Steffers's blog

Friday funnies

We're having network problems here (ie: they're moving our servers but things aren't going smoothly). Well, someone upstairs made signs up to be posted on all our public pcs so the users would know that we weren't just being mean. The signs said "Pubic computers are down." and then mentioned something about a computer outrage. This was just the sort of funny I needed after they lost all my files in the ether.... Oh, btw, we have reports that all the signs have been confiscated and destroyed so I don't have the real sign, unfortunately.

Harry's in the house!

We just got our first shipment of Harry Potter. It's huge, but not as big as the last one methinks. Anyone want me to ruin the ending for them? ;-)

The Pre Face to the After Word

Where, O, where have my editors gone?
O, where, o, where can they be?

Clearly they were on lunch when this book "Practicing Primitive" by Steven M. Watts came through the office. On a quick scan past the t.o.c, I saw the phrase Pre Face. I thought "No, this can't be right...", so I found it and sure enough at the head of the page in large, bold letters is 'Pre Face'. When you look in the back of the book you see that there is an 'After Word'. LOL... Thank God it's Friday, I don't think I could take too much more of this.

bomb threats @ your library

Apparently, over the weekend a letter was found with a suspicious substance at my library. The letter also contained bomb threats (I don't know if the library was threatened this time). The library opened late and the letter has been sent off for testing. This the latest incident in a string of such threats throughout Nashville. This is also the second bomb threat letter found in this building in 3 weeks. What concerns me is the silence from the admin/security people towards the staff. I had to find out about this through the newspaper.

Anyone out there really familiar with CybraryN?

One of our branch librarians has complained that some of her high school students have figured out a way to hack CybraryN so that they have unlimited 'net time. When she told our software people about it, they said it was impossible. Knowing how supremely hackable Windows is in general and the fact that the branch lib. is watching them do this, I don't believe our software guru. Anyone out there know how to hack CybraryN into giving you unlimited time? Basically, what the kids are doing is logging CybraryN off... which is impressive since not even the branch staff know the password.

Can you really call it a class if no one learns anything?

Okay, so this morning I got tapped to go to a training class on an updated version of our ILS software. We were told that they were going to do the acquisition and cataloging modules in the morning. Well, after sitting in the acquisitions module looking at (seriously) every entry under the menu bar for over an hour, I knew it was going to be a long morning. We spent 2+ hours in the acquisitions module doing stuff that only 2 people in the room will be authorized to do. The freaking headings of some of the sections were 'Managerial authorized blah-blah".

An early Thanksgiving Funny


A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad
attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth
was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to
change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words,
playing soft music and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

a pie in the face?

This week I got to indulge in one of the best fantasies we peons can have. I got to throw a pie in the face of one of our administrators. :-) It was part of a fundraising event for the staff, we could put 2 bucks for a ticket to hit our Administrative Services Admin in the face with a pie. Man, was it fun. Worth every penny I spent on the ticket. Hopefully, I'll be able to track down pictures because there are some funny ones.

cute kids book

Just got to catalog "The truth about poop" by Susan E. Goodman (0670036749). Man, it's cute, funny, and informative. Did you know that during WW2 the Germans thought it was good luck to run over camel dung with tanks? So those crafty Brits made mines that looked like a pile o'poo. Neat-o! Plus, the artwork is really fun. This is definitely a good book to catalog on a Friday afternoon.
Have a good weekend everybody!!

it's a good day already...

Not only has my Star Wars dvds been shipped, in fact they might be here today, but last night I was invited... nay, encouraged to join the Academy of Recording Art and Sciences. Whee!! I'll get to vote on the Grammys!! And if you're out there wondering how a quiet, staid young cataloger like myself gets to be eligible for membership... it's because I worked my ass off to sing in an up and coming symphony chorus. :-) I sing with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and the chorus and the Nashville Symphony released a cd in March of this year to surprisingly good reviews.

2 really cool things!

Hi guys! Just wanted to pass this internship along to those of you who are students out there:

Subject: Internship, Cooperstown, New York

Technical Services Internship Opportunity

Friday morning gross out...

Okay, here's fair warning for the more skiddish LISnewerz out there who are afraid of bugs.

