Monday, October 30, 2006

Can I But Not Really?

Student: Hi, I have a request. My psychology professor said it would be okay as long as I have the library's permission.

With that much set-up, I already know the answer will be no.

Vampire Librarian: Okay, what's the request?

Student: Can I drink in the library?

See, I knew it.

VL: No.

Student: But it wouldn't be real alcohol. I need to do a study of people reacting to things in odd places.

(Similar experiments have been attempted before, the psych kids just don't get how common odd things are in Library X.)

VL: I don't care if it's apple juice in your beer bottle. We can't allow it.

Student: Why not?

VL: Well, other than it's against the law to drink in public, we have problems with students really doing this. If we let you, and other students picked up on it, they'll think it's allowed. If we say it's okay for you because it's not really beer in your bottle, that'll be everyone's excuse when we confront them.

Student: Are you sure that would really happen?

VL: Yes, and like I said, it's against the law.

Student: Okay, well, I guess I'll have to come up with something different.

VL: You do that.

I just hope he doesn't come back to ask if it'd be okay to smoke crack in the library, but you know it wouldn't really be crack; have sex in the stacks, but you know it wouldn't really be sex; or conduct open heart surgery in a a study room, but it wouldn't really be open heart surgery. Well, we might actually allow the last one, as long as he put down a tarp.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Vampires and Math

A co-worker sent me a link to this article. It seems I cannot exist due to mathematics. I cannot refute this article because 2+2=5, but that's not gonna stop me from trying. Supposedly, vampires would've taken over the world long ago if we existed. The theory is every person bitten by a vampire would become a vampire, and it would just progress endlessly on till everyone is a vampire. Okay-dokey, I can follow that, but that's assuming the vampire allowed the new vampire to survive.

See here's the thing, vampires HATE each other. We can't stand one another. In all the legends, have you ever heard of vampires living in nice little communities, having blood and cheese parties? No. We kill each other whenever we cross paths. Oh sure, Dracula had his little harem, but Dracula was also an idiot. Instead of staking them properly, he kept them locked away and starved them. The fat lazy bastard.

You might be asking, how do any vampires exist if we hate each other so much? Simple, we get sloppy, interrupted by torch toting mobs, or really delusional and think that this time we'll like this vampire. It's a sad state of affairs I know, but vampires do like humans. Sure, you're all food to us, but you're entertaining food. I mean, who else would come up with an idea like democracy and totally subvert it the way you all do? High entertainment there. So that's why the world isn't overrun by vampires. We hate our own kind and like humans too much to destroy you all. No math required.

And with that cheery thought, I bid you good night. Sleep well, don't let the vampire bite.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Question for Other Academic Librarians

For those of you who work in an academic library:

Do you allow student employees to use their personal laptops at service points such as at circulation or reference desks?

We have an increasing number of student employees using their laptops at our circulation desk, and it's beginning to bother me. The laptops take up valuable work space, and I think they make the student employees appear unavailable to patrons.

But I don't know if I'm being a stick in the mud or if my issues are valid. No one else on staff has suggested banning personal laptops from the circ desk.

We do allow student workers to do school work when not busy with patrons, but I've had to tell a few of them to put some of their stuff away because they'd spread out too much across the desk, but I don't mind if they read a handout or work from a text book. I feel differently about laptops. Maybe it's because I can easily move a handout or book if it's in my way, but I have to be careful with a laptop especially since they're usually plugged in, tethered to a spot. Also I don't understand why the students can't use the computers at the desk. Our circ computers have all the major programs and high speed internet access. Having a laptop at the desk seems redundant.

Anyone have an opinion or policy they can share?



I feel bad for not telling y'all that circ computers have no restrictions on them. Student workers can surf the net, download stuff, install programs, and IM. That bit of info is kind of useful isn't it? Sorry again.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Trivial Pursuit Totally 80's

It's like someone heard my wail, and WHAM! a board game to soothe all my woes.

This so totally kicks ass.

When I saw the commercial, I about fell out of my chair.
It has Lou Ferrigno, Cyndi Lauper, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, CHARLOTTE RAE, Tiffany, Corey Feldman and lots more. It is awesome and made my day.

Go, have a look.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Flashing vs. Streaking

Which is more disturbing or are they equally disturbing?

I've had a report that a circ student was flashed over the weekend. I haven't confirmed it yet, but I've already decided that if it is the full-blown trench coat variety that I'm going to report it to the police.

But I wouldn't bother reporting streakers to the police.

Is that hypocritical?

I've tried to figure out if I'm being lenient on streakers because it is such a classic college prank or if it's something else. Should intent play into this? And tell me if you don't agree, but streaking is done for fun. Laughter or surprise are commonly invoked. Flashing is going for shock. Flashing seems like a nefarious activity and streaking is just a naughty prank.

Also the audiences of the activities are different. Streakers put themselves before a faceless multitude, while flashers choose their victims. VICTIMS. I guess that's the crux of the issue for me. Streaking seems like a victimless crime. Streakers just want to be outside and naked on the move. They don't care who sees them. Flashers, on the other hand, choose specifically who they will expose themselves to.

Here are some definitions I found interesting:


1. to run naked through a public place in order to attract attention or to express strong disapproval of something. From Cambridge Dictionaries

2. is the non-sexual act of taking off one's clothes and running naked through a public place. From Wikipedia

3. to run quickly through a public place with no clothes on, usually as a joke or publicity stunt. From Encarta


1. Someone who shows their sexual organs in public. From Cambridge

2. Wikipedia doesn't have an entry specifically for flashing. It lumps it in with exhibitionism, which also counts streaking under its banner, though they direct readers to indecent exposure for acts spurred by aggression or criminal intent.

