogging

So I have another writing gig! I'm going to be a blogger for the official iSchool blog, called "Information Space." My first post is Dance Librarians: Mythical Creatures or Merely Extinct?

I am, of course, thrilled and delighted and honored. I mean, the fact that they gave me a chance to write for them after reading this blog is pretty astounding, and I am truly humbled. But will I give up Gonnabe Librarians for the hallowed halls of the academy? Hell, no! And do you want to know why? I'm sure you're just dying to know. I can hear the crickets, which is a clear indication of a tomb-like silence, which means maybe all y'all have died already....Do you sense a theme lately?....Anyway, when I got the official word that I would actually be allowed to write for the iSchool, they said they had only one hard-and-fast rule: no swearing.

To which I replied, "WHAT THE FUCK?! Isn't this a university? And a library school? Don't they uphold the rights of free fucking speech and no censorship and shit?!"

I didn't really say that, because I'm not a total moron. But I thought it for a second, before I rememebered that the iSchool has a reputation to maintain, and they need to be professional. And this blog is SO NOT professional it's ridiculous. I mean, I won't even be able to point people to it when I start job-hunting, which kind of makes me wonder if I should maybe rethink the whole thing. Hmmmmmm. HELL, NO! I'M KEEPING IT!

Anyway, I hope you'll check out my posts on Information Space every week. I can't say what day or anything, because I'm not that organized. (Does that mean I'll be a crappy librarian?) But that's what RSS feeds are for!

And as for Gonnabe Librarians, I might take out that final 's' because right now it's just me, but actually I have a plan to get other students more involved. It involves stalking and video cameras, though, so I think I'll shut up now. And I'll plead the 5th if you have me arrested.

Jan 19, 2010

So, what did you learn?

I thought I'd throw out a few things I learned at ALA Midwinter:

1. Bacon is the gateway meat. Vegetarians, beware!

2. Free wifi sucks. Or my computer does. Actually, my computer speaker really does suck because I tried to watch an online class yesterday and whenever our heater came on (which, I freely admit, sounds like a jet engine and forces us to turn up, say, the TV to volumes suitable only for the landing strip of an aircraft carrier)....where was I? My speakers suck. Can't hear a damn thing without headphones. Free wifi sucks, too, if you're at a convention or the Boston Public Library. But when I tweeted that, someone else at the convention said it worked fine for him, so now I'm wondering if I have that condition where anytime you go near electronics they stop working. Because also my battery died withing three hours, and it's supposed to last over nine. My husband says speakers eat up batteries like candy, but I think it's that magnetic field problem. That's probably why I also lose my watches. They just fly off my arm when I'm not looking because my magnetic field is so crazy strong. That doesn't explain the gloves and the jewelry and the sunglasses, though.

3. Librarians are CRAZY for tote bags. Even I, who stuffs as much as possible in my coat pockets just to avoid carrying a purse, coveted a particularly huge tote bag from McGraw Hill. I filled it with about 1000 lbs. of free books, and now I'm crippled. Everyone was tweeting about this picture of a guy with a tote bag full of tote bags, but the picture is all blurry, so who cares? Plus, a tote bag full of tote bags doesn't weigh 2000 lbs, so I win.

4. This is the low-down on jobs from one vendor: health sciences libraries. 40-60% of those librarians are going to retire in the next five years, he said. And he's scared because those are his clients, and what if the libraries don't bother replacing them? I wanted to smile gently and pat him on the head and say, "There, there. Everyone knows no one is going to retire ever, ever again. Thanks to the imploded economy, the entire workforce will be forced to work until they die of old age, and the rest of us are shit out of luck. So your clientele will be creaking along well into their nineties! You're set for life! In fact, you'll probably die on a sales call, you lucky dog, you!"

5. Boston has a new T line, called the Silver Line, which is a bus connected to an electric cable. I don't know why, but that freaked me out. Maybe because of my crazy magnetic field.

6. Even the most comfortable shoes aren't comfortable after a day at a convention. It probably would've helped if they weren't heels. I mean, they're comfortable and all, but you know....they're heels....I'm a dumbass.

7. Swag is great! But apparently, after a number of conventions you become very selective. Now that I'm permanently crooked from the 5000 lbs of books, I can see why.

8. A dance librarian is a mythical creature. More on that later.

9. Schmoozing isn't so bad, as long as you have Xanax.

Okay, so I'm hoping to find out what everyone else learned because I have the sneaking suspicion I missed something. Like, where were all the Twittering librarians I follow, and why didn't I meet any of them? Is it because they were all on their laptops getting thrown off the network every 30 seconds? Oh, wait - that's just me and my crazy magnetic field.

