Friday, April 27, 2007

I'm working the closing shift at the library. The GAs always have to work it, becuase obviously nobody else wants to.

I was hoping to finish two last articles for my literature review in Human-Computer Interation class, but they are putting me to sleep! If I keep reading I'm going to fall out of my chair.

OK, so, to make that last post less ... worthless ... let me reiterate that every library patron has the right to request that materiials be removed from the collection as inappropriate. Those materials won't often be removed, because the Library Bill of Rights holds that libraries collects materials representing thr full range of experiences and viewpoints, but the right to review is there.

In fact I covered this on my Comps exam. One of the questions was to "discuss an ethical challenge," and so I wrote about challenged materials in the public library. I wish I had the essay to show you, but they won't let us have them back. In fact I believe they have been destroyed. Anyway, the proper way to handle this is to have a formal "Challenged materials" form for the aggreived patron to fill out, and a formal review process for the book in question. Which it seems the library in question has done. So it's all good.

I still think it's funny, though.

I'll just BET there were!

Take a look at this from AL Direct:

The father of two teenage boys has asked city officials to fine the
Bentonville (Ark.) Public Library for keeping
The Whole Lesbian Sex
Book by Felice Newman on the open shelves where his sons could find it. Earl Adams said his 14- and 16-year-old sons discovered the book in January while browsing for literature on military academies and were “greatly disturbed,” causing “many sleepless nights in our house.”

BWA-HA-HA-HAHA!!!! You think??? Sleepless nights when two teenage boys get their sweaty hands on a lesbian sex manual??? You think???

**Gasp!!!** I'm sorry, I shouldn't be so heartless. Obviously this guy is upset, and certainly he has every right to monitor what his kids read. It was just the unfortunate phrasing of the orignal AL Online post that had me laughing out loud at the reference desk.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Well So Much for That!

So much for Thirty in Thirty! I definitely dropped off a cliff there after taking Comps. Or into a black hole, as it were. Comps themselves were not actually that hard, intellectually, yet I still found them emotionally exhausting. Because they have been drumming into us CopmsCompsComps since before we even got here. SLIS tries so hard to make it seem like this big rite of passage, which it is in a way, but as an actual academic exercise it's not actually that grueling.

The soul-crushing load of homework I have had since then has not helped. I thought this, my final semester, would be a cakewalk. But it has turned out to be my hardest by far.

Hey, if I post ... 26 posts in the next ten hours, I could still make 30 in 30! Heh! Likely? Not.

I may have to go back and add some things, backdated, make myself seem less lame. So if you see me rewriting history, remember, history is written by the victors. And it's my blog, so that means me. :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

When Will It End?

It just tore me up to see the memorial ceremonies attending the resumption of classes at Virginia Tech yesterday. It just all seems so tragic and -- and futile. These things, these school and workplace shootings just keep happening and happening, and no one seems to learn anything. Nothing changes. How long is America going to be willing to bear this cost? The cost of all this gun violence? What is it going to take?

There's another thing, too -- a thing I hate to mention because it seems so cold. But it has to be said. Last week, while we were stunned and grieving VT, suicide and other bombings in Iraq killed 183 people! That's like a Virginia Tech massacre every day! I read in Newsweek a while back that over 3,000 civilians in Iraq are killed every month. That's as many as were killed in 9/11! How many 9/11s have happened in Iraq since "Mission Accomplished?"

I don't begrudge anyone's mourning over VT -- far from it. It is only human nature to be more concerned about your own people, your own country, than strangers far away. But if we can't grieve for the Iraqis that way, let us at least be mindful. Be mindful of the death and the destruction, which we began. We have to ask, how long are we willing to bear that cost, too? What's it going to take?

Monday, April 16, 2007


The Dean of my library school called me herself today, to let me know that I passed my comprehensive exams with distinction! Yaaaayyy! She said it was unanimous, too -- that all three faculty members on my review committee agreed that my responses were of superior quality.

Oh, I was the only one who passed with distinction, too. The first one in several semesters, apparently, so it's a really big deal. Wow!

(Actually, that feels a little weird. Being the only one. I wish someone else had made it, too. I enjoy being one of a select few. But being singled out like that, being primus inter pares if you will, makes me a little uncomfortable. It fires up my shyness.)

I don't think most people are interested in gaining distinction. "I just want to pass," my classmates say.

But distinction was something I wanted to do. I thought it was within my grasp, so I went for it, and got it. I wanted to prove to myself that I have mastered the material. And so I have.

I don't think "Graduating with Distinction" shows up on my diploma -- but by gosh it's going on my resume!