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I come down the stairs

you in the dark night

sneaking around my back

Looking at the ones

that you can not have

the  lust of a monster

And you look to me

say  it is nothing

to you it is everything


circle H

Why is a circle’s circumference 360 degrees and the melting point of Hydrogen (rounded) -360 degrees F? The circle with the center point is a Hydrogen atom.

Pretty Deadly

Deconnick, K. S. (2014). Pretty deadly: The shrike (Vol. 1). Berkley, CA: Image Comics.

Pretty Deadly: The Shrike is rightly named. It is pretty and it is deadly. Death’s beautiful daughter, Ginny, is scarred with the Indian death mask which assures her passage into the afterlife. She seeks vengeance for anyone who sings her plaintive song. A man named Fox, who travels the frontier telling the story of Mason and his wife Beauty whom he locked in a stone tower. Beauty could not endure that prison and prayed for Death to come. Death came and made love to Beauty. He holds her today with him as their child rides across the lifescape in answer to her song. Fox, blind and scarred, has a companion in a little crow-feathered girl named Sissy. Sissy’s mystical dress is as mysterious as her remarkable eye colors. It is Deaths song they teach in the telling and one Sissy comes to sing herself. She is the Shrike that impales. Bunny narrates this story of Death’s daughter riding prettily across the frontier seeking her song to Butterfly. This narration of the story adds to the western genre appeal and gives its pace a rest, so the story can be absorbed. The artwork is enchanting almost haunting.   The frames within the frames quickly angle perspective like a camera filming a scene. This opens the door to a new western genre. It may likely be or become the Lonesome Dove of the western graphic novel.

Graphic Novel Ethyl and Ernest

Briggs, R. (1998). Ethyl & ernest: A true story. London, England: Jonathan Cape.

Ethel and Ernest: A True Love Story is a lovingly illustrated graphic novelized memoir of the author’s parents Ethel and Ernest Briggs. The story begins in the 1920’s with Ethel working as a housemaid and Ernest working as a bicycle courier in or around the city of London, England. The courtship begins in a way old as time, the regular crossing of paths leads to recognition, appreciation and anticipation. Engagement and marriage follow as do making a home. This home is the setting for the changing of their lives and the times. A child is born. The world works away outside its doors. But in the house, in the quiet of their lives, a continuous discussion between Ethel and Ernest goes on about the world and the boy. Decade by decade the gentle history of their love and an account of the world is released in quiet conversations over tea, until a time when there can be no more discussion, just monologue. The illustrations and narrative parallel each other with supplemental strength. The ease of one turns to the ease of the other enhancing the story of an ordinary life recounted. Raymond Briggs illustrations are typical of his other work. The framing is such as it is in the wordless book “Snowman”. And like in the Snowman they tell a story beyond the words.

Household Encyclopedia – True to Value

Another book that came by the book sale was a True-Value Hardware Household Encyclopedia in paperback. Although yellowed with age as the other one the paper back is in fine condition. Either the owner didn’t care about cleaning and such or someone did it for them.

Household blogging begins with CLEANING TOOLS:

“In general, well-selected good-quality tools pay for their extra cost in their efficiency and in the time and energy they save.

Brooms: (before nylon – I wonder how it would compare) Fiber brooms cost more than those of broomcorn, but last several times as long an are more satisfactory to use. A good broom has comparatively few split ends and these should be short. When stored, these brooms, like others should be hung or rested on the end of the handle.”

At work any broom sitting on its bristles finds itself on its handle after my passing by. I wonder what the facilities staff makes of this. Outside of LeClaire Iowa is a festival to the north. It maybe held weekly or otherwise regularly but this is uncertain. There are popcorn kettle popping, jams being made, twine being turned into rope, and broom making out of broomcorn. Now broomcorn is really a corn, which is surprising. It is grown for the tassels and not the seed. Whisk brooms and long handle brooms can be seen and seen made there. If you are in the area other places to go are the Buffalo Bill Homestead and Museum, the Cody Road Distillery, and the American Pickers Antique Archeology headquarters.

Mager, N. H. & Mager, S. K. (1973). True-value hardware stores: Household endylopedia. New York: Pocket Books. (Page 3).


Recently, well not really. Some time ago I found a book on the book sale at the library (read work). It was a donation and being old it attacked my attention. The title is The Quiz-and-Answer Book by Frederic J. Haskin. This book was published in a red hardcover board that is now a faded, water run orange red. Anyway. How interesting a 1938 quiz publication with 2222 questions and answers. Oddly, it seems to have been a pervious library book, although no library stamp is evident. A due date of Jan.23, 65 is written in pencil on the inside front cover.

