Monthly Archives: May 2007

Clavicular update

I’m working with one hand here, so you’ll have to deal with my update being text copied from an email to my Aunt Who Wanted Details:

All pain associated with the accident decreased over time. The most pain was directly after the fall. I was riding next to the line of traffic, as opposed to in the line of traffic, so I remained out of mortal peril. I hobbled to the side of the street, and by that time the pain had reached its peak. I knew my head was split open, and I didn’t yet know that my clavicle was broken. By the time I called Jason to come pick me up, the adrenaline had worked its magic. At the hospital, they offered me a painkiller, and advised that although i wasn’t feeling too bad, the adrenaline would be wearing off. Even with the percocet, i could feel things moving around in my shoulder. They had put a neck brace on me, which was mostly uncomfortable and made me worry I had neck damage.

The x-ray showed my clavicle resembling a twig snapped cleanly in two, and no spine damage.

They stitched up my head (3 stitches?), put me in a sling, and sent me home with more percocet. I have an appointment with a specialist in 2 weeks to check on the bone healing.

I haven’t taken anything stronger than a Tylenol after the first day. The muscles in my left arm and shoulder get fatigued, and if I move wrong (and ‘wrong’ changes daily) it’ll hurt a little, but mostly grind disturbingly.

I felt the padding crunch in my helmet too.

I still don’t know why I crashed. I remember my front wheel/handlebars moving back and forth (like a side-to-side wobble), and thinking “that’s weird” right as I lost my balance. I didn’t feel any nudge from a car or rock under my tire. Other than my brakes being dis-aligned from hitting the ground, my bike is in perfect working order. I have to chalk it up to a mystery and leave it at that.

Jason’s been my left hand, and doesn’t seem to mind. The car is stick shift, so he’ll be my chauffeur for a while. 4-6 weeks is the average healing time.

I don’t plan on being average. We Greens heal fast.

Now for a well-propped nap.

Knittin’ Bones

Today, I had my first bike crash, and came away from it with a broken collar bone, a pert little head wound, and some kick-ass road rash. If you’d like to see more pictures from today’s emergency room adventure, click here.

“Collection development” or “censoring”

I’m looking through a pile of donated children’s books to decide if we want to add any to our collection. When people donate materials, most of the time we put them in the book sale. We have a solid budget, and not a lot of space, so we’re usually not hurting for more.

Sometimes, though, I get a book that makes me really ponder what we have in the collection, and what we don’t have in the collection.

Today’s example is a book called “Kidatlas: Important Places in the Bible“. I’ve been flipping through it, deciding if I want to add it to our kid’s nonfiction section. I checked the catalog, and no one has it in the system, which means it would then become accessible for other libraries (we have reciprocal agreements with the libraries in our system, like interlibrary loan but faster and cheaper).


It does that nonfiction-trying-to-be-fun thing where there are jokes like “What kind of party did Judah want to give Pharaoh Shishak? A going-away party!” which I think is hilarious. (And the tactic worked, because I then read about who Pharaoh Shishak was.)

I was mostly inspired to write this post because I wanted to share the joke. Now I’m pondering collection development and providing access to materials. I can’t decide if I want to add this book, or where to put it. It provides a well-written historic tour of biblical places, but it does say that the universe was created by God in six days. Historical tour = not disputed. Creationism = currently disputed. I’m not saying that I don’t want to add books that are creationist. The question is, does this book belong with the religion books, or with the geography books. It’s 90% geography, but 10% specific Christian beliefs. Even my personal perspective that creationism belongs with religion and not science is a biased view – I’m sure others would choose differently.

Now I’m going to go order some left-wing zines for the teen section. Fiction is so much easier.

Weekend with Squirrel*

This weekend Dr. Kim came all the way from Seattle to visit. Part of me wanted to horde my time with her, keeping her up all night by plying her with Fresca, putting the cat on her so she sneezes and wakes up, the kind of effed-up stuff you can do when one of your BFFs is finally near you. The other part of me wanted to be mopey because having Kim here reminds me that I miss my friends.


Instead we just drank a lot of Oyster Bay sauvignon blanc (it’s good and from New Zealand, like Kim’s sig.oth.) and talked about the world. And then figured out how to make Milky Way martinis.

On Sunday we drove to Woods Hole with bikes, got on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, and biked around the island for the afternoon. You know how food and beer tastes better when you’ve been working hard? Add sea air and islandness, and you can imagine how good our slices of pizza were. I won’t even bother describing the ice cream.

