I’m actually working on a proper reader’s advisory for a new AW book, but RL is distracting. So that will be up later this afternoon (possibly this evening).
In the meantime, I give you the latest edition of your friend and mine, Dingo Librarian:
Writing is a set of permanent thoughts, or, as a famous Gelfling once said, “words that stay.” I tell my students that a book is just about the most effective method of data storage and transmission ever devised. It’s a set of transcribed thoughts organized by page number and cross-referenced both by sequential progression (TOC) and also by subject (index). Computers can make the retrieval process faster, but engineers haven’t quite come up with a better method of storage. (Yet.)
But books are fragile. They don’t weather the elements well. Stone tablets will last for millennia. Paper lasts for a century at best, and mass-market paperbacks won’t last more than a few decades. (It remains to be seen what the lifespan of e-books are.)
Worse, disaster can strike without warning. Like when the water sprinkler on the floor above your library goes off and water cascades into your open stacks and onto your computers. Which is what happened to the MCNY library Saturday morning.
Water is the enemy of every library. Humidity breeds mold, which eats through paper like a college student goes through pizza and Froot Loops. There are ways of recovering books that have been affected by fungus, but they’re expensive and not always reliable. As in medicine, the best fix is to prevent it.
The good news is that most of the collection is fine. The bad news is that about a thousand books got drowned. We have a circulating collection of about 20,000 books, so 5% of our stuff needs to be dealt with on an emergency basis.
In some cases, water pooling on the carpet is all we had to deal with. That’s not too awful. The fix is to move in mobile AC units and up the heat over the weekend. That was done, and it worked.
Many books were pulled off shelves pre-emptively, before the worst could happen.
Many more volumes were soaked and were moved into the server room, because it had the best air flow.
This is where we are now, with piles of books awaiting triage. Over the next week I’ll go through them one at a time. The dry ones will be replaced in the now dry stacks. The soaked ones will probably be discarded. The merely damp ones will be dried as best they can and replaced in the stacks. If mold has set in, they’ll be discarded as well.
In the meantime, all other work stops. The current mission is recovering what assets we have.
[author_books amount=”3″ size=”150″ type=”random” name=”jonfrater”]
Just as a (not so) brief reminder, NYTSL’s programs are running their usual course. Here’s the latest announcement for the spring reception and spring program, which went out the other day:
NYTSL 2015 Spring ReceptionPlease join us for the Spring 2015 New York Technical Services Librarians Annual Reception for Librarians, Information Professionals and Library School Students.
Friday, April 10, 2015
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Columbia University Libraries
535 West 114th St.
New York, NY 10027
Wine & Cheese will be served.
This is an opportunity for librarians, archivists, and information professionals from the metropolitan area to meet informally. It is also a chance for library school students to learn about the various professional organizations in the metropolitan area and to meet future colleagues and employers.
Library students who attend will be entered in a raffle to win a myMETRO membership. You are welcome to bring announcements of professional opportunities to the reception.
Reception co-sponsors welcome. If your professional organization would like to co-sponsor the reception, please contact us to make arrangements.
Due to limited space, registration is required and we will not be able to accept walk-in registration for this event. Register online at http://nytsl.org/nytsl/nytsl-2015-spring-reception/
NYTSL 2015 Spring Program – Disaster Recovery for the Digital LibraryOur presenters will present two real-world library disaster recoveries in New York City and how to better prepare for the future.When:Tuesday, May 5, 20155:00 – 7:30 p.m.
The New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, South Court Auditorium
476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street)
New York, NY 10018
$15 for current members
$30 for event + new or renewed membership
$20 for event + new or renewed student membership
$40 for non-membersSpeakers:Frank Monaco, Frank J. Monaco and Associates LLCFollowing the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, nearby Pace University faced emergency conditions in implementing a less than perfect IT Disaster Recovery plan. This presentation will first review, from the point of view of the then current Chief Information Officer, what his organization (and the entire University) faced and how he and his team dealt with the situation. After this brief review, a discussion of what digital disaster recovery technologies have emerged since that fateful day, and how Universities, to include their libraries, can take better advantage of these DR developments.
Neil H. Rambo, Director, NYU Health Sciences Libraries and Knowledge Informatics
When Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New York City on the evening of October 29, 2012, it produced an unprecedented storm surge along portions of the East River. The facilities and infrastructure of the NYU Langone Medical Center were overwhelmed by the violent flood. The NYU Health Sciences Library facility was destroyed. But library services and support across the Medical Center were only briefly disrupted. This review will focus on the recovery efforts made in the aftermath of the destruction, from immediate-term to the present. The focus of those efforts were and are on strengthening the digital library, increasing the presence of librarians with user groups, and redefining the nature and role of the library across the Medical Center. In parallel with these efforts and informed by them, the library facility has been reconceived and is now under construction, to be opened in late 2015.
No fewer than ten people on my FB list have shared this and tagged me with it within the past two days:
Guys, I love the sentiment and the fact that some many people I know think of me when they hear the word librarian. I hope every friend of every librarian shares this meme around. I object only to the word “Generals” being used when the pic is very obviously of an infantry soldier. The generals are the ones who run wars. The soldiers are the ones who fight them. There’s a real difference, and not just in the “‘Forward!’ he cried from the rear/and the front rank died” way.
Call it macho stupidity if you have to, but I’d rather be compared to a soldier.
But thank you.
[author_books amount=”3″ size=”150″ type=”random” name=”jonfrater”]
Dave Mauzy and I made a thing. Dave is my backboard for nearly everything I come up with because he’s good at poking holes in the sillier ideas and offers useful observation on the stuff that has potential. He was instrumental in helping me through the rough patches while writing Article 9. But sometimes we get stupid (all right, I get stupid) and Dave is usually good enough to go along with it. This was one of those times.
Thus, I present you with Dingo Librarian.
I’ll post more as I think of them.
Share this one, around folks. Let’s see if we can make it into a thing!
Just for the sheer heck of it (and to respond to the underrepresentation of liberals who enjoy guns in the general media), I’m putting up this picture of me at the West Side Rifle & Pistol Range behind the edit. Enjoy!