Thursday, May 13, 2004

They're adding a wing to this building, and because of something involved with that they have to leave the air conditioning off tomorrow, and as a result, no one is supposed to turn their computers on because of the heat. And since a library these days can't do a whole lot without computers, the place is going to stay closed. I will get to sleep in, and not only that, but sleep in in my own bed. I hardly ever get to do that anymore.

It's coming
The campus libraries here are getting a new database. It's the sort known as an "itegrated library system." Lots of times when libraries upgrade or replace their systems everything isn't replaced at once. Sometimes they end up with some departments using a system manufactured by a different company than others. With this upcoming change everything will be replaced - circulation, cataloguing, acquisitions, and inter-libarry loan - and it will all come from the same company.
It's going to be a big mess. The old system is going to go down at least a month before the new one comes up at the end of July. While circulation is still supposed to be able to check things in and out to patrons, acquisitions will not be able to receive any new stuff. And do you have any idea how much crap comes in here everyday?
But when the dust settles it will be pretty cool. Because all the systems are from the same vendor and work together, patrons will be able to get into the acquisitions database through the on-line public access and see if particular journal issues have arrived.
It's a smart system. Perhaps too smart . . .

Wednesday, May 12, 2004


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I am here, I'm back in. I got back last night after eleven. The plane leaving New Orleans was delayed, and then we had to change planes in Atlanta. In Atlanta we discovered that the gate number on our boarding passes was wrong, and by the time we got that figured out and got to the correct gate the second plane was already boarding. When we finally got back to RDU the car had a flat tire, so we had to put the spare on it before we could move at all.
But overall it was a great trip. We stayed in the French Quarter in a hotel named the Hotel Ste. Marie. The excuse for the trip was a meeting of the Southern Garden History Society. There were lectures Friday and Saturday morning and garden tours in the afternoons. Friday we saw gardens in the French Quarter and Saturday in the Garden District. One of these houses had been owned by the author Anne Rice and it was the tackiest thing you ever saw, with gilt Corinthian capitals. We rode a streetcar back from there.
On Sunday we got on buses and saw three plantations out upriver. Two were Greek Revival and one was traditional Creole design.
Yesterday there was a thunderstorm and we got to see the answer to the question Where does rainwater go in a city below sea level? The answer: It doesn't. The street flooded and the water washed up over the curb. Actually though, there were storm drains in the streets and we were told the runoff was pumped into Lake Pontchatrain. It just didn't happen very fast.
It was hot but not too bad - it was about like August here.
The food was excellant. I think the best thing I had was a fried softshell crab served on pasta.
Now I get to play catch-up with my work here.