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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Highpoints at the 2011 Charleston Acquisitions Conference

Busca was well represented at this year's Conference and was especially pleased to participate in Julie Kliever's "Lively Lunch" presentation regarding her use of Busca in tandem with SkyRiver to set up automated delivery of bibliographic records and invoicing directly to her library's III ILS. Her presentation was entitled "Saving Time, Energy, Keystrokes and Sanity." Julie is the Collections Services Librarian at Providence College in Providence, RI. Also participating in the presentation by means of a Skype telephone connection was Busca's own Tech Team Leader Ken "Charlie" Hendges and SkyRiver's Lynne Branch Browne. We will be posting some of the Power Point slides from the Conference soon. If you are interested in exploring this free service from Busca please contact us at

Other high points were Michael Keller's keynote presentation regarding the Semantic Web:

and Robert Darnton's presentation on the Digital Public Library of America:

All of the plenary sessions are being posted on the Conference website:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Skit from the Charleston Acquisitions Conference 2011

Patron Driven Acquisitions Librarians Now Employed as Amish Server Farmers in the Cloud

Script by John Riley with Eleanor Cook and Susan Zappen

PPT Moderator: Corrie Marsh
2 Angels/Librarians:
Angel/Lib #1: Eleanor Cook
Angel/Lib #2: Susan Zappen
1 Sales person: John Riley
1 Amish Farmer: Stephen Clark
3 Patrons:
Patron #1: Athena Michael
Patron #2: Ginny Boyer
Patron #3: Lisa Spagnolo
1 Cop: Jennifer Clarke
Scene 1 (In the cloud…fog
machine generated) 3 Angels/Librarians (dressed in white sheets, halos, and
wings), a sales person (suit and briefcase), and one Amish farmer (hat and
beard) --hoeing and digging)
ECook Angel 1: Wow! How did we get here? I was just
getting ready to shelve some books and bang! Now I’m standing here in this
cloud with a shovel in my hands, mining data ... [holding plastic toy shovel and pail]

SZappen Angel 2: I was in the middle of a meeting. We were discussing whether to buy the new $100,000 upgrade to our 2 year old ILS. I wasjust about to suggest going back to card catalogs when I was ejected out of my seat and landed here.

JRiley Sales Person: I was getting ready to make another pitch to one more committee when I was vaporized into my iPad and ended up here in the Cloud. I guess I’ll just be an app on a screen from now on. [show emoticon on screen]

SClark Amish Farmer: Maybe it was the Rapture... It was supposed
to be next week -- Tuesday at 3:17pm, to be exact…maybe it came early.

JRiley Sales Person: No way! It couldn’t be the Rapture…I’m in

SClark Amish Farmer: Maybe we’ve gone to a … Better World.

ECook Angel 1: Yeah, we’re just discards and now we’re gonna get recycled for a dollar.

SZappenAngel 2: Maybe IT implemented that Cloud migration they’ve been talking about without telling us. That would be just like them.

ECook Angel 1: You’re right. We’re obviously in the cloud. [scoops up fog] Look! -- there goes that book I was going to shelve. [chases after invisible book]

SClark Amish Farmer: But you know, this cloud is kind of dirty…more like a pollution cloud. I thought clouds were all bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air, and feather canyons everywhere.

JRiley Sales Person: Sorry -- Now clouds block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone. You know the cloud is generated by coal plants powered by missing mountain tops in West Virginia. That’s where the cheap electricity comes from. That’s how we ended up on this server farm.

SZappenAngel 2: At least there won’t be any more meetings. We can all just mind meld in the Cloud. PDA can do everything from now on. [Angels act out mind melding]

SClark Amish Farmer: PDA? What’s that? And what’s it got to do with my server farm?

SZappen Angel 2: PDA…You mean Public Display of Affection?[
cozy up to farmer, farmer shocked, abruptly
moves to another part of the cloud to hoe and exits stage ]

ECook Angel 1: No, you silly thing!…Publisher Driven Acquisitions.

SZappen Angel 2: Publisher Driven Acquisitions? You know, that actually makes sense. I’d heard it called PATRON driven, and DEMAND driven, but this is way more realistic! We pay 3 times as much for an older edition of a book that we can’t loan out or copy or print, that we can’t return for any reason, and then the vendor controls the usage data. What’s not to love?

SClark Amish Farmer: Yeah, and how about that missing metadata? You can’t find anything anymore.

JRiley Sales Person: Ah, the revenge of the catalogers who were all let go. Remember when everyone said MARC was dead? MARC got pissed off… I’ll bet he and Dewey and LC are all having a good laugh.

SZappen Angel 2: Sometimes people say stupid things for so long that everyone
else goes along with it just to get them to shut up.

ECookAngel 1: Sounds like the Lemming effect.

SZappenAngel 2: What’s the Lemming effect?

ECookAngel 1: It’s like the Butterfly effect…but with rodents.

SZappen Angel 2: Yeah…I think we just let the administration drive the bus off a cliff! Now what are we supposed to do for work?

JRiley Sales Person: How about Espresso Book Machine repairman? Lots of work there.

