#6 Homo sapiens of steel

The title above was taken from #1 of “Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew” (DC Comics, March 1981). The pun’s on the stand-in for the word “man,” since in Captain Carrot, Superman briefly finds himself flung into a world full of anthropomorphic animals and his role taken by dear ol’ Captain Carrot.

Meetings this week were robust and informative. I met with the associate deans of the library: K.T. Vaughan, Andrea Adams, and Stefanie Warlick; Yasmeen Shorish, data services coordinator; the Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the libraries; and Sarah Koechlein, head of resource access. Our conversations ranged from how to project good communication and overcome (natural and unnatural) barriers in the university-library setting; the importance of data management and its job; diversity (with both Yasmeen and the Council on Diversity), why it matters in libraries and how to encourage its importance in the hiring process; and the issues concerning collection development at a university level: deciding on journal collections and licensing issues.

One of the biggest aspects of librarianship that the professional development interviews are reminding me of: Librarianship is a big word. It’s a catch-all term. Even in a single institution, an academic library, there’s such a beautiful variety of careers, and each has a role to play. It’s something that’s hard to really discuss in an ILS program, I think, because there is so much, and there’s just only so much a student can learn in two years.

A Silent Interlude – Project Updates

A fun fact about G.I. Joe: its toy began the first use of the term “action figure” (if Wikipedia is to be believed).

Over the three weeks I’ve been here, I think I’ve finally figured out how to make good speed and greater accuracy in my cataloging. It’s two-part: I now understand my materials a lot better, something which took about 500 comics to get to; and I’ve seen what things I’m doing that just take too long.

I’m going about the collection, then, in three stages. I first go and catalog the issues, drawing information that I can take from the comics themselves and from the great resource Grand Comics Database. I don’t worry about name authorities here, except to make sure that our records are accurate and to mark down any unknown names on a separate spreadsheet.

Later, I can bulk-search names on the LCNAF page and import them to a separate sheet. (I’ve decided to not update anything on my main page now and spend a few hours when I finish the project updating everything at once; that will help mitigate mistakes that I’ve noticed.

Finally, I go and I cross-reference The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and fandom comic pages to see historical notes (Brian Flota often comes by to help with this) that will matter for our collection.

So it’s basically 1. fields I need to make decisions about; 2. name authority fields, which are easy but slow; and 3. fields that require research. It’s sped me up a lot, that simple change, and I hope I see its impact more next week (today was spent in fixing my Name spreadsheet, since I found some mistakes in its formatting that may have impacted its correctness).

That’s this week down. My internship is halfway over, which is insane – but I think I’m getting comfortable doing what I’m doing, and I’m excited to see how much progress I can make in the coming week!

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