At the Ref Desk (10/6/18): (Question of the Day): "For how much time can I ask you questions?" I told him we were open till nine. [more...]
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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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Things I Noticed While Filling out the U.S. Census 2010 Form

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 3/20/10 (4:09pm)

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  • It looks like the mailman just dumped a form into everyone's mailbox without really checking apt. #s.
  • I notice they only have three digit spaces for age.
  • It looks like a hell of a long form -- until you realize that most of it is for "Person 2" to "Person 12".
  • What about "Person 13"?
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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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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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CTA Mouth Warbler II

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 1/28/10 (9:33am)

cta_logo_125x125.jpgFollowing up from last week, here's what I heard on the El going to Skokie last night:

"Attention Passengers: Please do not attempt to board the train -- the doors are closing".

Actually the delivery for this one was pretty good, though again, a touch on the long side.

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Old Colleague, New Colleague

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 1/22/10 (2:47pm)

An old colleague from NYU, Jen Schwartz, just started at DePaul. It's a small world.

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Mouthful to Say for CTA Train Drivers at Each & Every Stop

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 1/21/10 (6:20pm)

CTA Logo Has anyone else noticed drivers on the El announcing at every stop:

"Do not attempt to board the train. Doors closing."

That's a huge mouthful to say. No wonder they flub up every third stop or so. But what really gets me is that cognitively I don't think this works. In such a quick moment before the doors are about to close, you really need something snappier, simpler -- something like:

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