Marginalia Winter Wrap-Up

Yes, “Marginalia” returns! Today is the first Digital Libraries class, taught by The Patron Saint of Catalogers (TPSoC), who also taught the Information Organization class I took last summer. (See the collected quotes here.) I’m looking forward to whatever gems of language she has to offer this semester, but before it begins, I am taking the opportunity to gather some professor quotes from last semester. I had some wonderful professors, though none quite as eminently quotable as TPSoC, so here are some of their most memorable utterances, as well as other marginalia, i.e., doodles.

From Reference and Information Services

On information seekers: “Eventually, you will have to deal with people.”

On communication failures: [a drawing of a sad person, head in hands, bent over a desk, accompanied by speech bubble: “No one understands my information need.”]

On ageism in libraries: [a drawing of an old person with a cane and a young person slouching in a chair behind a computer. Dialogue: “Young scamp! You couldn’t possibly help.” “Old coot! I have access to databases.”

On confidentiality: “If someone really wanted to build a bomb, the last thing they’re going to do is go down to the public library.”

From Technology for Information Professionals

On e-mail: “I believe it’s a tool that should be used sparingly.”

On language: “We’re gonna teach you tech-ese.”

On outlook: “There are no problems, only challenges.”

On freedom: “Freedom makes extra complexity in life.”

On the hourglass (PCs) and the Spinning Colorwheel of Doom (Macs): “This is all so you humans will know what the machine is doing.”

On course content, limitations of: “The whole subject of why people do bad things is beyond the scope of this course.”

On the past (in a sad tone of voice): “There was a time when there were no hard drives in the world…”

On artistic talent: “So as you know I’m a tremendous artist…” [draws a stick figure]

On the sciences vs. the humanities in academics: “Anyway, there’s a lot of geekiness on both sides.”

On creative solutions to spelling problems: “How do you spell ‘caviar’? C – A – V… fish eggs.”

On bald stick figures: “And we hope the person’s happy…he should have hair to be happy.” [draws hair on the stick figure]

On how long it would take to catalog everything, even if everyone in the world became a cataloger: “The babies would be dead by then.”

On the existence of librarians’ concern for privacy: “Unlike the rest of the world.”

On maintaining personal privacy in a technological age: “There’s all sorts of ways – you could become a Luddite, and refuse.”

On databases: “Any time you [are assigned] a number, you’re in a database somewhere.”

On the field of ‘competitive intelligence’: “It’s like spying.”

On potential employers: “They want a human being, not just a nerd!”

Part Two to come!

What I’m reading: The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch
What I’m listening to: Big Star, Badly Drawn Boy

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1 Comment

Filed under library, school

One response to “Marginalia Winter Wrap-Up

  1. debbie

    my favorite is the ageism cartoon!

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