Feb 05

The Library Ninja (doesn’t have an MLIS)

The Library Ninja should not be confused with the previously mentioned Ninja Librarian.

Here’s is what I think differentiates them: The Ninja Librarian has an MLIS, while the Library Ninja is an information/assassination paraprofessional.

Video about the former can be found on the other end of this link and embedded goofy video about the latter follows:

Where is this Ninjitsu/Librarianship meme coming from? I know that the ALA is talking about library education again, but are there rumors that ninjitsu courses will be required for accreditation? Will there be ALA accredited dojos in which one learns to fold a library card into a throwing star?

Other places this meme pops up:
Brandy Danner's awesome graphics
Above: Awesome graphics from Brandy Danner.

Above: Graphic from the Manga and Anime page of the Lake Oswego Public Library’s Web site.

Above: Stacey Whittington describes herself as a “Library Ninja”

Above: Library Ninja Death Squad gear

“I wouldn’t mind being a ninja librarian…”


In the same way that we now like we like pirates for their daring, bohemian fashion sense and enjoyable way of talking (Arrrr!) the legendary skill of the ninja is more memorable and important to us than the fact that they were assassins. Calling a librarian a “ninja librarian” is sometimes merely a compliment, like “rockstar librarian” or “superhero librarian,” and has nothing to do with assassinating people.

This is a relief, but it doesn’t completely explain away the meme. Any other thoughts?

Note to self: The next time you can’t sleep, try doing some homework instead of blogging, schmuck.

Feb 02

Friday Fun: Chronicles of Libraria (EDITED)

…made for the USF (University of South Florida in Tampa) Library…hope you enjoy our library-themed rap based on SNL’s “Lazy Sunday.”

EDIT: Since YouTube pulled them, I found the embeddable videos on Google Video instead. (Proof that Google Video and YouTube are not well synchronized yet).

YouTube is packed with parodies of and tributes to SNL’s “Lazy Sunday”, but you can only see the original here at NBC.com.

Here’s one other video from the USF library: Richard Sly, Library Guy, stars in Databases! I think I like the last 30 seconds best.

Jan 30

A Lesson in Music Cataloging

From the creator, Jason Poole:

Final project for my cataloging class at Final project for my cataloging class at UB, as a part of the requirements for a Master’s in Library Science. It consists of the results of an informal survey I did regarding the classification systems used by librarians in Monroe County as well as a brief overview of the ANSCR classification system. It’s a lot more fun than it sounds!!

Jan 26

Friday fun: Haikus About a Bad Librarian

A librarian with whom I have been acquainted for more than 10 years sent these haikus to me, and I enjoy the way they describe the attitude and behavior of a very bad librarian.

A public service!
We’ll keep it hidden from them!
Library koan.

If you can sneak in
I guess we’ll give you info.
Is that how this works?

Thank god it’s Friday.
I’m sure it’s tiring hiding
All week from patrons.

Thank you, anonymous author, for the chuckles. If you come up with more librarian poetry, please do send it my way. 🙂

Has anyone else seen any good and funny poetry about libraries or librarians? If so, please leave a comment and share it!

Posted in Fun
Jan 25

Librarians and IT Professionals

Via Tame the Web, a funny video about librarians and IT professionals in the model of the recent Apple Mac television advertisements:

I think the tensions between IT and libraries are much more pronounced in a hospital setting than in, for instance, a public library- don’t you? Systems security is a much more serious business when systems data includes PHI. Our CIO keeps our hospital’s systems locked down pretty tightly, and that makes browsing the web for information outside of the library very inconvenient for users…but I can’t generally find fault with his policies in this area. If our network goes down, that could threaten patient safety- so the stakes involved in network security are much higher than in a non-hospital setting.

Jan 23

Paging Dr. Harry Potter

Reading from medical journals isn’t often this much fun.

CMAJ. 2006 Dec 5;175(12):1557-9.

Erle C.H. Lim, Amy M.L. Quek and Raymond C.S. Seet
Duty of care to the undiagnosed patient: Ethical imperative, or just a load of Hogwarts?


With the restoration of You-Know-Who to full corporeal form, the practice of the dark arts may lead to multitudes being charmed, befuddled and confounded. At present, muggle ethics dictate that aid may be rendered in a life-or limb-threatening situation, but the margins are blurred when neither is at stake. Muggle and wizard healers, fearful of being labelled ambulance chasers, may shy away from approaching those who remain blissfully unaware of their illnesses. We describe 4 case studies in which we intervened as muggle healers, to salutary effect. The afflicted were healed or helped, without bringing the weight of the Ministries of Magic or Magical Healing upon us. We advocate a spirit of cooperation between muggle and magical folk, mindful of the strengths that the healing arts from each community have to offer. As long as the intent is beneficent, healers or even the wizard or muggle on the street may intervene and render aid to the afflicted.

Contains notes on both Wizard and Muggle medicine as observed at St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries:

While at St. Mungo’s, we were struck by the number of people (healers and lay-wizards alike) who suffered from hitherto undiagnosed conditions. Wizard healers, unaccustomed to muggle ailments such as Tourette’s syndrome, failed to identify it in 2 of their number, who spent much of their time fidgeting, writhing and grunting expostulations. One of them had attributed the ailment to having been cursed as a child with the Imperius curse by YKW. How simple it would have been for us to point the way to a neurology text book, but being cross-trained in both the muggle and magical healing arts rendered us uncertain of our moral stance, and thus mute.

Full text: [HTML] [PDF]

Thanks to the Canadian Medical Association Journal for the grins and to Becky for catching this and pointing it out. (Becky found it via this blog)

Jan 18

I’m in Library Journal!

