Deposed Dictator's Musings
Getting to Know You is a series of interviews with CARL leaders, designed to give CARL members an opportunity to get to know the current, past (and eternal) Executive Board better.
Tell us about how you got involved with CARL and how you came to your role as President Emeritus
I started my career as an instruction librarian, so early on, I hooked up with the best interest group ever: SCIL. They quickly realized my talent and gave me all sorts of jobs. I wasn’t really aware, though, that SCIL reported to a more powerful body until many years later.
I had read my horoscope in the Los Angeles Times and it said, “Virgo: the world would be a better place if everyone just accepted your perfection. You will soon have an opportunity to shine.”
So I got on the phone with my favorite astrologer from 1-800-Psychic to learn more about my opportunity to shine. Gigi told me that I would be President. The next day, Tracey Mayfield called me and said, “Amy Wallace, we need you to run for Carl President.” I had never heard of this nation, Carl, so I asked some questions. I was a bit disappointed to learn that CARL was not a country; it was a library organization. But she had me at “President”, so I said yes. People say that I won merely because I ran unopposed, but I know that everyone went early and often to the polls to vote for me. In fact, I voted for myself at least 248 times. I also made sure that everyone at my library was a CARL member so they could vote for me.
Give us a day in the life of CARL President Emeritus
So, I am angry about the fact that you have to be Vice President for two years before you are President for just one year, and then they make you be Past President for another year after that. Tracey did not really tell me that, or maybe she did, but I don’t remember now. So, I have been working on some revisions to the bylaws that would place me back into the Presidency and keep me in the Presidency. Everyone knows term limits are no fun. How can that not pass?
Describe what it was like working collaboratively with an Executive Board that is located all over California
It was great! It was like having minions everywhere. I would just send emails telling them what we were going to do and, like magic, they did it. I am not sure where everyone was from since, when we met in-person, they always came to me. I think some were even from Northern California, but don’t quote me on that.
Tell us a little bit about your work at CSU Channel Islands
Basically, it is very important. My CI library colleagues recognized my greatness very early on; they would send me jobs for positions from around the world. They also told my administrative colleagues here on campus how I would be great at accreditation and assessment, which they told me was a very important job. So I am doing that now. My colleagues were great about it; in fact, they were very eager to help move my office across campus, and they tell me not to even come over to the library except when invited for special things. When I show up, that makes it even more special. So, it has been about nine months since I took on my new duties and I have not been back to the library. They must be cooking up something really special!
Share a favorite moment from a past CARL conference, project or event
I think my favorite moment was giving the welcome talk at the CARL Conference in Sacramento. I think that is how we got so many attendees that year; no one wanted to miss my talk. When I looked out at the audience, I could see that everyone was just captivated. I could even see a lot of people looking at their cell phones, which means they were busy Tweeting about me and posting about me on Facebook. It must have been super special for everyone.
What excites you the most about CARL's future?
Carl who? Is he running for the President job?
Who do you admire more than anyone else in librarianship?
Wow, this is a hard one. I guess Mao Zedong is my ultimate librarian idol, but who doesn’t want to be J. Edgar Hoover? On a day-to-day basis, I also ask myself, what would Tammy Swanson from Pawnee Library do? She is a real inspiration.
Describe your dream library
My dream library would be on the bluffs near Gualala, California with a big office for me overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There would be rotating celebrity chefs. There would be a ton of people to run it and hopefully not many people would come in and mess things up. The people that come to libraries always create so many problems.
Which database would you take with you to a desert island?
IMDB. I should be in there soon. Look for me.
Share a favorite quote
Gore Vidal said it best: “It is not enough that I succeed. Others must fail.”
What are you reading right now?
I usually just read my own publications. They are the only things worth reading. In fact, one article was just chosen for ALA’s LIRT Top Twenty. They can’t really say it was Number One, but they really did not have to… I know that they know. Here, I do have to give some credit to my wonderful co-author, Debra Hoffmann with two n’s. She is also a Virgo, so she understands how hard it is to be right all the time. She is so lucky to have me as a mentor.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Mind control. Again, if everyone would just recognize my perfection, the world would be a better place.
