Marginalia IV: Realia

Last batch, till the fall at least, and that depends on how clever and amusing my professors turn out to be then. I realize that these aren’t funny to everyone, and some of them contain relatively obscure vocabulary. Just be glad I’m not studying to be an astrophysicist/neurobiologist/chemical engineer/brain surgeon – all of those would be way worse. Besides which, no one would trust me with rockets.

Professor quotes
On adding in Library of Congress (LC): “You might run into another country if you’re not careful.”

On importance: “Spain’s a four-number country.”

On the Literature schedule in LC: “It’s just strange.”

On disappearing  laser pointers: “I wish I had one of those pointer things. I have had them but they’ve all vanished.”

On propriety: “Sorry about the bare feet but my shoes hurt.”

On the Dewey Decimal System: “You can abridge numbers backward!”

On Dewey: “How lovely of the world to arrange itself into tens.”

On an example: “Cute little baby giant pandas.”

On “extraterrestrial” matters: “Alas, poor Pluto. It’s not fair.” (Pluto is no longer listed with the rest of the planets in the Dewey Decimal System.)

On the 800s (Literature) in Dewey: “We’ll look for love…in all the wrong places.”

On the assignment: “Yes, it’s normal to feel stupid.”

On CyberDewey: “Once the whole site disappeared and I was most distressed.”

On starting from scratch: “You never want to make up your own classification system, it always ends badly.”

On the rare books and preservation department: “They kind of frown on the bibliomystery collection.”

On AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd Edition) appendices: “You don’t go blindly abbreviating around however you like.”

On standards and rules: “You have standards, you can use them, it makes life easier…That’s why we have rules, so you don’t have to think so much about it.”

On access points (or, the cataloger’s nightmare): “If you don’t do this part right, it’s not going to be findable.”

On multiple authors, shared responsibility, and the bible: “We don’t use God as a main entry because that would be disrespectful and strange.”

On unusual situations: “Because LC is not about to say you should not believe in [communication from] spirits.”

On findability: “If you can’t find them in the catalog, you don’t functionally have them.”

On authors’ authority records: “You’re allowed to be more than one person…it’s a little rare.”

On official names and formatting: “Lest you ever think there is agreement about what names should be…there isn’t.”

On digital identity: “All of Libraryland came out of the woodwork and said, ‘We call that Authority Control.'”

On copyright and intellectual property: “Where do you learn about contract law? Nowhere do you learn about contract law.”

On interoperability: “That’s the dictator model and that never works…You can’t force people to do things all the same way – it would be lovely if you could.”

On not doing a print version of RDA (Resource Description and Access, the new AACR2): “There’s a lot of squawking about that at ALA.”

Notes with classmates
“This is like story hour…but BETTER.”

“This is like the most complicated board game EVER.”


Notes to self
New word! –> realia (Best definition after looking it up: “things that are real.”)

-a t-shirt that says “I’m kind of a big deal” (for Dewey, if they wore t-shirts back then)
-a dead parrot (“it is an ex-parrot!”) (a reference to both Monty Python and eXtensible cataloging)


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