Questionable logic

It's a few weeks before the end of the fiscal year here and at the beginning of last week we had 3 (count 'em 3) temps show up in our department. Neither manager had a clue they were coming. Yay. They are supposed to be helping with the receiving and barcoding of new materials, which would require them to have pcs. Well, our IT department is so over loaded that they have yet to set-up their pcs fully. What bothers me is that these 3 people are here for only 1 month... so by the time they get the job down pat it is time for them to be sent to another locale.

Dancing Administrators

Have had a wonderful Friday so far...

Mentoring advice please!

Hi All. I have just started mentoring a lady who is working in cataloging at a nearby PL. She is not a professional and has only minimal (like 1 conference) training under her belt. She's at a severe disadvantage because no one in her department is a professional at all. The only training they have received has been learned by doing (which is great but some of the things she's been asking are stuff that she should have been taught). Her library's focus is not on having a professional, degreed staff... which means that the catalog is a mess. She is working with a Sirsi system, which I have never used so I am zero help on that, and there seems to be no one at her library who knows the system at all. It seems like an impossible situation...

However, she is really bright and willing to learn. I just don't know where to start. She came and shadowed me for 2 days this week but I don't know how much she got out of it. She asked tons of questions, some of which I couldn't answer because I am not familiar with her system. Others I couldn't answer because they were local practice questions, and never having worked for her library I don't know the reasons why the policies exist. It's hard for me to be the leader here because I don't know where to begin or even what she wants to get out of this arrangement. I am debating just handing her a copy of Dr. Chan's Cataloging and Classification textbook. I'd hate to give up my copy but it's a worthy cause and I think it would help answer some philosophical questions. Anyone else have any ideas on what i can give her or where I can point for help? I can do basic cataloging with her, which is what she needs, but I don't really know what she wants.

Another problem that I have is that she's telling me about local practices that are totally incorrect. Like not following AACR2 incorrect... basic, basic rules that are being blown to the wind. My jaw nearly hit the floor when she told me that all reading list titles end up on 1 record per title, it doesn't matter about editions/abridgements/new introductions/etc... they are all living together. She told me it was for the ease of circulation, so that the patron can be assured of getting next copy returned. It's wacky.. oh, what stand-alone libraries can do inside their walls... wish we could get away with some of it here. Anyways, I guess I really need guidance on guiding this woman in the right direction. Anyone out there been a mentor before (not necessarily cataloging or library related) and will be willing to help me? TIA

Forgot to mention this...

This past weekend I wore my new "Beware of Rowdy Librarian" tee from
It got me lots of attention and respect... oh yeah, and free drinks! It's a great conversation starter. I got "Are you really a librarian?" more than once! I keep forgetting that librarians are very high on the fantasy lists. BTW, If Rowdy Librarian isn't to your tastes you can always try the "I'm a librarian, b!tch!" from the Lipstick Librarian.

Clap on! Clap off!

Oh my, today was a craptastic day. I work in cataloging and we get to work at 7am. When my boss got to work this morning the maintenance staff was standing outside (not a good sign). When I got there the emergency lights were on (an even worse sign). Then we have no internet, and are told that we're running on 1 box of emergency power and it could go at any time. YAY! The power goes totally out (not even the exit signs were lit) 3 times, the last time the power was out for nearly 3 hours. The whole time, we're closed to the public but we have full staff wandering the halls.

not-so creepy puppets..

There seems to be a rash of creepy puppets invading libraries recently. Shoe's library has some and mine does. Mine are leaving Thursday, I think. Well tonight I went to see the troupe perform a history of marionettes. It was soo cool. Most of the marionettes were around 100 years old. By far, the coolest one was a shapeshifter. It took 4 puppeteers, and had 3 distinct puppets... it was dark and amazing to watch. I wish I could describe it but I don't think I could do it justice, it was something you just had to see.

stupid weather...

It is far too nice outside to be working in the basement. It's 74-ish degrees, sunny, with a slight breeze... man, I want to be outside. :-( My Sister said it best "I have a window, the weather is tormenting me." I am glad that I don't have a window.
Can we institute mandatory Library recess? Like a siesta except we can go outside and play?

Strange tech services pictures

All right, I know we're a weird department. We create too much freetime and have waaaay too much fun with arts and crafts. Case in point, a couple of people found a cardboard cutout of Oprah in the hallway, brought her in here, and put her on display. When a branch manager said that she was going to kidnap Oprah, they dressed her up as Martha Stewart to hide her from the rest of the staff. The fruits of their labor have been documented. Enjoy!! Happy Friday!!


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