Archive for the 'Library' Category

King Elvis and the Alien Space Ducks

(I originally posted this on The Book Stacks (the book review blog I used to write for) back in June of 2007, but it’s funny, so I thought that y’all might enjoy it too. Also? I totally thought I’d posted this here already. Sorry.)

I know that you’re asking yourself: King Elvis and the Alien Space Ducks?!? What do they have to do with books? Well, let me tell you a wee story, and all will become clear.


Once upon a time, I was a Young Adult Librarian in Vacaville, California. During my five and a half year tenure, I designed, helped with, and ran many different kinds of library programs. One of these programs was the Teen Book Club. We read our way through many different books over the years (mostly Fantasy, though, because frankly we liked Fantasy.) Now, after the Teen Book Club had been going on for a while we realized that we had a little problem. Our members were incredibly busy folks. Sometimes they couldn’t quite make it all of the way through the book before it was time for the Book Club meeting to begin. And sometimes those folks didn’t want the ending spoiled for them. I mean, they still wanted to come to Book Club to talk about the parts of the book that they had read, eat cookies, and socialize. What were we to do?

Well, one night we began to invent crazy endings for the books that they had obviously missed by not finishing in time. I believe that it was Mike who originally suggested that Elvis appeared just in time to save the day. Well, over time Elvis became “King Elvis.” (Because Elvis is King, you know?) Not long afterward, Elvis acquired some helper ducks. Wouldn’t you know it? Those ducks turned out to be aliens! That’s right, Alien Space Ducks! Before long we started discussing where Elvis and his friends could be located in each book we were reading. How did Over Sea, Under Stone end? King Elvis and The Alien Space Ducks swooped in with their space ship and defeated the bad guys, of course! I’m sure that you realize King Elvis and The Alien Space Ducks defeat Voldemort at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The book wasn’t even out yet, and we knew that.

For the last Christmas before I left the job, I gave my Book Club crew each one “Alien Space Duck” (Devil Duckies from Archie McPhee were the closest I could get). Too bad I never got an Elvis figurine. That would have been epic.

So, if I’m ever discussing a book and I don’t want to give away particular plot points (or…the ending) you know what to expect.

Image Source:

Posted on 7th January 2011
Under: Library, Rambling | 2 Comments »

New Spice – Study like a scholar, scholar

This giggle-inducing spoof of the Old Spice commercials is a commercial for the Harold B. Lee Library at BYU. Very clever and quite well done. Kudos, folks!

Posted on 16th July 2010
Under: Library, Video | 2 Comments »

The Old Spice Guy on Libraries

A gentleman by the name of Isaiah Mustafa is the Old Spice Guy these days (as seen on TV in commercials of coolness). He’s been Youtubing replies to folks that have asked him questions on Twitter, etc. (Apparently from Portland, OR.) This is his reply on the subject of libraries.

You can check out more on his Youtube channel here. Quite a clever commercial campaign there Old Spice. Excellent choice of spokesperson, too. (…And if you want to know more about the process behind all of this awesomesauce go here.)

Posted on 15th July 2010
Under: Library, Video | No Comments »

IL 2008 Day 2, Part 1 or Please Connect!

funny pictures

[tag]Internet Librarian[/tag] 2008: Day 2, Part 1

What do you know? I actually managed to catch the free breakfast this morning. There may not be such a thing as a free lunch, but here there is free breakfast. I didn’t even fall asleep in the keynote speech…but I did manage to burn my hand on my bagel. Oh, well. It helped me to wake up. (It’s a darn good thing that I’m fond of slightly burned bread. That toaster was turned up to eleven or something. Luckily a curl of smoke alerted me to the plight of my burning breakfast confection.)

This morning’s keynote speech was by Danny Sullivan on the topic of Search Engines. What did I learn? Well…mostly that Google is at the top of the heap. Don’t bother trying to knock it off its perch of King of the Hill for at least a few more years. is the most recent newcomer to try climbing Google’s hill, and it wasn’t well received. (I’ve been there, and I am not fond of the layout. You can check out my search on Alexander Key here.)

Apparently, the way to make a name for yourself in the Search Engine market is to go for the niche, as with Twitter Search. Choose one thing and really own it. Want some examples? (for a more thorough list try here.)

A few “Google Killerettes”:
* – helps you find restaurants in your area. I just went on and reviewed my favorite Indian place. (Their chai is beyond fab.)
* – allows you to search for events in your area. I’ve just discovered that I can go see Peter Pan this coming January.
* – lets you find cheap gas in your area. (It looks like the gas prices on my corner have gone down $.06 since I left to come to the conference.)
* – obviously, this tool allows you to search for videos.

The real issue with these small specific search engines is remembering about them. (Which was the one that did that thing?) Do you have a favorite wee search engine?

