Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Becoming familiar with important names and works in biology

Sometime soon, I need to start weeding my area, biology. I'm better off than some, in that I know a bit about biology, but I could still use a refresher on the important names and works in the field. I figured I could take a look at a book on the history of biology and make a list that can help me avoid weeding important older works. Maybe I was looking in the wrong place, but I think all our books on the history of biology have been written before 1982. Granted, "history" means it's already happened and the events and people aren't going anywhere, but interpretations of those events and people can change over time. Also, I'm sure that things worthy of being in a history of biology have happened in the past twenty or thirty years.

Anyway, I grabbed something that looked particularly full of names and titles - it was written in 1964...

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This may be a re-use, or maybe just a mistake, but here's an amusing example:

ISBN: 9780823418657

Used on the records for
  1. The picture book Pizza for the queen by Nancy Castaldo, illustrated by Melisande Potter
  2. The government document Aviation security : next steps : field hearing before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, first session, December 10, 2001

We have the first in our collection, but not the second.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Off and on kitchen luck

For some reason, I keep thinking our holiday party is on Friday. No, bad brain, it's Thursday. My plan is to bring some Parmesan herb muffins. They're yummy, but, with my luck lately, I may well burn them. This past weekend, I made potato soup, carrot soup, oatmeal rolls, and garlic cheese rolls. The oatmeal rolls were burned so dark they looked like rye bread (they're just barely edible), and the potato soup was crunchy when I tried my first bowl. I managed to fix the potato soup, for the most part, but the rolls will just have to be soaked in soup. At least the garlic cheese rolls and carrot soup turned out fine. Here's hoping that the Parmesan herb muffins will too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The most horrific children's book ever

I just did a quick search to see if we have Don't make me go back, Mommy : a child's book about ritual abuse. We don't. The scanned pages are horrific (particularly in the "part 2" post). I wonder how many people have actually read that book to their children? Are there really parents who worry that someone may be trying to perform satanic rituals on their children and who therefore feel that their children must know what kinds of behaviors to report?

Known issues

In my office, taped to the TV stand, is a list of what could probably be called known issues or, I should say, issues known to me. I have no way of knowing if anyone else knows they exist or, more importantly, knows their implications for searching our catalog. I've debated whether and how to get the word out. On the one hand, it would be helpful for reference librarians to know that, say, the first series title in our MARC records is probably not the one they should be clicking on, regardless of the fact that it is clickable. On the other hand, some of these problems, like the series title link problem, don't necessarily look like problems. Maybe people are happier not knowing, so they don't have to put up with my attempts to explain what's going on and why it's a problem in a non-jargony way (which I'm not always successful at doing...)?

Explaining in person, one on one, as someone talks to me about a time they had problems with a search that was caused by a problem I know about, seems to work ok. I'm not so sure about group explanations. So, what I'm thinking of doing is turning the "Catalog Records" page in our wiki into a sort of "known issues" page. If the issue comes up, I can point to the page, which I will try to make sure includes "what to do about it" sections for each problem. That doesn't necessarily help much with the problems that don't look like problems, but one step at a time, I guess. I'll just have to make sure that I update the page as the problems get fixed.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Something that works!

I got to try out my "new" cataloging procedures on more than one or two books today. I started on a stack of picture books and decided that, since they were ordered after the cut-off point (I think Jodee changed things on her end sometime in August), I should be able to test things out on them. The test worked great, with the only issues being little things. Trust me, I'm thrilled. I can't wait until I get to the point where I can use these new procedures on nearly everything. The fewer windows I have to toggle between, and the fewer searches I have to duplicate, the better.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You say APA, I say Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

A while back, it occurred to me that it might be nice if it were possible to find the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association in our catalog by searching for "APA." I remembered that thought today while taking care of our little booklet of corrections to the 6th edition. I made a few changes (none of which I would ever dare do to the master records in WorldCat), and now the search that I thought would be nice is possible. And, because I can do nothing without creating more work for myself, I have to figure out if we really do still have a 1983 edition of this work, or if that record should have been deleted ages ago...