Archive for the 'library' Category

Kidz Rap.

February 5, 2007

Okay, so I know I’ve written about the Kidz Bop series of CDs before. They’re these awful compilations of kiddie cover versions of popular songs that are insanely popular with the elementary-school aged youth of College Town. These things are so evil that they make me want to have my ovaries removed to prevent me from ever having a child so I will never have to purchase such a ridiculous thing, ever.

It gets better, though.

Today, I received a copy of Kidz Rap Radio, which is apparently the rap music version of Kidz Bop. If you thought a kiddie version of “Take Me Out” was nutty, wait until you hear the kiddie version of The Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait (The Whisper Song.” You know, the song with these lyrics, which are so not safe for work that they may set your computer aflame with their straight-up dirtiness.

Needless to say, the sanitized version is only 2 minutes and 30 seconds long, and features the refrain “Wait ’till you see my kicks.” The Ying Yang Twins did not mention shoes at all in the original version. As a matter of fact, I’m sure that all shoes had already been removed. As well as pants. And underpants.

There’s also a version of “Laffy Taffy,” another song I’ve blogged about before, but I can’t bring myself to listen to it.

Also, I would love it if someone would tell some of the folks on Newlib-L to shut up. Seriously. This argument about whether or not MLS holders are entitled to a job is getting stupid. It’s the same five people going “yes it is!” “no it’s not!” over and over and over.

I can’t believe some of the people out there who consistently make asses of themselves online and then wonder why they can’t find a job.

Off to ALA.

June 22, 2006

Tim and I leave tomorrow morning for New Orleans to attend ALA. I have my busiest schedule yet this year, due to my involvement with various committees and roundtables. I suspect it's only going to get busier and crazier over the next few years, as I've been elected Vice President-President Elect of NMRT. With that position comes a whole slew of new committments, including the mysterious Roundtable Coordinating Assembly. 

 Then, two days after we return from NOLA, we're closing on our brand new house. And then we're moving.

 Hectic? Definitely.

Kids these days.

April 12, 2006

I admit that I am, occasionally, jealous of kids these days. (By “kids,” I mean “youth in their late teens and early twenties,” not “small children.”) They have so many things that would have made my life a heck of a lot easier back in the early 1990s when I was in college. Things like cell phones with cheap unlimited minutes (the better to call one’s long-distance boyfriend in St. Louis or Country Club Hills or Champaign or Ottawa or Bloomington, Indiana without racking up $300 in dorm room telephone bills), instant messaging (see “cell phones”), and MySpace (the better to meet more long-distance boyfriends with which to communicate). The internet could have opened up a whole new world of trouble for 19-year-old me. I could have had six boyfriends in six different cities instead of just three boyfriends in three different cities!

Then I catalog the new CD by Hawthorne Heights, and I remember one thing that we old farts in our 30s have on kids these days: our music was better. Record labels might have pulled some gimmicky shit on us back then, but they never released the same album with “boy” and “girl” cover art. At least, I don’t think they did, unless it was some kind of riot grrrl trickery, like how Huggy Bear would play girls-only shows.

So do I catalog them separately? The content is the same, other than the stupid promotional “bonus CD” that Victory Records threw in for the sole purpose of vexing me greatly. The bonus CD in the “girl” version features Silverstein and June, two bands which I suspect are very earnest but not very talented. The artwork on the bonus CD is, ostensibly, kinda girly, and the bands pictured are cute in that Seth Cohen/sensitive girlyboy kind of way. The “J” in June is dotted with a plus sign, a clever typographical conceit that, okay, I kind of like in a sick way. The bonus CD in the “boy” version features some band called Atreyu, which may be a bastardized version of the word “atrium,” or it could just be something they thought sounded cool while they were really, really high. The cover art is distinctively more masculine, with the band employing a stereotypical “death metal” typeface for its logo and photos of a young man squinting and holding his temples, as if someone is forcing him to listen to, say, Hawthorne Heights. The band members pictured look like that ugly guy who hangs out in the corner of the goth club who everyone, even the goths who are fangs-and-all into the whole scene, thinks is really, really creepy. Or like a low-budget Gerard Way–same pudgy face, same raccoonish eye makeup, but something’s just…off. I suspect that I could technically throw out the bonus CD and just catalog the album, but someone might be interested in the bonus CD, and I generally prefer to keep them. The problem is that keeping the bonus CD means that the content between the two albums is different, and my CatalogerSense tells me that I’ll need two records to account for the difference in content.

