Sunday, January 7, 2007 · Last updated 7:12 a.m. PT
Library book returned _ 47 years overdue
HANCOCK, Mich. — Robert Nuranen handed
the local librarian a book he’d checked out for a ninth-grade
assignment – along with a check for 47 years’ worth of late fees.
said his mother misplaced the copy of "Prince of Egypt" while cleaning
the house. The family came across it every so often, only to set it
aside again. He found it last week while looking through a box in the
"I figured I’d better get it in before we waited
another 10 years," he said after turning it in Friday with the $171.32
check. "Fifty-seven years would be embarrassing."
with its last due date stamped June 2, 1960, was part of the young
Nuranen’s fascination with Egypt. He went on to visit that country and
54 others, and all 50 states, he said, but he never did finish the book.
Nuranen now lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches seventh-grade social studies and language arts.
The library had long ago lost any record of the book, librarian Sue Zubiena said.
"I’m going to use it as an example," she said. "It’s never too late to return your books."
So, according to this email, maybe Hampton U. isn’t dissolving their cataloging department after all (thank you nice people at Kent State for this):
received from a number of colleagues a copy of announcement of the
the Technical Service department of the Harvey Library at
University . Harvey Library has no
plans to close the Technical
Services department. Professional
cataloging of our resources will
continue in house. Authority work will
continue. We will continue to be
staffed by professional librarians in
the catalog department assisted by a
staff of qualified
paraprofessionals. Cataloging of our ever increasing
electronic resources will still be necessary as with printed
Frank B. Edgcombe, Acting Library Director, Harvey Library,
I said it before, and I’ll repeat it here–I have no idea how (un)true any of this is. But I would hope the catalogers keep their jobs.
An uplifting note about upstate New York is here, courtesy of Yahoo! News:
"AUSTERLITZ, N.Y. – Twin baby grand pianos stand in the living room of a
white clapboard farmhouse high on the Taconic Ridge on the border of
New York and Massachusetts. Here the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay
composed and played duets. The sculpted bust of the Greek poet Saffo
still dominates one corner, while a painting depicts Millay’s husband
and sister swimming naked in the outdoor pool, now filled with murky
water beneath a heavy canopy of trees."
It’s not the best written travel piece I’ve ever seen, but it’s worth a look. Enjoy!
For the record, I agree with the sentiment that children and pornography don’t mix. Heck, adults and pornography don’t mix half the time. Having said that, I’m convinced there has to be a better method of keeping the two away from each other (kids and porn) than this. (Dare I suggest more involved parenting?)
While we’re on the subject of Google (again), take a look at this relationship chart of the biggest search engines. It’s an interesting way to think of the gestalt of who pushes data to whom and for what reason. Not a bad way of getting an instant reality check on why some results appear more or less frequently than others depending on who’s pushing and/or paying for what. I put this one in the Reference Resources TypeList for safe keeping, so if you can’t be bothered to bookmark it, it’s here if you need it.
New projects are making their needs felt: I’m working on an article about the Academy’s Grey Literature Report and I’ve got a deadline that isn’t approaching too quickly, but it’s sooner than I’d thought (thank God for desktop calendars) so that’s being dealt with. I’m also expanding the list of E-journals (a whole bunch of BMC titles and plenty more) into our Serials Solutions account, but that’s not as pressing. And, I just did the quarterly batch activation of XML targets for Link Finder Plus, which means I’m going to have to spot test a few of them early tomorrow. (I like to wait a day or so just to make sure everything has passed through the pipeline, which is probably a tiny bit paranoid on my part.) This all while keeping up with 4-6 MARC records a day to keep from either getting rusty or falling too far behind in the Grey Lit.
I’m back to work.
Congratulate me: this is the 100th post of the Rogue Scholar. (Yea!) I started this silly thing last year as a way to help me develop how I thought about library-type work and the issues that relate to it: it gets lonely in the back office sometimes, and it pays to put pen to paper to figure out what one really thinks of all this stuff that librarians have to deal with. A lot of it is busy work but some of it bears thinking about. (Google, for one.)
