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The Death Star plans are not in the main computer.

Sarah Palin Censors Books through Telepathy!

It appears the controversy isn't over. Sarah Palin has proven her ability to travel through time to remove the entire Harry Potter series from the Wasilla Public Library back before any of the books were even published, but now she proves to hold even more Peter Petrelli-like abilities (or is it Sylar???) by having more than one superpower.

It seems that a San Francisco (ah, you mean "gay") activist donated two controversial children's books to Wasilla, but was turned down in his attempt to have them added to the circulating collection. The current librarian gave the lame excuse that the books "lacked engaging illustrations and seemed to lack the ability to engage young readers" (again, meaning "too gay").
[Wasilla public library back in the news again . By Marjorie Kehe 10.20.08]

So the books failed the approval process. How could this happen in 2008? -- Read More

Tears for Fears video get literal library translation

Funny or Die is hosting a literal translation of a Tears for Fears video that takes place in a library. Instead of the schmaltzy lyrics, they sing about what is happening in the real music video. They really nailed libraries in the 1980s, not only does it prominently feature a monkey but a rabbi, a mullet, a quaint old card catalog, and of course a hot librarian stalked by a creepy patron lead singer from the band who happens to be "head over heels" for her. It is subtitled for your pleasure.

Today is "Work Like a Nineteenth Century Librarian" Day

I've been listening to A Short History of Nearly Everything in my car and I find it amazing that every task took so long to complete in the early days of science. It was common for one single experiment to take a year or more. I'm guessing scientists spent much of that time dressing and fastening buttons.

But yet the research produced the most amazing discoveries. It must be that slow processes produce deep thoughts.

I guess to be really aligned with the purpose of the book, I should call this Work Like an Eighteenth Century Librarian Day, but that century just seems so messy.

So for "Work Like a Nineteenth Century Librarian" Day, I propose that we take our time and do things slowly and seek timeless or even philosophical results. We should ask "Why?" of our patrons, and "Why?" of the question or of questioning itself. Seek timeless understanding. But mostly, take it slow.

Library patron: "I would like to see everything you have on Fratercula arctica."

Nineteenth Century Librarian: "Please record your request upon this document, and I shall begin the research at the first available opportunity."

Library patron: "May I inquire as to the length of time it may take to fill?"

Nineteenth Century Librarian: "I shall endeavor to satisfy your request within six weeks."

Library patron: "Only six weeks? Miraculous!"

My other half is of the opinion that, in a long skirt, 'you look like a village idiot'

Fashion Advice: Straight, long skirts have more than a hint of the sexy librarian about them (Chanel does a great sexy librarian just now). A full, mid-calf length is more dramatic, even poetic, in effect, but still more severe than anything bringing the droopily bohemian 1970s to mind."

Stephen Colbert Episode about "Commie" Libraries

Here's A Link To Stephen Colbert Episode about "Commie" Libraries. It's during the second segment, just after the "Threat Down."

Fame and Fortune and other F words.

So I don't know if you heard, but apparently the Annoyed Librarian has sold out and has started writing for LJ.

I saw a post that derided her (or their) new found fame as if getting paid a little money for writing is a horrible thing. But now she has to really write stuff. She has to find a way to be annoyed about libraries once or twice a week in order to earn her keep; and this means she's probably going to have to make stuff up. I hope she can figure out how to do it and still "keep it real." (sorry.)

But because of this news, I feel I need to confess something to all of my readers, the.effing.librarian has been making money writing about libraries for many years now, for example:

Dear Penthouse letters,

You won't believe what happened to me in the LIBRARY the other day. I was browsing the stacks looking for a tune-up manual for my badass Kawasaki 650 when I was approached by a woman who was pretty stacked herself. She had huge double-D's, and when she noticed my gaze targeting her huge rack, she pressed past me in the narrow aisle and pushed those well-fed puppies against my tense chest. And you can bet that's not all that was getting tense.

She was somewhere in her thirties, a little on the plain side, but pretty, with her hair pinned up in the back and her lips colored the same bright red that was printed on the "no cell phones" sign in the front of the Circulation desk. Her skirt stretched against her firm backside as she bent down to retrieve my book. -- Read More

The Future of Librarianship

A Funny Little Image post from the Speak Quietly blog on one possible (distopian) future vision of libraries.

No one cares if you ban a crappy book.

Yay, it's Banned Books Week. But not for ugly books. Only pretty, popular books get celebrated this week.

The ALA BBW press kit says, "Banned Books Week 2008 will kick off in Chicago, with a Read-Out! The event will feature popular banned or challenged authors and local Chicago celebrities..."
See? No one cares if unpopular books are banned or challenged or reconsidered or whatever you want to call it.

I would love to see the list of books that people have asked libraries to remove that were discarded without argument or protest. The librarian just looked at it and said, "you're right, that's crap and doesn't belong in our library; I don't know what I was thinking when I ordered it. Thanks for pointing it out."

A couple of weeks ago on the TV show House, the eponymous doctor was reading what looked like some bad porn novel with a title like Bondage Women in Prison; you know the ones with no cover art and filled with typos like vajina and oreola... like the ones I have on my bookcase over here. What if someone saw that episode and came in to get that book? And it was a real book. And no other library in the country owned it, but it was available from your book vendor? Would you buy a copy to fill the request?

No, you'd make some excuse about books requiring recommendations from a prominent review source even though half the books you buy are prepubs or mass-markets or popular titles with no reviews except on Amazon. You probably wouldn't buy a copy and no one would care. -- Read More

Secrets learned from Sarah Palin's email

So what secrets did "anonymous" expose by hacking into Sarah Palin's email? From what I saw, nothing damning. Only some questionable messages and this recipe:

Sarah's Polar Bear Fondue
One polar bear, cleaned
10 pounds flour
4 dozen eggs
50 pounds Gruyere
50 pounds Emmental
corn starch
6 bottles dry white wine
1 pound garlic, peeled, crushed
serve with Triscuits, yummers!
or with optional baby seal paté (recipe to be sent in follow-up email)

So, no smoking gun there. Odd, you say? Why? What Alaska fishwife doesn't have at least one polar bear recipe up her sleeve?

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