05-13-07_1904.jpg 05-13-07_1905.jpg
Click for larger

Kim is gone now, and I’m hoping that this email full of fun events and … foofy martinis is enough to convince SOMEONE to move here. C’mon. It’ll be fun. Bikety bikety, drinkety drinkety, kittety kittety.

Doesn’t this look like a girl who’s having a nice time on a ferry?

*I should clarify that “Squirrel” is the college nickname of Dr. Kim, not to be confused with Librarian Kim, who has the power to summon squirrels.

Zines organization in the news

The Boston Globe has a great article about libraries that collect zines, and how hard it is to make zines conform to how libraries are set up – both in content and in design. The topics in one zine may be incredibly varied, and there is no standard structure for making a zine, so it may be bound with gum, or written in blood.

It’s something I’ve thought a lot about. From the conservationist standpoint, there’s the question of maintaining an item that is made using a photocopier and has candy taped into it. Also how to shelve the zine. From the cataloger standpoint, there’s a list of questions to be asked, from finding out when the zine was published (not necessarily written on the zine) to how to describe the subjects written about.

I think the fact that we can’t pigeonhole zines into pre-existing standards is exactly what makes them fantastic – malleable and indescribable. I’m OK with this dissonance. Well, I might scan the contents, candy and all. But then I’m OK with it.

Ammi Emergency
(My currently favorite zine.)

Hey. I got a new job. I mean, another new job. I’m a mechanic. I’m not kidding.

I decided a few weeks ago that getting a part-time job at a bike shop for the summer would be a good idea. After reviewing this, I decided that it actually was a good idea. I’d meet other human beings, I’d learn how to fix bikes, and I’d give Jstar more time to work without being interrupted. All fantastic things.

Maybe two weeks ago, on the way home from Lee’s Market (it’s like Whole Foods, only indie and local, therefore even better) I decided to stop at the nearby bike shop. I walked in, explained that I was a full-time librarian who wanted to work part time – and BAM. I had a new job.

I was a wee bit nervous about working there, because I’m not a roadie or a racer, but the owner is impassioned to provide accessibility to biking for everyone, so I convinced myself that I’m a legitimate commuter, and that’s my angle. I don’t own spandex, or shave my legs, but I do know the perfect kind of skirt material and cut to bike to work in.

Anyway, it was awesome. The crew at the shop are really nice and not at all roadie-snobby. We listened to reggae (SB would have thrown up) and the second disc of an Ani Difranco live album, if that’s an indication of the variance and awesomeness.

So I thought I’d probably end up a sales girl, despite my indication towards maintenance, but I spent the whole day tuning bikes. My bikety sensei was a good explainer, and by the end of the day, I had fused together a lot of previous bits of knowledge. I think I was at the cusp of a basic understanding of bike mechanics, and today really gelled it. For instance, I know about truing wheels from hanging out at Bruce’s in C-U, but I had never trued my own wheels. I knew what a ‘cone’ was from my new friend Matt, but I didn’t really know how to use a cone wrench, and I have definitely never taken apart a wheel to the point that I could see vulnerable, naked bearings looking up at me thirstily as I bestowed grease upon them. I really hope I remember all of this tomorrow.

So I’m jazzed about what I learned today, and about my coworkers, and about this little side job. Now my goal is to get all good at being a librarian and shit, same with the bikety bikety, and then move to Iowa City or wherever and be a part-time librarian (and god knows, there are LOTS of part-time positions) and also run a bike shop. With Wadsbone. And Allison. And Alena and Anton. And the McQuerdas. And we live on a commune. And all my other friends come to visit during the summer and we all go on bike rides. *Falls over in happiness*

In the meantime, I’m feeling (positive) pressure to ride more, so I Bikely’d myself a little route to the shop. Enjoy.


Thursday, I went to a bunch of MLA conference programs. I’m going to be blindingly honest, so brace yourself.

As an overall statement, I’ve decided that this year is the year to explain the so-called Web 2.0 concepts to librarians. The term (which I’m quickly losing excitement for) was explained wonderfully by Jessamyn on Wednesday during her Tiny Tech program, paraphrased thusly: “Web 2.0 is just you using a website to interact with other people instead of interacting with the website.” It’s not a huge concept that you have to understand, as it sounds, and as other presenters treated it. I think throwing 2.0 around is panicking those librarians who are not familiar with it, even if they are familiar with Flickr, Tweet, etc. Web 2.0 is a silly term, since it infers that something has drastically changed from Web 1.0 I’ll let Wadsbone bitch more about that.

