dira: Gwen Cooper, in profile (Gwen - Flyaway)
So [personal profile] riverlight asked me to write about why I chose to go to library school, and I remember that process pretty distinctly, so I'm happy to natter on about it a bit.

I actually decided twice: once in my fresman year of college, and then again during the couple of years I took off between undergrad and actually going to grad school.

The first time... )

And the second time... )

So, short version, I decided to go to library school because it would be easier than getting a PhD in history. Although also because I really like working in libraries and thought I would enjoy being a librarian, which I do.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (LCSH 28th ed. page 5519)
I am having, like, a serious crisis about del.icio.us organization, you guys.

See, it's been working pretty great! I have a del.icio.us account filled with an alarming number of bandom-related fics and picspams and videos and interviews and so on. I just sorted out the thorny problem of different types of AUs by establishing five different AU tags, although I think I might at some point want to institute a sixth. I think I'm also going to be instituting a few timeline-related tags, i.e. earlydays and future and perhaps even summeroflike and so on.

And then along comes this brilliant story, that I have been anticipating for ages, and today I finally read it, and it is long and awesome and hot and one of my favorite guys ever in an unusual pairing and emotional fuckuppedness and awesome grubby post-apoc and...

Guys. It's not bandslash.

It's SGA/SG-1: At the Hour When We Are Trembling, by [livejournal.com profile] frostfire_17, and it's John/Daniel and the Wraith have conquered Earth and, you guys, you guys, I love it.

And I want to tag it. But it is going to totally fuck up my nice neat system of tags. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. This is far from the first librarian-freakout I've had over del.icio.us (Tags = subject access! MY KINGDOM FOR AUTHORITY CONTROL! MY FIRSTBORN FOR THE ABILITY TO NARROW A SEARCH!) and it will probably not be the last, but on some level I'm kind of amused at how sincerely bothered I am by the prospect of mingling real- and fake-people fandoms in my del.icio.us bookmarks.


PS, the Pete/Patrick story I am working on right now is at 15,798 words and it is so close to being done. So. Close.
dira: Billy Tallent's life is so complex. (Billy - Complex by pearl_o)
There is something so viscerally unpleasant--so nearly physically painful--about the title no, don't look under the tag, really ) that I am looking forward to the day when I might quit this job with all-new fervor.


On the other hand, for almost entirely work-related reasons, I now have a photocopy of the cover of the Jan/Feb 1997 Skeptical Inquirer--a photo of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, with insets of the X-Files logo and Chris Carter--on the bulletin board above my desk. So there.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (LCSH 28th ed. page 5519)
So the headline on the front page of Computers in Libraries is "OPACs* Suck" which I guess is true, although I really don't spend much time with them, or have much trouble navigating them when I do. Anyway, catchy headline and I'm bored, so I flip to the article, which sports the headline Making OPACs Blow.

Um.

Despite the irrefutable logic contained under the subheading "From Sucking to Blowing" (Everyone seems to be in general agreement that OPACs suck. Because the opposite of sucking is blowing, we want to make OPACs blow again--for everyone.)...

I really don't think that word means what they think it means.

Although, man, think of the slogans: Our OPAC is unbelievably easy! or Everybody scores with our OPAC! or Our OPAC is here to service you! or For a good time call our OPAC!


* That's Online Public Access Catalog, for those of you who are not the target audience of Computers in Libraries: the website you go to to look up books and other materials in a library. If you still don't know what I'm talking about, just pretend.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (LCSH 28th ed. page 5519)
Horrible, horrible high-velocity pie of death!

THIS IS WHY I WANT TO BE A LIBRARIAN! RIGHT HERE!
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
So, yesterday I noticed a guy watching porn on one of the public computers in my library. He had it open in a small window on one side of the screen, and seemed to be playing something like minesweeper beside it. I probably wouldn't have noticed, but it was a closeup and there was a dramatic skin tone contrast and, y'know. The section of my brain wired for porn is very, very busy.

