15 November, 2007

rereading is easier than writing

I stole this list from CW who in turn lifted it from someone who took it from a UK list of most reread books (or something like that)

So which of the rereads have I read and which have I left untouched on the bedside table? italic = read bold = read ad infinitum or at least multiple times

The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien I have lost count of the times I've read it, at least once a year since I was 12.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
1984 by George Orwell
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews (I think I started this one once)
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (I am shamed to admit it)
The Bible (Did I mention Theology was a minor of mine at uni?)
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding (umm, no)
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (not read it as such, but I saw some of the film once)
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (I don't think I've read it)

So, not bad, do I pass?

02 November, 2007

My Drug Use

No, I'm only admitting to legal (prescribed) drug use.

My recent change of pharmaceutical has delivered some results which I am quite happy with. You might remember an earlier post where I expressed some reservations about the new drug (Strattera). Well taking it at night is much better. It has also been one of those things where the benefits snuck up on me (unlike the Dexies which were BANG WE"RE HERE about thirty minutes after taking them). The problem is though that I need to remember them every night or the gradual improvement is replaced by a gradual increase in me becoming the giant ball of 'oh look over there a moose. A moose bit my sister once. I want to buy some cheese. I have a spoon of my own you know. Spoonfriends unite. What, oh sorry where was I and who are you.
Strattera still has some of the same problems as the Dexies did.
Dry Mouth
Lack of appetite
the inability to sleep is less of a problem, now it is more that I wake up at the slightest sound, but at least I can fall asleep again.

The benefits are quite good.
I am able to stay on task for longer periods.
I am able to listen to other people talk about their life without spending the whole time thinking about other things.
Now I only do that part of the time.
For my Rugby, the new season kicks off tomorrow night, so we'll see how I go there. I'd like to be able to think straight when I play, I might only be a forward but still knowing where you should be is a good thing.

I have heard of some people on Strattera who also take thee occasional Dexie and I am wondering if I should talk about that with my psychiatrist (or if, being as I still have a few left I should just try it).

Speaking of psychiatrists,
one of those small town moments happened on Halloween. I was dressed as a vampire (after an event in the library I thought I'd keep the outfit on). I was sitting on a friends lawn throwing lollies to kiddies and a man in a skull mask walked past, lifted the mask and waved.
yes, my psychiatrist.

01 November, 2007

Pinky Beecroft, in a Library Discussing Copyright

What more could you want?
And who could do a better job of delivering sanity to such a polarizing debate than the singer songwriter who gave us Mutha Fukka On A Motorcycle and Pussy Town.

31 October, 2007

Who wants to give me a job in Adelaide?

I'm moving on.
Alice Springs is nice, but I won't be missing the current situation in the library.
Still, I haven't done my block and told She Who Must Not Be Named what I think of her.
I haven't been fired, I have announced however that I plan on resigning soon.

Well, Mrs ADHD (who obviously isn't [isn't ADHD that is, she is certainly Mrs]) has just been accepted to study medicine at Flinders Uni. Yes, I will be married to a Doctor (in four years time, assuming I don't drive her so insane she throws me out).

So it is two years in Adelaide then two years in Darwin (yes Darwin readers, start planning now as bidding to have me in your library will be fierce).

30 October, 2007

your turn now

I know a few things about who reads this blog from my stats feeds, but I am interest in more information.

Who are you,
where do you come from
do I know you
why do you read my blog
do you enjoy the hints and allegations
how did you get here
Where's my wife and family
what if I die here?
who’ll be my role model
now that my role model is gone
he ducked back down the alley with some roly-poly little bat-faced girl

26 October, 2007

Help a library student

Karen Cooper is an online MS-LIS student at San Jose State University and she has put together a survey for the librarians of second life. It is quite refreshingly low tech, she has posted the questions online and you can email your answers back to her (ha, who needs survey monkey).
just pop into her web page to give her your answers.

24 October, 2007

Stupid Smeging Internet Filters

If you can't read this email it is because internet filters are the genital warts of the internet age.
Sure, some of my problem is that I was raised in Australia, a land where "how are you you bastard" is not considered insulting (or depending on your social circles, even unusual).
A couple of weeks ago one of the guys at Rugby training shouted out "would you ***** stop swearing my kids are listening*" And we all laughed...

So why, if this is the Australian way (or at least part of the way) did I just get a message from the admin of an (Australian) email list I post to telling me
I hate you :P Your use of the word "bastard" in this email has just triggered every school filter in the land and I've got a nice pile of bounce messages as a result.
So my casual use of the word bastard in an email has reminded me off the importance of l33t speak.
But it has also made me think, who is the m0r0n who is putting a filter for the word b45t4rd on an Australian server. But more than that, why is it that the American puritanical mindset is the default mindset for all online resources in the whole bleeding world.

This email however has just been the trigger for the post, the real resentment has been building up for some time.
I recently had my work PC tell me it couldn't go to an online annotated Bible because it contained sex acts. Well, yes, what is the problem? This is not unusual for a Bible (they all do). Was the problem that this one was from the point of view of a homosexual activist? Should the filter have told me "Banned for being pro fag?"
It also stopped me from visiting Urban Dictionary (for the same "sex acts" reason). Not that the dictionary contains sex acts, but rather it contains definitions of words which can be used to define sex acts, but even the Oxford English contains the words cunt and fuck so where is the problem. Is it just that the Oxford can get away with it because it is written by dusty old men with suede elbow patches on their tweed jackets (whose homosexuality is nicely repressed thank you very much). [Or at least Americans who write filters think that this is who writes it].
I think the Boston globe was also blocked, as is Landover Baptist Church (although it hasn't always been).

Now I am lucky in that my workplace is not strongly pro filter and I can call up the IT guys and get a filter lifted if I tell them it is work related (they don't ask why, they just accept that whatever crap I want is an important part of my role in understanding youth culture). Furthermore, they lift the ban organisation wide and permanently.
The other funny thing is that I have had 100% anti filter success on the reference desk computer and the public internet access (yes it is not the Town Council's job to filter the internet for library users, but filtering for employees makes some sense).

Still, the number of false positives I get, combined with occasions I end up with porn on my screen despite not having gone looking for it are enough to make me sure that filters are a pile of steaming turds with no real ability to protect anyone from anything. This is made even clearer when you realise I suffer from no more accidental porn at home on my unfiltered computer than I do at work.

What worries me about filters is however the future. At present I see a "no you can't look at porn you naughty pervert" message and I can ring IT and say, hey your sodding filter can't tell the difference between porn and art criticism, please let me see this site as I need it for legitimate reasons. But what happens when we get higher level filtering and you can't call anyone simply to get things corrected or worse still, you don't get an explanation, it is just as if the page does not exist. And the Liberal government [who in Australia are conservative] of the day are currently looking at IP level filtering, which could be just such a tool.
Not that I feel I want to demand free and open access to kiddy porn or snuff films, but rather that I feel filtering in not the surgeons blade, rather it is the barber surgeons saw. A less than delicate instrument which is likely to remove our genitals along with the genital warts of my opening statement.

* the word missing here is I believe olde english.

21 October, 2007

Someone else's take on management

The librarian in black quotes from a SirsiDynix Institute 'thing' she went to which was called Dumping the Org Chart: Get 'Er Done: Management for a 2.0 Library
the bit I like is...

When you're a new manager these are the (sorts of) questions you should be asking of the staff:

  • What are the top things we need to preserve and why?
  • What are the top 3 things we need to change and why?
  • What are the barriers to doing your best work?
  • What makes you feel valued?
  • What do you most hope I do in my position?
  • What are you most concerned I might do in my position
To which I will add, there is no point asking the questions unless you plan on working with the answers. If you are only asking so you are seen to be doing the right thing then you're a pointy haired boss and everyone will know it within six months (or probably six weeks).
And that is (I find) the biggest problem with management seminars, great managers tell mediocre managers what they do but mediocre managers don't realise that the words are not a magic incantation to produce morale. So instead of doing what the great managers do, they end up just using the same word and making those of us who have to work with them suspicious of all managers and all management speak.

19 October, 2007

in which the ADHD librarian is more forgiving of others

Some of you saw my recent rant, others have only seen a post about it having been removed.
here is another attempt at a more 'everyone knows who you're talking about' friendly version.

Managing people is a hard thing to do, managing me (or any other hyper intelligent ADHD nutjob) is probably harder. Why? Well:
  • I don't always remember what I've been doing when you ask me.
  • I don't always plan things before I do them
  • I don't always tell you my plans before I start things
  • I don't usually finish tasks in a logical order
  • I work in bite sized chunks (made more pronounced by the constant disruptions you get by having the closest office to the circ desk and the closest office to the children's area)
  • I do 90% of a task then get bored and start something else, so you don't get a completed project for months, then you'll get a dozen in one afternoon as I put all the finishing touches together.
  • I don't always look like I'm listening (even when I am)
  • I don't always listen (even when I think I am)
  • Stuff
So I can understand when those who are tasked with my supervision are concerned. I would however like to think that this is quite an easy problem to deal with.
I am approachable, I am slow to anger, I am relaxed about having people point out my faults because I am myself quite aware of most of them.

I guess where I do get angry though is when people act like I am a wayward child.
Perhaps I play up to this aspect of my personality here, but I like to think that my work speaks for itself in the real world. And I have certainly managed to be successful in a wide variety of library roles (once my supervisors get to grips with the fact that I am not quite 'normal')

how would I manage me (and how have I managed others in my time as a librarian)?
After all I have had the audacity to present a conference paper on the theme.

In no particular order, some short points:
  • If it works, don't worry about how
  • If it doesn't work who best to fix it
  • Everyone is important (not just the professionals)
  • Don't get personal
  • You can't tell people to volunteer
  • You can't force people to like you
  • You can't legislate esprit de corps, but you can kill it
  • Don't play favorites
  • Listen to everyone
  • Don't say "my door is always open", get off your arse and spend some time in the workroom
Some longer points:
  • I truly think that one of the most important skills for a library manager is the ability to do all the jobs in the library or at the very least to understand them.During my time in the big chair I prided myself on this. I made sure that I learned enough of everyones role to understand why they did what they did.
    Now, i would not have been able to do these jobs as well, as quickly or as thoroughly but if staff know you have a certain level of understanding then it is easier to deal with issues which may arise. It also puts you in a stronger position if you are commenting on an employees work habits.
  • Everyone starts with an assumption of 100% trust and capability and there is no need to get into anyone's face in order to look for fault. Everyone has some (I have plenty) and if they are too damaging to their productivity they will become obvious in time.
  • Don't treat employees like your children
    OK I know I've posted about this before but there have been way too many librarians in my life who assumed I wanted them to treat me like I was their idiot son.
    I am not your son, I am an idiot only in a couple of specific areas (which I am open and upfront about) and I do not respond well to being treated like a child.
    Come to think of it, your son(s) probably don't like being treated like that. Umm OK that's a sore point.
  • Never (ever) get the opinion you are a good manager. Always assume you have areas which need to be improved and be open about them, because your staff are probably able to name half a dozen things they think you're crap at. But they won't care about those things if they know you are currently focusing on improving your management style in some way.
Yep, that'll do for now.
It isn't personal, it addresses so many issues (and not just in my current position) and I think it may well just be a constructive post for some who read it.

yes, I have edited myself

My latest post is gone (it has in fact reappeared after an absence of a couple of years) after some advice from some people with more sense than me.
Much as I feel like venting, I guess I did that by writing the post and I don't need to destroy my own career by portraying myself as, well as more of a dickhead than I usually do on the blog.

Who knows it may come back later, or perhaps in another form.
I did once decide I was going to be very open and honest on this blog (and I like to think i have been) but I guess there is a difference between being open and honest about my failing and being open and honest about the failings of others (whose identity some of you could have deduced from the post)
Life was so much easier when I was a nameless and faceless blogger (it's all CW's fault as she is the one who recognised me at CLICK06, I don't know how she knew but I am apparently ADHD enough in the way I say hello to someone that it is obvious I am umm, well me).

I Rant About My Library Manager

Work is currently not a fun place to be and I am not alone in this. Most of my co-workers have confided in me a dissatisfaction which mirrors to a large extent my own. During my six month reign of terror as manager we had a fantastic sense of team unity, everyone was doing above and beyond the call of duty and despite all the problems that came upon us at that time (under staffed in most professional positions) the library performed admirably. Indeed the loan figures and door count figures at that time are still amongst the highest we have had. I lacked somewhat in the administrative side of the role (inexperience) however at the end of the six months I was getting it organised. For six months after this, under the new manager I acted as the library 2IC and once again I know where my weaknesses in the job lay, I admitted them to the staff and received an enormous amount of help in those areas. Now however when I look at the staff I see a complete and utter lack of motivation to do anything but the bare minimum required by their jobs. Why? Well, lets just say 'management' and leave it at that because I don't want to speak too much for others on an open forum like this blog (especially now that it is no longer anonymous).
So rather than post about others I will post about some of my most recent experiences, experiences which have made me furious. I am still considering what action I shall take, yesterday I wrote an email which I was going to send to my manager and CC to the Director and the CEO. However I have a don't press send when you're angry policy, so I have calmed down enough to not send it.
However while I am deciding I shall post this bogified version of it here because:
  • I have an urgent need to vent
  • This is an example of crap management which my readers can learn from
  • I can't think of a single other thing at the moment so with luck writing it down will clear my head and let me work

So, the short (edited) version (names removed to protect the annoying).

I took a short lunch because I had nothing to do at lunchtime
I went back to work and was doing some cataloguing
I got bored cataloguing and decided to take a break
I couldn't be bothered going out back to the tea room so I picked up a book and read it at my desk
The boss walked in and went off her trolley at my audacity?

