2.27.2007

Condoms Cause Cancer

Condom companies have known this for years. You should too.

Condoms Cause Cancer.

2.22.2007

Holy Crap Mother!

Here is the answer we've been waiting for in computing technology. How do we build a truly interactive kiosk from which our patrons can find what they need?

With this.

All hail technology!

2.21.2007

Pet Peeves

One of the biggest problems we have at the library is addresses. Not that the students don't know where they live. They do. They just don't know their address.

For some reason, the students think that the name of their apartment building IS their address.

"I live at 123 Regency Square."
"I live at 123 Meridian."
"I live at 123 Greenleaf Manor."
"I live at 123 Holly House."
"I live at 123 Marion's Place."

Well, they don't say the last one. Marion's Place is 'I make a hundred thousand a year' apartments.

Each of these places has a street address, but the students often don't know what that address is and in most cases they don't care. To counter act this negligence, we have a list of all the apartment buildings and town houses in the area with the correct street address and zip code. The zip code is necessary because most of them couldn't tell you their zip code either. That's not their fault though, zip codes around here are confusing.

But that's no excuse for not knowing your street address. Some of them are surprised to find out they have a street address at all.

What is up with that?

2.18.2007

Snow Days


Last week saw some snow major enough to shut us down on Valentine's Day.

Mind you, the library opened back up at 5pm. This is one of the very not cool things that have been happening in university libraries across the nation. During bad weather conditions, a previously shut down library will reopen because 'the students can walk there.' The staff needed to run the building, cannot get there because weather conditions are still too dangerous, but don't have a choice or they waste vacation time that those higher up the totem pole get in oodles and don't have to spend anyway.

Beware the library policy that says the they will reopen in bad weather!

So how many students showed up that night? Lots. Remember, it was Valentine's Day. Polling the students (which we did), we found that 14 out of every 15 people were kicked out of their dorms, apartments, houses, and homes by roommates looking to 'get it on.' *shudder* At least these poor students got some sleep in the quiet stacks.

The one out of fifteen who was there to study were, you guessed it, international grad students. The international grad student is a lonely creature. Despite the hundreds of programs to get them involved with groups and other internationals on campus, these programs often fail. These students are often kicked out on the street during dorm closures on holidays because they can't go home and they have no one to stay with. These people spend most of their waking moments in the library, their home away from home. When the library closes at Christmas every year, these students will break down and cry over the phone to us. Rather than take a look at the flyer offering free food and fellowship with tons of campus and off campus groups and clubs, they will trudge to the library and sit inside the vestibule until we open. Some of them will try to rush the doors as staff enter to go to work before the building opens.

*sigh*

Here are some staff photos, some of them really good, from the snow fall.

2.07.2007

Video on Demand at the Library

No, we don't have it at Penn State.

But it is a budding service offered by a few public libraries. Recorded Books and PermissionTV are the sponsors, and though the current selection leaves something to be desired, they are making some big promises about future availability.

Half Hollow Hills Community Library is one of the early adopters of the program. They posted about it on their library blog.

The premise is simple, offer movies and TV shows to the public using technology similar to Wal-Mart's downloadable movie service. Though Wal-Mart made their service to compete with NetFlix, copy cat services for libraries will be a boon to library users everywhere.

Library Gauntlets

What's the biggest complaint among library drones?

IT'S TOO COLD IN HERE!

Often, preservation of materials requires a low temperature to keep condensation from forming and mold from growing. It also keeps acid filled brittle paper from falling apart. To help us keep warm in cold library buildings, we wear layers (even in summer) and keep a healthy supply of shawls, scarves, and sweaters on hand. Library people tend to be crafty people and most of our layers are hand made. Here's a simple crochet gauntlet pattern to keep hands warm and fingers free to type. It uses thick yarn and whips up fast.

Library Gauntlets

Materials:
2 balls of Swerve by Moda Dea (one for each gauntlet)
1 size P - 16 hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)

Notes:
This pattern is worked vertically. Add to the number of chains to make the gauntlets longer.

Foundation:
Chain 14, sc in second chain from hook and sc in each chain to the end. (12 sc plus 1 chain = 13sc)

Row 1: ch 1, turn, sc in front loop of second st and each stitch to end. (WS)
Row 2: ch 1, turn, sc in back loop of second st and each stitch to end. (RS)
Row 3: repeat row 1
Row 4: repeat row 2, ch 5, turn
Row 5: sc in second ch from hook, sc to end in front loop
Row 6: repeat row 2
Row 7: repeat row 1
Row 8: repeat row 2
Row 9: repeat row 1
Row 10: repeat row 2
Row 11: repeat row 1
Row 12: repeat row 2
Row 13: repeat row 1
Row 14: repeat row 2

Right sides facing, slip stich four times down the fingers.
Bring the thumb edge over and slip stitch that edge together (13 slip stitches).
Weave in ends.
Turn inside out.

For smaller hands, drop row 14.
For a medium sized brace add one row: repeat row one.
For a large sized brace add two rows: repeat row one and then two.

2.06.2007

Squirrels + College Students = Dumb College Students

Campus Sqirrel Goes Nutty for Food

A perrenial problem on campus is the still wild, yet hand fed squirrel who will come after you if they get a whiff of food. I had a squirrel leap off the ground and go for the sub in a plastic bag I was carrying. A squirrel crawled up a coworkers leg while she talked to a friend, going for the food in her back pack. They are aggressive when hungry, and especially aggressive on campuses where students will toss them food constantly.

Sitting there when an aggressive squirrel is going after your food is just dumb.

Don't say to yourself, "That doesn't happen everyday." Get up and GO! A squirrel brave enough to crawl up on you is not to worried about you hurting him. Get away quickly. Or end up like the poor girl in the article: getting rabies shots.