Wading Through Wednesday

Thanks for all inquiries--I did arrive home safely last night.

I had a librarian nightmare last night (not metaphorically; it really was a dream). Patrons were rushing the desk, screaming at each other about who got there first and why everyone else's question was stupid. One patron in particular kept talking about how another patron was weird and didn't I think so too, and wasn't his information need ridiculous, and I had to keep patiently explaining to her that I was here to serve everyone, and that no one's need is weighted any differently than any others'.

I think I had this nightmare because during my service desk shift last night, patrons kept asking for pens. Asking in the way that I intuitively knew meant that these pens would not be coming back.

Completely off-topic from patrons... my task on Denton Reads is nearly done! I've got the Children's Festival photos yet to edit/upload, and probably 20-40 other photos to edit/upload, and I also have to archive the existing website. Then I get to update the website with the "events went successfully!" kind of copy and post/link photos. Then I'll be done.

I think.

Great news: we've got RSS for the UNT Library Digital Collections searches (check out the spiffy orange RSS icon at the right)!!! Now, you can save frequent searches and get updates when new items arrive... much like the RSS feeds now available for wishlists in BookMooch (free online book trading service).

Unrelated Banter


When It Rains.... (You Know the Rest)

aka: "A Sluggish Network Isn't My Biggest Problem..."

(This may be a tad bit of a personal post, but it concerns the library.)

Our library network has been sluggish since Saturday. On Saturday, when I attempted to copy thirty of the Denton Reads photos onto my hard-drive, I was informed that it would take 30 minutes... and then it crashed. On Sunday, I was able to copy two photos at time within 3 minutes. Today, I got all fifty or so transferred in about 15 minutes... until the network slogged again, and now I can barely open a folder. Or a text file.

About half an hour ago, the power went out. It was only 30 seconds, but as I fumbled for the flashlight we keep at the desk, it felt like a lifetime. And indeed, it took about a lifetime to reboot the computer once the power came back on--that only angered the network.

Curious about the weather, a staff member and I went to look out one of the windows on our floor--and were flabbergasted at the sight you see in this post. The sunken fountain area in front of our library, several steps deep, is completely filled with water. It's over people's knees. One of the library stairwells has been closed, because apparently the area behind the library is rapidly filling with water, as well. Oh, and what's one of the rooms on the ground floor that's flooding? The server room.

This will teach me not to laugh at those flash flood warnings!

We've had weather alerts off and on since around noon today--severe thunderstorms, hail, tornados--but by the time we were alerted, it was already too bad for me to drive home. I'm scheduled until 9pm tonight, and at this point it seems like a good thing, because maybe it will have blown over by then.

That is, of course, assuming that the library parking lot isn't already flooded.

What a great day to wear my new leather sneakers.

Update: A staff member who just got home called me to let me know that they are closing down streets all across Denton. Hope I can get home...

Philosophical Question of the Day

So, when you get a phone call from a patron, but answer it via email... do you count that statistically as an email or as a phone reference question?

And, no, that's not a rhetorical question. I'm honestly curious--I frequently have to report these, and everytime, it makes my brain break. Please respond in the comments, if you have a method to this madness.


As Easy as PB & J

Giving a little plug for PBwiki, the online wiki hosting software that I use for my professional/personal wiki. (Check out the PBwiki tour!)

Attention, educators: all educational PBwikis are now free!

(Update: More Denton Reads photos, coming soon...)


Denton Reads Film Festival (photos)

Tickets and Program

Last night, the Denton Reads Film Festival double-feature at the Movie Tavern went beautifully. We've got a whole smattering of photos from the event on the Denton Reads Flickr page; click here to see more like the ones below.

Denton Reads poster at Movie Tavern entrance

Taking Tickets

Sue Parks Speaks to Audience

Film Festival Crew


That's Ms. Councilor-Alternate to You!

Yes, that's right, I was elected TLA GODORT Councilor-Alternate. Hooray!

