28 October 2009

November Confesses to All Kinds of Terrible Things

My second least favorite month is nearly upon us. (February's the hands-down worst, no contest!) If you're equally disenchanted by the end of Daylight Savings and November's general gloom, distract yourself with this, that, or the other:

26 October 2009

The McNally Jackson Halloween Embarrassment

From the lovely ladies of the Desk Set:

The Desk Set is delighted to be helping out our friends at McNally Jackson for their Halloween happy hour costume party The McNally Jackson Halloween Embarrassment.

Here’s your chance to bust out, dust off and iron up your old Lizzy Bennet gown, stick a red felt A on your chest, or throw on some round specs and a striped scarf. Enjoy some tunes, some drinks, and some bookstore ambiance as you show off your clever costume. What’s that? You’ve already made plans for Halloween? Well, make McNally Jackson your first stop: festivities start at 7:00, costume contest is at 8:00, and you’ll be on your way to whatever debauchery awaits by 9:00.

Two more terrific things about this party: Esther K. Smith will teach you how to make some badly needed cootie catchers, and you can purchase paperbacks from the Books Through Bars wishlist to donate while you party.

Here are the details as supplied by McNally Jackson:

The McNally Jackson Halloween Embarrassment

You’re a nerd. And not just a little nerd either, no, you’re a nerd of magnificent proportions. You love books so much that you’re not satisfied just reading books shamefully in the privacy of your home, no, you have to read them on trains, buses, in restaurants. It’s embarrassing.
Not only that, but you think about books all day, you talk about them. When you walk down the street, when you kiss your children goodnight, you are a book nerd even then, in your heart.
You should be ashamed but you’re not. No, you celebrate your nerd-dom, you revel in it. Then, on Halloween, otherwise known as Nerdmas, you take to the streets. You wear your nerd heart on your nerd sleeve and dance (poorly) and sing (poorly). You let the nerd all hang out.
And somehow society just lets this happen? People don’t flee; indeed, some join in with you! You form roving nerd troupes, carnivals of embarrassment and glee!

You, dear reader, are invited.

This Halloween we hope book nerds of all sorts will join us to act like damned costumed fools amid our stacks. With a little help from the nerdy librarians of the Desk Set, we’re hosting our annual Halloween party, and that means it’s time to dust off your spats and clich├ęs, grab those fangs and poorly executed allegories. We’re inviting all attendees to draw on their bookish lore to dress up as a favorite character. Or theme. Or setting? Even a title will do. Anyhow, we expect you to impress us with your book-themed costume. Uncostumed book nerds are welcome, too, they just won’t have a shot to win fabulous prizes.

We’ll begin with a horror reading at 7:00, followed by music and drinks. At 8:00 we’ll host our costume contest, with a panel of judges rating your getup for execution, originality and enthusiasm.

We’ll have plenty of other ways for you to embarrass yourselves, too, including:
*a scary voice contest
*papercrafts with our neighborhood paper wizard Esther Smith
*charity book donations (kindness is embarrassing, isn’t it?)
*and plenty of opportunities to indulge your embarrassing love for sweets

The party is open to the public: no fee or reservation required. All we want is your nerdy nerdy self.
Note however, that this party is for fully-grown nerds. Younger party-goers are welcome to our kid’s Halloween celebration from noon to 2.

McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St.
(b/t Lafayette & Mulberry)
New York, NY 10012
212.274.1160

October 31, 2009

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

19 October 2009

ILS Developments at Queens and Brooklyn & 2CUL for Two Schools

For tech services librarians, nothing beats getting screwed over by your ILS vendor. Queens Library's recent trouble with SirsiDynix was the subject of a Library Journal article a couple weeks ago. According to QL, they chose to migrate to Dynix's Horizon system based on promises of aggressive product development. Once Dynix merged with Sirsi, however, those promises were rescinded. Queens is now suing their erstwhile vendor, charging breach of contract, breach of guaranty, and fraud. They've since migrated to VTLS' Virtua system.

Further catalog news: Brooklyn Public Library announced improvements to their public interface, touting hold freezes, online fine payments, and a book-rating system amongst their catalog's new features.

Finally, Columbia and Cornell announced their intention to pool resources in their collection development, acquisitions, and processing operations. The project -- dubbed 2CUL -- is buoyed by a $385,000 Mellon grant. From the press release:
The two universities will form a separate service entity to facilitate the collaboration. Ithaka, a not-for-profit organization that assists research libraries and the academic community to leverage advancing information technologies, will provide project management and assist in the planning. Initial work will focus on several global collecting areas, as well as collaborative funding and support of technical infrastructure in various areas.
Yes, 2CUL is pronounced "too cool." No, the powers that be don't realize this is a laughable, supremely uncool name. Best of luck though.

05 October 2009

Take the Field: Trips, Week of Oct. 5, 2009

I'm not sure how anyone can concentrate on librarianship with the sweet promise of postseason baseball just days away. If your priorities don't include pennants and pinch runners, you have my pity...and freedom to attend these bookish events:
  • Oct. 6: Sneak a peek at Jewish Theological Seminary's incredible library; then make your way downtown to help plan next year's Anarchist Book Fair.
  • Oct. 7: Go deep inside The Strand with METRO. You'll "learn how books are processed, how rare books are selected and hear how librarians can purchase books for their libraries and themselves."
  • Oct. 9-11: Rutgers delivers the Mobile Communication and Social Policy Conference, a weekend-long affair of potential interest to the media-savvy, globally-minded librarian.
  • Oct. 10: Do you like to read stuff and then talk about it...at a bar? No heavy tomes to struggle through for this reading group's Saturday meeting at Flannery's.
Remember to check the right-hand calendar for additional excursions.

02 October 2009

Weekend Field Trips: Banned Books Week Ends, October Begins

Have you checked out the Shelved @ NYC calendar for October? The number of conferences, classes, library tours, and other events is borderline scary, but in that pre-Halloween, embrace-the-foreboding kinda way. Here are some things happening THIS WEEKEND that won't harm your psyche or pilfer your wallet (badly):
  • The Contemporary Artists Book Conference is in residence at P.S.1. The sessions started today, but there are three more for you to catch tomorrow (on print-on-demand, zines, and a stellar keynote conversation).
  • Here's the buzz: Pratt SILSSA is taking Banned Books Week seriously. Bee a part of the Librarian Swarm at Union Square this Saturday afternoon.
  • Flickr Commons fans should head to the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday night for Common Ground, "a beautiful nighttime parade of images gathered and transmitted from the global Commons network, meet staff from Brooklyn and NYPL, get your hands on some cool Flickr schwag and enjoy the surrounding First Saturday festivities."