Hold up! I just discovered another difference in the two versions, albeit not one that would justify separate records for the two versions. On the CD art of the “girl” version, there’s a photo of a young girl (made up and dressed to look really, really underage, I’m talking eleven-year-old underage) holding a bouquet of flowers. She’s gazing straight at the camera, with a defiant-ish look on her face, probably thinking something like “Chad gave me this bouquet of daisies and carnations, and that’s cool and all, but I’m still…sad. Empty. You know how it is, girls. I think I am going to smash his heart into teeny-tiny bits now. He’ll never recover. Muahahahahahaha!” On the “boy” version, it’s the same girl and the same flowers, but her head is tilted downward, she has a half-smile on her face, and she’s smelling the flowers. She’s content. She’s pleased with her emoboy’s offering.

If this album had been released prior to fall of 2002, it would have made for a great microanalysis project for my Feminist Media Studies class. It certainly would have made for better conversation than the chick-lit book cover that I analyzed.

All in today’s work.

April 7, 2006

I never used to use IM at work. I thought it would be way too distracting and that I'd never get anything done. Then I went to Aaron's presentation on IM reference and realized that a lot of librarians are on IM all day and they still manage to get a lot done. So I decided to give it a try. And the truth is, I probably get more done because I am not wasting time sending Tim stupid one-sentence e-mails like "what's for dinner" and "do you want to meet for lunch." I actually talk about work-related stuff too–I'm working on a tech-related project at work, and it's really simple for me to just IM Tim when I have a question than it is to e-mail and wait for a response. I can also IM people from the library system office when I have questions, which often leads to immediate answers. I am a very impatient person, so I like that. Yay for IM!

The following are excerpts from actual IM conversations I've had today while cataloging CDs. See, this is why working in a public library is awesome–you get to catalog stuff like R. Kelly's masterpiece 12 Play, featuring the seductively-titled "I Like the Crotch On You." And sometimes you have to, uh, listen to stuff to make sure the cataloging is correct. Or to amuse yourself during a long day of cataloging CDs. Or something like that.

nanetteamplified: i was just listening to "i like the crotch on you" by r. kelly
nanetteamplified: the refrain is:
nanetteamplified: "i like the crotch on you
nanetteamplified: i want the crotch on you
nanetteamplified: i need the crotch on you"
Jenny: please tell me it is to the melody of "you dropped the bomb on me"
Jenny: cuz that's totally how i envision it
nanetteamplified: no, it's to an early '90s new jack swing beat

—-

I am committed to providing the best possible access to our library's materials, which is why I enhanced the 505 contents note for 12 Play. People need to find what they are looking for!
amplifiedtorock: you can now do a title search on "i like the crotch on you" and get results on our opac
Tim: haha!

Please note that this is one hundred percent true. You can try it yourself if you know where I work.

—-

Another enhanced contents note, this time for Chamillionaire's Man on Fire, a far more subtle work than 12 Play:
amplifiedtorock: i am cataloging a rap cd and one of the tracks is called "undisputed king koopa"
amplifiedtorock: yeah, i'd feel really threated by that if my name was mario or luigi
Tim: haha
Tim: that's funny

—-

I'd post this to the YALT Blog, but Tim said we have to keep that professional. Maybe he's hoping to get invited to join one of those fancy group tech weblogs or something. Anyhow, I doubt that he would consider any post containing the word "crotch" professional, so I'll put it here.

A cataloger’s humble plea.

