Tag Archives: humor

Hello Online Class, Goodbye World!

By Anna Gossin

I don’t get out much anymore. I’m not one of those people who choose to not go anywhere. When your life revolves around school, like mine currently does, and 75% of your classes are online, your options for human contact are restricted. I’m stuck at a computer staring at a UBLearns screen for what has to be the zillionth time in the course of ten semesters at UB, and I want out.

It’s easy to see the benefits of an online learning community in a constantly changing technological wasteland, but it has ramifications. I think I’m slowly forgetting how to interact with people and how to participate in class without clicking a mouse. I’m going to be one of those people who run around the Lockwood basement for fun. Oh, wait, too late. Remember the last time I had to do some routine homework? I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, especially if the cage monsters try to eat you.

What can I do with myself? My only friends are the MARC websites that tell me what I’m doing wrong, the discussion boards, and the 568 wiki. Whatever will I do for human contact? How am I supposed to function in a society that expects more from me than “yes, you need an MLS to be a librarian” or “did you do your discussion posts this week?”

I’m slowly turning into the MLS-Bot. How should I fix this? Reading the books in the lounge won’t help because no one wants an outdated robot. I’m going to need a new set of catchphrases and programming that doesn’t have a MARC listing. Anyone up for the challenge can find me on UBLearns at all hours of the night. I’ll need to be taken outside immediately to see if it worked. If not, then it may be necessary to completely revamp my Plan of Study.

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Journey to the Center of the Lockwood Basement

by Anna Gossin

It was a not so dark and stormy Saturday morning when I wandered back into Lockwood Library. I had an assignment to complete for LIS505, and needed a book. Yes, I suppose that’s a given on certain days. This book was about library science. Again, that seems obvious when you think about it. I needed a book on intellectual freedom and I needed it then. I don’t need it as much now, but at the time, my entire GPA depended on it. This meant journeying into a previously undiscovered territory: the infamous Lockwood Basement.

Whoever decided that library science books deserved the letter Z obviously has never been to Lockwood Library. Z gets the distinction of being the last letter of the alphabet and the last section of the library. This means that all of our books are in the basement, next to the juvenile section and some random textbooks. If someone desperately needs a library bound copy of the latest Harry Potter, they now know where to look. No one should ever go into the basement alone, and certainly not on a Saturday morning.

I’ll get right to the point: That basement is creepy. Things squeak even when the floor is deserted. The cages of old books just scream out “Enter At Your Own Risk” even without a sign. I know these are stacks, the stenciled sign doesn’t need to tell me that. What’s going to happen when I want some obscure dissertation from 1987? Am I going to get sucked into the pages, never to be seen again? Here’s how to keep this from happening. Never go to the basement alone on a weekend. Simple, right? I should hope so. After all, it was our stellar common sense skills that got us into library school in the first place, right? Maybe. Get back to me on that one, but not from inside the cages.

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Weed Me, Seymour

by Anna Gossin

The second I walked into the new lounge, I could smell it. All the books on the shelf hadn’t been looked at in years, but were too entertaining to pass up. How was it that a lounge for library science students was full of outdated information?

After wondering why we were lucky enough to receive this haul, I figured that there had to be a bright spot. Luckily, it was being able to read books aloud. Yes, there is a difference between this and reading silently. It’s all about delivery. No one’s going to appreciate a drab voice droning on and on about projections for 1980 and beyond (which, according to the lounge collection, are unclear).

If you’re going to read from the UB Alumni Directory of 1992, you better use an official voice. Otherwise, no one’s going to believe it when you read contact information for your father where’s list at a job (that he quit in 1993) and an address (that we left in 1996) that are unintentionally hilarious. By the way, that book ended up being a huge hit at our house.

So what are we to do with a collection that was weeded and repurposed? I think I’d rather do work with a book that tells me that 1980 and beyond are clear and have already happened.

But I would rather perform a reading from our haul. What’s the good of a giant pile of books if we can’t get something useful out of them? Yes, weeding is necessary for collection development, the good of the library, blah blah bookcakes. It’s also great for a makeshift DLIS acting class. My solution is a new series: Lounge Dramatic Monologue Series, to be held whenever there’s a crowd in the lounge. Walk-ins welcome.

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