What is your totem animal?
Unicorn, obviously. I don’t expect you to understand.
Is there anything I didn't ask that you'd like CARL members to know?
I’ll be back!
All newly elected members of the Executive Board will be recalled once Amy Wallace's referendum passes and she is placed back in the Presidency. However, interested parties will be given an opportunity to compete for places as Ms. Wallace's minions. Watch this space for updates!
At the March 2014 Meeting, the CARL Executive Board voted:
- To require candidates running for any CARL office to disclose any felony convictions, receipt of lobbying fees, or academic courses for which a grade of D or below was received (Physical Education excluded)
- To require candidates for any CARL office to release a sample month's browsing history for public review, including any “stealth” browsing activity or inexpertly worded keyword searches producing irrelevant results (applies only to internet activity on “work” computers while on campus.)
- To allow CARL membership dues to be paid with Bitcoin (with a 10% fee surcharge for processing and hedge against market volatility variations.)
In the 1st quarter, we had waaay too many new and renewing members, for a total membership of I can't deal with this (or 586% of our goal of 400). This spike in new members coincided with the hacking of CARL's database and the mysterious disappearance of CARL's Membership Director. If anyone has seen her, please notify the CARL Executive Board immediately. If not, please stop by to water her plants and feed her cat.
Interest Group Memberships, 1st quarter:
Submitted by HAL, San Francisco State
CARL Conferencing 101: How to Attend Your First CARL Conference
Fresh out of Library School? Attending your first professional conference? Here are some helpful do's and don'ts for the New CARL Librarian! Make your conference a success!
Try to make sure it isn't actually your “First Conference.” If you have been to a professional meeting of any sort, even if not a library event, this allows you to say smugly, “This reminds me of when I went to my First Conference...” and everyone will be impressed with you and think you have been in the loop far longer than you actually have.
Make sure you have an “exit strategy” when talking to others, on the wild chance that they are pompous bores, overtly lecherous, or just losers. One way is to look over their shoulder, wave at someone and breathlessly say something like “I see someone from Library School!” and then detach, politely yet firmly.
Best not to stash your newly printed business cards in your brassiere. People tend to look at you funny when you rummage for one. Your conference badge holder makes a much better caddy.
Shake hands, make eye contact and repeat the names of people you just met, no matter how tiresome or mentally unstable they may appear. You never know if you might run across them later, at the other end of a hiring situation, and you want to make a good first impression.
Try to find something good to say about someone's presentation, even if it is the twelfth PowerPoint talk you have seen in 32 hours. “Nice color background!” is a good neutral compliment, if you can manage to say it with conviction. Better not to say “You did a great job reading your PowerPoint slides!” even if, or perhaps especially if, this is true.
Be selective about what ends up in your various conference tote bags. Otherwise you will end up doing the “vendor hall walk of shame” (which is really more of a waddle). The days of chocolate CD-ROMs are long gone and any worthwhile information can usually found on the vendor’s websites. Except pricing, of course.
Remember, this is the First CARL Conference of the Rest of Your Life.
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Interest Group News
Melvil’s Angels Biker Librarian Round Table, CARL’s newest interest group, had their first meeting in December. Initiation rites for members included using MARC format to catalog a carburetor and a piston valve from a 1937 Harley Davidson shovel-head engine.
In February, the N-CA Magickal Libraries IG was invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of The Library of Karvu Naudra, arranged by Librarian Jaro Vardis (CSU Middle Earth). Afterward, members enjoyed lunch and gaming at The Dungeon, well-known for its especially potent craft brews.
A big thank you to Jaro for the following in-depth report on this truly special library and its mysterious benefactor, the wizard Karvu Naudra Karvu Naudra:
The wizard Karvu Naudra Karvu Naudra was a wizard and scholar who amassed a large collection of tomes, scrolls and ephemera over the course of his long and illustrious career. His mysterious disappearance some years ago is still the subject of speculation among certain sorcerous and scholarly communities. His vast library beckons to those who thirst for secret knowledge, a treasure trove of information for those bold and resourceful enough to claim it.