I was going to just ignore it - who am I to deny somebody their porn? Hadn't I, in my student days, read porn on those very computers? - but there was a girl student sitting at the next station who, I thought, might be uncomfortable, so it was probably my duty as a library employee to tell someone what was going on. I went and told the lady working the reference desk, who thanked me, and then I went back to working in my little cave, well removed from patrons.

When I mentioned it to [livejournal.com profile] fairmer, she remarked that in her library, they weren't allowed to do anything unless someone complained about the porn-viewing, but I figured that since I had complained (well, observed, anyway) maybe it counted.

This morning, the lady who'd been working reference updated me - apparently, everybody's free to watch porn on public computers and, in the case of a complaint, the complainer is to be relocated to somewhere where the porn won't bother them. Viva la intellectual freedom and unfiltered internet access! I think I'm irritated by this mainly because I spent a lot of time feeling vaguely guilty reading NC-17 fic (it wasn't even real porn, let alone video) when I was, apparently, well within my rights. All the same, I gotta think sitting next to some library creep who's watching porn would be a more traumatic Welcome to the Grownup World experience than, say, walking back and forth past the Safe Sex Store on a daily basis. But maybe I am, secretly, a prude.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Bunny Foo Foo by Heuradys)
Patron: I need the Journal of the American Acoustical Society, volume 116, issue 4.
Dira (squinting): Is it yellow?

I could explain myself, but...
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
I've just - quite possibly less than a year after buying it - begun reading Sean McMullen's Souls in the Great Machine. I bought the book mainly because I saw Sean on a panel at Torcon about writing violence which turned into a quick demonstration of how women could beat up big huge guys. Plus, he's Australian.

Anyway. The book seems, so far, to be about an ambitious young librarian preparing to take over the (post-apocalyptic-ice-age) world. She's doing this by reinventing the computer, using humans as calculating components (the eponymous souls in the great machine). The computer is being used, initially, to run Libris, the great library of which she is Highliber.

I just ran across the following passage of Rosencrantz-and-Guildenstern style commentary on the situation, which, sitting in the breakroom of my library, part of a huge library system thrown into moderate disarray by a new computer system, made me say, "Wow. Sean has worked in a library." Only not out loud, because I haven't been working in libraries quite that long. Yet.

A peek into the Cataloguing Department. )

*headdesk*

Aug. 11th, 2004 10:55 am
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Headache by Shade)
I completely missed a meeting this morning - an important meeting, a meeting that, had I remembered its existence, I would have wanted to go to.

My coworker, who works at a desk about eight feet from mine with no intervening walls, went to the meeting. She didn't say anything until she came back from the meeting, at which point she dropped her binder o' notes on top of one of the stacks of stuff surrounding me at my desk, and said, "Hey, you missed the meeting."

Gee, thanks.

It's a good thing I'm getting the hell out of here tomorrow, or I think Aleph might just have me in tears by now--predictive patterns have reached dizzying new heights of OMGWTFBBQ? Six more hours. Six more hours, and then I get five days away from this.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Headache by Shade)
Cut for Gibbering )

...and that's why I haven't had much to say, lately. It all sounds like that.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
Last night, I drove up to MediaWest (only an hour on the freeway, if you drive really fast!) and met [livejournal.com profile] sithdragn and [livejournal.com profile] keelywolfe and [livejournal.com profile] crimsonquills and [livejournal.com profile] irene_heron and someone whose LJ name I did not catch, for dinner and hanging out and generally UNCLE-y fannishness. It was - I hate to sound unenthusiastic, but I'm really tired, and I think you all know what I mean when I summarize it this way - it was that total con experience, and wonderful. Even (especially) the moments with Sith and with [livejournal.com profile] crimsonquills when, having discovered another DS fan, there was a moment of hesistant - and almost actually tense - negotiation over which Ray, but it worked out all right.

Except, you know, the part at eleven o'clock when I said, "So, I'd better walk back to my car and go home, because I have to work tomorrow." Sith looked horrified - Oh, god, tomorrow's Friday? I thought it was Saturday! - and she and Keely and Nix walked me out to my car and gave me hugs and sent me home, where I managed, counting snoozes, to get very nearly six hours of sleep before I had to get up and get ready for work. I have to say that it's actually vaguely puzzling to me that I'm exhausted as I am - six hours of sleep is sort of normal these days. Although maybe it should be more of a surprise that I'm not just this tired all the time

Exhausted and Semicoherent Rambling )

And now, I should probably finish processing the new monographs. Yes.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
It's like I've suddenly realized I work in a library.