"John this is the second time I have caught you reading a book at work"
yes that is right, in two and a half years she has twice seem me reading, oh it is true I am a criminal mastermind. I was told to come to her office where I was treated like a naughty little boy. "John you are a senior member of staff, what sort of example is this. How dare you, give me one good reason why I shouldn't have this written up"
an opening,
I get to talk?

Umm, well I was taking a break?
It's no big deal etc

She it seems was very unhappy with this and became quite heated.
I stood up, told her I'd talk to her when she calmed down
and walked out.

She followed me, through the library back to my office shouting at me to get back in her office this instant. Yes, through the Public Area of the library, where the patrons are

Eventually, she had the sense to say she would stay quiet and let me speak. So to shut her up I went back to the office and, well she didn't quite shut up and she was still acting less like a manager and more like a mother talking to a naughty child. As I left, she had a nice parting shot, don't ever walk out like that again.
I managed to hold my tongue, but I certainly wanted to shout back that I'd walk out whenever she decided to get personal, condescending and unprofessional. But I didn't.

A stupid altercation? Yep, so I thought, after all despite personality differences we've worked together for two and a half years with only a couple of dustups crossing the line of professionalism. So, this was another one and it was over now, no big deal.

Wrong, three days later I was called into her office and told I was going to have a session of Performance Counselling for my poor time management. WTF? I know I have time management problems, I have put that down on my annual appraisal every year for the last four years, but she had never mentioned my time management, never indicated a problem, not questioned it informally in our fortnightly meetings, not sent me on a training course (although I did get to do one while I was acting manager).
I talked to the HR manager (acting) and decided I couldn't be bothered having my union rep come along. It was just going to be informal and a bit of a discussion of future issues. OK, I could cope with that even if I don't believe it is a coincidence that this crops up after an argument got a bit personal.

She asked if it could be that afternoon. What? Not a chance, Tuesday next week because she was going on leave? I reluctantly acquiesced. I worked the weekend, so I had Monday off. I got a phone call (at home) from HR to reschedule because he had an interview for the HR manager's position. I said I'd sort it out on Tuesday when I was at work with my roster at hand and hung up. An hour or so later I got another call (at home, on my fucking day off) telling me what time the meeting was going to be. I still don't know why it needed to be so rushed, couldn't it wait until she came back from her two week break? After all it had never been mentioned before.

So, the meeting came.
It consisted of a list of four tasks and a blank with date for completion. I was asked about when these tasks would be completed. I replied that two of them basically were and that the other two would take me a couple of hours. I was told to have them done by Thursday. Meeting over.

a new meeting have the tasks been done? Yes. They go over the details, then comes the moment I was waiting for.
"John what have you learned from this?"

I lean back in my seat, I relax and take a deep breath and open up with both barrels. "Nothing, this hasn't been performance counselling. I haven't been told where the problems are, I haven't been given any tools to use to change things I haven't been offered any help or asked why there are problems. I have done four tasks, which has meant some other things didn't get done but I did them the same way I would have done any task..."

Shocked faces looked back at me. Mouths opened and closed with nothing to say. I had an urge to say "this is more about performance counselling for you, because as manager you are obviously unable to explain to me your priorities without having HR involved in the process" but I decided I had said enough, for now. I'll save that line for later.

HR wanker spoke first, "Perhaps performance counselling is the wrong term, but lets still see where we can go from here"
He asked what priorities were next, she started to speak but I spoke louder. I listed my priorities, I gave them a ranking and the two guppy faced morons sat, nodded and said we'll have another meeting to go over these things when Mrs Manager gets back from her two weeks holiday. Not the outcome I wanted, but still.
They also asked me to set up the meeting request.
I did, under the heading Follow Up Meeting (not performance counselling)

And now I am still wondering whether to get the Union involved or to go talk to the CEO (who I get on well with) because I don't want to have to put up with this shit just because the boss and I have different ideas on some things (like how to treat your staff and patrons).

This post was invisible for some time, but it has reappeared because the manager who I spoke of is retired, I no longer work for the organisation in question and because I want this blog tobe honest (even if it doesn't always paint me in a perfect light - please not potential employers, I am imperfect). That said, hiding it at the time was probably expedient.

16 October, 2007

My Pledge to Not Suck at the Internet

I, the ADHD Librarian, pledge that:

I will never comment on a blog saying "Why do we care?" because if I don't care, I can go away from the blog. Instead I will sit back and have a good five-minute think about my life.

I will not sign up to Twitter or a blog just to write "I am getting my hair done" or other inanities. Every message I write will be entertaining and/or informative; e.g. "Getting a beehive hairdo so I won't fit under the parking garage clearance pole" or "I am on fire, please assist me." (Note: The latter is appropriate only if my hair is, in reality, on fire.)...

I will only add up to one application per month on Facebook. This application will not be a zombie maker, werewolf maker, "top friends" maker, or anything that serves no purpose and is not, again, entertaining and/or informative....

I will trick people into seeing Goatse, because that is funny and will never not be funny.

I will not comment on YouTube...

there is more,
find the rest at Modern and Awkward. Then read it and make the pledge yourself.

15 October, 2007

Did I mention I went to India?

Well I did and I have finally put the photos up on my flickr account (if anyone cares).
Most of them are entirely uninteresting photos the kids took out the window of the car at different times.
At this stage they have no descriptions, but they are there!

14 October, 2007

How do you define a library?

I was thinking about this when I went onto 20Q, so I played with that in mind.
However at the end the computer told me that others had different ideas to me.

You were thinking of a library.
Could it be found in a classroom? You said Sometimes,
20Q was taught by other players that the answer is No.

Does it usually have four corners? You said Irrelevant,
20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Yes.

Is it tall? You said Irrelevant,
20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Yes.

Do you use it at night? You said Sometimes,
20Q was taught by other players that the answer is No.

Contradictions Detected
The opinions of the 20Q A.I. are its own, and are based on the input of players. 20Q's answers reflect common knowledge. If you feel that 20Q is in error, the only way to correct it is to play again!

So people,
computer literate people,
computer literate people who play with fun (but slightly intellectual) things on the web think...

That a library can't be found in a classroom.
That a library usually has four corners.
That a library is tall.
That you do not use a library at night.

Well, two out of those four things concern me slightly.

