Podcast # 3

5:50 MedlinePlus lists a number of different types of cramps, including muscle cramps, night leg cramps, and menstrual cramps.  While we are not sure what type of cramps Egon has been experiencing, we’re sure that MedlinePlus has it covered.

10:00 Lost was an American television show that ran from 2004-2010.  Survivors of a plane crash find themselves on a mysterious island, and reality is blurred for both the characters and the viewers.  It’s cray.

11:00  The Dewey Decimal system is the world’s most widely used library classification system.  Most libraries separate fiction into its own section and sort it by author, but under the original Dewey Decimal system, or “pure Dewey” as we call it in the podcast, fiction books would also be sorted by number. [via OCLC]

14:20 As referenced in our first podcast, Look Who’s Talking is a 1989 comedy that places Bruce Willis’ voice into the body of a baby.   It is also a hot date night movie, apparently.

15:20  Herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus.  Oral herpes can be transmitted through kissing, but herpes can be transmitted to other parts of the body in other manners.  Read more at MedlinePlus if you’re curious!  [via MedlinePlus]

15:30 Valacyclovir, more commonly known as Valtrex, is a prescription medication that reduces the symptoms of the herpes simplex virus.  It is not a cure for herpes.  [via MedlinePlus]

17:50 Harold and Maude is a 1971 film about a whimsical May/December romance.  Maybe it’s more March/December, really.

18:40 If you haven’t seen Heathers (1988), go watch it now.  If you’ve already seen Heathers already, go watch it anyway.  It’s probably been too long.

19:00 Clever Club question from The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox.

19:30 Eczema is a skin condition that causes red, itchy, swollen skin.  It’s not contagious, but when you see a coworker scratching their flaky elbow constantly it often feels as though it is.  [via MedlinePlus]

23:15 Boulanger means “baker” in French and, therefore, is a pretty common French last name.  Avoid awkward misinterpretations of foreign languages by using the resources at your library!  Public libraries have books, CDs, DVDs, and free software to help you learn a new language.

24:15 The video Devin references:http://youtu.be/mES3CHEnVyI

24:50 Weekend at Bernie’s is a 1989 film following the misadventures of two men who pretend that their employer is still alive by carrying his corpse around.  Weekend at Bernie’s II (1993) is pretty much the same movie but with voodoo.  Our library carries both.  Tax dollars at work!

27:50 Steampunk is the thing where people dress all Victorian, but they carry around lots of brass stuff.

29:40 Connie Willis’ comic time travel novel To Say Nothing of the Dog is subtitled How We Found the Bishop’s Bird Stump At Last.  Knowing this would not have likely helped Devin discern its subject at all.

32:30 The Water-Method Man is a 1972 novel written by John Irving.  Method Man (nee Clifford Smith) was born in 1971.  Method Man took his stage name from a 1979 film called The Fearless Young Boxer; its titular character was also known as Method Man.  Basically, there are far too many Method Men.  [via Contemporary Black Biography]

33:00 Superman battled racism in many forms, including battles with both Nazis and the KKK.  Read more about it in the book Superman vs the Ku Klux Klan.

33:40 Melvil Dewey may have been fantastic at developing an organization system for libraries, but his biographies show that he was a misogynist and an anti-semite.  The things they don’t teach you (or, at least, didn’t teach Liz) in library school.  [via Encyclopedia of World Biography.]

34:50 More about The Streisand Effect can be found here: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/04/economist-explains-what-streisand-effect

35:30 Despite her Jewish faith, Barbara Streisand has recorded two Christmas albums: 1967’s A Christmas Album and 2001’s Christmas Memories.

36:00 Kenny G, also Jewish, has released five holiday albums.  These consist largely of Christmas classics but also contain a few Hanukkah songs.  In 2012, Kenny G released The Christmas Classic Album, his first holiday CD with solely Christmas songs.

38:00 April Fool’s Day is not just around the corner.  So… April fools?

38:30 The Library of Congress cataloging system, or LC, is a cataloging system used predominantly in academic libraries in the United States.

40:45 Text of Egon’s poem:


Jim jam’s jolly, a joy ride

For lube desk MySpace

Anal prophylactics loosen my lugs

Indigo marmalade jiggles

the galactic jelly of my soul




Ashby, H. (Director).  (1971).  Harold and Maude [Motion Picture].  United States: Paramount Pictures.