- Naudra kept a separate collection of grimoires, mystic treatises and other treasures located somewhere in the library.
- Naudra was an eccentric who believed in the "freedom of information" and often loaned his books to others (False: Contrary to rumor, Karvu Naudra's library does not lend any materials; the rumor was perpetuated by Vaudra himself, who sought to lure intelligent people to his library in hopes of draining their minds and life force, which he then offered as payment to the Metadatians who fed his hunger for arcane knowledge. Whether or not characters comply with the mouth's instructions, their escape with any materials will be contested by library defenses. )
- Naudra consorted with demons and strange creatures from other planes
- Naudra is still alive, trapped in the library by magical forces (False; Naudra's de-atomized, semi-living form isn't in the library, but swirls along the information streams of the Demiplane of Metadata)
General notes about the library
- Because of the extreme flammability of many of the items in the collection, a powerful enchantment has been laid over the entire library to protect from fire. Any normal flame struck within the library will be extinguished in 10 seconds, and magical flames (as from incendiary spells, flametongue swords, etc.) and materials set alight by them will burn for 30-60 seconds before being extinguished. One need not grope around in the dark though; utterance of the word "light" in any language causes a room to become well-illuminated by floating crystal globes spaced throughout.
- Floors are polished marble, stone walls are paneled with exotic dark wood unless otherwise indicated.
- Entrance tunnel. The gently upward-sloping approach tunnel (100 feet long, 5 feet wide) is riddled with pressure-sensitive trapdoors that will only be activated if someone attempts to remove materials from the library without authorization. Approximately every 5-7' is a trapdoor that opens onto a 30-50' pit with spikes and sharp rocks at the bottom. The tunnel opens into a hemicircular open space facing two massive iron-bound wooden doors carved with ornate, abstract designs. The doors are surprisingly light for their size and push open easily.
- Foyer. Inscribed above the doors is a curse written in magical script. Any person who crosses the threshold with materials from the library will activate the tunnel traps and summon the Invisible Servants from #3. Furthermore, the offending person will be struck by a ray of enfeeblement (save vs. spells to resist.) At the north end of the foyer stands a stone pedestal supporting a wide, shallow bowl filled with a reddish-black swirling liquid. A magic mouth will speak to those who approach: "Present what you wish to borrow, and place your hand within to pay for privilege." Removal of the bowl from the pedestal or disturbing its contents results will attract the attention of the two Metadatians inhabiting the library.
- Main reading room. This circular, high-ceilinged chamber is dominated by 20' high bookcases, laden with bound books and scroll cases, lining the walls. The reading room is magically silenced. A section of bookcase in the east wall will swing open when a specific book (“The Seven Gateways to Inner Knowledge”) is pushed to the back of the shelf and presses a button. There are three Invisible Servants in the room, currently floating up near the vaulted ceiling. They are normally harmless, tasked with tidying up the room and replacing pulled volumes. They will violently respond to disturbances in the foyer (specifically targeting any PCs attempting to remove materials from the library) or vandalism of either the reading room or its contents.
The reading room contains approximately 2000 items, with emphasis on the subjects of history, planar exploration, travel, flora and fauna, and literature. Other details (bindings, values, traps, ornamentation, etc.) are left to the reader's imagination.
- Curving passage. Periodically spaced along the inner wall of the curving passage are small sliding panels. Positioned about 5.5 feet above the floor, these panels noiselessly slide to a side to reveal a partial view of the reading room. The wooden doors along the outer wall are unlocked. At the end of the passage is a 4-foot high sliding door concealed in the wood paneling.
- Storeroom. This room contains boxes of paper, ink, book leather, and other bindery materials. A nest of giant silverfish have made their lair in a corner of the chamber, and will attack any who disturb their lair.
