#9 “Close the body mold and switch on the power!”

Title taken from #106 of “Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane” (National Periodical Publications, Inc., Nov. 1970). In which – and here’s where it gets problematic – Lois Lane, reporter extraordinaire, decides to turn herself black for a day so she can talk “more naturally” to the African American community. Yeah. That was a comic issue. (Though it did bring up that Superman, despite being an alien, was a white male in a white-male-driven society, so there’s that bit of awareness?)

A short week right before my finale; Independence Day on a Thursday does wonders for summer festivities. Still, another week rife with progress and meetings.

Progress!

I DID IT. I FINISHED THE RECORDS FOR EVERY COMIC. (Almost. I need to add in a field. That’ll take a few hours max, though.) ALL 1,404 ISSUES.

That was Monday. Tuesday was spent filling out our Name Authority Record sheet, since it hadn’t been touched in a bit and will help create sustainable records. Wednesday saw the Name Authorities completed, historical notes continued, and several fields finalized. It also saw me, after 165 hours mostly devoted to that spreadsheet, notice a peculiarity: the column Q had been downsized (so much so that I had thought it had been an extra-thick line between P and R – never mind the fact that I, apparently, forgot for more than a month that the letter Q should have been there). Turns out the previous intern had left the Q column unnamed but partially filled, and highlighted in a nice blue. My theory is that the column was for executive editor (it’s next to the normal Editor column), which we’ve not touched for wont of the main issue editor instead.

Today also saw a return of my battle with Excel. It’s when I do something simple that it decides to stick its metaphorical tongue at me. At random points during Replace functions, it decided it would get into an infinite loop, trying to find more cells to replace. I’m not sure why, but after losing 45 minutes to its histrionics, I took to very regular saving and progress-checking until I finished the Name Authority sheet.

Professionalism!

Several meetings this week: one with Cheri Duncan, the director for scholarly resources and discovery, where we talked more about Big Deal issues at research libraries and the roles those libraries have as representatives of other communities through such things as ILL; one with Alyssa Valcourt, the science and math liaison librarian, where I finally got to ask my long-awaited question, “How do you get math kids into the library?” (answer: pizza, small groups, and expanding the use of the library from just classwork to individual research interests).

I met Monday morning with my project team to discuss the where-we-were and the where-we’re-going of the comic collection. We also began plans for what I’ll do when I finish my current tidying-up parts of my cataloging.

The highlight of the week came in the form of Bethany Nowviskie, the long-awaited new Dean of Libraries (Tuesday, when I met her, was only her second official day in her role). It was a meeting I was both awaiting and dreading – I got to take away thirty minutes of her time, when she had a million other things to do on her second day acting in her role…but it was a great conversation, at least to me. Bethany spent her last few years with the DLF and offered a plethora of information about that organization and sister ones that might interest me; she also showed me resources that looked closely and critically about diversity in libraries, a subject I’ve been working on and that I hope to continue studying (and improving on) in the future.

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