Which Way to the Bookstore?

(source)

If I had a nickel for every time a student walked into the Midtown library expecting to buy a textbook, I’d have a pocketful of change. Why do they come to this place, where shelves are lined with so many books, yet I cannot sell them a single one? Doesn’t that sound like a bibliophile’s bad riddle? (OK. Here’s one. What do you get when a librarian tosses a billion books into the ocean? …A title wave!) No seriously, where is the bookstore? Continue reading

What’s In a Name?

Steve Harvey knows it matters!

At the risk of being redundant, I do love Wikipedia. Without it, I would never have had exposure to the word disambiguation.  (It’s been a long time since I sat for the SAT, and consequently, a long time since I’ve learned any highfaluting vocabulary words.)  Wikipedia resolves ambiguity by clarifying a word, phrase, or person with additional identifying information.  This is a great benefit for the inexperienced.  For example, imagine you are invited by friends to the U of M for winter break.  I know you can have fun anywhere, you party animal, but knowing whether you are traveling to the University of Miami or the University of Minnesota will inform your decision about bringing your Canada Goose.

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Score: Librarian–One, Google–Nothing!

 

wrigley's scoreboard
Wrigley Field’s Scoreboard (CC photo by Scott R Anselmo

When I first entered the library profession, I discovered a secret known to librarians far and wide.  There were many search engines to choose among, and librarians were particular in their preferences.  Search engines were like opinions- everybody had one.  I pity the fool who favored Infoseek or Magellan, because they have gone to the resting place of dearly departed search engines in the sky. (Not the cloud.)  Back then, a typical job interview included the question “What is your favorite search engine?”  There would be no “Ask Jeeves!” for me.  It was Google all the way, baby!   Say the word – get the job! BAM!  It was that easy!  Didn’t you know Google is my middle name? (That’s Carol Google Schapiro, if you please!)  Imagine my shock and disbelief when Google recently could not produce the results to which I have grown accustomed. Continue reading

Funny, Ha! Ha!

(CC image by Fábio Florentino via Wikimedia Commons)
(CC image by Fábio Florentino via Wikimedia Commons)

Continued from Trust Me, I’m a Touro Librarian.

If you didn’t know by now, I enjoy a good laugh.  Joan Rivers was funny.  George Carlin was funny.  Chris Rock is even funnier, because he’s still alive.  Comedians are not the only humorous people out there.  There are other professionals who corner the market on giggles. Continue reading

Trust Me, I’m A Touro Librarian

trust meDon’t worry.  I’m not trying to get all up in your business, but I’ll have to ask you some probing questions.  You may find it a bit off-putting.  You may even be a little offended.  Perhaps you haven’t done this with anyone before.  There is a first time for everything, and darling, your time is now.  I will take care of you.  You have no reason to fear. Continue reading

Librarian Reacts to Change, part II

Melvil Dewey Can’t Land Punch.  Librarian of Congress Poised for Victory. (source)
Melvil Dewey Can’t Land Punch. Librarian of Congress Poised for Victory. (source)

[Continued from Librarians React to Change, part I] Academic and research libraries are not fans of the Dewey decimal system, and they employ other organizational schemes.  The Library of Congress (LC) classification system arranges books using an alphanumeric call number system.  It spans the alphabet from A to Z, although it ignores the W’s and a range of Q’s.  While subject headings are constantly updated and expanded, they are fit within the existing call numbers.  The National Library of Medicine (NLM) utilizes the letters unused in LC to classify medical books with a high degree of specificity.  If you would like to see a guide to the classification systems, click here. Which classification system should a large library use? I can picture a melee of librarians duking it out for classification supremacy. Continue reading

Librarian Reacts to Change, part I

edvard munch scream
Oh no! The horror! (“The Scream,” Edvard Munch)

A periodical typically indicates its purpose and intended audience, and Lucky Magazine is no exception.  Emblazoned on its cover is the phrase “Lucky—The Magazine about Shopping.”  Now that’s something I can get behind.  I like to keep up with trends I am not going to follow.  No hottest coat for chilly days or “ridiculously good riding boots” for me.  Clearly, the intended audience for this magazine skews younger than I; nevertheless, it’s a fun read.  As a librarian, how can I resist flipping through the pages? The content within may hold the answer to my next reference question. Continue reading

Librarian, Heal Thyself!

(CC image by Nevit Dilmen)
(CC image by Nevit Dilmen)

My first exposure to the self-help/advice genre was with the book Write Your Own Horoscope. (I still own the crusty little thing!  Consider it my own personal ready reference.) I needed a quick answer to a burning question.  Could I, with my sun sign in Libra and Sagittarius rising, find everlasting happiness with David, a Scorpio?  (Answer: No.)  In an effort to improve my odds, I next turned to the book How to Make a Guy Fall in Love with You.  It was quite popular in its day. “How to Coerce Trick Make a Guy Fall in Love” advocated using techniques commonly employed by used car sellers to “seal the deal”. I am sad to report that although I followed the author’s instructions exactly, I was unable to achieve the desired results.  Perhaps if I had today’s resources- Get The Guy, and the informative Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. I would have experienced a different outcome. Continue reading

With A Little Help From Our Friends

books
Scholarship shared, one book at a time (photo by Victoria Reyz, Library Assistant)

I’m not a big fan of numbers, but here’s one I found to be interesting.  In the calendar year 2013-2014, Touro Libraries added 8,364*  new books to our holdings.  (“Holdings” – from the language of librarianship, meaning stuff we own.)  That’s a load of books.  For the most part, these were items which we purchased, selected by site librarians to support classes taught at their specific Touro locations.  (For example, Midtown has strength in education, Jewish studies, social work, psychology, clinical medicine, and profession specific literature for physician assistants, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. To see the strengths of your location, find it on the list, then click on “more information”.) Continue reading