California Academic and Research Libraries
California Academic and Research Libraries
Table of Contents .
April 2011 Newsletter- The Books and Booze Issue rss

Advice from Dr. CARL Steinlaufen

Dr. Carl Steinlaufen MLS, MSW, Ph.D, is an internationally known consultant on professional ethics. For twenty years he has counseled librarians and other academic professionals on a variety of career topics.


Dear Dr. Carl,
What's all this noise about the hipster librarian thing? Is our image so bland that we feel the need to have the belly-dancing librarian, the tattooed librarian, the kinky/slut librarian and all of that rococo nonsense? Why can't we just do our work, keep our heads down and handle the tough stuff without proclaiming our subversive, radical side? We do our best work camouflaged anyway.

Dear Peeved,
Dr. Carl takes your point. There does seem to be some sort of perverse trend in the profession that requires denial of the hackneyed librarian archetype, especially as represented in the media, (the "shushtype" I am tempted to call it.) I suspect the profession has had a chronic insecurity syndrome since the death of the library at Alexandria. But you should also realise that everyone craves some recognition sometimes, it is so common to be overworked and undervalued, that some of this desire should be acknowledged. One way to measure a profession's prestige is to examine the jokes told about it. Doctors, lawyers, even engineers have reams of jokes poking fun of their professional characteristics. How many librarian jokes are there? Outside of the profession you would be hard pressed to find someone who could recollect any at all. Amongst most librarians, I suspect the number could be handled with the digits of one hand, if that. You will know librarianship has arrived when the jokes proliferate, call it Dr. Carl's Impact Index.

Dear Dr. Carl,
What's this I hear about OCLC? They aren't supporting MARC any more? This has been the standard, THE standard for bibliographic records since the 70's! How so ever are we going to continue without this? We librarians invented this, we saw it through thick and thin, tweaked and modified it so it works for almost anything. Tell me it isn't true!
MARCless in Merced

Dear MARCless,
Hold on a moment. Yes, Dr. Carl can confirm that OCLC does not use MARC as their base record format any more (instead using a far more flexible XML approach) but they will be able to spit out MARC records until the cows come home. But that is not the point. I sense some panic, which does not always lend itself to clear reflection. How long has MARC been the standard? Thirty some years?
Remembering that at the time folks argued about using fields greater than two characters wide, since that would "hog up" memory? The world has moved on, MARCless, and while Dr. Carl is not one to denigrate the value of security blankets, he is also one to recognise the value of evolution. It is time to let go of MARC. The XML standard is flexible and ever-improving. And it will get superseded
as well. As the old adage goes, "the best part about standards is that there are so many of them." Librarians may have invented MARC but their focus should be on the future, and improvements.
Dr. Carl
says Get Over It.

CARL Business

Twinkies and Champagne

Ever wonder what the CARL's Executive Board does when they are flown in from far off locations for their twice yearly summit? They get no matching button-down aloha shirts and no free conference shwag, but they do get "free lunch." In addition, during the December 2010 meeting, new and older Ex-Boarders celebrated hte changing of the (CARL) guard with Twinkies and Champagne. Too bad there wasn't enough time to drink it up during the meeting! One librarian tried to sneak her bottle into her carry-on luggage, and we haven't heard from her since TSA stopped her at the airport gate!



Interest Group News

Library Entrepreneurship & Risk Taking (Let-it-Ride) Interest Group
Program Report
February 30, 2011

Almost every academic library has a coffee shop now, but new research shows that these establishments are doing little to satisfy the actual beverage needs, or achieve the desired revenue streams for their campuses.  Amy Wallace, CARL President Emeritus, discussed her ground breaking research and delivered practical tips at a workshop hosted by the CARL Let-it-Ride Interest Group on Friday April 1, 2011.   

The workshop opened with a discussion by Ms. Wallace, who travelled California to conduct blind taste tests outside academic library coffee shops.  Participants were asked to taste a flight of beverages, including water, milk, tea, coffee, microbrew beer, national brand beer, red wine, white wine, champagne, and whiskey.  Participants were then asked to rank the beverages from most likely to purchase to least likely to purchase, and data was gathered on serving size and price points.  Faculty and administrator participants ranked whiskey, red wine, and champagne as their top three most likely to purchase, while student participants ranked mirco beer, national brand beer, and champagne as their top three most likely to purchase.  Serving size data varied from 4oz to keg, but was not statistically significant.  However, the data clearly showed that students, faculty, and administrators were willing to pay three times more for whiskey, red wine, champagne, micro-brewed beer, and even national brand beer than coffee or tea.  Shortly after this study, Ms. Wallace established the first academic library brew pub, which now contributes $500,000 annually to her library’s collection budget.