3. a person, especially a man, who gains pleasure from publicly exposing the genitals. From Encarta

I think I'm being lenient on college streaking. I can see how streaking could be as bad as flashing, such as at an event where children are present. And there are types of flashing that don't bother me much, such as boob flashing for beads or mooning.

It's the classic trench coat, dark glasses, weirdo guy who makes me mad and want to prosecute. The sick glee in the face of the victim's shock really bothers me.

I know I'm rather blase about streaking because it is so prevalent at my institution. Others could be as shocked by a streaker as a flasher. If you're one of these types, I'd be very interested in your opinion. I think I was once one of these types before coming to Library X. Then I saw some streakers in the "flesh" (heh), and my opinion changed, but I'd never considered the question: Is streaking as bad as flashing?

Is it all a matter of intent? If the flasher or streaker merely does the act to amuse, is it then all right? If the streaker or flasher does it for sexual gratification, does that make it wrong? If either does it to gain a particular reaction from the viewer is it wrong? What if the viewer of the streak is horrified, though the streaker was aiming for mirth? Does that make the streak criminal, no matter intent?

Should the reaction of the viewer be considered?

I think I've asked too many questions.

But here's one more: What do you guys think?


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I Worry About These Kids

So today, my student assistants were discussing where on campus would be the best place to commit suicide. I was kinda alarmed. One guy’s reasoning was the student paper had been so boring lately; it needed something to spice it up. He was willing to make the sacrifice.

I know they were joking but talk about morbid, and I’m a vampire.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


What are they teaching young people these days?

The other night, a book was brought back that caught my eye. It was Jenny Saville edited by Danilo Eccher. I flipped through it and was amazed by Saville's artwork. I showed it to the student assistant working with me, and she was impressed too. Saville has a series of photographs of bodies pressed against Plexiglas. It's such a simple idea but done amazingly well, especially since in the gallery, the photos are mounted with several centimeters of Plexiglas in front of them. (Do a Google image search for Jenny Saville to get a sampling of her work, though be warned, the nudes are very provocative.)

I made the throwaway comment that the photos reminded me of the scene from Sixteen Candles where Farmer Ted is trapped underneath a glass table. The student looked at me blankly. She'd never seen Sixteen Candles. She hadn't even heard of it.

"It starred Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall," I told her thinking she'd just forgotten the movie.

She shrugged her shoulders. "Sorry, don't know who those people are either."

Maybe it was just a bad night for her. Maybe she had a lot of school work on her brain. I rattled off other Hughes films, "Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink?"

She shrugged again. "I've seen Breakfast at Tiffany's," she offered sheepishly.

"That's good, but no cigar. Surely, you've heard of the Brat Pack?" I asked.

She shook her head.

I rattled off the names. She knew none of them, not even EMILIO ESTEVEZ.

"He's Charlie Sheen's brother."

"Who's that?"

"Martin Sheen's son."

"Who's that?"

"He plays the president on The West Wing."

"Oh, right."

I just stand there perplexed for a moment. Was she raised in a bubble? How does she not know the Brat Pack? Then I realized something. These movies were made BEFORE SHE WAS BORN. I'm old, ancient, get me a walker. I must begin hobbling now.

Finally she asked, "Why were they called the Brat Pack?"

"Well, it's a play on the Rat Pack."

"What's the Rat Pack?"

Dear Lord. I spew out, "Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr.?"

"I've heard of the first guy."

I can't take it. "I'm assigning you homework. You have to watch the Breakfast Club before your next shift. It's required. I am not ancient."

She laughed, but I was serious. I'm creating a syllabus of 80's pop culture movies for her to watch because when I refer to something from my childhood, I do not want to be met with a blank stare. All of the circ students will have to watch them. I'm thinking about making it a requirement for hire. It'll be a quiz they'll have to pass.

Library X Employment Quiz

List three Brat Pack movies:

In what boy band were Jonathan Knight, Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood in together?

What's a Glo Worm?

Name a song from the Immaculate Collection:

Who are the A-Team? List either actor names or character names.

Which is better hypercolor or neon and why?

How do you care for a Chia Pet?

A score of ninety percent will be required for hire* because I'm not old. These kids just aren't educated.

As a fictional military organization once said, "And knowing is half the battle."

*Special consideration will be given to international students. They'll have to bring documentation of foreign citizenry when applying. International students will only need to correctly answer four of the questions.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


It's midterm time.

Things are kinda hectic.

With the added traffic, we have added problems. The students don't create all of them; sometimes it's just Murphy's law. Like last night, the printing system went down--all over campus. Fun, fun, fun.

I'm being run a bit ragged.

It sucks being the only staff person for my shift. I have student assts, but another staff person to help cope with this madhouse would be awesome.

At least I got a new student to help on the desk, but I had to train him...tonight among the insanity. I hope he doesn't quit.

Since I don't have time to post something substantial or the brainpower for pithy, I present some search terms that brought people to my site with my silly commentary:

bitchy librarian is causing problems (I don't feel complete unless somebody's mad.)

licking your own armpits (this one pops up at least once a month)

"doing the pee dance" (hee)

bored librarians (hangs head in shame.)

cool vampire steaks (Should I be worried about being sold on the meat aisle?)

danger library workers (Ya got that right.)

box of boogers (This search term was used 4 times last month. I hope they were interested in Goobers. I'm also the first result in Google. Should I be worried?)

kiddy porn (Twice!)

psychology students are perverted (Really now?)

belly button golf (I'm gonna google this one when I have time)

what people look like with caffeine addictions (hangs head in shame)

librarian from hell (Yeah, Satan and I are like THAT.)

librarians that suck (You wish.)

thing "I don't like" about death "are the hours" (Tell me about it.)


Sunday, October 01, 2006

I Made a New Sign #2



(It was either put up a sign and point at it, or do a study on how much blunt force trauma cell phones can inflict.)