Yesterday I took home the collected poems of James Dickey and Alan M. Beck's The Ecology of Stray Dogs: A Study of Free-Ranging Urban Animals, which I picked up from the sorting room, because, honestly, who could resist a title like that?

Today I got my ILL copy of a Mary Renault book, Purposes of Love, which I immediately requested after someone in some comments thread somewhere indicated that it was an interesting take on gender/power dynamics in relationships set in England c.1938. Or something like that. Anyway, I've never read any Mary Renault, and I don't want to be the last on my friends list to do so...

I also, a half hour ago, just looked up and then went and snagged a copy of Robert Vaughn's (yeah, that Robert Vaughn!) doctoral thesis, Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting. Just holding it in my hands is making me feel all squee-y, because, dude, Robert Vaughn wrote a doctoral thesis! He's gorgeous and smart! It's like when somebody figured out that the sexiest thing Lance or Justin could do in a story was math.

Unfortunately, holding Robert Vaughn's thesis in my hands is also causing me to think weird thoughts like, I want to write a thesis. I want to write a thesis on twentieth century American social history.

So I think I'll set it down now and go commune with the thoroughly non-enticing current science journals.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
Iulia and I were walking down the street after lunch, and she was listening to me rabbit on about something that I am, for the record, definitely not writing. We talked terminology, I described what would probably be the concluding major plot moment, and she said, "Wow. He's going to be really fucked up."

And I said (um, loudly, the way I do, and definitely audible to the guy and girl walking in front of us unless by some chance they were both deaf), "He was grown in a vat by the KGB. I think 'fucked up' is pretty much built in."

So, yeah.

In the elevator on the way back up to work, I was riding along with a girl I'm slightly acquainted with from my last library job, and a friend of hers. I stood in one corner of the very tiny elevator and stared at the folded beer cap I'd been playing with since fishing it out of my pocket, and she, obviously resuming a conversation, said, "And then right below that were K through Z! And. No!"

And I just had to smile, because. Yes.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
Have now officially carried on the proud library tradition of the thirty-second non-interview for student jobs. Partly because, dude, I'm pretty sure I had classes with this kid last year, partly because, well...

Me (reading application, trying to remember whether we had the same semantics class): you're a senior, so you've used the library before.

Him: Yeah.

Me: And you're okay with computers?

Him: Well, I can do, y'know. Internet stuff--

Me (aha! you're a geek! welcome.)

--Word processing, um...

Me: Yeah, don't worry, I'll teach you Mirlyn, it's no big deal. So you want to work on Thursdays?

But, dude, he's a senior. I graduated in April. And I'm almost certain we had classes together. I have this feeling that my 'supervisory experience' is just going to remain a figment of my resume forever.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Headache by Shade)
Today at my job we had the first meeting I've ever sat in on. I've been here over three months now, and in that time, we've never needed to have a meeting until today. What with the budget uncertainties, and a new library director starting on Monday, to say nothing of the thousands of volumes being sent from out library to a storage facility and the mass cancellations of serials, it seems like the time when something momentous would come up and we'd need to have a meeting, right? Yeah. We had a meeting today.

About book carts.

Gory details of the stupidest meeting ever. )

ETA: I've officially been working in libraries too long (or just long enough, whichever) - we just got in four back issues of the Hydrobiological Journal, which we've had sitting incomplete in current journals since I got hired, and since my coworker got hired, and I flipped out and jumped up and dashed out into the journals room to pull the volumes. But it's so great! The backordered issues of Hydrobiological Journal came in! My faith in humanity is restored!
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Bunny Foo Foo by Heuradys)
We've had a subscription to the Annals of Improbable Research (ISSN 1079-5146) since the first issue in 1995. Back issues have been bound and are available in the stacks under Library of Congress call number Q 167 .A56.