Taking the Bait

Some time ago, Tom Goodfellow baited me with a post on what you could call the antitheist movement. How do I know he was baiting me? Well the post was entitled “ADHD comment bait”. This was his position:

I've been loving the atheist/anti-religion movement stuff thats been going on recently. My hero in the, ahem, crusade, is the splendidly cantankerous Christopher Hitchens. Indeed he has converted me from being an atheist into being an antitheist.
In essence, this means that not only does God not exist but I am glad he doesn't. God is a tyrannical figure who knows not only my action but my every thought, who judges me on those actions and thoughts, and who condemns me to an eternity of unimaginable torture and misery if those actions and thoughts do not accord with his arbitrary wishes...but he loves me. Hmm.
By contrast, the wonderful Richard Dawkins is something of a Professor Yaffle figure (to use Charlie Brooker's hilarious comparison) but I love this uncharacteristically startling moment from the interesting Beyond Belief symposium:

Well, let me start by saying that I like what he has to say. Despite being a theist myself I am always questioning they whys and the whatthehells, so the fact that others ask questions is to me a good thing. In fact I find I have more in common with an antitheist who has arrived at their conclusion with thought and consideration (or perhaps even fear and trembling) than with someone who sticks a fish sticker on their bumper bar but has in fact invested minimal time and/or effort into actually thinking about why they call themselves Christian and what they actually believe about God(s).
I can understand something more of the antitheist position, the hatred of God (if he exists) because there is an awful lot in this world to be unhappy with and there is an awful lot in the Bible which seems to be completely and utterly at odds with logical, companionate or even rational thinking.
Let me therefore say that I am not (nor ever have been) a traditional, fundamental, unquestioning or otherwise stiff necked Christian.
I don’t like Paul and I don’t like his writing (although sometimes I think what I don't like is what people have done with his writings).
I am not sure that the current cannon of scripture is infallible or even complete.
I don’t believe that the Bible is literal. (well not all of it)
I don’t accept that the gospels are necessarily (100% accurate/complete) eyewitness accounts.
I don’t believe in an interventionist God.
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Whoops, I lost my train of thought there for a minute.

What I think though is that there is enough in there to make me convinced that I shouldn’t dismiss the idea of a deity. Plus as an added bonus, I like that Jesus guy and what he had to say (or at least as much of what he had to say as filtered down through history by a lot of old men with a particular agenda they wanted to push).

I don’t accept a literal seven day creation (although I don’t care enough to argue about it anymore). I’m happy to accept scientific rationalism in relation to the size of the universe, the evolution of life, the psychology of the human mind…
But that still doesn’t convince me that we can ever understand everything or quantify everything. Mayhap it is fuzzy thinking, but there are more things on heaven and earth Tom than are dreamt of in your philosophy. There is enough in the writings of Paul Tillich and Soren Kierkegaard (and their contemporary counterparts) to keep me tied to my theistic ways and to make me see hope for the future of critical Christian thinking outside the pull of the ridiculous American Christian Right and their political agendas masquerading as Christianity.

Well, I'm loosing my train of thought at the moment,
so I will end this rambling post in pre-conclusion mode and see about amending it later.

12 October, 2007

A Bit of Fry and Laurie - Slightly Mad

Time to lighten the mood a little I think.
For those of you who only know Hugh Laurie as House or Stephen Fry as a man with a brain the size of Kent (and host of QI which is worth downloading if you [like me] live in a nation which does not air it)
Air QI that is, not air the country because that's just be silly.
Whoops looks like I've gone a little bit mad - which at least brings us back to the original topic.

It is however possible you know them from Blackadder in which they played
Lt. the Honorable George Colhurst St. Barleigh
Gen. Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett
and other roles in the earlier series.

However in Blackadder it is Blackadder himself who goes mad (see back on track again) you can tell because he sticks pencils up his nose, wears underpants on his head and says Wibble.

Where Do I stand on drugs?

This blog has on occasions tackled the issues of, what drugs am I on. But only in a half arsed fashion and with no follow up.

That is because I may try a new drug, or a new dosage and I then write about how happy I am, but if I'm not happy I couldn't be arsed to write.
So I'm going to post now on my druggy ways.

First, I like being me. I don't feel like I want a personality change or anything like that. It'd be nice to lift the for on occasion (like when I have a report due next week) but other times the ADHD works its own magic (like when I have a report due in half an hour).

For those who came in late...
I got my official diagnosis and my first bottle of dexies when I was acting manager of the library for six months. There was a need to pay attention to long boring meetings with the CEO and Directors so I figured I'd give professional pharmacology a try.

So the Dexies...

  • Made me a lot more focused
  • Helped with my time management
  • Let me see (for the first time) the points of view of others
  • Let me see (for the first time) the body language and non-verbal clues off others
  • Made me a better rugby player (from useless to half decent)

but it also...

  • Took a very high dose to get any effect
  • Made me jumpy
  • Decreased my appetite (a lot)
  • Wouldn't let me sleep
  • Gave me a dry mouth

The problems seemed like a small price to pay for all the benefits. Or so I thought at first, but as time wore on the benefits seemed less impressive and the problems loomed larger in my mind.

I hated feeling jumpy all the time, I was loosing weight rapidly. I wouldn't take them on weekends and would try and get a weeks worth of eating done in two days. I started drinking a lot of G&T of an evening in order to lessen the high strung feeling and help me relax enough to sleep a little.

So I lowered the dose,
the problems lessened but so did the gains. Some gains stayed though. Having gained a little empathy I found I kept it. Sure, not to the same degree but I am much more aware of others' feelings now even when I am off the meds. I also play better Rugby, not as well as when I was on high doses but a lot of what I learned when I was using has managed to burn me new neural pathways (or something like that).

But the lowered dose wasn't good enough in many ways. I wasn't happy with my work performance. In fact I was more unhappy than before because I was now actually aware of some of the things I could be doing. All this took place over about two years.

But at the end of two years it was, back to the Doc. This time I tried Strattera (the first nonstimulant FDA-approved medication for the treatment of ADHD).

This time not the great leap forward I had experienced before. I instantly hated it, but I gradually increased the dose hoping to reach the point where my brain clicked into gear.

Nothing good happened.

  • But I became sleepy
  • I felt stoned all the time
  • I felt even more vague and unmotivated

Shit, not good then? Well I am not sure, I'm currently trying a new approach. I take it at night just before I go to bed. Apparently this works better for some people.

My judgement so far?
Well I don't know. For a drug which made me feel lethargic when I took it in the morning it seems to be preventing me from getting a good night's sleep. This could be unrelated, I've just started rugby training again and my body is currently purple and my lungs are currently trying to enlarge themselves to take on the huge gasps my unfit body is forcing them to make. However, my dreams have been unusually vivid and I think that is more likely as a result of drugs than rugby.

As for benefits? Well I am managing to write this post, so that's a plus. The lethargy and stoned feeling still seems to be there, but not to the same extent. I'll try this for a few more days, then start increasing the dose and see what I get.

One possible indication that Strattera is not for me is that it is less quick acting than the Dexies. So it is less suited for someone who wants to be able to take it occasionally for a temporary benefit and more suited to someone who wants to take it every day at the same time for a consistent result.
I don't want the consistent levelling out effect, I like the ADHD in eight out of every ten situations in my life and I don't want to loose my edge.

Still, I'm just trialling it at the moment and if it doesn't do what I want it to do I'll be going back to the psych and getting a script for slow release Ritalin and see how that suits my personal brain chemistry.

and just as an addendum,
I found the cartoon via The Last Psychiatrist. Which is well worth a read for all you ADHD kiddies reading this.

I probably should make special mention of his post on How to take Ritalin Correctly.