Ms. Wallace was a bit full of herself, but finally she stopped talking, and workshop participants were able to get some real practical tips and hands-on experience.  Breakout sessions included “Beer Making 101”, “Growing Hops in Your Library Atrium”, “Converting the Break Room Refrigerator into Keg Storage”, “Purchasing Requisitions for Used Beer Making Equipment with an Eye to Sustainability”, “Handling Difficult Patrons J”, “Making the Best of Library and Food Service Relationships”, and “Don’t Underestimate the Power of the I.B.U”.   Overall, the workshop was extremely well attended.  Participants noted a number of takeaways, and several planned to go back to speak to their chief financial officers about next steps in library pub development.

Submitted by Amanda Brew
Chair, Let-it-Ride Interest Group

CARL's Notable Publication Awards 2011

California Academic and Research Libraries is proud to announce our first Notable Publication Awards! The award highlights unique contributions of CARL members to the scholarly literature, and includes cash payment identical to the amount authors receive from the journals that publish their work.

INFORMATION LITERACY DIVISION: Exterminous Data Loss in Information Seeking Behavior Hyperbolisms
by Notessa Drool
JGA: Journal of Gratuitious Abbreviations Volume 13, issue 27

A keystone element of Information Literacy (IL) Instruction involves Information Seeking Behavior (ISB). University students, even when well trained in IL practices, often lose important data elements during the research process, either due to organisational carelessness, or non-foresightful habits. Retrieving citation information at the end of the semester produces frustration and frequently subpar intellectual production. Various Bibliographic-citation Management Systems (BMS) include Endnote, and Refworks, and open source Zotero offers an attractive option for parsimonious pupils. Retrieval and management of research data can be improved with careful training, and help to prevent hyperbolic shifts in data recovery. This study examines hyperbolic research practices in light of BMS software development, and recommends careful attention to citation management. Student performance (GPA, retention rate, portable USB drive retention, etc.) improves with increased awareness of citation importance.

REFERENCE SERVICES DIVISION: The Reference Interview, Unplugged, or: I Can't Get No Satisficing
by Garth Floog
Journal of Super Situated Semantics, Volume 17, Issue 1

Reference theory and practice have long turned upon one basic assumption: the few library patrons who can muster enough courage to approach the reference desk are nincompoops who can't be trusted to dress themselves, much less understand their own information needs. In order to get around this problem, reference librarians are advised to structure their interviews in such a way that meaning and relevance can be divined from within the mess of inarticulate vernacular that too often passes for communication. The author collected and analyzed nearly 1,000 patron questions and the resulting mediated interventions, as well as the results of an evaluative survey instrument offered to patrons. Findings from this study include the identification of specific patterns that hinder the reference interaction process; these patterns (including Social Services Case Management, Bait and Switch Shuckster, Librarian-Curious, and Let Me Tell You About My Mother) are described and a new model is proposed. The author terms this model "Reference Unplugged" and submits that if librarians dispense with the structured interview and allow patrons to free-associate for 17 minutes or longer, they will arrive at exactly the same conclusions the librarian would have. Exhibits and appendices include reference interaction transcripts and analysis (e.g., Patron Query: "I need books and news footage about the San Domingo State College strike of 1968" versus Actual Information Need: "Why is there no pub in the library, and where can I get a decent pint around here?")

LIBRARY MANAGEMENT DIVISION: Library Services and Pirates
by Leticia Pepto-Leatherby
Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual End-Times in Libraries Conference, Fall 2010

The accidental opening of the Gates to the Underworld during 1994's Northridge earthquake created significant impacts on library service in both public and academic institutions. In this paper, the author provides a brief overview of these effects, including service disruptions (e.g., the bad mix made by ectoplasm and computer cords), competition for resources (e.g., instant message reference log-jams due to increased queries requiring arcane supernatural knowledge) as well as the psychological impact on mortal users experiencing increased uncertainty in their learning environments. Pepto-Leatherby, a children's librarian at LAPL, further describes her research involving outreach to reanimated pirates. While ghosts, witches, goblins, sea monsters and zombies (it goes without saying) were excluded from the target audience, the author designed an outreach campaign to bring pirates to the library during children's lap-sit story times. Because pirates are members of a digitally underserved community, WOM (Word of Mouth) marketing was conducted at local marinas and taverns. The author then created randomized control and experimental groups, with Tuesday afternoon lap-sits barring the doors to all supernatural beings, and Thursday afternoon lap-sits including reanimated pirates. Findings of the study are discussed, including positive outcomes (e.g., pirate-led sing-a-longs during story time elicited a concurrent spike in positive evaluations by attendees) and negative outcomes (parrots can be messy). For children's librarians, this experiment also points to an ethical gray area: with preschool aged children being exposed to profane language and modeling of poor dental hygiene, what is the library's in loco parentis responsibility?

