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As if anyone needs more reasons to like otters OR Neil Gaiman.

“”Writers are otters,” states Neil Gaiman, firmly.

“Otters are not trainable,” he explains. “Dogs are trainable – if you want them to sit you train them and give them rewards and they sit each time. But otters… if they do something cool and you give them a fish, the next time they’ll do something even cooler. Or they’ll try to do something completely different. I think that most writers – or at least a lot of us – are otters.” ”

from a recent interview in The Guardian.


I think all undergrads should be forced to watch this entrancing video from Haunted Love during orientation.  Maybe high schoolers too. And pretty much everyone at the public library. It would improve library manners immensely and also would remind everyone that librarians are not to be trifled with. They are silent but deadly (in the good, ninja-y way, not that other way) and know just what to do with the body.

Also, I’m majorly coveting those shoes. And that skirt.

Originally seen on the delightful Voice of Reason 

Tonight was a fun night at work. No really! First, a regular PhD-student patron asked me if I was a recently graduated senior. Since I haven’t been an undergraduate for almost 10 years I took this as a compliment.  I realize that he might have been trying to be funny but I’m choosing to believe that he thinks I actually look like a 22 year old.

Then I had one of those Oh My, I Really Am A Librarian conversations. It was also one of those Oh My, The Person I Am Talking To Is Not Kidding conversations. It started with an extremely perky guy bouncing up to the reference desk and just saying HI! and smiling at me.

Me: Hi. What can I do for you?

Extremely Perky Guy: OK. Pretend you are my friend.

Me: Errm…I guess….

EPG: Now, tell me something fun about the library!

Me: Well,  something about this library or something about libraries in general?

EPG: You tell me!

Me: There are lots of things I like about the library. Are you wanting to know something to do with using the library for research?

EPG: That’s what I’m doing! I’m researching!

Me: Great. What kind of information are you looking for? [thinking I can figure out some way to make article databases fun. “Looky! You can email the citations to yourself! Whee!”]

EPG: I told you. I’m trying to find something fun in the library!

Me: I see. [I do not see at all.]

EPG: My assignment is to pick something totally boring and then give a speech about it to make people interested in it. I chose the library!

Nice. And then the kid seemed genuinely surprised that I didn’t say “Yeah, libraries are really boring, aren’t they?” Instead I thought a minute while he yammered a bit about the other libraries he had already visited. I knew these other places would have shown him live reference chat and Facebook catalog searching and all the other newfangled bells and whistles. Then I told him what I think really is one of the most fun things about the library: the Dewey Decimal System.

I  know, it sounds totally nerdly. But after explaining that Dewey numbers actually mean something, and that it attempts to organize ALL INFORMATION while it enables shelf browsing and how I could make a Dewey number for any topic he could dream of (he suggested eel worshiping), I think I had this guy convinced. Even better, now he is doing a speech on why the Dewey Decimal System is cool.

What on earth did I get into Library and Information Science if not for this?

Simon the bird is no longer with me. On Friday I decided that I really didn’t want & couldn’t handle another pet and that keeping the bird for a week or more (and inevitably falling in love with it) until the owner appeared would simply end in tears. As it turned out, handing the bird over to the avian vet on Friday afternoon also ended in tears, but those were mostly a result of the relentless insistence of the entire animal clinic that, in fact, I could keep the bird. You know, if I had a heart beating in my body or any sort of thought for small adorable animals or could function as anything other than a cold evil robot.

So I was feeling pretty sad about the birdie — who was determined to be a female and only about 1 year old — and the whole situation and then E found the owner! Long story short, Lemon got to go home to her owner and her brother Lime this morning and everyone is very relieved, me included.

This was also an opportunity to re-solidify my personal stance that even though I love working with animals and living with animals and helping animals, I don’t think I could ever foster or rescue them, as I think I have unhealthy levels of empathy for them. It isn’t that I would want to keep them all, it’s more that I imagine how scared they are and how confused they are and how they don’t understand what is happening to them and then I get all worked up about making things as okay as possible for the animal. I consider myself to be a pretty realistic and practical person, but this is the area where I kinda lose my footing. I mean, I get all upset about inanimate objects’ feelings, for pete’s sake. And don’t get me started on the emotional journey that is Weeding a Section of the Library Collection. I really need to figure out a way to get ruthless about that one, or else my collections are going to be all medical handbooks from the 1950’s and history books that end right before the Vietnam War.

How the time does fly. Two weeks is a long time to neglect The Gurgle.

As many of you know, this semester has been swallowing me whole, and this last week was the very worst of it. Now it is thankfully over and I will begin fighting my way out of the belly of the beast, Jonah-style. Or is it Pinocchio? He was inside of a whale too, right? Maybe I’m thinking of Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother in the belly of the wolf? You all know what I mean — just imagine the end of MIB where Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones explode out of the giant…bug? maybe?… and then gooey bits flying everywhere and then picture me, emerging victorious, all soppy and happily relieved and tired and gross with bits of semester entrails all over me. I’m not sure what semester entrails will look like. I’ll leave that to your fruitful imaginations.

Bits of child development articles and book display signage with little pieces of storytelling gloop hanging off the ends, maybe?