titles in worldcat.

All my friends and why Mario is the best
All my friends are animals
All my friends are cowboys
All my friends are dead
All my friends are electric
All my friends are evil
All my friends are fish
All my friends are funeral singers
All my friends are getting married
All my friends are ghosts
All my friends are going death
All my friends are going to be strangers
All my friends are gone
All my friends are here
All my friends are in bands
All my friends are leaving Brisbane
All my friends are made of paper
All my friends are married
All my friends are on Prozac
All my friends are superheroes
All my friends are trombone players

sinking in.

Hmm. I’m starting to understand the state of cataloging a bit better. Reading Autocat today, it dawned on me…

Cataloging is heavily rule-based. You can learn the rules and apply them without glimpsing the underlying reason for each rule. People could conceivably make an entire career out of cataloging without ever taking that step backward to understand the underlying logic, reasoning, and principles of the work.

Yes, this is true of a lot of work. And yes, I am slow sometimes.

Now much of the freaking out that happens every time something changes makes a whole lot more sense.

I may have thought about this more than a lot of people because I have taught intro cataloging for years now, and students always ask, “Why?” My goal as a teacher is to instill in them a sense of the “Why.” I have not always done a good job of helping students understand this, but I aim to get better at it ever semester. Not only will this help them be better catalogers (if they choose or fall into that role), but my hope is it will make for public service and administrative librarians who have a bit more of a sense of why the catalogers do what they do and the value of it.

Well, one can dream anyway.

if i could…

…I’d submit this as an addendum to my job application:

Directors–do you have anyone else on your staff, besides the catalogers, who is capable of thinking about your catalog records as data, and not just catalog records? If you do, consider yourselves lucky, and please, treasure them. If you don’t, start investing in some training for those catalogers, because you’ll need them and their expertise, no matter what happens and no matter what external services you see in your future.


Oh, and this too:

As the field of cataloging changes(and man, oh man, is the field changing!), the commitment to being lifelong learners increases in importance. We have to stay engaged in the conversation about the future of Technical Services, but we can only do that if we’re in-the-know about current and future trends.

But don’t just learn new things, put them into action! Change your workflow. Teach a class. Improve your cataloging. Ask your supervisor if you can incorporate a new format into your work.

Showing both the initiative to learn something new and the willingness to incorporate what you learned into your existing workflow raise your stock in your library. You become someone who takes initiative and someone who is not afraid of change.


…says the girl who taught herself Ruby over a few weekends so she could wrangle SerialsSolutions e-books MARC into submission.

presence of god.

In re: s.h. Presence of God.
I notice that many of the xref are to the Shekinah, the tent of the Presence
in the O.T. And yet the scope note indicates that it is more universal than

Also why not use God |x Presence ? We do that with his other attributes.
Book in hands God’s sacramental presence in the contemporary world. 2010,


See the 680 note–Presence of God is for a particular place, God |x
is used for all of creation.

in one batch of vendor records…

=655 $aAudiobooks.
=655 $aElectronic books.
=655 $aMP3 (Audio coding format)
=655 4$aDownloadable audiobooks.
=655 7$aAudiobooks collection$vNonfiction.$2local
=655 7$aAudiobooks.$2lcsh
=655 7$aDownloadable audio books.$2local
=655 7$aDownloadable audiobook.$2local
=655 7$aDownloadable audiobooks.$2local
=655 7$aElectronic books.$2local

Standards! We haz dem!

if only i’d thought of the right words.

It seems that in the era of Wikipedia and Freebase and linked data of all sorts, there should be at least a semi-effective, vaguely fakely intelligent way to convert strings to sentence case (all lowercase except for proper nouns).

You know, at the very least have it recognize country/state/province names and have been run over some Who’s Who lists or something.

If there is such a thing, I can’t find it. I have looked.

Any insight or suggestions?

ruby, a teeny bit at a time.

So I’ve learned Ruby and I am in love. And I just learned something that is going to make my life a whole lot easier and my scripts a lot less convoluted. Perhaps this was in one of the several books/tutorials I’ve read on the language, but I don’t remember it, or it was not presented in a way that seemed relevant to my applications.

My question was how do I get back to nameless, label-less objects based on their instance attributes? Here’s a silly example:

Here’s the definition of the Cat class:

class Cat
attr_reader :name, :byear

def initialize(name, byear)
@name = name
@byear = byear
end #def initialize
end #class Cat

My initial array—I’ll call it catdata—looked like this:
[["Be", 1996], ["Cu", 1996], ["Hal", "unknown"], ["Felix", 1919]]

I created an array of Cat objects:
cats = []

catdata.each do |e|
newcat = Cat.new(e[0], e[1])
end #catdata.each do

Now cats is an array of mysterious objects:
[#<Cat:0x7ff6d324>, #<Cat:0x7ff6d34c>, ...etc]

My Problem: Variable names are not assigned to the Cat objects when they are created. How do I access those Cat objects using their instance attributes? For instance, if I want to pull out all the cats born in 1996, what do I do?

I’d come up with a very ugly workaround (don’t ask), but this is much, much cleaner and I believe it can easily be defined as a method for the Cat class. (And if there is an even better/more direct way to do this, please share!)

_1996cats = cats.find_all do |cat|
cat.instance_variable_get(:@byear) == 1996

The result is an array with two elements: the objects for Be and Cu. Hooray!