The pages are highly yellowed and brittle, with 23 quizzes each having 25 questions. After skimming the contents I thought it worthy becoming the focus blogs for times to come. If nothing else I can practice my typing skills with it, and keep to the text and case as closely as possible. (should I yellow the pages somehow ? Yes if it can be done.)


Your hair may not turn red, but your face will take on a Titian hue (see question 14), before you have answered these twenty-five questions. (You’ll find the correct answers on page 179). _ [not here though]

  1. Who was known as the faultless painter?
  2. What famous Madonna is in the Dresden Gallery?
  3. Picasso was the founder of what type of art?
  4. Name the artist who sued Ruskin for libel?
  5. Who painted the “Age of Innocence?”
  6. On which of his works did Rodin spend twenty years?
  7. What famous painting was stolen from the Louvre in 1911?”
  8. Name the painting designed for a dissecting room.
  9. In ancient paintings why are some saints shown with a square nimbus?
  10. Who designed the Diana atop the old Madison Square Garden?
  11. What does the Bayeux tapestry depict?
  12. Is the original “Las Supper” by da Vinci still in existence?
  13. Who was Praxiteles?
  14. What noted artist gave his name to a certain color of hair?
  15. Define “pinxit.”
  16. Name the French artist who took his subjects from the lives of French peasants.
  17. In what forms of art did Benvenuto Cellini specialize?
  18. Name a famous woman painter of animals.
  19. What German artist was a pioneer in the field of engraving?
  20. What two great artists did not sign their pictures and why?
  21. To what does “still life” painting refer?
  22. With what is the name of Gobelin connected?
  23. What is a rose window?
  24. Where is the famous statue depicting the end of the trail?
  25. Why was Tintoretto so called?

Haskin, Frederic J. (1938). The quiz-and-answer book. New York: Grosset & Dunlap. (Pages 1-2)


Library 200 as a required class has gone from being a tedious burden on time to proof that information is relevant and so is the information community seeking it.

Without a textbook the amount of information to organize and manage was initially overwhelming. Determining the flow of the material was difficult. In part this was an organizational style differences between the instructor and myself as well as the other that of the virtual classrooms. The organization was confusing and required an inordinate amount of double-checking and triple-checking. Even still information was buried or changed setting off anxiety. It felt like a virtual sand trap at times.

Canvas is a new system for teachers and students and this fact could contribute to the information communication hiccups. A tighter organizational uniformity for the required foundation classes could help ease students into the virtual classroom. Understanding that workplace environments require flexibility with personal styles and personalities, a professor’s personal style might be limited to the content or presentation.

The content of the class, at first seemed not irrelevant but obvious. Of course different people or communities are going to want different things, and find it differently. I am ashamed to say it had me rolling my eyes.   The user experience study opens up closed minds to perspectives that are not obvious and are relevant. The class exposed the types of assumptions I have made and I observed in the blogs of other classmates; one being that we all seek information in the same way or can presume to know what is important to that community.

Library staff as an information community had scant research, literature or information communities outside that of the professional librarian. The staff of the public library may draw on the research of other information communities; the information community of the common workplace, the academic library information community, other library specializations, or library management and administration resources; however this lack of research raises an eyebrow by its nature as a group of information professionals.

The processing of LIBR200 assignments and lectures merged on a final composition – one that built itself with focus and intent. And although the syllabus was hard to follow the consequence was a mission fulfilled. The instruction and assignments for the class illuminated the communities, users and research protocols, and culminated in fundamental skills for research, writing, and understanding of information and its various communities. Which when going forward will bring sensitivity and understanding to the customer services experience.


Desk Set

Desk Set with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy is classic American romantic comedy that simultaneously introduces a changing technology with the changing roles of women. The title of the movie was His Other Woman in Great Britain or in Spanish His Other Wife.

Either of those titles might have worked in the United States, but Desk Set is more mysterious with a deeper meaning. Think of Desk Set as opposed to the Jet Set of the same era. The terms are diametrically opposed. Desk Set impales upon the mind the image of the office workplace, imagined in the bustling downtown of the city, as in the opening scene and reemphasized with green drab, book cluttered office space of Federal Broadcastings reference. Jet Set implies the fantastic world of the elegantly dressed socialites at the airport, suitcases at the ready of adventure. In Bunny’s conversation with her boss, the up and coming executive, Mike Cutler, her declining of his request to go with him to the airport with the following “all the people flying away and me just sitting here” underscores the juxtaposition of the two classes. It is again illustrated as she drags her suitcases home, cramped into a coworker’s already brimming car because the pouring rain has left the city void of taxicabs, and she is only going home instead of to where her suitcases promised she would be, left out of the Jet Set once again.