- Bookbindery. The looms, racks and equipment tables in this chamber all look to be in good working condition; particularly observant visitors will note that the equipment looks to have been used recently. Two handsome quarto volumes sit on one of the tables. Leatherbound, tastefully ornamented with small semi-precious stones and gold leaf, 100 blank pages each, the volumes are quite valuable. A hidden panel next to a table in the north wall contains a cache of small semi-precious stones and two boxes containing gold dust and leaf. The door in the southern wall leads to the storeroom. There is a chance that when visitors enter the chamber the Phantasmal Bookbinder will be silently working. Communication with the spirit is possible; the Bookbinder will simply disappear if threatened. Surno Alar was a master bookbinder during his normal life. His present condition can be attributed to a powerful enchantment laid upon him by his employer (Naudra) following a violent disagreement. Until the curse is lifted, he is forced to labor here. He doesn't know much about Naudra's whereabouts, researches or fate, nor about the exact nature of the bowl in room 2 or the extent of the library’s defenses. If specifically questioned, he can confirm the presence of a separate, private library (he doesn’t know its exact location). He can also confirm that there are at least two demonic-looking creatures on the premises, but can’t elaborate beyond physical description.
- Scriptorium. This chamber contains several writing desks, boxes of parchment, vellum and paper, quill pens, dried-up inkwells, and a small chest with compartments for gold dust and gold leaf.
- Living chamber. Naudra occupied this fairly spartan room during his stays at the library. A single bed, nightstand dresser, table and chair, and a small hearth are the only amenities. The top drawer of the dresser is locked and trapped with a poisoned needle. Inside is a Monocle of Literacy, a golden locket containing the faded portrait of a young woman, and a small, handwritten book of trashy poems. In the room is an Invisible Servant, who will attack if the dresser is ransacked or the room vandalized.
- Laboratory. This room contains several long tables covered with beakers, alembics and other alchemical equipment. There are several large cracks in the west wall, through which cool air faintly flows. On a table along the north wall sit three large glass jars, each containing creatures floating in some sort of clear liquid. The first two contain Brain Moles (one is dead), and the third contains six pale wormlike creatures, still-living Brainworms. On one of the tables is a stack of books: two bestiaries (that mention Brain Moles) and a crumbling treatise on the “training and experimental use of Brainworms to aid exploration.” Studying this manual for at least a week allows a magic-using visitor to memorize the ritual spell Train Brainworm.
- Private library. Floor-to-ceiling bookcases line the north and south walls. A comfortable chair and side table sit in the southeast corner. There are major cracks in the west wall, and cool air seeps in. The westernmost bookcases (containing the most valuable books and scrolls) as well as some sections of the floor are heavily spotted with patches of Yellow Mold. The room is occupied by two Metadatians, who seem indifferent to the mold and are leisurely absorbing the information in the library. A bookshelf secret door similar to the one in #3 is in the south wall; the trigger book here is “New Dimensions in Planar Research.”
- Ritual chamber. This room is hung with dark velvet panels. Seven tall (5’) brass candlesticks are arranged around a magic circle inscribed in the floor. On a pedestal in the center of the circle is a bowl (similar in appearance to that in #2) and a small book of incantations. A visitor who stands in the circle and speaks the proper incantation while placing a hand in this bowl will be transported to the Demiplane of Metadata.
GIANT SILVERFISH: These silvery armored cousins of the giant centipede love to eat and other starchy substances. Their acid is especially well-suited for breaking down their favorite foods: paper, book bindings, glue, textiles, leather, hair, and other starchy or fibrous materials. At the referee’s discretion, the acid may damage armor made from leather, fiber, bark, wood, etc. as well as harm visitors.
INVISIBLE SERVANT: These are basically vat-grown humanoid automatons that have been imbued with permanent invisibility and at-will levitation. They are programmed to perform specific tasks; they have virtually no reasoning ability beyond the scope of their instruction.
BRAINWORM: The so-called Brainworm is a species native to the Demiplane of Metadata. Like most others from that place, the Brainworm feeds on information but can be “trained” to temporarily share information it digests with a host. After absorbing a quantity of information – rudiments of a spoken language, map details, cultural practices, etc. – the trained worm will attach itself to the host’s brain, entering through the ear or nose. Once connected, the host may freely and instantly access the information contained in the worm (with speech, behavior, or knowledge appropriately altered) for as long as the creature remains attached.