The 1/15/2006 Library Journal blurbed about the poll I ran to invite others to suggest and vote for a replacement title for “librarian” after Alex Aiken, a Westminster council official and “former policy director for the Tories,” expressed to a conference of the Public Library Authorities his belief that “[t]he concept of the librarian has to change and perhaps a start would be to abolish the title itself, with its connotations of middle-aged conservatism.”

I’m of course tickled to be mentioned in Library Journal, but I wish it was for something that mattered a little more. Maybe if I ask very nicely, I can convince them that LibWorm is a story worth covering.

While we’re on the topic of LJ, be sure to check out Melissa Rethlefsen’s interview with Tim Spalding about LibraryThing.

Jan 09

Biblioblogosphere “Five Things” Round-Up (plus Cite Bite demo)

I thought it might be fun to use LibWorm to quickly find all the bibliobloggers who got tagged with the “five things you don’t know about me” meme and feature some of the most fun and interesting bits from a number of them. The links use Cite Bite, so they’ll not only take you to the blog post, but will highlight the relevant bit I’m referring to. Not clear what I mean? Try clicking on some of the links.

The Vancouver Law Librarian doesn’t actually live in Vancouver.

Mark Lindner has had encounters with nuclear warheads AND (unrelatedly) is banned from donating blood.

The Cool Librarian is a champion thrower of Cast Iron Skillets.

The Wash Tub Librarian has modelled in the nude (Sorry, no images available).

In a moment that should have been in a John Hughes film, Elizabeth Lane Lawley (then co-captain of her high school dance squad) hurled obscenities at her group, went home, and burned hundreds of paper flowers she’d made for their homecoming float.

Respected Law Librarian Connie Crosby calls herself a “gym bunny.”

Joyce Valenza is now at peace with her hair.

The Lipstick Librarian became a varsity shot putter in order to meet guys.

Phil Bradley is afflicted with a butter phobia.

Sophie Brookover can watch Chinese movies without the subtitles turned on!

George Needham won two days of Jeopardy! …but can’t “get past the second level of the telephone quiz to qualify for ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?'”

Libraryman (Michael Porter) is “…concerned about the collapse of western civilization,” but tries to live life like he doesn’t think it is going to happen. (Don’t know why exactly, but I love this line.)

Jan 08

Transcendence of Language

It is good to know that some things really are universal.

As previously noted (see the bottom of this post), I set up an RSS feed from LibWorm to let me know when any of the 1500 feeds indexed by LibWorm mentioned Maplewood.

A post came up in my aggregator this morning via that feed and although I don’t read Portuguese, I got a huge kick out of the title of the post:

Que parte do Sssshhhhhiu é que não entendem?

I know just enough Spanish (and Spanish is just similar enough) to figure out what this says without looking it up: What part of “Shhhhh” don’t they understand?

It made me chuckle.

Here’s the whole post awkwardly machine-translated into English via Google.

Posted in Fun
Nov 29

Sliders: Library Rap

Why can’t some really talented hip-hop artists do library promotion? How about Jurassic 5? I’d love to see a Chali 2na READ poster.

Look at the lower left corner of the screen. This fictional hip-hop group (from the television show Sliders) is called MC Poindexter and the Study Crew.

(Embedded Video below)


Yo homes, what up?
What up with you?
What we gonna say?
What we gonna do?
Where we gonna go?
What we gonna see?
We’re goin’ to
The Library.

I’m moving down the aisle with my homeys in tow
We’re groovin’ in the home of the librarian (yo!)
She checks us out from behind thick glasses
We walk right past and we wiggle our asses.

Hemingway, Lawrence, Chekhov and Miller
Fitzgerald was a freak, Mailer is a killer

Quiet please!
Quiet please!

The silence is golden
To books I am beholden
I know I’m bad,
‘Cuz of the knowledge that I’m holdin’!

And I give you one warnin’
There will be no repeats:
Get out of my face
While I’m readin’ my Keats.

(Lyrics found here)

*Sigh.* Such whack rhymes. If you like it anyway, there is an mp3 here.

Nov 29

Why don’t we do it in our sleeves?

“The purpose of this video is to make coughing into one’s sleeve fashionable- and even patriotic!”

(Embedded flash video is below- click here if you’d prefer .wmv or .mov.)

This is educational and I think it’s funny! I’m sick right now- sneezy, coughing (into my sleeve!), and dopey from cold medicine, so it is possible that I am overestimating it’s entertainment value.

More from Coughsafe.com

More from the CDC, including handouts/posters

Heh. Infection control humor. Love it. (*cough!*)

One critique of the video: With the title they chose, it should have had a Beatles parody for theme music.


Nov 22

Updated: “Final” Poll Results

Update: Well, I’m not thrilled with the winning title, but it won by a significant margin:


Well, I have to say that I’m a little disappointed.

Alex Aiken, a Westminster council official and “former policy director for the Tories,” expressed to a conference of the Public Library Authorities his belief that “[t]he concept of the librarian has to change and perhaps a start would be to abolish the title itself, with its connotations of middle-aged conservatism.

davidrothman.net requested suggestions on what new and sexier term might replace “librarian,” and posted a poll with those suggestions.

With 35 votes recorded, there is a clear favorite: Information Goddess/God. C’mon, folks! Can’t we be more than egotists? My personal favorite is “Information Alchemist,” but I like “Indagatrix”, too.

Poll results as of Friday, 11/21/2006 11:21 PM EST

Here’s the poll again, I’ll leave it open through the end of the Thanksgiving weekend.