So back to my point – the con discussed technology I’m already familiar with. I’m not bragging – it’s the only thing I really have a grasp on. I think instead of going to the conference, I should have spent the $125 on a bar tab, invited out some of the local librarians from surrounding towns, and gotten them drunk and made them tell me about being a librarian for more than 3 months.

The conference was not a waste of time – I did fawn over Nancy Pearl’s “Care and Feeding of Your Book Group”, as well as the “Privacy Rights for Minors” session, although I have to admit I left feeling mostly frustrated with the law. It’s not that I don’t looooove privacy rights. It’s just that I can’t get behind protecting a 2-year-old’s patron record from their mom. It’s just not functional.

Oh, and the whole reason why I went was a preconference on technology sustainability in small libraries. I felt meh about the presentation (and laughed out loud about the reception – they had giant libraries present their action plans – like that helps us tiny guys) buuuut, it did get me thinking about what I should be pushing for at my library. When I got back today, I told my director about some of the ideas, and she got really excited. I’m determined to see WiFi, new terminals with Ubuntu, and an updated web page (with online tutorials) by the end of the year.

Highlight reel:
(click to see large)

workity.jpg Jason’s weekend workity

hear_me_roar.jpg We got to use the men’s room!

spider-bad.jpg Spider-Man or Strong Bad?

gazebo.jpg Jason’s hiding place

bookquilt.jpg Librarical quilt

Poopsmith in the House

Today I learned that I am not yet ready to handle kid poop. I can handle cat poop (there’s only so much poo a cat can hold), I can handle cow patties (because they’re outside), and I routinely deal with my own. As it turns out, I’m just not ready for the amount of poo that can be found in a 3-year-old’s butt.

I do give kudos to all parents, for I am certain that at some point while in public, some substance is going to come out of your child, and you have to deal with it.

On a different note, I have more to post about the MLA con, but I’m back at the library today, and had a stinky new experience I just had to share. I hope not all stomachs are turned.

What do cats say when they’re squeezed around the middle?


I’m at the Massachusetts Library Association conference. Woooo! It’s my first conference as a real-live librarian, which makes the exhibit hall more fun. That’s where vendors set up tables with their wares and e-wares ad ply us librarians with tchotchkeys and candy so we buy their products. As a student, I had to fake like I had buying power with Scholastic and sneak around to gank Nalgenes from Microsoft. Pff. Now I’m like, “gimme your URL. No I don’t want your catalog. Yes, I’ll take that free pen, and sure I’ll enter your raffle”. I’ve already learned the hard way what it is to take lots of freebies. Today I got away with just a few advanced copies, copies of books I might actually read.


I haven’t upped the pink highlights in my hair for a few months, so I spiffed up before coming to the con. Now that I’m hear, I’m realizing that I’m the most casually dressed person here, and I haven’t spied any other unnaturally-colored hair (no old-lady, blue-hair jokes – librarians are hip, dammit!), but no matter. Jenna Freedman will be here Friday, represent.

Tiny Tech

I really enjoyed listening to Jessamyn West’s program “Tiny Libraries: How to Use Technology Sensibly in Small Libraries”. Her style of presenting technology is astounding: concise and informative, without alienating those hearing the terms for the first time. I try not to be a techsnob, and really really try not to roll my eyes when someone says, “What’s Wikipedia?”, so now I can channel her poise and ability to use fun (and yet still useful) analogies. My favorite was that open source is like a free kitten. Yes, it’s free, but it requires care and upkeep. (The context was of using an opensource OPAC like KOHA).

I’ve now been in the same room as Nancy Pearl, so I can die a happy librarical death.


Jason came with me, so we hit the town tonight. We ate at a restaurant called Admiral T.J. Hooker’s. Not really, but I’m too full to think properly. I ate a lot.

Now what? Rest, recoup, watch HBO, and get ready for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to more youth services programs. I think after this conference, I’ll be full to the brim of conferences. I feel like what I want now is to invite a dozen of the closest youth services librarians from my area over for drinks, ply them with alcohol, and pick their brains. Hmmmm.

*That’s an old Green Family Trio inside joke. But seriously, it’s the sound we think a cat makes when a small child picks it up under the arms and its legs are hangin’ down and its neck is all sqooshd. Here’s what I’m talking about.