Once the keynote speech was over, we had a chance to go to the exhibit hall. I must admit that I displayed a remarkable lack of interest in the exhibits. Sorry folks. The two exceptions were LibraryThing (which I adore, but was so busy I couldn’t get close enough to talk to the folks.) and San Jose SLIS (a.k.a. my alma mater. It seems that they’ve figured out how to create a Ph.D. program. This intrigues me. I actually got to talk to the folks here. They gave me a pen. I love pens.) There was quite the line for the Internet Cafe, but even though my poor laptop still lurked in my room, I passed it by. I even ignored the coffee. (No. Don’t faint with shock.)

I turned resolutely for the room which contained the Learning Track…where I spent the rest of the day. (Except for a couple of breaks here and there.) I learned all kinds of things (and terribly missed having my laptop with me) but I’ll talk about all that in the next post. The important thing for me here is…

I’ve figured out how to use Twitter from my phone!
(Hey! I saw you roll your eyes.) Now I can keep everyone updated with random tweets. I’m sure you are all thrilled about this, because you want to read things like, “Lunch at the Seafood Cafe. Nice view.”

Ah. But tomorrow? Tomorrow I will have my laptop with me. If you hear the sound of a TARDIS materializing, it’s probably me. If I can get a connection (and the computer doesn’t freeze) I may even try posting during a session.

Here’s hoping for a connection.

Posted on 22nd October 2008
Under: Cat, Library, Link, Work | 1 Comment »

IL 2008 Day 1, Part 2 or Links, Links Everywhere

Watching people watch the fish…

Are you ready for more?


Well…come back later, then. The rest of Internet Librarian 2008 day one will be waiting for you. You others still with me? Good. Let’s move on, shall we?

Lots of Links:

From the rest of the day I mostly have a whole bunch of cool websites, etc. So, here they are. Feel free to take a break when your brain gets full. I did.

Greg Notess from Searching Conversations put me wise to:

Twitter Search. It allows you to search Twitter for keywords. For example, #il2008 will get you this. All sorts of search possibilities with this one.

And the slightly creepy Spokeo which allows you to search by a friend’s e-mail address to see things they’ve uploaded in public space. This can include wishlists, your profile on facebook (if you haven’t set it to private), recently uploaded pictures on flickr, etc. If you want to sign up and see what is on there about you, I recommend that you sign up for a new gmail account and use that to sign up. Still don’t think it’s a bit creepy?


This is a picture of my sister and brother (it was used as part of a surprise for a birthday party a few years back). My sister posted it on one of her social media sites, and Spokeo brought it right up. Luckily, in her case, I know that she is very careful to read the privacy settings on everything. So, she probably won’t kill me for posting this here. It just gives one pause, does it not? (Aren’t they cute?)

Right. Moving on.

Jason Clark & Tim Donahue from Search Widgets & Gadgets for Libraries told us about iGoogle. I’ve only just created mine, but it looks like there are all sorts of things you can do with it.

The engaging Steven Cohen (his presentation) offered us some Tips for Keeping Up:

(He was even ready for technical issues, quipping: “Talk amongst yourselves. I’ll give you a topic. RSS feeds are neither Really Simple nor Syndicated. Discuss.”)

Apart from various Firefox extensions of coolness, there were: lets you know when a site has been updated.
Page2RSS allows you to get an RSS feed for sites that do not offer one.
Invisible Auctions which lets you search for misspelled auctions on eBay. You know. The ones no one is bidding on, because they can’t find them.
and which allows you to link to a certain part of a website, so you don’t have to say “Okay. Go here and scroll down halfway…” It looks like this:
Now you can say “check this out.” And folks can follow the link and find the part you’re talking about highlighted.

There you are. The good parts version of the day, just like with The Princess Bride. And just think of all those travel expenses you saved.

Well, I’m off to bed so I can do it all again tomorrow. Night all!

Posted on 20th October 2008
Under: Library, Link, Photo, Work | 5 Comments »

IL 2008 Day 1, Part 1 or My Brain is Full…

My lovely hotel room where I lurk.

I’ve survived the first day of [tag]Internet Librarian 2008[/tag]! (And now I’m hiding in my room like the hermit I am. Did you know that channel 14 is the all jellyfish channel here? Well, it is. There’s a loop of footage from the Aquarium that you may watch endlessly if you wish. It’s quite soothing, really.)

It should be noted, however, that my brain is now full. Obviously I need to dump some of that information into a post for you all. You’re so very shocked by this aren’t you?

This is my first time attending Internet Librarian, and so far I’ve been doing pretty well. Mostly. This morning I actually heard my alarm go off! Mind you, I then had to pick up the alarm clock and stare at it for a minute to figure out how to shut the thing off. I managed to get ready and out of my room even faster than anticipated…then, not knowing that the conference offers a free continental breakfast, I proceeded to eat what is probably the most expensive breakfast of my life to this point.

Also? The strawberries were terrible. Bleh. Seriously. Someone out there is likely to be haunted by the shade of my strawberry-loving grandfather for this one.

