Coffee Sunday: Rainy Days, Busy Weeks, and Some Weird Connections

We had a brief respite from fall this week. Temperatures here in the high 20’s Celsius, and even broke 30 on Saturday. (That’s 70’s and 80’s to those without metric systems.) Sundays now bring rain and cooler temperatures as if to say break time over, time to head to winter.

Yet Another Debate on Libraries and Technology

Most of the time I get home and zone out. I had a Library Orientation/Bibliographic Instruction session each week for the past two weeks. More requests continue to come in from instructor’s finally realizing Wikipedia and Google are not enough. Today on Rex Murphy’s Cross-Canada Check Up on CBC radio, the Canadian national radio station, today’s topic fills me with both excitement and dread:


I heard of variations on this topic so many times, it’s like hurricane season in some parts of the states. A persona may not like it, but they have to prepare for the storm anyway. A city council candidate in my old neighbourhood, Paul Quaye, wrote a post summarizing his views of libraries this way:

City administration could look at the city-funded money losing operations.  Let’s start with libraries, which are sadly a dying entity.  I used them extensively as a kid.  But, like our community clubs, they are under-utilized.  I think the Community Clubs can be saved, but can you honestly say that public libraries can in the light of where technology has taken us?

Paul Quaye, Where’s the substance?

Welcome to the argument librarians and library technicians deal with on a daily basis, even within their own ranks. It’s why I chip at those arguments a session at a time, a student at a time, or else go completely mad. ironically, despite owning a e-reader, I had a need to hold a physical book in my hand. From time to time I want to look at pages instead of screens. I want to think a little more beyond the Twitter soundbites.

Speaking of irony…

Stacks and Ranges Goes Political for a Bit

Part of why this blog has gone a little quiet is the upcoming civic election. Not all my zoning out from work involves actually zoning out. Often I fire up my computer and have a look at what’s going on with the civic election. Winnipeg has around 8 mayors running, but I would say it’s a race between four distinct candidates:

Judy Wasylycia-Leis Image Credit: Winnipeg Free Press
Gord Steeves Image Credit:
Brian Bowman Image Credit: Metro News
Robert Falcon Oulette Image Credit: Winnipeg Free Press

I would love to write about zombies, Westeros, and Richard Armitage at this time. Right now I need to think about the kind of person leading Winnipeg, and that means jumping in with both feet on Twitter. It appears people look at me as a bit of a pundit. In reality, I read and express opinion. I have experiences and express some more. Most of the time I read and listen. Whether it’s politics, or libraries, I learned the fine of art of mouth shut, ears open. When Oscar Wilde writes about our mistakes as experiences, he’s right to point out their evolution. Lesson 1: No matter what someone says, a person has something to say. Lesson 2: Try to be neither Ned Stark, or Petyr Baelish in political discourse. Be like Tyrion.

Speaking of geeky things, especially something along the lines of Game of Thrones, I have something to get out of my system. One time I sat in a debate on downtown issues with the candidates. While Brian Bowman spoke, my brain started its network of weird connections. In this case I thought about The Wire, and  Baltimore Mayor Tommy Carcetti in particular. Mr. Bowman reminds me a wee bit of the character as we first meet him.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

If the actor looks familiar, here’s something to jog the memory:

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Needless to say I took an eraser to that connection immediately. However, a tip of the hat is to Aidan Gillen for creating not one, but two memorable characters. There’s a hope for a return to the nerdy yet. Stay tuned.

What Next?

In the next episode of As The Week Turns, another Library Orientation session with a group of business students along with crash course with whomever comes over at my desk. (Am I using it right? Is it whomever?) Plus, with National Novel Writing Month coming up, it’s time to get into the habit of mapping out my next few posts. In blogging, and in writing, I would call myself a ‘pantser’ aka a person flying by the seat of my pants.. The goal for the next few weeks involves flexible planning aka making plans and outlines without turning flimsy or rigid. I like writing. I enjoy it, and I have to remember the joy. It’s what keeps anyone creative going.

4 thoughts on “Coffee Sunday: Rainy Days, Busy Weeks, and Some Weird Connections

  1. I always did a library info session with students in my upper division classes with research components but I found that (a) the class had to be tailored to the project, i.e., a general session about what was in the library was pointless, but if the students used the class to research their topics with the help of the librarian it was a lot better; and she also got a chance to sell them on software that wrote bibs / footnotes for them; and (b) I had to have the right librarian and subject specialty was way less important than personality. My favorite librarian retired this year and I’m almost relieved I am not professoring because I don’t think that the person who replaced her had the necessary personality to ‘sell’ the students on what the library had to offer.


      1. One would think that your preparation would qualify more librarians to do what you do. I’ve always worked in research universities though and there have always been subject librarians. If I didn’t ask the relevant subject librarian to do my classes, there was always a political hassle.


      2. Worked in a university before my current job. Know exactly what you mean. Remember I am a library technician. I have an undergraduate degree in education, a two-year diploma in Library and Information Technology, and wrestling with whether or not to do a master’s degree in library studies or education. I just enjoy my work, and side-eye Richard’s Twitter feed for anything new.


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