CATALOGING DIVISION: Toward a Welsh Folksonomic Taxonomy: It's About time, Chyfrgolla
by Melvin Fussybottom
Obscure and Arcane Quarterly, Spring 2011

Linguists have been noting significant indicators of an increased usage of the Welsh language; indeed, recent research indicates that 20% of Welsh primary school students (and 40% of Welsh home-dwelling parrots) are learning their first profanities in Welsh. With the Welsh Language Measure 2010 having now made Welsh the official language of Wales, library science is following suit and offering linguistically appropriate services to the Welsh library-going public. Attempts to catalog in Welsh during previous eras were impeded by scarcity of resources (such as the relative fragility of the W and Y keys on UK-manufactured mid-20th-century typewriters). Technological advances as well as indigenous user demand have supported major strides toward the development of a native Welsh classification system. This paper includes a review of the recent theoretical literature and a discussion of implications for practice, as well as a pronunciation primer for the tongue-tied would-be nationalist.

CARL's Wine and Book Pairings: Recommendations for the Well Read

Over the centuries, an uncommon amount of attention has been devoted to the pairings of wine and food, probably not unnaturally, since the lubrications of the self, at least as formulated by early modern Europe and thus currently construed, seek sustenance in both liquid and solid formats. But what of the pairings of the mind and the bottle? Surely literature, that splendid tonic of sanity, deserves equal voice when considering the combination of a particular literary work with a liquid libation.

CARL, never known for its shyness when it comes to liquid refreshment, comes to the rescue, as it so often does, with this ground-breaking first fusillade into the fertile waters of book and wine pairings. Some muted annoyance lingers amongst certain wine connoisseurs over the sometimes lurid wording used to designate various vinatory qualities (characterised and derided by former San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen as the "prismatic luminescence" school of wine description), but we have to side with Wittgenstein on this, paraphrasing his main tenet, that "language is all we have." The peculiar wordings needed to designate flavours are equally appropriate for the evaluation of the sublimity of fine writing.

The following list is not offered in a prescriptive fashion, only as suggestions for thoughtful readers and imbibers. As always, keeping your own journal of what books worked well with particular wines will help elevate empirical values and propagate the standard academic affinity for evidence-based analysis. For your edification, and future imbibatory pleasures, CARL offers up this first annual round of Book and Wine Pairings; may you enjoy these to your fullest capacity.

"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all of the miseries of life."

Somerset Maugham

War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy

This work requires a wine with considerable complexity, something to sip, long term, with enough depth to last for many years. The cabernets from Clo du Bois, particularly the 2006 year, comes closer to anything else we can imagine: dark, ruby red colour, the initial astringency melting away on the tongue as the plot unfolds, surprises coming at unexpected places. Halfway through a glass, you never think of looking up to see how much is left in the bottle, but pour again and again, savoring the long lasting, highly dialectical look at the major forces in the world: sweetness vs. acidity, the interplay of highly fermented human actions against strong young impressionable forces, the power of a deep nose and profound subtlety. The book has to be matched with power and depth, a high alcohol level and a strong, decisive finish.

Jane Smiley

This delightful little spring romp though the academic landscape offered by a Midwestern university calls, above all, for a nice Riesling from perhaps Alsace or northern coastal Sonoma counties. Smiley's prose, so clear and workmanlike, matches the pale clarity of a Riesling, the sweetness not overpowering, but balanced by a touch of the mildest acid. Grassy, picnic aromas should dominate, and the freshness of a Riesling will ever so subtly act as counterpoint to Smiley's more acerbic take on academic life.

Robert Mailer Anderson

This lightweight, needlessly complex and completely overrated novel has an annoying beginning, bombastic middle and cloying, unrealistic finish. The characters are two dimensional, the plot flimsy at best, the language so hip and self-referential it is painful to the digestive system. I think we are talking Ripple territory here. If you finish a whole liter of it, which you should do quickly, the book then almost becomes palatable.

Love in the Time of Cholera
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This strong, spicy story of love, its depths and passion, endurance and the nuances of time, demands a similarly robust wine. The summer heat of Sonoma County's Alexander Valley lends a three dimensional element of passion to the Zinfandel grapes grown there, producing a wine whose deep complex mouthfeel leaves you breathless and coming up for air. The gorgeous deep ruby tone from these grapes makes for a wine that provides an enduring tribute to love, capped off by a long, languorous, deeply satisfying post-coital finish.