Bowers, R. (2012).  Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan: the true story of how the iconic superhero battled the men of hate.  Washington D.C.: National Geographic.

Irving, J. (1972). The water-method man.  New York: Random House.

Krane, J. D. (Producer), & Heckerling, A. (Director).  (1989).  Look who’s talking [Motion Picture].  United States: TriStar Pictures.

Lehmann, M. (Director). (1988).  Heathers.  United States: New World Pictures.

Lennox, D. (2003). The little book of answers: The how, where and why of stuff you thought you knew.  New York: MJF.

Melvil Dewey. (1998). In Encyclopedia of World Biography.  Gale. Retrieved from Biography in Context.

Method Man . (2010).  In Contemporary Black Biographies.  Gale. Retrieved from Biography in Context.

Online Computer Library Center (2013).  Dewey services.  Retrieved from http://www.oclc.org/dewey.en.html.

National Library of Medicine. (2013).  Eczema.  Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/eczema.html

National Library of Medicine. (2013).  Herpes simplex.  Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/herpessimplex.html.

National Library of Medicine. (2013).  Valacyclovir.  Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a695010.html.

Willis, C. (1997) To say nothing of the dog.  New York: Bantam Books.

Podcast #2

2:32  Infectious Mononucleosis, or “mono”, is an infection that causes fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands.  Since it is spread primarily through saliva, mono is often called “the kissing disease.” [via MedlinePlus]

3:50  The article “Filtering and the First Amendment” by Deborah Caldwell-Stone was published in the March/April issue of American Libraries.  See the references section for a full citation.

12:05 Romania is a formerly Communist country in Southeastern Europe.   Although the Romanian economy has been gradually improving since a move toward Capitalism in the 1990s, about 25% of Romanians live below the poverty line.  [via Lands and Peoples]

12:25 The BFG is a children’s book written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake.  “BFG” stands for “Big Friendly Giant.”

13:10 Japanese words that are borrowed from other languages (primarily English) are known as “Gairaigo.”  Not all new Japanese words are borrowed from other languages; however, words borrowed from the English language alone account for 60 to 70 percent of new words added to Japanese dictionaries each year. [via The Impact of Loan-Words on Modern Japanese]

14:15 We searched for a picture of the type of library our guest described, but all of the Romanian libraries we found were very clean and well-stocked with a variety of materials.  Either our guest’s hometown library was an anomaly, or Romanian libraries have totally cleaned up their collective acts.

14:25 Countries referred to as “Second World” countries are typically communist or former communist countries.  Although a few Twitter users have tagged tweets recently with  #secondworldproblems, most are just misidentifying First World problems.

14:50 The Romani people are a nomadic ethnic group commonly known as Gypsies.  The Romani live chiefly in European countries including Romania.  Although the word “Romani” closely resembles “Romania,” the Romani originated in the Indian Subcontinent. [via Grollier Multimedia Encyclopedia].

15:25 Mr. Popescu was unfortunately mistaken about his Twitter handle.  Sadly, @romaniamania belongs to another user.  We have not seen him since we recorded the podcast, but we will update here if we we receive his correct username.

15:35  Friending people on twitter is not a thing.

18:35 Eugène Ionesco was a 20th century playwright known for absurdist theater.  Although he spent the majority of his life in France, Ionesco was Romanian-born and attended high school and college in Romania.  [via Biography In Context]

20:45 Although the training needed to obtain a taxi driver license varies around the world, we found no school that issues the equivalent of a masters degree in taxi driving.  We believe that Mr. Popescu was pulling our legs.

21:25 See more ranting about bookmarks (and the people who don’t use them) here: http://www.librarianshit.com/dog-eared-pages/

24:50  Clever Club question from The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox.

25:20 Romania was never part of the Soviet Union.  [via Lands and Peoples]

28:00 “Decision Day” was never a Fast and the Furious tagline.

29:50 As of this posting, Gene Wilder is still alive.

31:55 Fast and Furious 6 will be released on May 24, 2013.

32:50 Daft Punk’s new album, Random Access Memories, will be released on May 21, 2013.