It is easy to associate the character of Bunny Watson with the pinched prudish stereotype old maid librarian. The severe hairstyle complete with pencil and bobby pin skewered bun, tight high neck suits cinched at the waist to lock tight, and accentuate her naturally lean bony frame. Her razor sharp intellect, quick-tongued wit and encyclopedic memory for detailed information and its location further promote the stereotypical librarian.

Throughout the movie, detail after detail is punch carded information fed to the audience for digestion. Miss Watson, is older, the head of reference. She has been working at the Federal Broadcasting Company so long her philodendron has grown to an enormous length. Later is it revealed she has been working there for eleven years, seven of which she has been romantically involved with Mike. She has all but given up on marriage, although Mike teases her with his possessive sexually assuming actions and speech saying she has “sexy green eyes” and that they will have “lots of fun”. It is not certain if he was always her boss but he is now. It is by her intelligence that he later is promoted to the west coast Vice-President. He proposes, kind of, so he again assumes they will finally marry, with her transferring to the west coast so she can continue to take care of him professionally.

The supporting characters of Miss Peg Costello, Miss Sylvia Blair, and Miss Ruthy Saylor also support the librarian stereotype through its phases. Each lady is introduced with a phone call to reference. Miss Costello answers with her name establishing her spinsterhood. She is Miss Watson’s contemporary and has watched Bunny Watson deteriorate into the familiarity of an old coat. Her status as an older single woman is perpetuated throughout the movie “I don’t like cats. I like men and so do you”. After all librarians like cats and cats will keep spinster roommate librarians from being lonely in there old age.

The librarian as a decent woman is twice underscored when Peg remarks on the older gentleman’s automobile circling the block saying “if I’d been any other type of girl” and Bunny’s answer that her experience has led her to believe that person was probably only looking for a parking spot. Smithers’ wife circling the building six times later repeats this scenario. However at this time it is used to show the clandestine nature of the sexy femme fatal lurking beneath the cool closed reference librarian exterior.   Peg is what Miss Blair and Miss Saylor will become unless they happen to marry as Mildred Kittinger has succeeded in doing.   It is only through marriage that they will escape the reference department.

Dina Merril plays Miss Sylvia Blair. Her character is as elegant and refined as she actually was in real life being the daughter of E. F. Hutton. Her true socialite jet set status as opposed to the depiction of the desk set librarian is pure ironic genius.   She is younger than both Miss Watson and Miss Costello, but not so young as Miss Saylor.   She too is introduced to be a Miss at the beginning by answering the telephone for reference purposes. Throughout the movie she is portrayed as quiet and unassuming. But if you look for it there is an underlying tow of sexuality. As Richard Sumner lets down the tape measure from the balcony she flirts with him. His tape is floppy and loose. Later Mr. Sumner has her help him take measurements, she replies with her measurements and now the flexible steel is firm and upright as she hold the tip in her hand and they look into each others eyes.   The librarian as seductress is subtly introduced.

desk set tape measure

Miss Ruthy Saylor, young new hire with an eagerness to learn and thankfulness for the opportunity to do so. After all there is not much work out there that is available for the young single girl. She too is introduced as Miss as she answers the reference telephone in answer to a department store wanting to know her status on the strapless velvet dress. She is the young single woman starting out in the world, on the very beginning of her husband hunting.

Even such minor characters as Miss Warner and the elderly lady that wanders about, perpetuate the librarian image.  This t elderly lady although not directly related to reference, is model of the company logo and she has gone from being a young vivacious attractive goddess to a shuffling dusty remnant like the books on the reference shelves.

The movie integrates the cultural iconic librarian stereotypes so smartly, convincingly and consistently that this is what makes the movie as appealing as it is.

Desk Set Ending

FA:14 LIBR:200-19 BLOG #5 ETHICS

Library staff is obligated to follow ethical and legal standards other industries may not have to adhere to. However, the workplace is the workplace and there are ethical and legal standards that must be met across all industries.

Take the issue of privacy. There is a lot of debate in the library world about patron privacy. More generally the privacy of personal emails or phone calls from workstations and while using workplace property is being discussed. This is not the privacy issue I want to address. The privacy I am speaking of is something more delicate, more private, and possibly more hazy than either of those privacy issues. This issue of privacy relates to the individual taking time off.