11 October, 2007

ADHD, the quintessential library skill

The emails I’ve had in the last couple of days have (once again) got me thinking about the suitability of a boy with ADHD becoming a librarian. Or more broadly, should you look for someone with ADHD to offer a different skill set for your library.

You won’t be surprised to find out I say yes. ADHD and the library is a match made in heaven. Your typical ADHD librarian (and it seems there are plenty of us) is going to annoy the hell out of your stereotypical bun haired, order loving cataloguer. Or at least, at first. In fact I find that some of by biggest allies in times when I have had difficulties at work have been the shy quiet people who actually care about the library with a passion.

Why? Well I’d guess that just as I see the benefit in the skills they have which I lack. They also see the benefits in the skills I have. That is to say that their detail helps my inspiration. My exhibitionist nature helps balance their conservative one when it comes to dealing with different clients. My ability to deal with emergencies balances their ability to plan for emergencies.

On the desk I am able to inspire patrons with confidence, I can draw out of them the fine details of what they need, I can calm them in their times of crisis. But it is often my colleagues who provide me with the bits of information I need to finish a search. Likewise, I often find that I can calm their clients when tempers are frayed. My ability to give insight into alternative ways to phrase their client’s search or alternative ways to interpret the request is appreciated.

And it isn’t all front desk stuff. I come into meetings all fired up about everything 2.0, whereas others will be more cautious. I’ll take the leap into the new, while my co-workers will help me finish the test, keep things updated and generally be involved. But they are involved in something they probably wouldn’t have attempted themselves.

There are other examples, but this probably gives a good idea of what I mean.

Where the problems occur is more often with people who are unwilling to listen to the new or who have a love of what once was. And I tend to find that with the management types. Librarians, perhaps can be a bit staid, but those who don’t have such an emotional connection with the library are much harder to inspire. So whereas the stereotypes and I know the library is busier or that we’re loaning out more graphic novels and less cassettes because we’re on the floor and feeling the ebb and flow, the management types don’t care unless it affects the particular numbers that they are monitoring. So perhaps I feel the library is busier, if it is because everyone is staying longer (rather than visiting more often) it won’t show up on the door counter.

Likewise the door counter won’t show if we have more homeless people in the library and less teenagers. It’s all pure numbers to those who cause me the most pain.

So, there is a need for the ADHD librarians to learn to deal with the management, I’m currently dropping out of my Master of Business for a while but still the fact that I have done most of it is a good source of bullshit words to feed to the management drones. I get to find creative ways to explain my new ideas in old terms. I get an insight into accounting (grahhhhhhhhhhh) and it helps me to argue my case for a budget increase for graphic fiction (or it should have done but my boss didn’t feel the need to have a budget meeting this year – she just said “same again” much to the anger of myself and my current stereotypical colleague).

So, if you’re a management type. Grow some balls! Employ your own ADHD librarian, be ready for them to fail spectacularly upon occasion because if they don’t ever fail with a scream and a small explosion it is because you’ve got them wedged so far into a preconceived box that they’ve given up trying and you’ll get nothing out of them if that is the case. Not even productivity.


As I am now an expert on ADHD issues in libraries (self proclaimed) I thought I would share another answer I sent to a reader on the topic. (all personal details removed to protect their anonymity).


Did you know you had ADHD before becoming a librarian? I just started the meds about 3 weeks ago for ADHD. All I have read recently explains my life. I was already struggling w/ depression/anxiety...

...I thought I found my niche here and because of my condition I feel like running away. I really love my job, it's just that continuing problems have finally come to a head. ...I have been a "go-to" person at my library. I have taken on more responsibility than I get paid to do.

...Part of my problem is that my supervisor is more of an administrator than a manager

I guess I started working in libraries before I knew I was ADHD. But I sure suspected I had it before I studied to become a librarian.
There is lots of stuff in your email that sounds familiar to me and not all of it is to do with ADHD. There are plenty of librarians who are stuck in a rut and refusing to look at the amount of good we could be doing in terms of techno changes and the like.
I also find that there are a lot of baby boomer librarians who should be put out to pasture because they can no longer cope with the pace of library innovation or they just don't care any more and they are blocking the way for the gen X librarians (me [and you?]).

So it is worth remembering that there are plenty of mentally stable librarians out there just as frustrated with that sort of crap as you and I are.

As for the diagnosis (and meds)
I found that the official diagnosis and a bit of reading on the topic did more for me than the meds. You probably know from reading my blog, but I don't (always) see ADHD as a problem. Sure it can cause problems (in your case it seems some depression) but that is something which could be treated separately from the ADHD. After all if I read between the lines of your email I think it seems like you have been doing a damn good job in the library up till now.
So knowing what problems are likely because of the ADHD enables you to work towards solving them. Which is to my mind a better option than throwing the baby out with the bath water.

After all if you are the 'go to person' and you accept lots of responsibility then it shows that you haven't been a failure in your pre-medicated days.

My advice (I'm an advice columnist now).
Look at as much stuff as you can on generational theory in the workplace.
think about which of the problems you are facing have more to do with attitude to technology/library management and so on than they have to do with ADHD.

Then learn about your ADHD, trial the meds. Be willing to experiment with the doses (under Doctor's supervision) then decide if there is a benefit from them or if you would rather accept the downside of ADHD because the upsides can be so much fun.

\nothing new to see here folks, just an edit at the request of the letter writer who had concerns she could be identified from some of the info if the right (or wrong) person read this blog.

10 October, 2007

This was in my comments box today and I thought I'd reply to everyone.

I have an interesting 15 yr old ADHD son, and I'd love if you could give me some insight.
I love your blog, by the way.
I also work at a library though I'm sure I don't have nearly as much fun at it as you do.

Insights on an ADHD fifteen year old?

Well I was one (for about a year if I remember correctly) So I should be able to string a few words together for what worked (and didn't work) for me.
So, in order to see if my experience has any relevance let me give you a few of the details of my ADHD.

Firstly, I was diagnosed (unofficially, by my step mother [a special needs teacher] in my 20s). I was officially diagnosed only a couple of years ago. But I've known I had it for years, probably since I was about 17 - when I read a bit about it and figured it fit me.

With both the official and unofficial diagnosis there was an immediate assumption I was ADD (no H) because I am highly functional in so many areas (and a librarian).
In both cases it came back that if there were more H's available I could have had more.
Yep I am ADHHHHHD but my hyperactivity isn't always obvious to people (my attention deficit it immediately apparent).

I manage to be a high functioning ADHD 'sufferer' in part because I have a brain the size of planet. that is to say, when I was officially diagnosed I was told that if not for the ADHD I would be a genius. In fact I am a genius in three out of the four measures of genius. So where do I fall down.


Remember I am a librarian, I have a degree in which one of my majors was literature (with a high GPA if you ignore the times I failed because I didn't hand anything in).