33:50 Click here to see Daft Steampunk.  It’s for sure one of the best things ever. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ljinto/6235844187/

37:25 The text of Egon’s story is below.  Submit your illustrations for this story to @librarianshit, and we’ll put them on our site!


Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in a deep dark forest, there lived an old dirty dog.  His name was Boris.  Boris was not just any dog.  Boris was a Shih Tzu.  A giant Shih Tzu in the middle of the forest.  Boris the Shih Tzu had a fatal disease called arthritis.  A fatal disease is something you die of.  You get arthritis from cooties, if you know what I mean.  It’s true.  Boris the Shih Tzu died of arthritis.  No one went to his funeral.

39:10 Arthritis is a disease that causes pain and stiffness of the joints.  There are various types of arthritis, including the age-related osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which is an immune system disease.  Arthritis is not caused by cooties, and it is not in itself fatal. [via MedlinePlus]




Caldwell-Stone, D. (2013).  Filtering and the first amendment.  American Libraries, 35(12), 58-61.

Dahl, R. (1982). The BFG.  New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Hancock, I. (2013).  Gypsies. Grollier Multimedia Encyclopedia. Retrieved from Grollier Online Passport.

Ionesco, Eugène. (2004).  In International Dictionary of Theatre.  Retrieved from Biography in Context.

Lennox, D. (2003). The little book of answers: The how, where and why of stuff you thought you knew.  New York: MJF.

National Library of Medicine (2013).  Arthritis.  Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/arthritis.html

National Library of Medicine. (2013).  Infectious mononucleosis.  Retrieved from  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/infectiousmononucleosis.html.

Romania. (2013). (E. W. Walker, Rev.).  Lands and Peoples.  Retrieved from Grolier Online Passport.

Tomada, T. (1999). The impact of loan-words on modern Japanese.  Japan Forum, 11(2), 231-253.

Podcast #1

Podcast References (for full citations, see the bottom of this page)

9:15  Peter, Paul and Mary released “Puff, the Magic Dragon” in 1963.  Our research unearthed no proof that the song is about anything other than a dragon and the boy who loved him.  [via St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture]
12:58  Justin Timberlake joined MySpace in 2011 as a minority stakeholder and creative director.  The new MySpace launched in January of 2013 and featured Timberlake’s single “Suit & Tie” on the home page. [via MSN Money]
13:20   Look Who’s Talking is a 1989 comedy that places Bruce Willis’ voice into the body of a baby.  Although the movie is available in DVD and streaming formats, VHS is still the preferred format for most fans.  It is rated PG-13.
13:58  Clever Club question from The Little Book of Answers by Doug Lennox.
16:44  Montgomery Ward was a U.S. department store chain and mail-order company founded by Aaron Montgomery Ward in 1872.   A household name throughout most of the 20th century, the company shut down in 2001 due to financial difficulties. [via Grollier Multimedia Encyclopedia]
20:30  Push by Sapphire was a 1996 novel that was made into the 2009 movie Precious.  Both are depressing on an epic scale.
21:08   The Encyclopedia Britannica ceased print publication in 2010 and is now available solely in digital format.  Our library holds the 2012 print edition of the World Book Encyclopedia, which is an excellent substitute.  [via CNN Money]
21:46   The Empire State Building, a New York City landmark and superb example of Art Deco architecture, was completed in 1931. [via World Book Encyclopedia, Volume E]
22:58  Yeah, we meant to say ALBERT Brooks.  Albert Brooks was born Albert Einstein, but changed his name when he went into stand-up comedy. “Brooks” isn’t Mel Brooks’ given last name either; his birth name was Melvin Kaminsky.  [via International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers].
24:08   A Yellow Raft in Blue Water is a 1987 novel by Michael Dorris that follows three generations of Native American women overcoming hardship yet discovering strength within themselves and each other.
24:12   Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is a collection of related stories about the Alpha Company, a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam war.  Published in 1990, the book was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
24:20   Harry Potter.  We don’t need to explain this, do we?
25:10  Criss Angel’s book Mindfreak: Secret Revelations was published in 2008.  We do not carry this book in our library, so please do not ask.
25:50  Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) was a British author best known for writing Jane Eyre.  Jane Eyre is best known as the book that taught generations of women that it is not at all a deal breaker if your man has a crazy ex-wife stashed away in the attic of his house and lies about it.  That’s fine.  He has his reasons. [via Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography]
27:32  Written in 1923, “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams is widely considered to be the masterwork of 20th century American poetry.  At least, that’s what someone said on Wikipedia.  You can read the entire poem here: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15537
34:18  The text of the poem Egon wrote for us is below.  The final line might have been a groan, but it is included in case it was part of the narrative.  We’re not certain.

