Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why I don't have the brainpower to blog...

I'm in week two of my library job, and it's going really well. I'm slowly getting the hang of the intricacies of cataloging (okay, well, really I'm just learning the basics, but hey, you have to start somewhere).

So here's my excuse for my lack of posts lately--

Take a look at the online catalog page for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

Fairly easy to read, very straightforward, right? Doesn't look like creating a catalog record and entering it into the online catalog would be so hard. But we don't get to use such a pretty, user-friendly interface. Oh, no. We get to do it in MARC (machine-readable cataloging):

Yeah, looks like a bunch of gobbeldy-gook. And that's for a simple book. Nonfiction can get even hairier, with extra authors, series information, many more subject headings. Then you get to do it for a book in German. Or Croatian. Or Bicol. (I'd never heard of Bicol until today. It's an area of the Philippines, don't you know.)

Okay, I'm complaining, but actually it's kind of fun. Like a puzzle to figure out (yes, I am a dork). If anyone else is a dork, you can learn about MARC here. Or if you really want a headache, check this out.

But after cramming this stuff into my head all day, writing a book review that manages in any way to be at all thoughtful has proved impossible. But I will get back to it soon. ;)


CindyS said...

Yikes! Whatever happened to what you see is what you get with computers. Soon you'll have all the codes down flat and will be able to fill the card in in no time flat.


Li said...

Oh dear, that looks horrendously complicated - and I work in IT! Good luck with it though, at least you're learning something new.

Wendy said...

Ah, the world of MARC. Now you know why librarians laugh in the face of anyone who says, "What do you do? Sit around and stamp books all day?"

nath said...

no, you're not a dork... you know, I bet I would enjoy it as well! it's like each book is a challenge :D well glad you're enjoying your job!

Marianne McA said...

Perhaps we should review books for you while you're busy... (Just read 'The lies of Locke Lamora' by Scott Lynch. All the reviews I've read of it were great, and indeed it finished so strongly that I could almost forgive it for it's faults. But the first three-quarters read like 'A Series of Unfortunate Events for Grown-Ups'. Too much hardship & misery.)

As for the catalog record - I think you should sneak in and amend it...

'The seventh and final book in the series about a school that teaches magic to those who go there'.

It's a terrible summary of the book. Young child, salivating to read a book about schools - the desks, the blackboards, the chalk dust & detentions - imagine the bitter disappointment when they take the book home & find the author focuses all her attention on a trio of truants.

Kate Diamond said...

I'm sorry your brain is in pain right now from work... is it any consolation that mine is, too? I'd forgotten how exhausting it could be to run herd on 150 high schoolers all day, while simultaneously trying to introduce t hem to Shakespeare.

Jennie said...

Cindy--I hope so! It does get easier the more I do it, so I'm sure it will seem like a piece of cake soon. (I hope.)

Li--It is good to learn something completely new--keep the old brain from atrophying. ;)

Wendy--Lol. That's exactly what my brother said when I told him I was going to get a masters in library science. "What are they going to teach you--how to stamp books?" Hmmph!

Nath--I've always liked puzzles, so it is pretty fun.

Marianne--If you want to write a review I would be ecstatic to post it for you here. Really, if you want. Just email me--jenniesbooklog (at) gmail. And that is a terrible summary--I wonder what kind of trouble I'd get in to if I changed i? ;)

Kate--Your job is definitely harder than mine! My respect for high school teachers is unbounded. ;)

Marianne McA said...

LOL. I could never write a proper review - I can think about a book, but can't do the next step back, where you think about what you thought about a book.

I hugely, hugely appreciate reading bloggers like yourself who can review.