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

At first you would think of something civilised and smooth, say a Chardonnay or a nice young Beaujolais, but aficionados at CARL would argue against this. A little digging beneath the surface and you get some fairly raw passions, a touch of the terroir, and a willingness to face some unexpected turns. We suggest something raw and earthy as well, with a balance of astringency and a certain long-lasting finish. Go with a 2005 Barbera, with its long nose, unexpected colour and insouciant dash.

Grapes of Wrath

Oddly enough and despite the title, we don't think you want something from the vineyard with this one. A gritty, moving tribute to nomadic, working class resilience, this book is testament to the adage "It takes a whole lot of beer to make a little bit of wine." This is a dark, complex, murky bit of literature and any resemblance to a Mediterranean climate is strictly superficial. Flavours need to be robust, earthy, malted and grainy. Go with a strong IPA from Stone Brewing, or a full hopped offering from Hales in Seattle. Don't dare settle for anything Belgian, or even a firkin of lager.

NOTE: CARL and ACRL remind readers to always drink and read responsibly, especially the second. Some of the combinations noted should be avoided while using heavy machinery and are not recommended for pregnant women or those on the tenure track.

People News

Melvin Fussybottom, Head of Archaic Cataloging at Large State University has been named Antiquarian of the Year by the Extra Special and Esoteric Librarians Association (ESELA) for his work in translating the Library of Congress Subject Headings into Welsh. "Ignoring the fact that researchers in Wales might have little need for LC Subject headings, Mr. Fussybottom was the obvious choice for the award, observed an ESELA official."  

Eugenia Belcher has accepted the position of Coordinator of Macaroons and Metadataat Eureka State College . Ms. Belcher comes to Eureka from a similar position as Confectionery Librarian at Pimpledine University.

Helmet Bündwagen, Coordinator of New Initiatives at Middling State University reports that his library is getting ready to do the next big thing. Contacted by CARL for a comment Bündwagen noted, “We’re not sure what it will be or even if it will help any of our users but we’re ready to put it in place ASAP.”

Lucretia Moscowitz of Sierra Rabbinical School has won the Library Instruction Roundtable’s, "Dog and Pony Show Award" for longest time keeping freshmen engaged and busy during a library instruction session.

Fleetwood Roundhouse, Assistant University Librarian for Oh-So-Special Collections at Monastic University is on sabbatical this semester and will continue work on his book, Cutter Numbers and Number Cutters: Existentialism and Exegesis in Library Shelving and Budgeting.

Faith Begone, Philosophy Librarian at Our Lady of Perpetual Motion and Holy Middle Names, has been named Interim Director of that University’s Pedantic Studies Department.

Sarah J. Spittle has been elected Chair of ALA’s Committee on Committees where she’ll attempt to finally rein in the proliferation of ALA Roundtables. Anyone wishing to help tackle this issue is encouraged to join the new roundtable that is being formed to take a look at the problem.

Russell Sprout has been appointed by Accidental College as the Peter Principal Librarian of the Year having finally burned all previous career bridges at his institution. “I’m glad to be able to give back exactly what I’ve received over the years during my career,” Sprout commented by email.

Newton Hootle has accepted a position as Reference, Instruction and Problem Patron Librarianat Mediocre Valley Community College.

Gidget Wink-Templeton and Gaston Bellows have been named co-recipients of the Birkenstock Award for Librarian Stereotypes. Ms. Wink-Templeton was lauded for her sensible shoes, quirky glasses, and short, formless haircut while the award committee noted Mr. Bellows’ heavy use of sweater vests, facial hair, clunky shoes and bow ties.

Ami Wallachinski, Librarian Emeticus, CSU Don't-Change-the-Channel Islands, published an article, "Oh Shit! We Have Information Illiterates. What Are We Going to Do Now and Who Really Cares?" in the Journal of Information Literacy 88: 9, 43-53. Always a busy librarian, she then presented a lively keynote at the LOEX of the West Conference about information literacy as inalienable right: "Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Undead: Reaching Out to Our Growing Underserved Populations" April 1, 2011.

About the CARL Newsletter

The CARL Newsletter (ISSN: 1090-9982) is the official publication of the California Academic & Research Libraries organization and is published online quarterly. The RSS feed rss for this newsletter is available at

Deadlines for submissions: February 15, May 15, August 15, and November 15. For special April editions, deadlines are March 28.

Newsletter submissions, including creative contributions, People News and Places News should be sent to For corrections, questions and comments contact the editor, Mira Foster (, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University, 1630 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132. Special thanks to Nicole Allensworth (Notable Publication Awards), Ned Fielden (Dr. CARL, Notable Publication Awards, Wine and Book Pairings), Jeff Rosen (People News) and Amy Wallace (IG Report and People News) for their guerrilla contributions to this special issue. Additional thanks to our readers for scrolling to the bottom of this web page!

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