So my area of failure is in the area of language.
If I was 15 I'd be saying WTF!
Because I'd always thought that language was a strength (top English class at school etc)

But I still think that it is my strength, it is just that my use of language is not conventional. Also I fall over with an inability to spell or to type the letters of words in the right order (but who cares I have spell-check these days).

I speed read, I have a very high level of reading comprehension, so I don't care too much that my strength is in fact my weakness.

So now,

On to my poster's son. If he shares any (or all) of these characteristics then my experience may well be able to give some insight.

Firstly, I have a very small monkeysphere.

I don't care enough about others to remember their names. I don't make eye contact when I talk to people, so they don't always connect to me either.

I have a few friends and I have to work damn hard to make sure I follow some of the norms of social relationships (like letting them talk occasionally, or listening when they talk, or caring about what they say, or remembering to ask how they are coping with their mother's death, or remembering not to make dead mother jokes...)

it is in some ways a very similar to being a narcissist, but it is not that you are completely self interested it is more that you have to remember to engage with others because it is not as automatic as for most of the rest of the world's population.

Hyperfocus is another one. I can use it to my advantage now, but at fifteen it was damn hard to break away from something once I was focused on it. As such I would resent being called for meals, having to go to school, having to go from one class to another just when I was getting it...

If you can use hyperfocus well, then you are in a damn good place, but finding out how to turn it on is hard and finding out how to turn it off when you've accidentally focused in on something irrelevant is even harder.

Distractions, when you're 15 everything is a distraction, the breasts of the girl sitting next to you, the breasts of the girl sitting behind you, the arse of the girl standing in front of you, the laugh of the girl next to you, the breasts of your teachers. With ADHD it is much more of a problem because if you hyperfocus on the breasts of the girl next to you you're liable to find that she notices too.

But if you hyperfocus on the way the sun shines off the buttons on her shirt (which just happen to be near her breasts) she won't think you're staring at light on her buttons and when you get punched in the arm you won't be able to explain because you're so zoned out and unaware of what the hell you were doing that you wouldn't be able to understand what the hell you were doing.

And buttons can be shiny, but almost anything is a distraction. I nearly failed a major school exam because I spent three quarters of the time staring at a parrot which landed on the branch of a tree outside the window. And when it flew off I was too busy thinking about parrots and trees and flying and then I realised that I was in an exam and had to usee my giant brain to try and do the whole thing in a very short time.

I could go on I guess,
but that'd be the highlights.

So where to now?

I'd say have the boy do a Myers-Briggs type personality test. Then do one yourself, because it does a great job of telling you where the problems are likely to be in your relationship.

it doesn't have to be an expensive psychologist do the test Please Understand Me II by Keirsey is a nice starting point for a self test.

Then, do what you can to help him embrace his ADHD. I don't think of it as a problem but as a gift. Sure it is a gift that causes problems some times, but it's not as problematic as the Midas Touch.

He can think in ways others can't. He can find solutions others ignore. He can respond to crises well, without panic, without being freaked out by everyone else's panic.

He can probably (if the school system hasn't stolen his confidence) manage to work out more of his personal strengths.

Drugs is a bugger of a question. I took them during school, but they weren't the prescribed type.

I've found a lot of problems with the ADHD drugs when it comes to me personally. So, I tend not to take them. Occasionally I'll try some new option or go with the Dexies if I need to function in a particular way, like finish a report or write a conference paper. But they cause problems too.

They take away my biggest strengths and in return make me average at things that I'm usually bad at. So the conference paper which is written while on Dexies, needs to be revisited while off them in order to find the edge. Or better still, if I can focus enough to write it while off the drugs, I can come back later while I am on them and do things like finish incomplete sentences or look for sections which don't make sense.

What a trade, Excellence in some area others don't care about in return for mediocrity in areas your teacher/boss thinks is important.

If he's not going to punch holes in the wall if he goes without ritalin, it might be worth trialling time without it. Letting the creativity counteract the lack of focus, because once school is over there is a lot more need for creative people in so many areas than there is for mediocrity and once you become mediocre it is damn hard to break out of that mould and find the excellence.

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

-Henry David Thoreau

08 October, 2007

I've read the internet and now I'm bored

I'm installing World of Kaneva (self proclaimed mashup of facebook and secondlife).
It's taking a damn long time to install all the needed updates.
If I ever get online with it, there will be a well written and researched logical article on the usefulness of this platform as a library tool.

Or, perhaps I'll just string some bullshit together and throw in a few ill thought out jokes and call it a report.

lol Godz

Yes folks,
I know you felt it, there was a disturbance in the force as if a million voices screamed no God no God no no no and were suddenly silenced.

But for those of you who like Cats and God and lol, do I have a wiki for you.

Translating the bible into kitty pigion,
I give you Genisis 1 : 1-19

In teh beginnin Invisible Man was invisible, and he maded the skiez and da earths, but he did not eated it.
The earths wus witout shapez and wus dark and scary and stuffs, and he rode invisible bike over teh waterz.
And Invisible Man sayz, i can has light, and teh light wuz.
Teh Invisible Man sawed teh light, to sees stuffs, and separatered the light form dark and stuffs
And Invisible Man sayed light Day and dark no Day. Teh evning and morning was teh first day.
And Invisible Man sayed, letz tehre be teh ceilings of waterz, with waterz up n waterz down.
And Invisible Man doed the skiez with waterz down and waterz up, and stuff.
And Invisible Man sayed, letz up be teh firmmint, so evning and morning was teh twoth day.
And Invisible Man gotted all no waterz into ur base, so no waterz wus not wetted
And Invisible Man called no wather Earths, so tehre.
And Invisbile Man sayed, letz us has grass and stuff, so yield seeds and stuff, and fruitzors and stuff, upon the earths.
And Invisible Man sawed that weedz is teh good stuff, so, letz tehre be weed.
And so teh evning n the morning of the threeth day.
And Invisible Man sayed, letz tehre be lights in the firmmint for dividing day from no day.
So tehre, lights everwaer, like chrissmass, wai.
And Invisible Man doeth two greate lights, teh most big for day, teh other for no day.
And Invisible Man screweth tehm on firmmint, with big nails and stuff.
And Invisible Man sawed it wus the goodz, so wai.
And so teh evning n the morning of the furth day.

Or would you prefer some new testament? Well they haven't got the sermon on the mount up yet (and no, I'm not going to try). So how about this...

Matthew 3: 13-17

Den Jesus caem from Gallalee, to has baptizm from John
But John was all "Ur doin it rong, j00 needz to baptize me"
And Jesus answered sayin "STFU and baptize me n00b" and John did.
Wen he was baptized he gtfo of teh water and, ZOMG, teh hevens opened up and teh Spirit of Invisible Man caem down liek a duv and landeded on him
And, ZOMFGWTF, a voice from heven sayed "Hai guise, dis my son, and I tink he teh leet"

07 October, 2007

to go with yersterdays post

So I know what searches get me people visiting, but where do you all come from?