METADATIAN: Metadatians are one of the higher species inhabiting the Demiplane of Metadata. Their physical form, based on demonic imagery and symbolism culled from human minds, is that of an 8' tall humanoid with horned head and cloven hooves. They feed on any sort of information found in the minds of living creatures - memories, facts, impressions, beliefs, abilities, and so on. They are capable of draining the memory from a creature and will foremost seek out wizards and other “intelligent-looking” targets. A memory drain requires a successful melee attack. If the target fails, he/she is drained of all memories, effectively reducing them to the mental level of a newborn infant. (All experience, abilities, skills are lost.) The only way to reverse the effect is to slay the specific Metadatian attacker and, in the presence of the creature's physical remains, have Remove Curse and Greater Restoration cast upon the victim.
Prepare Brainworm: Casting this spell requires a living Brainworm, the information to be “fed” to it (which must be transmitted by speech or written/drawn word), and four uninterrupted hours of ritual incantations. The amount of information contained in the Brainworm and the duration of its attachment increases with the level and proficiency of the caster. The host suffers severe damage when the Brainworm enters his skull and attaches to the brain, as well as when it detaches and exits.
Bakelson Knickers, biblio-gadabout and author of Triple Fold: Libraries and the Withering Finding Aid, has collected library research “pathfinders” from the 1960s - 1980s, saving them for posterity. Knickers has purchased a barn in Fresno County and converted it to a temperature and humidity-controlled facility where the collection of mostly tri-fold pamphlets will be stored. “It really is vitally important that future researchers will still be able to access library pamphlets such as Boolean Magic, Call Number Puzzle Game! or Hidden Treasures of the Library Newspaper Clipping Files, in their original format," explained Knickers.
T. Henson has published "Jousting for Space and Time: Office Sharing Behavior Amongst Librarian Faculty" in the Journal of Academic Sociology
Faculty at many institutions, particularly under-funded public universities, are often required to share office space with at least one other colleague. Individuals must coordinate access to phone, computers, and other technology, juggle office hours and other scheduled professional activities as well as attempt to preserve privacy for certain activities, particularly confidential personnel discussions. This case study at a publicly funded, medium-sized (13,000 FTES) university in southern California examines various coping strategies amongst over a dozen library faculty members, all of whom share office space. The study investigates correlations between academic status level, career position, gender, GRE and Myers-Briggs scores as well as incorporating measures of satisfaction expressed by office-mates. Individual Google calendar schedules are compared and analyzed and correlated to standard productivity measures. In general senior librarians spend less time in their office, more time at campus eating establishments, and are more likely to have concealed stashes of food and alcohol in their desks than their junior colleagues. Marital status and sexual orientation do not appear to affect results. The vast majority of librarians indicated a strong preference to inhabit a single office, but less than half of the librarians expressed a desire to actually inflict any physical hurt on their officemate(s). Almost a hundred percent of the sample did conform to the profile outlined in the “Academic Schadenfreude Principles” study (Mayfield and Wallace, 2008).
Melvin Fussbottom has updated his much-awaited annual Bibliography of Odd Book Titles for 2014. Here is a small sampling of titles:
A Taxonomy of Office Chairs
Looking Back at Refrigerated Shipping
The Mushroom in Christian Art
Teach Your Wife to be a Widow
Highlights in the History of Concrete
Reusing Old Graves
Bodybuilders in Tutus
After a protracted bidding war and behind-the-scenes negotiations, the Eureka State University library has acquired the Sneering Mohawk Archive of Punk Rock-Related Ephemera from a private collector. The extensive collection of material from the 1970s and 80s includes concert posters, tickets, and set lists from California bands such as Romeo Void, Black Flag and the Circle Jerks. Also included are more esoteric items such as a sampling of Jello Biafra’s (The Dead Kennedys) torn and stained t-shirts, several of Belinda Carlisle’s (The Go-Gos) brassieres, and Exene Cervenka’s (X) collection of painted fingernails and safety pins.