Jan 18, 2010

Let's try this again....

So I posted a thing asking if people want to contribute to Gonnabe Librarians, but instead of posting it right away I waited awhile, and then when I finally posted it showed up on it's original save date, which meant it was below a couple of haikus, so who know if anyone saw it. At least, that's what I hoping is the reason for NO RESPONSES WHATSOEVER.

So here it is again, hopefully at the top of the page:

WANTED: Distance students

Do you like to write? Do you have a sense of humor? Are you gonna be a librarian? You, too, can join Gonnabe Librarians and write about life as an SU student, from the sunny climes of Cali to the sweltering summers of Savannah! (On-campus students: you're not off the hook.)

No, you won't get paid. No, you won't be thrust into the spotlight of celebrity bloggers and asked to write a book. But if we ever manage to get a link from the iSchool you just might get an audience of librarians and students and professors who may or may not appreciate your sense of humor and think it's value added. Hey, it could happen! Meanwhile, we have our fans. Okay, not fans, but followers. Okay, only a few followers, but we're working our asses off here - okay, maybe not working our asses off, but at least one of us is having a really good time!

Think you have nothing to say? Think again! We're not looking for art or thoughtful analysis or anything. No serious library-related ponderings or predictions for the field or lessons learned. Just hoping to show the world what library students are all about. Mainly because we're bored.

Doing a semester overseas? (You know who you are.) Make your fellow students green with envy - post photos of exotic Germany here!!

Living in paradise? Make the campus students cry as they watch yet another foot of snow cover their cars!!

Find a story about unusual librarians, like Megabeth, the 53-year-old, 5 ft. tall librarian roller derby girl, or the surprisingly intricate and well-rehearsed book cart drill teams? Got a good library limerick? Make a video? Wear librarian glasses? Post it here so we can all reap the benefits of healing laughter (or shock and awe, or horrified disgust) as we slog through another semester of library school!!!

Got your own blog? That's okay, too! Post a sentence or two about it, and throw in a link. We're happy to serve as a pointer, if it means you'll give us a pointer now and then. Seriously. We're not proud. We'll beg if we have to. We're looking for traffic, here, not just screaming into the void. Okay, we probably are screaming into the void, like all the other billions of bloggers out there, but we can dream of going viral, can't we?

So if you're funny or entertaining or remotely interesting (or at least think you are), and you're an SU library student living anywhere, and you want to be added as an author, email me (Shander) at esbawden@syr.edu. I promise I won't harass you or anything. Not much, anyway. Not enough for a restraining order, at least.

Jan 13, 2010

A new hauki4u

Classes will start soon
We prepare for frazzled thoughts
Brought on by group work

Jan 8, 2010


Winter break is gone
Anyone know where it went?
I'm not done sleeping.

Jan 2, 2010

The Archivist of Death

Is there a better job description than that? I heard about the Archivist of Death on NPR. I can't remember his name or where he's from because my aging brain is mush, and though, according to the New York Times, the aging brain is better than younger ones at grasping the big picture and seeing significance and even solutions, that ability hinges on that brain being kept "in good shape" and mine is clearly full of holes. I would say "literally" but then I'd have to prove it, and that would open up a can of worms best left closed. Especially because I hate worms. They make me thing of death, and how we're all inching ever closer and how I really want to live forever, even if I'm just a holey brain in a jar because I really want to see how it all ends. Which brings me back to the nameless Archivist of Death. (See how I did that? I bet you thought I forgot.) He collects interesting obituaries - over 400 a month - and pastes them in albums. He mentioned that they used to be much more intimate and nice than they are now. Having read very few obituaries, being that I mulishly ignore death and dying and anything that smacks of either, I wouldn't know. But the interview made me think I want to do something cool enough to be called the Archivist of Death, so I decided to start a "Write Your Own Obituary" website, and then found out there already is such a thing. Or twenty such things. So now I want to start an "O-bitch-uary" site where people can write obits for anything that really pisses them off. Like McSweeney's Open Letters, but for people who want to pretend someone or something is dead. (By the way, if you Google "obitchuary" you find out that an unacceptable number of people think that's how you spell obituary. My first o-bitch-uary will be about the death of people who can't spell.)

The upshot of all this death talk? It reminded me that we at SU have a student colleague who blogs about graveyards. She is totally someone who should be on Gonnabe Librarians, but maybe she's shy. Or she's all like, "Why the hell should I write for Gonnabe Librarians when I have my own blog that's so much fucking cooler?!" I've gotta give her that. It is cooler. So wander the hallowed digital grounds of The Living Come With Grassy Tread.

I guess the iSchool has it's own Archivist of Death already, doesn't it? I'll have to settle for being the o-bitch writer.