That's a world-class university research library for you.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Dief by Heuradys)
Craving Mountain Dew. Drinking fountain water, no matter how cold, just isn't cutting it. Where is my vaguely citrus violently green extremely cold fizzy drink with its bitter caffeine afterkick? Wheeeeeeeere?

Well. At home in the fridge because I forgot to bring one to drink in the afternoon, that's where. I've been wanting it all day, and it's driving me slowly crazy.


Also: it turns out I have magical powers of persuasion over the Distribution guys. I went down to the hallway outside their office, looking for the paper I embarrassed myself over earlier in the day (still haven't managed to get the right kind) and the smilingest of them popped out the door and asked whether I wanted him to have some delivered to my library.

"Sure," I said, eyeing the cases, and thinking, I really just need a ream or two.

"How many?" he says. "Four? Will that work?"

"Um," I am now blushing like a maniac, because, well, getting paper should really be a fairly simple operation, and I am in the middle of completely fucking it up. "Sure."

By the time I retrieved the photocopies I'd been groveling for from down the hall and dropped off a book at the Interlibrary Loan office and got back to my library, there were not four but six cases of paper (not, did I mention, the kind I actually needed) waiting for me. My coworker guy who usually handles paper was sort of outraged - it generally takes him about a week to get them to bring any, and they tend to short him on quantity. I think I have now been appointed Emissary to the Distribution Guys.


Also also: I'm going over these review thingies for one of the librarians, checking whether we already have the stuff they're pimping. Under the FUNCTION heading, every single item is described as "An indispensable tool for scholars and research workers in mathematics and the mathematical sciences." Every single one. I'm boggled.

I mean, what are the odds?
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
halfway through my Friday, I have already:

Embarassed myself in front of the Distribution & Supply guys by a) asking for paper that I'm supposed to just go pick up off the giant pallet in the hallway and b) walking into the door when departing their office.

Succeeded in de-staple-binding about a dozen journals which Bindery Prep refused to hand the de-staple-binding of. This was in fact a mighty feat, involving:
1) Asking everyone in the library whether they had a screwdriver, and discovering that there once was a screwdriver, but it has vanished, to the universal dismay of library staffers in need of screwdrivers, i.e. me and one other person.
2) Improvising with a staple remover and the metal thingie at the top of my box cutter (not the blade, the metal part the blade is framed by when extended).
3) Asking my officemate how the hell she did this, receiving the answer that a) she never did that and b) she has this old screwdriver in her drawer, do I want it?
4) Saying 'this is a nice screwdriver' (it's old, very old, so old it has a worn-smooth wooden handle and the metal part is warped subtly to one side) and then stabbing myself in the thumb with it five minutes later (shallowly, and my last tetanus booster was 31 months ago, and I swabbed thoroughly with 70% isopropyl alcohol before slathering it in the first aid kit's 'burn ointment'.)
5) Learning a very important lesson about keeping my fingers behind the leading edge of the screwdriver, which served me well through the rest of the task.

Probably freaked out the student employee by staring vaguely into space in her direction while holding a screwdriver.

Discovered to my intense dismay that, while I got A's in a series of human-body-related sciences in high school and now work in a Science Library, I can't remember exactly what DNA stands for. I've got di-something-nucleic acid, [livejournal.com profile] helaaspindakaas, so don't go getting completely incensed on me. But I can't remember if the something is -oxyribo- or if there's another bit in there or what.
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Bunny Foo Foo by Heuradys)
I've been sitting at my desk lip-synching to Cry, Cry, Cry all day. I usually do it a little bit anyway, but today's particularly bad because I finished watching the run of Firefly last night with [livejournal.com profile] iuliamentis and [livejournal.com profile] helaaspindakaas and now I can't help thinking what great vids these songs would make. To say nothing of the plot bunnies.

Really, better to say nothing of the plot bunnies...

Also, I have this feeling that sitting at my desk lip-synching with my headphones makes me look at least mildly deranged, and it's high time I developed a library-appropriate visible eccentricity. Better that than an Odd Smell, anyway.

And tonight, through the great goodness of [livejournal.com profile] splash_the_cat: Season one of Stargate! Wheeeeeee!

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