February 24, 2006

Dear Someone Who Has the Authority to Update OCLC Authority Records,

Could you please update the authority record for Tupac Shakur, ARN# 3448530? He was shot almost ten years ago. Yes, there’s information about his death in the 670 fields, but the authorized form of his name is still listed as “Shakur, Tupac, #d 1971-“. I know there are people who believe that Tupac is still alive, but there are also people who believe that Elvis is still alive, and his authority record was updated at some point to include the year of his death. Also, the Notorious B.I.G. has a date of death in his authority record–granted, it’s in one of the unauthorized forms of heading, but still…at least it’s updated. Is this some kind of East Coast-West Coast thing? If so, I don’t get it, because OCLC is in Ohio, and last time I checked, Ohio was not on any coast. Unless you’re counting the coast of Lake Erie, and I’m not.

I tried to update and replace the record, and I got the infamous “not authorized to replace record” message. I can change it locally, but when our library system does its quarterly authority control, it’ll just get changed back to whatever form is currently on OCLC. And that form happens to be incorrect.

I think maybe someone should be assigned the role of updating authority records when people die. I think I would enjoy doing this–checking the newspaper and various magazines for high-profile deaths and updating the authority records accordingly. It’s a morbid task, yes, but it is a necessary task. Our users do notice that people tend to “live forever” in the catalog. It makes us look out of touch and foolish, like we didn’t get the memo that so-and-so is no longer alive. Like perhaps we were too busy shushing people or measuring the size of books (in centimeters) or constructing Dewey numbers to pay attention to popular culture.

Also, I know that Douglas Adams died several years ago, but in our library catalogs, he lives on! Eternally! With Tupac!

Please fix it. Seriously.

Your cataloging buddy,
-Nanette

On CD cataloging, and children singing popular music

February 22, 2006

We are short one cataloger, so as a result, I’m picking up some extra cataloging. Since I don’t get to catalog all that much, and since I do enjoy cataloging, this is exciting for me. Not only am I cataloging, but I am cataloging audiovisual materials, which gives me ample opportunity to do things like insert added entries for every guest artist on a hip hop album. This sometimes means that there are numerous added entries on some of these records, which causes some irritation when it comes to controlling the headings, but you never know when someone is going to want the collected works of Bun B, right?

My pile of items includes stuff I have been waiting for (I Am a Bird Now by Antony and the Johnsons, which was out of stock the last time I went CD shopping; Arular by M.I.A.), some stuff that I am amazed that our library does not own (What’s the 411? by Mary J. Blige), as well as some, uh, crap (i.e., the latest album by Silverchair). 

Also included: children’s CDs. Whenever I catalog children’s CDs, I start reconsidering my desire to have children. Especially when the latest edition of the Kidz Bop series passes through my dirty little paws. 

Kidz Bop, for the uninitiated (and you are likely one of the uninitiated if you do not have children under the age of eleven and/or a hankering for musical oddities) is a series of CDs featuring children (and, seemingly, one adult) singing the latest pop hits. Usually, it’s pretty typical top-40 stuff–some light R&B, a little bit of Ashlee Simpson, perhaps some Avril Lavigne. But every so often, they sneak in something so incongruous that you just think…wha? What posessed the svengalis behind the Kidz Bop series to select that song?

Kidz Bop 7 featured a chorus of prepubescent children performing…wait for it…”Float On” by Modest Mouse. Forget Sun Kil Moon. You haven’t truly heard a Modest Mouse cover until you’ve listened to a herd of kids (and some adult who I persist in calling “their handler”) performing “Float On.” It was so freaky that I couldn’t listen for very long. The newest installment of Kidz Bop (that would be Kidz Bop 8) features a cover of “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand. And no, I am not going to listen to it.

Also, there is a Kidz Bop version of the One Tree Hill theme song. I am sure that it is not as good as my “Karaoke Revolution Party” version of the One Tree Hill theme song, which is truly epic.

All of this makes me terrified that I am going to spawn a child who somehow happens to get exposed to Kidz Bop through a friend (or through the television–they must be marketing this somewhere) and subsequently becomes obessed with it, thus sentencing me to several years’ worth of repeated listenings to sanitized versions of popular songs performed by children (and, uh, their handler).

It also makes me wonder how my mom didn’t go nuts when I was obsessed with the Alvin and the Chipmunks classic Urban Chipmunk. I almost wore that album out when I was eight years old. Hey, she bought it for me. Enabler.