Posted tagged ‘Russian’

Librarianship as Gaming

June 15, 2008

This might single me out as an even bigger dork than usual, but I think I have come to view my job in gaming terms, and this is something that seems to help me out so I thought I’d share. As I mentioned the other day I have a little trouble focusing on specific tasks. It can be a nuisance sometimes, but more often than not keeping my mind broadly focused has been a great aid when it comes to problem solving.

Take for example the 200 or so Russian books I had to find records for the other week. Given that I don’t know the language or the publishing conventions this was a pretty difficult task. So I went into the project thinking of it as a cryptograph (it does help that I took some linguistics courses back in college) and it became far more enjoyable. Similarly when I was creating original records for one of our manuscript collections I was able to look at the job as a puzzle (I actually did use oneacross, a crossword puzzle solver to help decipher some of the handwriting).

This is just how my mind tends to work. I look at everything from reference questions, to cataloging, to fixing network issues as puzzles to be solved. That mindset keeps me thinking creatively, and it keeps me optimistic since all puzzles have answers.

But enough of me as the self-help guru. I’ll try not to do this again.

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Seen in Tech Services II

June 2, 2008

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a cataloging oddity worth mentioning, this one is not a joke.  We have just received a large batch of Russian books, which is always fun for me since I don’t know the language at all.  So imagine my surprise when I plug in the ISBN on what appears to be some sort of holistic medicine book into WorldCat and see that one of the subject headings is Urine–Therapeutic use.

That could not stand to go by without being researched.  I’ll spare you the details, if you’re really interested in the subject then the wikipedia article is a decent starting point.  I’ll just leave this with the following quote regarding the subject, “there has been no research that has found drinking urine to be useful for any illness”.