li-berry love

it’s been a long week.  i finished my most recent class for library skool and i had an alien device implanted in my stomach!  i am not sure which experience was more exciting, but since diabetes is forever (this, unlike diamonds, would be a horrible slogan), and my cataloging class ended on wednesday, i choose to discuss cataloging, lest it become passe.

i’ve been in library skool for a while now.  because i’m also working full-time, i have been taking the slow boat to china approach of one class per semester. therefore, i expect to be in skool for the next 78 years.  just kidding!  i think that if i push it, i can be done in spring ’11.  i’ve taken a variety of classes: evaluation of li-berries, managment of li-berries, and technology in li-berries.  riveting stuff.  however, the two classes that really make or break your library prowess are reference and cataloging.  eeee, even the names of them make you feel like putting on a tweed suit and glasses, don’t they?  

i took reference last spring with some good pals.  it was an overwhelming, yet enjoyable, experience.  on the first day, our professor basically said that the goal of the class would be to evaluate usability (read: memorize) 250 reference books in the library.  that way, if a patron ever came to me and asked how they could join a club whose goal was to amass the world’s largest collection of ceramic mugs, i would know that the place to find this information is (bugle noise here) the encyclopedia of associations!  (and of course, such an association does exist.  i forget what it’s called, though.)

somewhat off-topic public service announcement: in reference class, i also spent a buttload of time putting together an annotated list of useful books and websites for individuals who have recently been diagnosed with type one diabetes.  if you ever need a copy of this info, i’d be happy to send it to you.  just email me or write in the comments.

so all in all, i very much enjoyed reference.  but since i started library skool, i always had a pit of dread in my stomach for cataloging.  it was terrible, i heard!  hard, tedious, booooring, and somewhat weird.  i didn’t even really know what i’d be doing in this class, i just knew that it was going to be bad.  

and it definitely started off that way.  for my first paper, i wrote 17 pages on library online public access catalogs.  worst.  paper.  ever.  oh mylanta, i wanted to stick a pencil in my eye to punish myself for being so freaking BORING.  it was truly nightmarish.  and i was also scared stiff of my professor, candy: 

she is a cataloging genie!  and pretty famous in the li-berry world!  plus, she clearly is very talented not only in the art of the squeezebox, but also, she can wear an orange hat with aplomb.  and she’s also incredibly demanding. i think i came home from my first four weeks of class weeping in distress.  i was working my fingers to their nubs learning about boring old metadata and online searches, and we hadn’t even really started really catalogin’ yet!  

but then we did.  and of course, because i am the world’s biggest nerd, i absolutely loved it.  it was glorious!  first, we learned about something amazing and magical called subject headings.  they are these things: 

look at me, with my high-tech arrows!  and this unexplicable blue line that i will not try to take care of because it took all my skills to make these lil’ arrows and now i need to rest.  but anyhoo, you’ve prolly noticed these puppies on the inside cover of a book before.  and if you are like me (read: nerd), then you may have wondered how they got there, and why they were chosen.  and then you probably decided to go to library school to figure out how this magic happened.  oh wait, i am talking about me again, not you.  but i’ll tell you all about it anyways.  basically, the library of  congress (the baddest of the bad.  and by bad, i mean in the 1980s really really good way) has a REALLY complicated system and REALLY horribly confusing website that catalogers can access to assign descriptors to books.  i would go into this further, but then i might put you to sleep.  but, hark!  i will provide you with some descriptors for this website, if it were a book:

Lintzy on the loose: A diabetic bibliophile takes on the Boston Marathon, by Laura R. Lintz

Diabetic athletes – Biography – Massachusetts – Boston

Marathon running – Training – Massachusetts – Boston

Library education – Massachusetts – Boston

Insulin pumps

only one word exists for this process: RAD.  i just love @#$% like this.  

but just when i didn’t think things could get any better, it happened.  it finally happened!  whenever i tell anyone that i am going to library skool, they always guffaw and snort out the following question, “LIBRARY SKOOL?  WHAT DO YOU DO THERE, ANYWAYS?  LEARN THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM?”  

and i always responded with a bow and gentle shake of my head, and then a “noooo, we haven’t learned that yet.  i think we use the library of congress in our college library, anyways.”  but then!  it happened!  candy taught us how to use the dewey decimal system… and i just have to say, it’s antiquated, it’s tedious, it’s difficult, it’s arbitrary.  yet fascinating!  

i really will not bore you with the details of assigning a dewey decimal number to a book.  but i will dither on about how great it was to me to finally know what those tiny numbers on the spine of the book are!  honestly, it was kind of like the time helen saw rick moranis in our montreal hotel eating oatmeal… it was the humanization of something amazing.  so, just for a hoot, i will now give you a little classification chart of how you can assign a dewey number to this blog, if it were a book: 

Lintzy on the loose: A diabetic bibliophile takes on the Boston Marathon, by Laura R. Lintz

700            Arts and recreation

790                        Sports, games & entertainment

796                                    Athletic and outdoor sports and games

796.4                                             Weight lifting, track and field, gymnastics

796.42                                                       Track and field

796.424                                                                 Distance races

769.424 L4                                                                        By Lintz

whoa.  i was just overwhelmed by my coolness.  the class is all dunzo now, and i am still in that happy no-more-homework-and-stress afterglow.  and to make matters even more magical, candy gave me a hug after our last class.  and we all know that the best kinds of hugs are candy hugs.  buy me an orange hat and squeezebox… future in cataloging, here i come!

today’s book review:

american wife, by curtis sittenfeld

who WOULDN’T love a papier mache giving tree? and a thinly veiled account of laura bush’s life?