I registered, got my bag o’ stuff (another tote bag. yay!), and made it to the spot for the opening keynote speech in plenty of time. (Apparently there are folks here from 48 states, The District of Columbia, and 13 countries. At least that’s what we were told.) The keynote speech really fired me up for this conference. [tag]Howard Rheingold[/tag] certainly knows his stuff. (Psst! Em, he teaches at Stanford.) He’s recently been interested in the concept of “collective action” and has written a book on Smart Mobs. Other topics in that vein that he touched on were: distributed computing (as seen with my favorite SETI@home), Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (a marketplace for Human Intelligence Tasks that is new to me), and Social Media Classroom (which I need to spend more time looking at.) And just to prove Mr. Rheingold’s coolness factor I offer you the fact that he paints his shoes.

Right now I’m hoping that he posts the slides from his presentation somewhere so that I can check out the stuff I missed. I’ve already gone and “followed” him on Twitter. I’m all Web 2.0 like that.

I noticed one other thing once the coffee finally kicked in this morning. There were so many people with laptops in the room for the keynote speech that it occasionally sounded like it was raining outside. Sadly, my laptop lurked alone in my room in all of its pink and occasionally freezing up splendor. I wasn’t missing out on too much, though, as there wasn’t a proper internet connection in the room. That’s right. No WiFi at the Internet Librarian keynote. (I hear that the situation got better in some of the other meeting rooms…but not in that one.)

After the keynote I wandered off to a presentation that bored me silly. Bad choice on my part. Suffice to say that it turns out I can stay awake for forty-five minutes at a stretch, even if my brain resolutely refuses to absorb any of a lecture, as long as I have a pen and paper with which to amuse myself.

Things got better after that…

Posted on 20th October 2008
Under: Library, Link, Photo, Travel, Work | 2 Comments »

Away at a Conference



Hello all. As you can hear in the audio file embedded above I have made it to Monterey for the Internet Librarian Conference. I have my laptop with me, and currently it seems to be behaving (*fingers crossed*). I’m trying a different browser and I’m also attempting not to stress out the computer too much.

I’ll just have to wait and see how that works. Anyway, how could I come to an Internet Librarian conference sans laptop? That would be too shocking by half.

Now that I know that my connection, etc. is working I’m going to go back to working on my pictures from today’s trip to the aquarium. Stand by for pics!

Posted on 19th October 2008
Under: Library, Podcast, Travel | 2 Comments »

A Grand Conjunction


Sometimes things just all come together.

Today, I had to deal with a really angry patron on the phone. Knowing full well that she wasn’t going to be pleasant, I called her anyway with the bad news that we weren’t going to be able to help her. (You see…I know who she is, and I didn’t want my co-workers to have to deal with her. meh.) I really don’t deal well with being yelled at. It’s hard on my nerves. Sigh. Luckily, my Sweetie miraculously appeared not ten minutes later while I was looking for a book in the stacks. He gave me a bit of a cuddle, and I felt much better. Yay for my Sweetie!

But that isn’t the Grand Conjunction I titled this post for. No. And it’s not the one in The Dark Crystal (one of my favorite films) either. This afternoon I discovered where next year’s American Library Association conference is going to be held. Next year’s ALA is going to be in Anaheim, CA. Do you know what else is in Anaheim? Yes. Disneyland.

Okay. So far we have a Library conference in the same town as Disneyland.

Add to this the fact that I spent my honeymoon at Disneyland. (We had a great time. One night we even got to spend in the honeymoon suite at the Disneyland Hotel. The bathroom is the same size as the room…well nearly, and the bed is reinforced. Just some fun facts for you.)

Hmm…now when is the conference? June 26–July 2, 2008? That’s interesting. My anniversary is June 29th. Obviously, it’s a sign! I must spend my anniversary in Anaheim next year. Now, if I can only get my Library System to pay for the conference itself…

I’m tired of not making plans just in case I finally manage to get pregnant. If a miracle occurs, and I am actually pregnant on my anniversary next year, I will just have to take this opportunity to do all of the stuff I normally ignore in favor of rides. *crosses arms* *nods head* So there.

Image Source: ALA

Posted on 18th September 2007
Under: Library, Rambling | No Comments »

So at work today…


At work I am in charge of the 500s (Math/Science), the 000s (Computers/UFOs/Library Science), the Science Fiction, and the A/V (DVDs/Videos/CDs/Books on tape). Anything in good condition that gets donated for those areas goes through me, as I decide whether or not to add the item. Lately, some kind soul has been donating DVD sets of TV Shows. I’ve seen Buffy, Angel, Smallville, etc. Today, I got to add the first 4 seasons of 21 Jump Street. (Sadly, season 5 had a scratch on one of the discs.) Ah, Johnny Depp 20 years ago. Yes, some days I am very amused by my job.

Posted on 31st July 2007
Under: Library | No Comments »