The Library and Learning Assistance Center building at Santa Clara Junior College disappeared briefly last month during a library-hosted Maker Fair according to Library Director Lana Glockenspiel. "We had invited a group of Physics graduate students from Stanford University to conduct a demonstration. I stepped outside momentarily and within a few minutes the entire building began to shimmer and fade from view before vanishing entirely with a loud crackle and pop," reports Glockenspiel. The Library reappeared a few minutes later with no apparent knowledge of the incident by those inside. No further Maker Fairs have been scheduled.
Prescott Pharmaceuticals reports that it has submitted formal requests to both the FDA and ALA, for further biblio-clinical trials for an orally administered codex caplet, essentially a book in pill form. "We've noticed the trend from printed books to audio books to movie versions of books. Americans don't have the time to think anymore and we think there's a market for the codex caplet," Tweeted a Prescott representative when contacted. Early trials indicate that those who ingested the codex caplets had similar perceptions to those who read the printed books. A Thomas Pynchon caplet, for example, left users confused, sheepish and feeling they hadn't fully grasped the ideas while those that took a dose of Brett Easton Ellis were first nauseous or repulsed and later left empty or wanting.
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Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places?
Unreconstructed Jamaican born Marxist seeks lively young library professional to handle supply and demand issues. No Republicans, please.
- BM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Garrulous, erudite philologist seeks soul mate with strong grammatical foundation. Diagram my sentence!
- SWM (CARL Box 51)
New to librarianship, strong coder with sense of humor seeks extramural tutorage in IL arenas. Let's build a scaffold together!
- BIF (email@example.com)
Celtophile, Dublin Core enthusiast with multiple issues, seeks biblio-counterpart for meta-dating and checking out of stacks and extended holdings with access tools. Please no oversize, open source, reserve, or recently renewed. Let’s abstract!
- WM (CARL Box 121)
Seeking a BM that can go the distance. Must like the chase as well as a bit of toying.
- Library Cat
Seeking a FD that will complete me. Must constructively love all genres of literature and not be afraid to share you entire being with a variety of partners.
- MLA Database
Do you enjoy hooking up with people to discuss books, movies, and music? OAC is seeking a UC that like to exchange records and travel.
- Open Access Catalog
Have you always wanted to travel to exotic locations with a like minded companion? EEB seeks LEB to tour California wine country. Must want to travel in style via a personal limo service and wrapped in the latest fashion.
- Early English Book
Looking for my long lost love. We were young new arrivals. Shared a kiss in the depot. You smelled of a musky leather. I was a loose leaf on my way to KaterBound. I am now living on K Street near F. Hope we will meet again.
CARL Lib Reporter Comic
CARL Special Offer
For those geekophiles among you -- you know who you are -- who haven't made the wait-list for Google's Glass product, and who perhaps think the price tag a little steep (and who value image over functionality): does CARL have a deal for you!
Impeccably modeled on Google Glass, this fine set of specs from CARL offer the sleek, minimalist design characteristics that make all of geekdom drool, and immensely irritate everyone else. Don't need a camera? Don't need to check your email while loitering at your local coffee shop? Just like looking cool and nerdy? Appreciate the laser-like focus that thinking while undistracted can bring? Here is CARL Glass to the rescue!
This hand assembled spectacle set fits all head sizes and has the handsome CARL logo imprinted (via offset press!) on the side. Impress your colleagues on campus. Look cool at a fraction of the price. Avoid costly lawsuits over privacy. Embrace the Murphy's Law corollary: an ounce of image is worth a pound of performance. A perfect gift idea for that special IT person in your life.
For this limited time offer, send check or Money Order (Bitcoin an option, ask for details) for $39.95 by midnight tonight to CARL Treasurer Pam Howard(San Francisco State).
The editor wishes to thank the following individuals for their contributions to this Special Edition of the CARL Newsletter: Ned Fielden (San Francisco State), Robin Imhof, (University of the Pacific), Jeff Rosen (San Francisco State), Jason Vasché (San Francisco State), Amy Wallace (CSU Channel Islands)
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 for this newsletter is available at http://www.carl-acrl.org/newsletter/feed.xml.
Deadlines for submissions: March 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15.
Newsletter submissions, including creative contributions, People News and Places News should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For corrections, questions and comments please contact the Editor, Nicole Allensworth (email@example.com), J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University, 1630 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132.