November 17, 2003

She Who LAFs Last...

Here's Roberto Esteves, reunited with his Action Figure! Be sure to read on...

As I passed through airport security tonight, the guard stopped me on the other side of the gate and asked, "do you have a little man in your bag?" In my exhausted befuddlement, I failed to conduct an appropriate reference interview, and responded automatically, "no, I don't have a little man in my bag." (Besides, that's the kind of question I would automatically deny, as it sounds too much like "do you have a 14-inch-high Taliban operative in your bag that you're smuggling on to this Southwest flight?")

The guard stopped, brow furrowed, and emphasized, "I really hope you have a little man in your bag." At that point I realized she was referring to the Librarian Action Figure, which I immediately yanked out and handed to her with a flourish. She roared with laughter and waved the doll in front of her colleagues; they all "shushed" for a minute, faces wreathed in smiles.

I admit it--it was a proud moment. Some of you get your noses out of joint because we are perpetuating the stereotype of the friendly if nerdy reading advocate. Frankly, show me the airport security guards who think it's fun or complimentary to imitate trial lawyers or dermatologists.

We're going to need all the LAFs we can get in the next few months. With the elimination of the vehicle tax, California librarians need to get creative el pronto about advocating for better funding, or frankly, we're hosed. Stop worrying about our Books in the City personae, and figure out how to turn our very good public perception into serious dollars and cents.

Posted by kgs at 08:01 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 16, 2003

CLA Con-Grunt: Meetings 'n' Stuff

Members of the IFC chatted up some key issues this morning that are just too good to leave behind at the conference...

First, committees need more than an hour to meet. We barely got through introductions before the meeting time was over. We may have to self-start this issue ourselves next year, by intentionally choosing to meet longer and/or at a different time than the one-hour slot, but the point is very well taken.

Second, roundtables and committees need to meet at different times. And that doesn't even get into helping CLA members understand the distinction between roundtables and committees. The IFRT has been dormant for years in part because of this problem. And when roundtable members DO show up, far too much of the meeting is spent explicating the RT/committee distinction. (This is far from just a CLA problem. I saw it in NYLA and it happens in ALA as well.)

Posted by kgs at 12:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 15, 2003

LAF Liberated

In a late-morning rescue action, Roberto Esteves and I tracked down and released the Librarian Action Figure and her display case from where she had been held in captivity in a nearby booth.

Thanks to all of you who shared your concern and support with us during this difficult period.

Posted by kgs at 03:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CLA Con-Grunt: THEFT of Librarian Action Figure

A display case featuring the Librarian Action Figure, which Califa is selling at a discount, was stolen overnight from the Califa booth (502) at the CLA convention. How pathetic can you get?

If you have any information about this theft, post a comment or write me privately at kgs [at] If you are the hard-hearted person who did this dastardly deed, please just leave the display case somewhere near the lobby of the Marriott.

And if you're at CLA, stop by and offer your condolences to Roberto Esteves! He was justifiably proud of the honor bestowed on her royal highness, who looked quite smart in her display case. (Sales of this doll are quite brisk. Get them now while they last!)

Posted by kgs at 10:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 07, 2003

Six Degrees of David Brin

Have something to say about David Brin? I'm introducing him as a speaker at the Sunday, November 16 membership meeting at our annual state conference.

In the spirit of Transparent Society, the book that earned him this speaking engagement, I'm going to Google him and run him through databases and maybe even try to look up his kindergarten class...

Of course, I first searched have some author sites, but I was pretty sure his wasn't there. (The spell-checker responded: "brin was not found -- try these words: brain brian brien bring")

Then, naturally, I googled him to find his official Web site, which includes an impressive (and very California-flavored) bio.

I'm already liking the guy. He's as nervous about blogging as I am. It feels like literary barebacking (oh dear--did I say that in public?). But I'm a little worried, because the talk is just over a week away and I've only read Postman. This guy is no one-trick pony; he must have titanium arms, because he's been flailing at keyboards for over two decades.

Oh, hey, he's written a lot of short fiction. I know! I'll read a couple of stories and spice up my intro with a well-placed reference or two.

Back to Google... and then, on to the value-added databases! Wonder if a trip to Bancroft would be worth it?

Posted by kgs at 02:21 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack