Monday, June 30, 2008


So I went to the ALA convention on Saturday.

And I realized that I'm not part of that club. We'll get to that in a moment.

I was actually a little excited...they advertised GAMING PAVILION! And GREEN PAVILION! And TECHNOLOGY PAVILION! I got a Wii demonstration, low-emission carpets and new OPAC software. This appeals to a certain demographic, I'm sure.

However - I did see some cool stuff. A lot of great books, the Unshelved people (I got this shirt), and some interesting technology that could be used in my own industry. I also got to meet some people at the SJSU booth, where I had an intriguing conversation with some random guy about Second Life and how it should be made "safer".

But I'm not part of the public/school library group, to whom this convention is directed. My true "a-ha" moment came while I was speaking with the county library system and told them that I was interested in emerging technologies. They thought I wanted to work in technical services. One of them kind of poo-pooed the work that those folks do, making them sound like a bunch of trolls living in their pajamas with no communication skills. It didn't help that the people manning the booths were HR directors, not librarians.

Obviously, my time has not's a little discouraging, but everyone around me thinks it's exciting. What it really means is that I'm going to have to convince the library world that they need someone like me.

In the meantime, I did see that someone has re-written "I, Robot" - taking the original book and the movie and making it better! At least that's what he says. AND...I saw the two creepiest little girls EVER. They wrote The Strand Prophecy - and they were dressed exactly as they appear on that website. I have pictures.

And I REALLY wanted to take pictures of the fashions of the ALA, but it was just too grim. I did, however, send a token picture of one of the worst to Miss NPW. Suffice it to say that the rest involved a lot of denim, flowers and a collection of the most sensible shoes I've ever seen.

I wore Dr. Martens clogs, by the way. A girl has to maintain her dignity.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

But It Won't Get Me Down

What do you do when you feel like people resent the fact that you might aspire to greater things?

I had a conversation with a colleague the other night that is really bothering me. I made a passing comment that I was going to the ALA convention to meet with the libraries in LA county to see what they're up to in terms of emerging technologies and blah blah blahcakes informational interviews.

You'd have thought I said I was going to stay in Vegas and become a stripper.

She got all defensive and insinuated that it was all her doing that I'm in the position I'm in now and somehow I'm beholden to stay with the company for eternity. Number one, it had nothing to do with her. Number two, I didn't say I was walking out tomorrow to leave everyone hanging. I still have work to do here, and probably at least a year before I would feel comfortable in the knowledge that everything will function without my presence. Number three, everyone I work for is 25 years older than I - this means that they will retire long before my career is over.

But - when do you decide to walk away from it all?

Yes, I have a lot of opportunities in this industry as an information professional. But none of it has anything to do with what I truly want to do when I grow up. I'm not going to be the virtual librarian of themed entertainment, nor is a spot for an emerging technologies librarian going to appear with the TEA. It's just not going to happen.

I feel like my mission now is to set everything up to work without me, and I'm working toward that goal. It means hours of staring at keyword lists and subject headings and looking at software and explaining that no, you can't scan that at 72 dpi to save disk space. But it also means practical experience in an environment that I understand and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

And I don't know why I let it bother me so much. I don't owe anyone anything...I've given enough, and I don't feel like anyone owes me anything, either. I just want to do the best job I can while I'm here, and walk out when my dream job comes along.

I don't want to feel guilty about wanting that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Land of Port

As Gene likes to call it, was very nice. East coast-style, really, which is fine because it's easy to walk and all that jazz.

I'm still an L.A. girl all the way.

I spent four hours in Powells and didn't make it all the way through the store. I did come out with a large pile of books AND under my budget. I'm not sure that'll happen next time, because it won't be just me, but my other half as well.

Also: the movie set? Better than Frankenweenie, it was Coraline. And while it isn't a Burton film, it is directed by Henry Selick and that's all that matters. I wish I could talk about it, but I signed my life away via NDA. Coming from an industry that relies on people actually NOT disclosing information I will respect it.

But it was REALLY COOL.

So now I'm back home slowly melting in the pre-summer heat and planning on going to Vegas this weekend because I'm not hot enough. GAH. Actually, it's kind of a work thing because everyone is going to InfoComm and wants me to come out and hang with them, since they think I'm some kind of Vegas insider 24-hour party person.

I go there and sit in my PJs on the sofa. But I guess I have a reputation to uphold.

Friday, June 13, 2008

My Personal Pilgrimage

Another weekend of living out of my suitcase is upon me. But this time it's different! I'm only flying through Vegas. To Portland.


Oh yes, I am making the trek to the holy of holies. I am so excited I could spit, and I know I'm going to be so completely overwhelmed I won't be able to remember anything that I want, and I'm not dork enough to actually take a list with me. I mean, I'm a dork, but I have some scruples.

It's an entire block. OF BOOKS. And ohmygod I just saw this:

It's a series.

ANYWAY, I'm really going to Portland for a birthday party. For a one-year-old. With 40 people. I am confused about the hubbub, and considering the fact that I will only know five people, I'll probably just quietly drink in the corner.

MMM...drink. I haven't had one of those in a week. I remind myself of how many calories I'm saving every day that I don't imbibe, and then I eat a cheeseburger.

I will never be a supermodel.

The other part of my trip? I get to visit the set of the new Tim Burton stop-motion animation film...FRANKENWEENIE. My husband hates me a little because of that. I know someone who knows someone and that's the only reason I'm going. But still!

Also: Oregon will be either my 41st or 42nd state. I can't remember if I've been to Connecticut. And if I make it 10 miles north I can cross off Washington, too.

Life is good.

PS: Stolen Innocence was fantastic. Very highly recommended. I'll spend my trip reading back issues of US Weekly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In Between Days

The quiet rut that is my life has been most comfortable of late. I have no clue what I've even done in the last two weeks.

I know what I haven't done - that bottle of Cristal is STILL in my refrigerator. Three weeks and counting?!!! I know - I can't believe it myself. I fully planned on drinking it over the weekend, but the gin got in the way.

I will be wrinkly someday, yes. And so will my liver.

In the meantime, I'm reading books! Who knew? I read this one a couple weeks ago:

I think it can only be truly appreciated by librarians. I found it laugh out loud funny, although from some of the random comments I've seen online others haven't found it as amusing. Nor do they consider Borchert a "librarian". I have plenty to say about that, as I am part of the group that firmly believes that an MLS does not a librarian make. I'm sure that most para-professionals in the public library could run circles around me, and I'm sure that they know a hell of a lot more about Reader's Advisory than I ever will. So yes, I consider them my peers just as much as anyone who spent the time and money for a piece of paper.

I still like my piece of paper, and the extra letters after my name. I just saw the proof for my new business card and being one of two employees with letters after her name ROCKS SOCKS.

And I started this one yesterday...many thanks to Miss NPW for putting this on her Goodreads list:

I'm 75 pages into it and captivated.