I wanted to note that in 2005 this blog had 3,682 readers, which I find nothing short of amazing. People read, people commented, people forwarded a few articles to other people. It was insane. I expected this to have maybe a few hundred people showing up through the year, but . . . wow, was I wrong. (Wow, am I glad to be so wrong.)
We’re upgrading our ILS from Voyager 4 to 5 this week, so we’re losing all but our OPAC search capability. That’s throwing a bit of a monkey wrench into our usual workflow, since we’ll be receiving journals and other materials without the ability to note the fact in our catalog. Ultimately, we’re storing everything on back shelves until the acquisitions module comes back on line next week. In the meantime, we’re also integrating the 280+ Lippincott title back files we’ve just acquired into our online access area, and I’m dealing with all the work that goes into that. Finally, I’ve got the 200+ Ebsbo e-journal titles we just acquired tucked safely into our online catalog, but there’s still a bit of testing to finish up there. Finally, LinkFinderPlus is giving us problems again. It’s a constant battle between requesting additions and upgrades to the LFP Knowledge Base and tracking the aggregators and other database providers who give us direct access so that they’re recognized by the KB. While this is going on, I’m needing to clear all the old and forgotten crap off my desk before the end of this week. So yeah, if my posts are a little more scattered than usual this week, now you know why.
Work, work, work. ("Ach . . . this is the life we chose!")
Normally when someone talks about how much damage librarians are doing the American Way of Life, you figure it’s just more talk radio hyperbole. Not this time. This time it comes from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
First, we have an article in the New York Times ("At FBI, Frustration Over Limits on an Antiterror Law") quoting one slightly over-sincere law enforcer as saying:
"While radical militant librarians kick us around, true terrorists
benefit from OIPR’s failure to let us use the tools given to us," read
the e-mail message, which was sent by an unidentified F.B.I. official.
"This should be an OIPR priority!!!"
"OIPR" for you non-FBI types is "Office of Intelligence Policy and Review." As a fast FYI, the "OIPR priority" the agent speaks of is congressional renewal of the USA Patriot Act, or as I like to think of it, "The Worst Anti-Privacy Law in American History Act". I’ve written my congressfolk about not renewing this abomination of the legal code, but they rarely listen to me . . . or do they? Hmmm? There must be some real opposition to renewal if it’s got the FBI that riled. Dare I be optimistic? We shall see.
More destruction at the hands of librarians: "Radical Militant Librarian" t-shirts are available from CafePress (cute and cool, no? Cute and cool, yes!) and Library Raid jackets are available, too (these are awesome!)
I leave you with this lovely image. Enjoy!
Update: I also found this article ("Radical Militant Librarians and Other Dire Threats") by William Rivers Pitt on Truthout.org. And when you’re done reading that, here’s a lovely article from the Sstandard times titled "Agents’ Visit Chills U. Mass Dartmouth Senior." (That last one is all over the listservs today.) And based on this sort of thing, I’ve decided that Russ Feingold is the only politician I’d consider voting for President if he runs in 2008. He probably won’t which is all the greater shame, as the Dems have no real contenders for prez with a chance of winning–and the ones with a chance of winning are not the ones I’d like to see installed on January 20, 2009. Oh, well . . . it’s a long way to 2008. Let’s concentrate on getting a bunch of local victories in 2006 instead. That, I think we can do.
I found this article from Robert Ringer in my mailbox this past weekend and it’s ajust a short reminder that accidents do happen, both in libraries and in our personal lives. The moral is both concise and bears repeating: back up your data. Often. In a number of different media. In a number of different locations.
Disasters Really Do Happen
I’ve learned anything at all in my life, it’s that disasters really do
occur. I’ve always been amazed at how most people live their lives on
the assumption that worst-case scenarios haven’t yet been invented.