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13 thoughts on “li-berry love

  1. Sabrina

    Well, not being a trained librarian nor archivist, but still needing to do some occasional library and archives work (we have a 2 day/week seasonal librarian, no archivist on staff), I can say I am happy our system will import MARC records for me! It only gets really terrible when we have a historic book that is nearly impossible to find an importable catalog record (LoC doesn’t have everything, arg!) Those I leave in a neat pile for our librarian the following year. Have you slogged through MARC yet? It sure confuses the heck out of me. We however, choose to use the Library of Congress numbering system, the choice of universities and other academic facilites. It doesn’t mean a whole lot to me except that most of our museum’s books are in the Ns.

    Reply
    1. rootlaura Post author

      sabrina, i totally agree… MARC is the most confusing thing of all time! we learned that during the first month or so of class, when i was in my hair-tearing-out and crying a lot phase. who comes up with this #$%^? and since you use the LC system, here is my blog in library of congress speak!

      GV Recreation. Leisure
      GV557- Sports
      GV1060.5- Track and field athletics
      GV1061- Foot racing. Running
      GV1062- Distance running
      GV1065- Marathon running
      GV1065.2- By region or country
      GV1065.2 United States
      GV1065.22 Individual races, events, etc
      GV 1065.22.B6 Boston Marathon
      GV1065.22.B6L4 By Lintz

      Reply
    1. rootlaura Post author

      you saw him! it’s true! what did you just say? it was really funny.

      ***

      oh. i thought you said something else.

      Reply
  2. megcline

    Rick Moranis eats oatmeal?????? That’s incredible. Did he put brown sugar in it?

    To tell you the truth, I always have wondered how they came up with the numbers on the spine. No joke. I feel enlightened now, Lintzy!

    Reply
    1. rootlaura Post author

      meggie, i am not sure what he put on the oatmeal, mainly b/c i refused to believe that it was really him. helen observed MUCH more closely, so i defer to her. and i am so glad you enjoyed my classification! you are a gem, mrs. cline!

      Reply
  3. Tyrone

    I can’t believe you mentioned oatmeal. What are you trying to do to me. Can’t you put an alert at the beginning of your blogs? Think of your loyal readers next time.

    A grape hater

    Reply
    1. rootlaura Post author

      dear grape hater tyrone,

      ooooooooooooooooooops. i mentioned oatmeal AND alluded to honey i shrunk the kids in the same post. ay to the yay yay yay.

      much love,
      tryone lover

      Reply
  4. Nandi

    Nandi! What a great post. I’m pleased to know the precise spot at which I could find this blog, if said blog were a book, and said book were in a library, and I needed to go to said library to take out said book of said blog.

    Wait, what?

    Reply
    1. rootlaura Post author

      ooooh you! but it doesn’t surprise me that you would enjoy such precision. it’s actually a bit of an art, i think. so glad to hear that the chewies are done! good luck tomorrow at the con!

      Reply
  5. helen

    rick put all sorts of delicious accouterments in his oatmeal — raisins, brown sugar, etc. when he was about to take his first bite, i dramatically ran over and said YOU’D BETTER TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT THAT SPOON TO MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT EATING YOUR SHRUNKEN CHILDREN!!! DIDN’T YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM THE FAMOUS CHEERIO SCENE?!? not really, but i did talk to his wife in line before i realized she was a formerly-famous person’s wife, and she was very nice. all in all, i like to know that even celebrities take advantage of complimentary hotel breakfasts!

    and the reason laura can’t tell you any details about rick is that she and dad REFUSED to believe me when i kept pointing at rick in the dining room, but then the MINUTE we got on the elevator and some other hotel guest said “did you guys see rick moranis?”, laura and dad both shouted out YES WE DID! OH MY GOD HOW COOL. i’m still mad about that to this day, and i think this incident happened in ~1996.

    Reply
  6. Sarah

    Laura you are so amusing 🙂 thank you for teaching me how those dewey decimals get onto the spine of the book…i really thought they were made up all these years…boy have i been wrong! you may need to make a guest appearance in room 203 at Porter Skool to set those kids Dewey straight!

    Reply
  7. Pingback: poetry in motion. « lintzy on the loose

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