refgrunt

This is from yesterday afternoon’s two hours at the reference desk. I was too irritated by some of the patrons and a circulation staff member to want to revisit the list until I’d had some time away from work and a good night’s sleep.

This is from yesterday afternoon’s two hours at the reference desk. I was too irritated by some of the patrons and a circulation staff member to want to revisit the list until I’d had some time away from work and a good night’s sleep.

Graduate student needs help finding articles cited by professor in an chapter article from a book.
Where is the Learning Resources Center?
Graduate student back for more help.
Three students each need to find four books on obesity.
Students return – can’t locate books – some checked out, some not in main collection.
Former non-trad student (last semester) wants to know how to gain proxy access to library resources.
Staff member who’s building is without power wants to know how to check email from library computers.
Where is room 207A? – 4 times

refgrunt

This is my first attempt at refgrunting. I only work 2 hours per week at the reference desk, so it will be brief.

This is my first attempt at refgrunting. I only work 2 hours per week at the reference desk, so it will be brief.

Looking for Oedipus Rex – the play, not the score
Can’t open Word document in Blackboard from home
Where is interlibrary loan?
Borrow scissors
Borrow stapler
Where are the atlases?
Need help setting up Yahoo account
Where are the world atlases?
Where are bound journals? Can I check them out?
Where is interlibrary loan?

RSS application

Art Rhyno has created an RSS feed for his library’s new books list.

I had been attempting to puzzle out some coding to get an RSS feed automatically generated from our new books list, but time and a learning curve have prevented me from getting very far on it. I know what needs to be done, and I’m fairly certain that all I need is a little bit of Perl code. Since I have not really worked with Perl beyond tweaking the little bit I needed to tweak when setting up this blog, it would take me quite a bit of time to learn the language. In any case, it appears that Art Rhyno at the University of Windsor has already created an RSS feed for his library’s new books, and they use Endeavor Voyager, as well. I’m hoping he can help me out with a feed for my library. It would have been cool to do the programming myself, and I expect that even with Art’s help, I’ll still need to tweak it, but on the other hand, I don’t know if I’d ever get something programmed on my own.

Update:
Art responded to my comment with a link to the basic instructions on how to set this up. Cocoon? Modula-2? LISP? Maybe I need to re-think my desires to learn some programming. I suppose it will be good for me in the long run.

serials librarian joke

Anna offers a contribution of a silly serials librarian joke.

I’ve been working away on this article, and I think it’s twisted my brain.

Q: How many serials librarians does it take to change a light bulb?

A: One. They are used to changing light bulbs regularly. First it’s light bulb. Then it’s lightbulb. Then it becomes lb : the bulb of light….

librarian publication

Can librarians change the publishing model by starting within their own?

I have been working on an article for Serials Review which required me to contact several different consultants who work with libraries, publishers, and vendors. While I was conversing with October Ivins, a thought came to me. We were talking about some of the issues surrounding publishing and pricing, and more specifically about alternative models such as the Budapest Open Access Initiative and the efforts of SPARC. She is of the opinion that alternatives like open access will not happen unless an entire organization or society agrees to follow the new model of publishing.

Her logic makes sense, and it got me thinking about which group should take the initiative and start changing the way they went about scholarly communication. Then it hit me: Why don’t librarians do this first? We’re the ones who are complaining the loudest when publishers like Elsevier dominate the market and dictate pricing. We should be the leaders marching forward to change the way publishing works in the digital age! And then, I realized the irony of my proposal having come from a conversation I had while writing an article for an Elsevier publication.

When I was asked to write this article, I knew who published the journal. It gave me a few twinges, but I couldn’t turn down the offer. Not when this was a chance for a rookie librarian to get published in an internationally recognized journal! However, this is exactly the mentality that perpetuates the problems we are currently facing in scholarly communication. I don’t have a solution, and I don’t know if I ever will. I do know that in the future I will try to be conscientious about where I publish my contributions to the profession, but it won’t be easy.

dean in 2004

I’m going to vote for Dean.

I went to a Dean Meetup last night for the first time. I’ve been leaning towards him for a while now, and it was the final thing to make me decide that he is not only the candidate I will vote for in the Kentucky primaries, but also someone I am willing to volunteer to help. I wrote two letters last night – one to a woman in Iowa and the other to a man in New Mexico urging them to attend their caucuses and vote for Dean if they are so led. It felt good to do something that is grassroots political. I have been a registered Independent for many years (previously a registered Republican), but this past fall, when I moved to a new county, I registered as a Democrat. For the most part, I think the Kentucky Democratic Party and the DNC are out of touch with what Democrats and Democrat-minded folks want and need. I think that Howard Dean is different and can shake things up in a way that they need to be shaken. Also, he dislikes GW as much if not more than I do, which is a big bonus in my book. I promise I won’t turn this blog into a political forum to express my personal views, but I felt like I needed to share this – particularly since I have added a Dean banner.

recognition

E.L. gets a mention in Cites and Insights.

I haven’t had a chance to read the December issue of Cites and Insights, but a friend who has read it let me know that Mr. Crawford quoted me from my December 5th entry entitled bloodsuckers respond. Yay for me! [thanks emily]

Correction: It’s the January issue, not the December issue. I haven’t read either, so I should probably snap to it when I get back from vacation.