At the Ref Desk (10/14/17): Phrase du Jour: Happy Researching! [more...]
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Depaul

Move-in Day at Depaul

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 9/4/10 (3:34pm)
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Judging by all the paper signs stuck to lamp-posts asking cars to park for only 20 minutes -- plus the traffic heading into the dorms, today must be 'move-in' day at DePaul. Fall Quarter begins on Tuesday.

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Beware of What You Ask

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 5/18/10 (9:15am)

A student came by as I was closing up wanting to know if we kept records of people's searches. His hard drive had crashed and all the work he had done the day before, researching for a paper, was now lost.

I explained that the only way to do this is by creating an account on the individual databases (where possible) and then saving the search results to that. Beyond that, there's little record of what people do. And that's a good thing.

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Avalanche of abandoned flash drives turn up at Reference

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 5/8/10 (11:11am)

Hot News from Reference: an avalanche of flash drives left abandoned in lab computers by forgetful students have been turning up at the Reference Desk. Will there be no end to this deluge? Our only hope: microchips implanted in all of us coming with at least 16 gb of disk space.

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Live-Blogging the Empty Library

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 3/27/10 (10:38am)

10:30am: What do you do as a reference librarian when you're the only one who showed up for work (hello Circulation)?

11:00am: The person supposed to be at Circulation just called saying he was stuck at the Airport in Minneapolis.

11:26am: Problem: A student came by wanting to charge out a book. I explained we didn't have anyone with access to the system. He said he'd come back later in the day.

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Leo Klein Caught Trashing E-Books in the DePaul Student Newspaper

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 3/5/10 (8:28am)

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So I'm famous, I guess. I made it into the student newspaper, the DePaulia, on the subject of e-books:

"I've got a great book collection, and there are great atlases and things like that. [T]here's a great book we have here, The Burnham Plan of Chicago, it's wonderfully illustrated from 100 years ago. [W]ould an electronic version replace that?" said Leo Klein, part time librarian at the DePaul Library.

Of course, not every book fits into this category. In fact, the majority don't, which is why I'm perfectly happy to access them online. It's just the distribution methods, some quite restrictive and proprietary, that give me indigestion.

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Wireless Now a Standard Library Feature in People's Minds

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 2/27/10 (10:45am)

Just got an interesting question over the phone today. A woman called the reference desk wanting to know if we were open to the public. She said she wasn't a student from DePaul.

"Yes," I replied, explaining that she had access to the books and print journals.

"Do we have access to the wireless as well?"

I had to explain that, like most schools, you need a student ID and password to access the wireless here. I was impressed though by her assumption that wireless was now part of what it means for a library to be "open".

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Bereavement Notice: Harvey the Reference Plant RIP

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 2/18/10 (7:52am)
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It is with great sadness that we have learned of the sudden death of Harvey the Reference Plant on February 13th, age 2 weeks. In Harvey's brief association with us, he brightened up the Reference Desk in ways that more puny (and apparently cheaper) plants just couldn't match. We send our condolences to the entire plant world and have reconciled ourselves to the fact that a replacement, in the form of a new bouquet, is on its way.

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Strange Photo Day

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 2/16/10 (10:57pm)
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PHOTO 1. Inclusive? Depressing? Neither? Both? Sign on Chicago El reads: "Depressed? Diabetic? Depressed and Diabetic? Neither one?"

PHOTO 2: Effective messaging (if you happen to be a lawyer). Sign on doors at UIC warning, "These doors are for A.D.A. Use Only".

PHOTO 3: Strange marketing juxtaposition. Preparation H on clearance at the Dominicks normally full of college students near DePaul University.

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It's Official: Plant's Name is Harvey

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 2/11/10 (7:17pm)
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The People have spoken and 'Harvey' has edged out 'Irene' by 4 tics to 3.

So ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, members of the press, horticulturalists and bibliographers the world over, I give you,

Harvey the Reference Plant

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Plants Are People Too

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 2/6/10 (3:23pm)
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So we got this enormous plant for the reference desk which looks like it came from the "Little Shop of Horror". It's looking at me all the time and I know it's probably eaten a student or two when my back was turned. So naturally I'm taking a poll among my colleagues to see what we should call it: "Harvey or Irene?"

At this point it's a tie.

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