Dewey Crash

October 17, 2007


“So it was difficult to play because you were constantly aware that you were in the immediacy of the moment but yet referencing primary, tertiary and secondary sources –the whole Dewey system was crashing in on me.”


Way to drop Dewey, Cate. I just finished reading this NYT Mag’s piece about Todd Haynes’s film I’m Not There. In the article, Cate Blanchett compares playing Haynes’s Bob Dylan to being confused by DDC. Or I think that’s what she means. I guess she’s referring to some sort of  encyclopedic/LCSH Authorities see and see also thing. I get Dewey Crash all the time when I’m trying to find auction catalogues on microform.





Bacterial Preservation

May 23, 2007


So, my new plan is to migrate all the archives to bacteria, make a few copies in case of mutations, and then sit back and relax for the next million years. Sound good?

[Originally seen on Boing Boing]

Back to work, ladies!

April 27, 2007


I was seriously disturbed to read this April 25th op-ed piece in the New York Times by Linda Hirshman entitled, “Off to Work She Should Go.” Ms. Hirshman is the author of “Get To Work: A Manifesto for Women of the World,” in which she asserts that “choice feminism” has put the freedom to choose whether or not to work above making strides in equality for women. She contends that when educated, wealthy (and most likely, white) women choose to stay home to raise their children, they are effectively creating their own glass ceiling, and greatly decreasing the power of women to effect societal changes.

Of course I think it’s important that women make up a percentage of powerful employers and the workforce in general. If there aren’t enough women at your place of work, there will most likely be less leverage when it comes to getting flexible work hours, salaries might be lower and sexual harassment higher. However, why is that Ms. Hirshman only seems to be concerned with wealthy white women returning to work? I hate to break it to her, but many librarians are highly educated and intelligent women. Guess what? Their earning potential is ridiculously low and their chances for advancement ain’t that great either. And what of the women who contribute to society in other ways who are forced to go back to work immediately after having a child, because they can’t afford not to? Perhaps these wealthy women can return to work for them and subsidize their incomes? But then, who would take out these power chicks’ trash and serve them lunch during their business meetings?

I understand it’s difficult to understand why the women who would have the easiest time returning to work after childbirth decide against it. But really, what women WANTS to hand over her infant to a stranger to care for 9 hours of the day? And don’t even get me started on breastfeeding. Even if you’re lucky enough to have the autonomy at work required to close your door and pump several times during the day, who wouldn’t love to have that time to bond with their child, instead of having someone else shove a bottle in her mouth?

The reality is, today’s woman has stopped buying into the myth of “having it all.” Corporate America, as well as libraries, is notoriously inflexible. It’s entirely too difficult to balance your work life and home life. Besides, studies have proven that the longer a woman waits to have a child, the higher her earning potential. Companies don’t value working mothers!

Instead of a call to mothers to change their views, how about demanding that employers stand up and lead the change? Working mothers need flexible hours, affordable, on-site daycare, the option to telecommute, etc. And these “luxuries” shouldn’t be just for the most wealthy and educated women in society. Until we as a society and a country start valuing our working mothers more, they will stay at home in droves.

awwww, dude…

April 24, 2007

The LoC launched a blog today to celebrate its big 207th birthday.

Required reading for new library school grads

March 22, 2007

If you have recently graduated with your MLS and are in the process of seeking employment, especially in an academic library, I implore you to read this fantastic article by Nancy Cunningham. The article, In Search of an Emotionally Healthy Library, could potentially save you a lot of heartache and stress. If only I had had this article when I was interviewing for my current position. There are tons of great tips in here on how to discern whether or not this library is seriously toxic or a place where collegiality is the rule and the staff doesn’t feel like slitting their wrists every day. My own personal job search hint: if the library to which you’ve applied has a male director AND assistant director and the majority of the library staff is female, this should make you scratch your temple. If they also insist on being referred to as “Dr.” while everyone else on staff, even those with Ph.Ds are called by their first names, RUN as fast as your little legs can carry you

IKEA vs. History

February 24, 2007

IKEA makes way for a Brooklyn store location and throws away all the historic shipyard documents in the buildings they knock down. Who needs history when you can have all the cheaply built yuppie furniture your studio apartment can hold?