  1. United States
  2. Australia
  3. Canada
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Norway
  6. Germany
  7. Sweden
  8. New Zealand
  9. Italy
  10. Netherlands
  11. India
  12. Philippines
  13. France
  14. South Africa
  15. Brazil
  16. Iceland
  17. Spain
  18. United Arab Emirates
  19. Singapore
  20. Hong Kong
  21. Thailand
  22. Argentina
  23. Ireland
  24. Switzerland
  25. Bahamas
make of it what you will.

06 October, 2007

Top 25 reasons to visit me

Now, I know you are all loyal readers who get my posts, staming hot via RSS.
But that isn't true for everyone,
so for a bit of a laugh I am again posting the searches which get people to ADHD librarian.
Now, some of these are just being reinforced by putting them up on top lists every so often. But I find it funny anyway.

1. cuban costume
2. just a spoon full of sugar
3. emperor nasi goreng
4. librarian blog
5. librarian blogspot
6. adhd
7. adhd accountant
8. adhd librarian
9. adhd post blog
10. aunties in blouse
11. hyperactive
12. "a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down"
13. "club foot" wheels biography book
14. "going to the library" + social stories + download
15. "joanne keleher"
16. "mask of respectability behind the stacks"
17. "not the nine o'clock news" creed
18. "the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit"
19. a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down
20. accountant with adhd
21. accountants and adhd
22. adhd "christian "
23. adhd - comic
24. adhd and confabulations
25. adhd and movies


and there should be more ASLAXX stuff to come (if I ever get around to it)

03 October, 2007

The post paper post

Presentation done,
people said nice things.

I know I lost my way at one point in the middle, but I'm sure I managed to do a decent job of saying things until I remembered what I was supposed to be talking about.
Stephen Abram was complimentry, but he's hardly going to be saying it was crap even if he thought it was (which he didn't, because it was me and I'm fantastic).

Now I can sit back, relax and take in a few other people's speaking (and see if I can scout out people to present papers at DREAMing08)

ASLAXX - day two

I've just spent some time playing with my presentation and I am set to go in one hour.
I wrote out what I am going to say (or at least reminders of things I think I might say) on my slide printouts during the first keynote speaker this morning.

I've just introduced myself to Stephen Abram (keynote speaker for DREAMing08) and he's told me he's going to come to my talk (ohh the pressure, I have one of the Library Gurus of my topic stopping in to hear me talk bullshit for fifty minutes).
Well, GAME ON!

02 October, 2007


I'm standing at a PC in Adelaide, I am all set to present my paper tomorrow for ASLAXX.

Well I say all ready, I forgot my USB with my presentation on it, so I've just downloaded it from gmail to a new USB I bought. Lucky I saved a copy to gmail,except I didn't.

I put the USB in the PC to save a copy to gmail for emergencies, I then wandered off and forgot to do it and in the process left the memory stick in the PC. So I had to phone home and ask my wife to email it to me.

Still, I have it now and I am listening to jazz, drinking red wine and eating green prawn wraps.

In ADHD news, I also forgot all my business cards (no networking for me).
I also only realised yesterday I am talking for 50 minutes (for some reason I had written a talk of 30 minutes), so I've had to do some editing to get my presentation up to time. Other than that, all is good, I'm unmedicated and @ a conference so expect plenty of library related updates this week.

21 September, 2007

Tell 'em the're DREAMing

Any of you librarians out there on facebook?

If so, try http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=4928502821
It is my (unofficial) group for those of you who might be interested in information on DREAMing08 (the Australian Library and Information Association's next Biennial Conference) which will be in Alice Springs.

Why would you be interested? Well I'll be the MC, I'm on the organising committee, I'm on the programs committee, in short it's all about me.
Well, it may also be about having a fun filled time in the middle of Australia with your workplace picking up the tab.

For those of you who are more interested in the official version of events,
try this http://www.alia2008.com. Or why not try both?

It's aliveeeeeeee

I'm currently:
Failing Uni
Changing Meds
Trying to get ready for ASLAXX
Trying to help others get ready for DREAMing08
Bored (by everything)
thinking I should be documenting this as part of my original idea of blogging about being a librarian with ADHD
Thinking I should go to rugby training occasionally as a bit of physical activity would help no end, but I couldn't be arsed.

Abnormal service will be resumed as soon as whenever.

15 August, 2007

He said it better than I could

Or at least better than I could today, at the moment I am in a bit of a brain free zone.
I am running by the numbers at work, uni has fallen by the wayside and ALIA 2008 stuff is piling up in my inbox much too rapidly for me to deal with it.
After rejoicing at the fact I was no longer El-Presidente of the rugby club, I've gone an been made secretary of the union. More work which I will fail to do or do in a half arsed manner, up until the point I turn the corner and become manic again and do it all in a week. Why accept the position? Well, all the other positions had been filled by members of one club and they didn't want to be the only ones on the committee because they figured that the morons from the unrepresented clubs would bitch and complain. Anyway, I ended up saying I'd do it.

So who said what better than me now?
Andrew over at Librarian Idol has a great new post about public libraries being free (you get what you pay for?)
He suggests "PUBLIC LIBRARIES - FREE BUT NOT CHEAP" as something we should aspire to and I damn well agree with him.

Plus, we're not free. People just don't know that they are paying to use our services (even those who aren't using them have paid somehow, somewhere along the lines, except kids and those who have never paid taxes, rates, rent... which come to think of it in this town is a large number of people.)

no words for this

I found it at http://www.kiwisbybeat.com/minus.html
(it is part two, but I liked it as a stand alone)

30 July, 2007

Back in the library

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible (just as soon as I catch up on 7 weeks worth of email, blog feeds and sleep).

All sorts of stuff coming your way just as soon as I am coherent again.

In the meanwhile I am enjoying duty free Caol Ila and H Upmann.

08 June, 2007

Hit the road and I'm gone.

I'm running away from work and from this blog for seven weeks.
I'll be in India and the UK and I'll be loving it.
I'll post again when (and if) I get back.

02 June, 2007

In which I reply to Scott Adams

"Recently a friend joked about going to the library to help with his son’s school project. He said it felt like going back in time, to pre-Internet days. I wonder if libraries have an expiration date on them. I’m guessing yes."

Said Adams in part of a post he wrote a couple of days ago. I as is my want replied as such...

now you've put the librarians off side.
boo hiss booo hiss

Oh yeah my my
the library ain't gunna die
yeah yeah my my.

I'm wondering if the library will die (given my vocation I'm hoping not).
But the reason I think not is to do with your mistaken idea of what a library is.
You see a library is not a building for books, it is a place for retrieving information, most people think books because that is how the information has been stored for so long, but we (librarians - or at least the good ones) are early adopters of technology. So libraries have gone from tablets to scrolls then books. We've used microfilm and microfiche, we subscribe to the online databases you can't afford. We have our content online so you can access it from home. A lot of libraries will let you search their catalogue online and then mail you the book you want or email you the information you need.
We have audiobooks in mp3 for you to download, we have books in electronic format for you to read online or on your PDA/phone/camera/internet fridge...