Times tinkle
Descends tenderly
Like chinchillas in a drizzle
Highfalutin, a parable
In my ear of ears.


Albert Brooks. (2000).  In International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers (Vol. 2).  Gale.
Retrieved from Biography in Context.

Angel, C. & Morton, L. (2008).  Mindfreak: Secret Revelations.  New York: It Books.

Bronte, Charlotte. (1991). In The Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography. Gale.
Retrieved from Biography in Context.

Dorris, M. (1987).  A yellow raft in blue water.  New York: H. Holt.

Krane, J. D. (Producer), & Heckerling, A. (Director).  (1989).  Look who’s talking [Motion
Picture].  United States: TriStar Pictures.

Lennox, D. (2003). The little book of answers: The how, where and why of stuff you thought
you knew.  New York: MJF.

Mel Brooks. (2000).  In International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers (Vol. 2).  Gale.
Retrieved from Biography in Context.

Notte, J.  (2013, January 16).  Justin Timberlake wants you back on MySpace.  MSN
Money. Retrieved from http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=f41625c6-1ae7-43d6-8892-5f799ce96234

O’Brien, T. (1990).  The things they carried.  New York: Broadway Books.

Pepitone, J.  (2012, March 13).  Encyclopedia Britannica to stop printing books.  CNN
Money.  Retrieved from

Peter, Paul and Mary. (2000).   In S. Pendergast & T. Pendergast (Eds.), St. James
Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Detroit: St. James Press.

Roth, L. M. (2012).  Empire State Building.  In The World Book Encyclopedia (Vol. 6 [E],
pp. 263).  Chicago: World Book.

Rowling, J. K. (1997).  Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone.  London, Bloomsbury.

Sapphire. (1996). Push.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Ward, Montgomery. (2013).  Grollier Multimedia Encyclopedia.  Grollier.  Retrieved from
Grollier Online Passport.

Williams, W. C. (1923).  The red wheelbarrow.  In Spring and All.  Paris: Contact Publishing

The Public Library as a Safe Place

Much of the library literature I read in library school focused on establishing public libraries as “safe places.”   There were varying definitions of a “safe place,” but most described locations where people of all ages (especially children and teens) could spend time in a familiar environment, find information, and express ideas free of judgement.

Although my classmates and I fully agreed that public libraries should be supportive environments, those of us who had worked in public libraries previously found the term “safe place” more than a little frightening.   We’d witnessed things in our libraries that were far from safe.  I’ve been flashed, I’ve caught patrons watching child pornography on library computers (run-of-the-mill porn watchers are too common to count), I’ve had my tires slashed by an angry patron, I’ve have received death threats (none that I considered serious), and I’ve had a stalker.

I love working at the public library.  I enjoy helping others, and I feel that I serve and important and valuable role in my community.   But do I feel safe?  Not always.  “Safe” is not even a word that should be uttered in the same breath as “public library,” in my opinion, no matter how narrowly “safe place” is defined.  It’s dangerous to promote this idea, as most members of the public already believe that the library is a safe when it is not.  Are we confusing the issue by calling ourselves a “safe place,” when what is meant by “safe place” is not truly that the library is a safe place?

I’m not trying to be a fear monger.  The vast majority of interactions and experiences I’ve witnessed in the public libraries I’ve worked at have been completely positive and very safe.  Still, the public library serves the public, which includes not only children, families and kindly retirees, but also registered sex offenders, substance abusers, and people off their meds.   It can be a little scary sometimes, but so can the grocery store, or the mall, or Starbucks, or any place where there are strangers.

No public place, including the public library, is truly “safe.”  The sooner we admit this, the safer we’ll all be.