We all take time off work or I would hope we do. When we take time off, it can be for a variety of reasons. It could be that there has been a once in a lifetime trip planned that will keep someone out of the office for 2,3, maybe even 4 weeks. Or someone may be taking a trip for a week to visit grandma. Or maybe the opportunity to escape for the long weekend has landed in another’s lap just a day or two before. On the other hand, there are seasonal illnesses, unexpected injuries, other medical reasons that create an absence in the workplace. There are deaths in the family and births. Maybe someone is to serve on a jury or a grand jury. So my question is, what expectation of privacy do we have when it comes to taking time off? There is a right to privacy here and how does it apply?

In answering that question it must be taken into account that we are people, who, more often than not, care about the people we work with. We are enmeshed in their lives to varying degrees. Familiarity develops with time because of proximity and a shared purpose. When though does concern for a coworker step over the privacy line? Consider the following situation.

A person takes time off because a family member is ill and needs to care for that person. Through permission or self revelation staff know why the person was to be absent. Time goes by. More time goes by. The expected return date goes by. Many are wondering, some among themselves, why the person is still gone. “Does anyone know what happened?” and such questions are asked. No one hears. So using common knowledge a coworker searches the internet looking for answers and finds out that their colleague has not returned because the person they were going to help in their illness has tragically died.

Instead of keeping this information private, or waiting for a supervisor or human resources to share this loss, that same person then proceeds to inform all of the other coworkers, person after person of the death and of how their clever research precipitated that information. Although, there has been no official notification from management or human resources, staff are now organizing a sympathy card, and memorial. Management does nothing to reprimand this, and participates in the discussions of how sad and what to do. The several people that feel a line has been breeched, do mention the fact that, this knowledge is really unreleased private information that should be respected. But the planning goes on. At some point the person returns and is gracious and thankful for the kindness shown.

What is right in this situation? Was it right to research this individual? Was it right to share the information? Would this person have a grievance?

“And even if there is no specific law, a right to privacy can be based on the legal common law concept of having a “reasonable expectation of privacy.” (Gross, 2012)

Libraries and librarians strive to promote uphold both the right to intellectual freedom and the right to privacy. “Intellectual freedom as a concept in librarianship means freedom to think or believe what one will, freedom to express one’s thoughts and beliefs in unrestricted manners and means, and freedom to access information an ideas regardless of the content or viewpoints of the author(s) or the age, background or beliefs of the receiver” (Dresang, 2006).

I don’t have the answer. I suppose the answer lies in the individuals themselves. It does cause me to think twice about how to behave. Does that person have a grievance that could be filed? Or is this just the reality of living in the information age? I would say yes. I would say no.

Dresang, E. (2006). Intellectual freedom and libraries: complexity and change in the  twenty-first-century digital environment.   Library Quarterly, 76(2), 169-192. doi:10.1086/506576

Gross, B. (2012) Basic privacy issues in the workplace. All Business. Retrieved from


The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business by Charles Duhigg

The author exemplifies the conditioning of habit and its disruption in this book, The Power of Habit. He illustrates the strength and the fragility of habit as illustrated in the example of the routine political demonstration disrupted by the absence of street food vendors. At times Duhigg stretches his analysis to fit his theory, forcing the story to fit the premise, as in the case of the Rhode Island hospital. Here it was not habit but fear that primarily determined behavior. Target uses purchasing behavior and analysis, as a demographic to merchandise, but it is not habit that determines a pregnant woman buys vitamins, or the grabs the new dvd during checkout, it is convenience. Overall though he puts forward a theory of cue, routine and reward that feeds our habitual behaviors – the conditioned response of Pavlov’s dog, as the basis for habit formation.

Understanding behavior and habit within public library staff, can improve the workplace environment for staff and the public. Staff is used to interacting with resources, collections, materials, procedures and each other in routine fashion. Work-arounds are habitually used instead of finding a solution. For instance, the time clocks may differ in three locations, but this is well know and used to manipulate the recording of the workday. However, if the time clocks were synchronized, this would break the habitual lateness of employees. Allowing communication patterns with customers or staff that negatively impact the self and the workplace could be improved by recognizing the habit loop of cue, routine and response. Acknowledging habit in customers would at least be reason for pause when considering changes and the impacts of those changes on the routines of customers.

Overall Duhigg convincingly brings forth a discussion worthy of attention. Habit abounds in work and life.   Understanding habit and human behavior, using that understanding with integrity and wisdom has the potential to transform individuals, families, organizations, and communities.