folk is lesbian music of choice, over-paid librarians, and other modern myths

My friend Anna sent me a link yesterday to an article about folk music having become the sound of lesbian culture. I have noticed this phenomenon, but I had never really thought about it specifically. You can read the full article yourself, but it will require a free registration with the New York Times.

“We’re seeing the coming together of a way of life and a form of expression that’s kind of primary,” says Lisa Merrill, a professor of performance history at Hofstra University. “This doesn’t happen often.”

A county in Washington State wants to dissolve the entire county library system, according to this New York Times article. So far, petitioners have managed to collect enough signatures that it might actually make it onto the ballot. Aparently some folks are upset that they pay an average of $38 per year in property taxes to keep the rural libraries up and running. <sarcasm>Gee, that sure is a big chunk to be taking out of some family’s budget.</sarcasm> Seriously, folks, don’t you think that is a small price to pay to have access to free books and computers?

“I home-school my kids, and our four library cards are maxed out at 40 books at all times,” said Linda Arrell, who lives off the electric power grid with her family north of here. “They say everybody is on the Internet, so we don’t need a library. Well, some of us don’t have credit cards, and some of us don’t have power.”

Oh, and that bit about the head librarian’s salary being too high? Let’s put this in perspective here, folks. Ms. Robinson is responsible for nine library branches, which includes all of the staff and budget issues that any large organization spanning a geographic area that size would have. If she were in the corporate world, she would be making three times as much.

musicians & librarians

It’s been a while since I wrote here, I know. I’ve been off traveling the country, and I’ve barely had time to breathe, much less write something here. Nevertheless, I shall try to summarize.

A few weekends ago, I attended the National Women’s Music Festival for the first time. It was amazing! The music was top notch, and very intimate, since this festival is not as highly attended at some others. I was able to see some performers that I already knew and loved (Wishing Chair, Jamie Anderson, Ember Swift, etc.), as well as others that I came to love after seeing them perform at the festival (Kim Archer, CommonbonD, Jennie DeVoe, etc.). Not only was the music a wonderful collection of soul food, but the festigoers were a diverse group of women who somehow managed to blend together well. It was difficult for me to transition back into the “real world” after those few days of being surrounded by the energy of women together.

I had four days of relative normalcy, and then the conference marathon began. First, I drove down to Atlanta with several of my colleagues to attend the ALA 2002 Annual Conference. This was my first ALA meeting, and I was excited to be able to go. The high light of the conference, for me, was when the Indigo Girls performed at a fundraiser for the ALA Scholarships, and I was in the second row! When I finish the roll of film in my camera & get it developed, I might have some pictures to share. It was kind of bizarre to be in a place with more than 10,000 librarians, but I got used to it. The conference itself was disappointing, since there wasn’t much about serials or cataloging (my job in real life).

The next conference occurred right after ALA, with only a day between for me to travel. Unlike ALA, this one was directly relevant to my job. The North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) 17th Annual Conference agenda included numerous items related to serials cataloging, as well as other serials issues, and it was also great fun! If you are ever in Williamsburg (VA), I recommend a visit to the Green Leafe Cafe. Although I may have had more beer while I was in Williamsburg for the conference than I had at any one time in my entire life, I did learn a good bit about serials cataloging issues. I also realized how little I know about serials cataloging, despite having been on the job for nearly eight months! Well, it certainly has given me quite a few goals to reach.