Category Archives: ALA


So, appropriating a library term may have just changed my outlook on life. Or at least, social scheduling. Here’s how it went down.

Last Friday, I was perusing my Twitter feed (as one does) and noticed a discussion between two colleagues about the new API and the ability to use it to search user profiles. One friend commented on the number of people who identify as both library people and cat lovers. Of course, part of the dialogue was the difficulty of truly finding the number is the lack of consistency in how people describe these two personality features (authority control!). At this point, the following exchange occurred:

  • Me: @jloter@cajunjoel Can you wildcard the query? cat* would be easier than guessing all variable terms, same with librar*.
  • CajunJoel: @msthomas@jloter I think you just made “wildcard” a verb. Now, as an exercise, use it in a sentence NOT related to querying databases.
  • Me: @cajunjoel@jloter I prefer to wildcard my weekend, planning dinner and just seeing where it goes from there. #partyhard

Which made me really think… how do I plan my weekends? Am I a fly-by-night girl, or do I want to know everything from beginning to end?  Do you abide by your ALA Scheduler or use it as more of a suggestion? “Wildcarding”, silly though it may seem, really does fit a lot of situations, doesn’t it?

How often do you wildcard?

P.S. If you don’t know what a wildcard is in search terms, find a librarian.

There is a light

So, ALA is doing something a little different this year for Annual, which is awesome. We could submit proposals for Conversation Starters – panels, presentations, facilitated discussions – all of which are now up for vote. The presentations that make it through to the national stage will be a combination of popular vote, committee vote, and some other mechanism I don’t remember (hey, just being honest).

I would love to be Miss Congeniality and get a group together to discuss how disparate library departments can better communicate,cross-train, and generally all get along. No preaching or powerpoints, just conversation. Check out this link, log into ALA Connect, and vote for my proposal if you think that’s a conversation worth having.

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