Snoozefest 2008


Last week, I skipped out of work to attend the Utah Library Association Conference. I had forgotten how terribly boring these sorts of things can be. I had not, however, forgotten how uncomfortable the whole mill-about-and-network scenario makes me. Mostly, I've learned tactics to avoid this, like removing myself from the conference venue during long breaks or carrying a book with me. Nothing spectacular came out of my attendance. I did, however, have a few amusing situations which I would like to share.

It takes a very special kind of person to open his or her conference session with self-written poetry. Especially if this poetry is modeled after Dr. Seuss, involves the anthropomorphizing of various birds, and quotes liberally from the Bible. What's even weirder is that this session was on providing books to prisoners. It was sort of jarring, but gutsy, I'll give him that. And yes, the cage in the metaphor was the jail. But it's ok, because the prisoner found Jesus...or something. I got lost after the fifth type of bird was introduced and so I'm sort of unclear which was behind bars, which was the guards, and who was the public who can send books to inmates.

Secondly, it's reassuring to know that intellectual freedom fighters are the same everywhere: slightly off-kilter conspiracy theorists who can turn seemingly innocuous facts into evil plots by the government to destroy our freedoms. I can't remember the exact question that was asked in the session on the history of free speech, but it was along the lines of having a discussion in a cataloguing class about the possible uses of sound recognition software to jam subversive radio broadcasts in communist countries.

Lastly, I attended a session on life post AACR2. Cataloguers are an easy group to spot. Apart from their obvious awkwardness in social situation, there's the way they look. They all dress in this odd combination of flashy and dowdy that I can only describe as MARChic. Generally, the ingredients are an unfashionable pair of glasses, orthopedic shoes, and some garish garment that was of questionable taste even when it was in style fifteen years ago. I'll readily admit that librarians are not the most fashion forward types, but I think being sequestered from public services makes cataloguers even more susceptible to poor sartorial choices.

In other job-related news, I've been buying fiction for my library. Mostly, because I can and I have the funds. Fiction is so incredibly cheap for libraries. Granted, the collection here will be pretty scattershot and heavily biased but my own tastes, but I've long since given up pretending that I have professional skills to overpower my own inclinations.


Kaneeneenie said...

Oh, oh! Don't forget the Twilight series!!!

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