SZappen Angel 2: Maybe iPad screen cleaner. Those things get pretty nasty
with finger prints and who knows what else.

ECook Angel 1: We could always sit around and repair broken URL’s. We’re
doing plenty of that already!

JRiley Sales Person: Maybe I can get a job as a spam filter. After all, 60% of all internet traffic is spam. [excitedly exits into cloud seeking new job]

ECook Angel 1: Sounds a little fattening…all that spam, I mean.

SZappen Angel 2: We could just change our titles to match this new Cloud
thing. How about information shepherds? We’re herding clouds of information
around now. [makes herding gesture in the fog]

ECook Angel 1: Or we could be “embedded information drones.” We bring the
information right to the patron. [ throws folded paper airplane into fog]

SZappen Angel 2: How about “information triage surgeons.” You gotta know
what to cut. [karate chop, chop gesture]And -- I’ve got the white outfit already!

ECook Angel 1: We could call ourselves “de-acquisitions” librarians, or “collection un-development librarians.” You know, we actually need a dis-approval plan!

SZappen Angel 2: Well, we did let the patrons start driving the bus….wait…I
think I hear something. It’s the patrons…they’re coming…in a bus!

[3 Patrons enter, with head wreaths, pointing at angels ]

ALL PATRONS: [in unison] Toga!
Toga! Toga!

ECook Angel 1: These are NOT togas, you little hellions!

ECook & SZappen Both Angels: [in unison] Oh my God…they’re
taking over!

[Patrons dance around the angels]

ECook Angel 1: They’re headed for the OPAC -- Hey! Don’t touch that!

A Micheals Patron 1: Why not?

SZappen Angel 2: If you touch it -- you buy it.

GBoyer Patron 2: My professor told me to come over and access his publications a lot. I don’t have to read them. He said he’ll give me an A in business ethics.

LSpagnolo Patron 3: I got a part time job with a publisher. They pay me to check-out their books. Easy money, ladies!

AMichaels Patron 1: Hey, my parents turned their house into an ATM so I could attend college. I should get stuff for free.

ECook Angel 1: So THESE are the patrons that drive the bus now?

CORRIE PPT Moderator: All Aboard!! [Show picture of Ken Kesey’s bus]

[Angels and Patrons line up in chairs as if on a bus. One patron is in the front as if driving]

ECook Angel 1: [Turning toward other angel]We had better get on the bus before they throw us under it. [Turning to Driver]Where are we headed, anyway?

AMichaels Patron 1(Driver): North. You’re supposed to always head

SZappen Angel 2: But what if we want to go South?

AMichaels Patron 1(Driver): If you always go North you’ll eventually go South…right?

ECook Angel 1: Kind of, sort of. Do you need any help from us….like directions maybe? How about a road map? GPS perhaps?

AMichaels Patron 1(Driver): Naw, that’s ok. It doesn’t really matter where we’re going as long we keep moving and spending money.

SZappen Angel 2: How about we follow an itinerary?

LSpagnolo Patron 3: That’s SO last millennium!

GBoyer Patron 2: Hey, look over there [points] -- there are some graphic novels.
How about pulling over? [leans over and motions to the driver patron]

[Cop enters, blue light flashing: waves bus over] –

JClarkeCop: [to the driver] Do you have a license to drive this bus?

AMichaels Patron 1(Driver): Er, no but they do [pointing towards the Angels/librarians, seated behind her.]

JClarke Cop: [To the Angel/Librarians] : Does anyone here have a license for this…..thing?

ECook Angel 1: Of course! That’s ALL we’ve got left... a license! [waves a sheaf of papers]

JClarke Cop: Well it appears that you don’t have the slightest idea where you’re headed.
GBoyerPatron 2: That’s the point. We don’t know, so we just plow ahead and hope to end up somewhere, anywhere.

AMichaels Patron1 (driver): I don’t even know what I need, but I’ll choose from this menu of stuff and see if I can use it.

ECook Angel 1: Before we go any further on this journey, how about we
stop here and figure out something better?

JClarke Cop: Yeah folks, otherwise I might have to take you all in for reckless driving or something!

AMichaels Patron 1 (driver): You mean you librarians can help me find what I need? Now that’s different! Sure, why not? I’m parking right now! [Cop nods approvingly]

SZappen Angel 2: Well, actually it’s an old concept. I think we all need to
work together to move forward. Why don’t we even take turns driving? We
wouldn’t want you to fall asleep at the wheel or anything.

LSpagnolo Patron 3: Wow, Collaboration, what a concept!

[Salesman and Amish Farmer return to stage to join in on the song: ]

(Beach Boys sing 1st verse)
“Fun Fun, Fun [Players groove to the music]
Well she got her daddy's car
And she cruised through the hamburger stand now
Seems she forgot all about the library
Like she told her old man now
And with the radio blasting
Goes cruising just as fast as she can now
[Players join in on the chorus]
*And she'll have fun, fun, fun
'Til her daddy takes the PDA away
(Fun, fun, fun 'til her daddy takes the PDA away) [end here]