I've also volunteered for the TLA GODORT Website Committee.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

Things I learned while in Denver:
  • the altitude really does affect you
  • there's a surprising number of documents librarian baseball fans
  • if it's a presentation/discussion about digitization, UNT's name will come up
  • regionals have widely varying opinions on digitization and title 44
  • John Phillips really is that great
As well as, when attending two conferences in the space of a week:
  • stick to bland foods
  • you won't get much sleep
I've started typing up my notes in my wiki (including notes for TLA), but they won't be done for a few days. Keep checking back; I'll get them done. I'll also be posting in the near future some observations / thoughts on the conference proceedings; I think it will take typing all my notes to re-digest that material.

So, the emails are just about caught up (in stark contrast to the laundry), the Albino Squirrel Memorial looks great, and I'm about to go photograph the Denton Reads Film Festival at the Movie Tavern. Now, if I could only find the time to finish that book review and my research paper for Rare Books...

Also, a big thanks to my interim department head for reading my blog post and getting LAN to up my RAM! Woohoo--thanks, Mel!

Update: There's a great story about the Albino Squirrel Memorial at the Denton-Record Chronicle website, that includes some photos!


Docs in Denver

So, here I am at DLC. My brain's a bit confused from having just been in San Antonio--I spent Saturday and Sunday attempting to decompress at home (as well as finishing up calendar pages for the UNT Albino Squirrel Memorial to be unveiled tomorrow at Willis Library's Cyber Cafe). Note to self: if job continues to heavily emphasize graphic design, be sure to somehow procure a faster computer and more network drive space.

At some point, I'll have to get my impressions of TLA down in a post... for now, I'm ready to finish this post and sit down with my highlighter and my book to review. I took a lot of hard-copy notes that I want to get into my wiki as soon as possible... I fear that may be difficult to do, as emails and work have no doubt been piling up while I've been playing the jet-setting traveling librarian. The highlights of TLA in a nutshell, however, were:
  • seeing my new boss's (yes, it's official!) passionate presentation
  • Lesley Williams's incredible session on promoting e-collections
  • hearing UNT's name mentioned in every single session I attended on digital intiatives
  • going to lunch with my mom (former high school librarian, now art league librarian), three UNT colleagues, and my future boss
And I've got to say--Denton Reads is paying off in a huge way not only for the community of Denton, but for the community of Denton librarians. Because of my involvement in Denton Reads, I knew a TWU librarian and a Denton Public librarian at TLA. I think this program has really brought Denton librarians together in a great way, as collaborators, and I'm excited to see what an effect this has on our library community in the future.


TLA/DLC Trump Blogging

...I'll return on April 19th. In the meantime, I've been doing lots of "hard copy" blogging that I hope to transfer to the digital medium.


For Your Holiday Pleasure...

Two fun documents from our GovDoc digital collections...
  • With apologies to the Easter Bunny: Rabbit Recipes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • And I hope you're not disappointing this GI...
(Thanks to Mark for calling my attention to them.)


Let's Review...

I'm about to begin my first professional book review for The Journal of Web Librarianship, and thought I'd share that their review editor, Phillip M. Edwards, has written a great guide to professional reviewing.

I'll be slapping material for the review up on my wiki periodically.

Currently Reading

The Human Side of Reference and Information Services in Academic Libraries: Adding value in the digital world

Edited by Lesley S.J. Farmer

Other highlights today...
  • I was asked to be in an ALA promotional video. Apparently, I'm young and hip-looking. Methinks I should break out my new pack of "The Illustrated Librarian" temporary tattoos.
  • Still trying to get all my materials together for my first annual review. Whew!!
  • I'm working on a large calendar with photographs of UNT's beloved albino squirrel (may he rest in peace) for our CyberCafe on the first floor. We're opening an Albino Squirrel Memorial on the 16th (sadly, I'll be in Denver).


Current Distractions From the Annual Review...

WHOOT! NPR’s CyberCemetery story made the ALA Direct newsletter!

Unrelated Banter


Mark Your Place

This evening on short notice, I was able to design bookmarks for Denton Reads... and that likely signals the end of the Graphic Team's responsibilities on Denton Reads for 2007. This image is the front (you can view the back image on flickr).

Unrelated Banter
An item from one of our GovDocs digital collections (WWII poster: "Use it up, wear it out") will soon be a DttP cover image!