ALA Virtual 2011: Currents of Change and Innovation

Moderator: Ann Coder, Library Services Manager, Brookhaven College

Speaker: Linda McCann, Director of Library Services, Bucks County Community College

Probably had something interesting to say, but her phone connection was so awful I tuned it out. Plus, I hate the “let me tell you useless stats about my institution” portion that for some reason people think is important to include in every presentation about something they did at their library.

In summary, they got rid of formats and collections that are no longer needed and converted the space into a popular (and apparently award winning) learning commons.


Speaker: Denise Repman, Dean of Library Services, Delgado Community College

Oy. Sound not much better on this one. Maybe it’s ALA’s connection? In summary: something something something new library buildings.


Speaker:  Theresa C. Stanley, Library Director, Pima Community College

Still crappy sound. In summary: they had to reduce their collection by 30%, so they removed duplicates and content no longer relevant to their current programs. Kept notes in a wiki and used a shared calendar to schedule the project, which is probably a good idea.

gospel of biff

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

What if Jesus had a crass best friend? What if they went to the East and learned kung fu and Zen Buddhism? What happened to Jesus when he was growing up, anyway?

The title of this book caught my eye when I first read it. I wasn’t quite sure if the book was a satire or a religious tract, and it turns out that it’s a little of both. Lamb asks the question, “What if…” and then proceeds to answer it page after page.

The story is told from the perspective of Biff, who was raised from the dead in the present time by an angel (with a directive from God, it seems) to write his gospel. The angel gives him the ability to speak in tongues, so the gospel is written with modern American idioms and informal language. If this book had been written now instead of a few years ago, one might imagine that the author would turn the Gospel of Biff into a blog.

There’s a lot in this book that is sure to rile the righteous. Although Joshua (Jesus) remains chaste throughout the story, Biff makes up for it by sleeping with almost every woman he meets. If the sex isn’t enough to make biblical literalists squirm, I’m sure that Joshua’s insistence than there should be a beatitude for the dumbfucks will do the trick. Clearly Moore had a great deal of irreverent fun filling in the gaps of Jesus’ life left by the other gospels. And, as he notes, if this book is enough to shake your faith, then perhaps you need to do a little more praying.


Satan … er … Fred Phelps is at it again.

Satan … er … Fred Phelps is at it again. This time he wants to put a religious gay-bashing monument in Casper, Wyoming. Casper is the hometown of Matthew Shepard, a gay man who was brutally murdered because he was gay. Phelps and his crew of devils church members crudely protested at Shepard’s funeral, among other vicious and un-Christian acts of hate. [thanks aw]

“Nothing has so occupied and mysteriously seized the imagination of the world media to compare with Matt Shepard,” Phelps said. “It is a phenomenon. It all comes back to Casper, Wyoming. That is his home, that is where he was born, where that church is, where those institutions … conspired in a confluence of evil resulting in a Zeitgeist that is extraordinarily evil.

“He (Shepard) was not a hero,” Phelps added. “This is a great monster sin against God. It is not an innocent alternate lifestyle. And all that has come down in that one little evil town called Casper, Wyoming. And we can’t ignore that.”

God Hates Figs

God Hates Figs! No, that isn’t a typo, but if you wanted to reach the website for Fred Phelps and his hatemongers, you might accidentally run into this if by some chance you typed an “i” instead of an “a” in the URL. Take a gander – it’s much more amusing than the original.

At last, someone has realized the potential for a musical in a library that doesn’t involve a bun-haired librarian! This was too good not to link, even though it’s probably already shown up on every librarian website and listserv by now.

Another creative soul has come up with a nicely done movie poster for Gulf Wars Episode II: Clone of the Attack. I’m not looking forward to that release.