Friday, February 06, 2015

Random bullets of nothing momentous except books

  • Do dog friends ever pick you up on your walks/runs?  Today a nice golden retriever that I'd never seen before followed me for a good 2 1/2 miles through the neighborhood, all the way home.  He would stop and look back to see if I was following him.  When I got home and went inside, he said "Woof!" which apparently meant that this walk was not over as far as he was concerned.  He's not there now, so I'm guessing he went home; he was obviously someone's dog and well cared for. I don't have a dog, but I'm guessing he wanted a walk and figured he might as well follow someone.  I've had this happen more than once, not always with the same dog. Is this a dog thing that you've noticed? 
  • Now that the book is off my desk, I'm finding all kinds of conference papers and longer talks that I never turned into articles, reading them, and wondering why I didn't send them out.  This is taking me away from the overdue article that I'm supposed to be writing but may pay off in the long run. 
  •  Daniel Goldstein at IHE makes good points about the limitations of e-books. 
  • And since I've been packing up books to donate in order to make space on the shelves, I find myself asking questions I didn't use to ask about some of the relatively obscure ones: 
    • How likely is it that I will need this book in the future, and is it likely that a library will still have it? 
    • Or will the librarians have deaccessioned it for being old, or dusty, or because they see it as ridiculously obsolete (like those librarians that nicoleandmaggie link to who make fun of books)? 
    • Or because they believe in the whole 'Google Books now, Google Books forever' thing, when more books keep getting embargoed all the time? 
  • Some books that I'd otherwise have given away are ones I've kept simply because I'm not convinced I will never need them.  Yes, I know: this ought to give me my own Discovery Channel series called "Hoarders: Book Ladies," but you never know.

5 comments:

nicoleandmaggie said...

In fairness, those awful library books ladies say that the rightful place for all of the books they deaccession is in research/university libraries!

undine said...

nicoleandmaggie--that's good to know! I read that blog a couple of times and it just made me sad, even though I could see what they were trying to do.

Z said...

Just saying hello! :-D

Z said...

And here is something just for you:

I took my McNair scholar into the stacks today to look at paper books and there were two of use that he checked out. It was his first time in the stacks and the first time checking out books. He is a junior. I feel like the White Rabbit.

This happened because we do not meet in my office but in the reference section of the library. That is because there are good tables and because I have demonstrated to him that the reference books there have more information in them than we can get on the Internet (this already blew his mind). Normally, though, we are still looking up articles on JSTOR and things, from our laptops, because our library holdings are weak ... the catalogue I use as a default is WorldCat, not our catalogue. But we went into the stacks on the student's initiative. Him: "If the reference books are better than the internet, maybe there is something of value in paper books. Where are they, for this field? Can we, maybe, see them just to get an idea of what they are like?" Me: "Let's go." (and chortling to the librarian: "We are going to check out actual books!" and the librarian got it, the unusualness of it, and chortled also)

undine said...

Z--talk about a teachable moment (and a conversion!).