battle decks

my #erl15 Battle Decks topic
my #erl15 Battle Decks topic

I participated in my first Battle Decks competition at ER&L this year. I almost did last year, and a friend encouraged me to put my name in the hat this year, so I did.

I was somewhat surprisingly not nervous as I waited for my name to be chosen to present next (the order was random — names drawn from a bag). Rather, I was anxiously waiting for my turn, because I knew I could pull it off, and well.

This confidence is not some arrogance I carry with me all the time. I’ve got spades of impostor syndrome when it comes to conference presentations and the like. Battle Decks, however, is not a presentation on a topic I’m supposed to know more about but secretly suspect I know less about than the audience. They are more in the dark than I am, and my job isn’t to inform so much as to entertain.

Improv — I can do that. I spent a few seasons with the improv troupe in college, and while I was certainly not remarkable or talented, I did learn a lot about “yes, and”. My “yes, and” with the Battle Decks was the slides — no matter what came up, I took it and connected it back to the topic and vice-versa.

There was one slide that came up that was dense with text or imagery or something that just couldn’t register in the split second I looked at it. I turned back to the audience and found I had nothing to say, so I looked at it again, and then made an apology, stating that my assistant had put together the slide deck and I wasn’t sure what this one was supposed to be about. It brought the laughs and on I went.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jesse Koennecke for organizing the event, as well as Bonnie Tijerina, Elizabeth Winters, and Carmen Mitchell for judging the event. And, of course, thanks also to April Hathcock for sharing the win with me.

#erl15 Battledecks Monday
photo by Sandy Tijerina

friggatriskaidekaphobiarelatusphobia

n. a strong aversion to endless news reporting about friggatriskaidekaphobia on Friday the 13th.

First, some definitions:

triskaidekaphobia n. fear or a phobia concerning the number 13. [source]

friggatriskaidekaphobia n. morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th. [source]

friggatriskaidekaphobiarelatusphobia n. a strong aversion to endless news reporting about friggatriskaidekaphobia on Friday the 13th. [source]

Yes, I made up that one.

From CBS to the Huffington Post to National Geographic, it seems that everyone in the news reporting world must drag out the same old tired stories about people that have an irrational fear of the number 13 and how Friday the 13th is an even more fearful day than Friday the 7th or Tuesday the 13th. Personally, I wish they’d just shut up about it already.

Friday the 13th is going to occur anywhere from once to three times a year. It’s frequent enough that it’s no longer news, so stop pretending that it is. Tell me something important that’s happening in the world today, rather than wasting my time and yours.

Article first published as Friggatriskaidekaphobiarelatusphobia, Or “Not Another Friday the 13th Story!” on Blogcritics.

ERMS implementation woes

Ever since vendors started selling electronic resource management systems (ERMS), there has been a session or a round table at NASIG that discussed various libraries’ implementations of their ERMS. A few more hands were raised this year when the room was asked to indicate if they feel like they’ve finished implementing their ERMS, but it’s still a very small minority of librarians. When I did my conference report for NASIG 2009 yesterday (we have a bit of a backlog on monthly conference report meetings since there are so many conferences held in the spring and early summer), I created this using ProjectCartoon to illustrate some of the reasons why ERMS have been so difficult and time-consuming to implement:

ERMS woes

i like it!

Earlier today, my friend Kaia posted a comment on FriendFeed about wanting to “like” an email she’d received, and it got me thinking.

Due to regular use of FriendFeed, Facebook, and Twitter, I’m getting used to using the “like” or “favorite” options to give my friends a pat on the back without having to say anything witty. There are many instances now when I find myself wishing I could “like” something that doesn’t have the option to do so, particularly when it’s a physical object or person and not some thing on a social-aware site.

So, I set up my first CafePress store, created a design, and now I have “like” buttons and stickers at my disposal, ready to be used whenever they are needed. As I told some friends, I’m thinking of ordering a bunch to hand out at conferences and such. Feel free to do the same.

webcomics I think you should be reading

Earlier this week I shared with you recommendations of webcomics that the panel at RavenCon recommended, which were, for the most part, new to me. Here is my current list of must-reads:

  • Alien Loves Predator – using action figures from the Alien and Predator movies, this comic tells the story of two guys who are friends and roommates in modern-day NYC
  • DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary – autobiographical, irreverant, and geeky
  • The Devil’s Panties – autobiographical, irreverant, and geeky — and frequently located at science fiction & fantasy conventions
  • Girls With Slingshots – “two girls, a bar, and a talking cactus”
  • My Life In A Cube – office humor, often drawn on used office materials or other found objects
  • Questionable Content – indie rock, coffee, hipsters, and complicated relationships — also, wicked funny
  • Sheldon – about a young, geeky genious living with his grandfather, a talking duck with an adopted lizard, and a pug — I don’t know what it is about the writing, but it cracks me up every time
  • Shelf Check – social commentary and public library worklife
  • Unshelved – written by a librarian, drawn by a cartoonist
  • User Friendly – poorly drawn, but often rather amusing glimpses of the trials and tribulations of working at a small ISP
  • Wondermark – historical line drawings remixed with a healthy dose of humor and pacing
  • xkcd – “a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language”