At the Ref Desk (12/13/18): Last shift of the year. See you in 2019! [more...]

Person of the Year: Ms. Dewey (Janina Gavankar)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 12/27/06 (3:26pm)



After a pain-staking process of vetting countless candidates, I'm pleased to announce that this year's CL Person of the Year is none other than Ms. Dewey (aka Janina Gavankar).

In a year, when the best that Time Magazine could do was award its prize to a crummy Piece of Mylar, we here at CL have boldly designated a persona whose sole purpose in life is to drive traffic to a search engine! Her incessent fidgeting, banging on the monitor and entreaties to "type something here" go beyond the call of duty and serve to remind us that the best reference interview technique oftentimes consists of encouraging the library patron simply to "try again".

While the precision of her responses needs some work, her enthusiam and charm -- together with a willingness to drop everything and come to our aid serves as a fine example for those of us involved in bibliographic instruction and public service. Others might deride her as nothing more than a flash animation but her panache ought to make her a welcome addition to any (virtual) reference desk.

2 comments

by Dowe Decimal on Mon, 1/22/07 (11:45pm)

If you go to Ms Dewey website, and search for "rap" or "ho" the actress/character does an impression of an African American woman speaking. I am offended that this site which might be used by children would use such a stereotypical representation of African American dialect.

by Leo Klein on Tue, 1/23/07 (4:32am)

sent [1/23/2007]

Hi,

My name is Leo Klein and I run a weblog www.ChicagoLibrarian.com. When I first saw Ms. Dewey, I was so impressed that I made her our "Person of the Year": http://chicagolibrarian.com/node/41

Now most recently someone has written in with the following disturbing comment:

"Ms Dewey can be offensive to African-Americans"
"If you go to Ms Dewey website, and search for 'rap' or 'ho' the actress/character does an impression of an African American woman speaking. I am offended that this site which might be used by children would use such a stereotypical representation of African American dialect."

I was able to duplicate the person's actions and can verify the results. I find it extraordinary that you would be making these kinds of associations -- particularly with the word 'ho' and all that that means.

I'd appreciate some kind of explanation. Otherwise it'll be difficult to continue with Ms. Dewey as our "Person of the Year".

Sincerely,
Leo Klein
Chicago, IL.