Back to School Shopping

August 21, 2007

In the words of my former retail manager, “I think JCrew does fall best.” Meaning that their clothes in the fall season are better than their clothes in spring or summer.
Evidence– the August 2007 catalog. As is appropriate for Back to School, there’s a whole library/book/reading theme happening–cashmere tees folded in the stacks alongside old bound issues of Pennsylvania Magazine, boots displayed on the h-k drawer of the card catalog, etc.

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So committed to the reading theme, JCrew folks did a photo shoot in an actual library. On page 028 we have two young ladies perched precariously in the alcoves wearing a not-very-flattering combo of the cropped pants and deep v neck sweaters. The butch one is wearing the “men’s tartan patchwork driving cap” and the femme one has her hair in an oh-so authentic co-ed messy bun. She passes a book down from the balcony to her eagerly awaiting tartan clad friend. And there’s a little bit of trivia in the right hand corner, and suddenly its like reading Martha Stewat Living, “WHO KNEW? The library pictured here is one of the world’s oldest, most distinguished independent libraries…Can you guess the name of this beautiful Boston landmark?”

Well I was hoping to flip the catalog upside down, Highlights style, to find the answer, but instead I had to look it up. Why of course! Its the Boston Athenaeum. Any self respecting back to schooler would know.

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Summer dispatch

July 11, 2007

You may have noticed that this blog, like so many fashion magazines, has slowed to a halt in the middle of summer. As for me, I’m in the midst of a cross-country move, a career-track change, (more later) and some fun times visiting friends abroad. (I write this from a cafe in Istanbul. No joke!)

But I can earnestly say I’ve missed this, and great stuff around:

  • Sara Piasecki of Historical Notes from OHSU  posted a bit about this year’s RBMS preconference, including a post about a session on Minimal Processing . For those unfamiliar with the divide,  the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section  of ACRL covers a lot of the same ground as archival organizations, but there are precious few who are truly active in both spheres- thus, transparency and communication is, in my opinion, so necessary.
  • archivematica has a post about ICA-Atom’s GoogleMaps mashup. So cool. This isn’t the first foray into integrating geographic data with finding aids- I seem to recall a UNC project that integrated GIS data with finding aid indexes. Moreover, I’d look for more work in the near future that does this sort of thing- linking physical spaces and places with related archival materials.
  • And not really related but long overdue, check out Jeanne’s post on (and Google Code page for) ArchivesZ, a tool for visualizing collections.

And, I hate to even bring this up, Hip shushers. Sheesh! I’m not going to try to track the wide and varied, over-serious and goofy reactions to this. But I’m gonna give in and spill mine. The article seemed to deal first and foremost with NYC area LIS grad students, and not working librarians. I bristle at the idea of trying to live anywhere in America, much less in gentrified Brooklyn, on what NYPL and BPL pay their entry-level librarians. But what I haven’t seen addressed is that the newfound preciousness of going to library school isn’t about anything job or education related- it’s about a mass of college graduates, mostly female, with both real and percieved lack of career options casting their lot onto an arcanely feminized public serivice sector with a lot of inherent problems. I think that any enthusiasm or momentum coming to libraries and archives is ultimately good, but I also think that we should be talking about these things really critically.


booktruck spring inspiration board!

May 18, 2007

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It’s spring, school’s out, and it’s time to reconsider the work wardrobe. We are indebted to Cathy Horyn, who this week unpacked how difficult it is to talk sensibly about how difficult it is to find appropriate clothes. She was talking about ladies of a certain age who can afford Prada.  But we are talking about librarians, and the quest to find a professional wardrobe. In short: retire your khakis and Danskos! Correspondents KBD and Mimi scoured the street fashions of The Sartorialist and have some suggestions.

Read the rest of this entry »


accessories vs. accessions?

April 4, 2007

A Myspace debate: Marc bags vs MARC records.


One day at a time!

March 12, 2007

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Booktruck wishes Marc Jacobs the best for his stint in rehab. Why? Because he described his  Fall 2004 RTW Collection as “librarian chic”,  thus giving props to classic librarian style. (Which means, in the fashion trickle-down, he’s directly responsible for recent options for cute yet professional work clothes.) And because he’s hinted at doing a cheapie line soon, maybe one that we can afford on our salaries.