But the real reason the library won't die is that it is a place to store librarians and Librarians (as someone has already commented) are the people who can track down the bit of information you need in amongst the mess of a mass of meaningless crap. Sure, computers can make some of this easier for you to do yourself, but it can make some things harder by hiding the facts you need in the sheer volume of content, and there is no computer yet (or looking like there will be any time soon) which can translate your query from induvidual into a correctly truncated search.

Plus, information needs aside, despite all predictions to the contrary people still like reading real books and the world has more than enough people who don't want to (or can't) buy all the books they want.

Then, there is the social side...
Storytime for preschoolers,
Old men playing chess or reading the newspapers (paper ones or online),
Literacy programs.
Collections of CDs, DVDs, Graphic novels that your mum won't let you buy because of the Japanese proclivity for schoolgirls knickers.
Access to computers for those who don't want/can't afford their own. This is a vital service now as so much of what people need is online, job applications, tax forms, government information all no longer a pamphlet but you need to ensure that there is equity of access to the information.

blah blah my my
this librarian ain't gunna die
I'm gunna burn out
not fade away
librarians way hey

(it will be interesting to hear what he says when he speaks at the Special Libraries Association's annual conference in Denver next week)

we lefties aren't the only ones restoring the balance

I just found this pile of steaming crap online, apparently the book publishing world is trying to force all our children to become dirty liberals.

A California businessman says he is publishing books for young readers to offer a balance to left-leaning tomes on the shelves.
His "Help! Mom! There are Liberals Under My Bed," cartoon book about two boys trying to set up a lemonade stand but bail after encountering red tape and taxes, sold nearly 30,000 copies, said Eric Jackson. His independent World Ahead Publishing staked its claim on the conservative market under the imprint Kids Ahead, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.
Two other cartoon books took on Hollywood and activist judges.
"You don't hear a lot of umbrage out there about conservative books being foisted onto kids," Jackson said in his Torrence, Calif., office. "There's a need in the market for books that show the other side of the equation."

You're right, no one is concerned that the world is becoming some sort of conservative lead mindless big-brother like international war starting bullshit you tried to kill my daddy Saddam and Obama masterminded the world trade centre bombing Fox news is well thought out and unbiased by Grud I better take a smegging breath Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhgh.
So let me scream it now umbrage umbrage umbrage umbrage umbrage umbrage. There, now you hear a lot of it. What he means is that none of his right wing friends ever complain about his right wing bias, well, that's a surprise. None of my Christian friends ever complain that I believe in God. None of my librarian friends ever complain that I believe in equity of access to information, none of my rugby friends ever complain that I don't like cricket.

He's preparing to take on a big gun in the children's publishing world: Scholastic. This fall both publishers will peddle books about global warming -- or in Jackson's case, debunking global warming.
If "The Sky's Not Falling! Why It's OK to Chill About Global Warming!" succeeds, Jackson said he hopes to launch a line of non-fiction children's books presenting a conservative viewpoint on other topics.
This man isn't a conservative, he's a moron. There are almost no scientists left who think that global warming needs debunking. Even the most conservative lobby group funded 'tobacco is harmless' 'have another helping of asbestos' type scientists are only arguing about how much impact humans are having on the process. Even John Howard (last of the dirty rotten stopouts) has pulled a backflip and is going for emission reduction targets.

If it wasn't for the fact that I'm anti-censorship I'd be putting World Ahead Publishing on my blacklist. As it is with luck I'll be able to ignore them because they'll be a flash in the pan in the US and never make it to Oz at all.

To quote from the author of one of this publishing house's tomes, Katharine DeBrecht, former co-captain of Security Moms for Bush (whatever the hell that is).
Liberals have been foisting their ideological agenda on our kids for years, and now they’re beside themselves that someone would stand up to them. Evidently books about socialist fish and gay kings are OK, but a story about hard work and self-reliance is too extreme. Evidently liberals oppose parents who believe in traditional values having a book that will help them teach those values to their children, But, then again, liberals oppose anything that supports religion, traditional families, and the free market. Those institutions are obstacles to their goals of eliminating personal responsibility and establishing a welfare state.
Yes, the Rainbow Fish is a story to brainwash your children into socialist thinking (don't share kids, keep it for yourself, hoard your stuff it is yours, given by God because he loves you more than poor kids). Next time a librarian tries to read your children the Rainbow Fish at storytime, slap them, they want your kids on the dole and probably smoking pot.

29 May, 2007

Welcome to storytime and pass the scotch.

Questionable Content (one of my regular reads) has asked the question "does the public library have happy hour?"
Well I for one support our new barmaid overlords and will happily transfer to any public library with a liquor license.

23 May, 2007

The God Fuse

Ten Things Christians and Atheists Must Agree on.

Is a fantastic article on pointless waste of time, a site I visit occasionally for a laugh. Well, this article is a laugh, but it also a well thought out reason why Christians and Atheists should stop acting like dicks when they get together to debate the issues.

I'd give you a synopsis, but this is the internet so you can just click the link and go there yourselves and save me the bother of typing any more.

21 May, 2007

OK, one last post and then I'm off

I've been meaning to do a post on the search terms that get people here to the ol' ADHD librarian, because there are a lot of seriously fucked up people out there who are being allowed to use Google without professional training or supervision.
Some are obvious,
ADHD is popular
so is
ahdh for some reason.
From there we keep with the theme
adhd + blog + marriage, homosexual and adhd, adhd romance, adhd christian man...
you get the idea if the search is ADHD and goat rapist I'm probably going to get traffic..

There are logical ones which fit some of the topics I've written on.
why did they built the great wall of china or variation on that theme prove my point about how stupid internet users are in this post.
And my Mary Poppins titled rant about my boss must confuse a lot of searchers who want to find things about spoons full of sugar.
jesus underwear is a popular one. That it gets them to my page is less a problem, the problem is why in God's Name (geddit) you'd be searching for that.
Oh and boring searches like rugby league. Stupid leaguies, Union is by far the better game.

bongs that fit in your pocket
is less common and to be honest I have no idea why that gets someone to my site. (remind me, did I do a post where I reviewed travel sized hookahs?)

There are a whole raft of searches along the lines of storytime librarian blogs or librarian career, which is nice and fits in with what I'd like to imagine is my core readership..
Then there are the combinations of my two topics along the lines of, books for adhd boys. I hope I'm some sort of help to those searchers (although I doubt it).

By far the most worrying to me though are those people searching aunties in blouse and photos of aunties blouse. I don't know what they hoped to find here and I hope they didn't find it but there are a lot of them.
Go away you sick Aunty Shagging Perverts. There is no incest related porn on my page.
Although, come to think of it, that's a lot of searchers. Perhaps I could up my traffic with a few (tastefully done) photographs of AILFS.
Don't know that I have a lot to write on the subject though. Any of my Aunty obsessed readers want to suggest something?

Where is the ADHDinsanity?

I'm currently playing politics on another blog. Now being as I'm combining this with my religious nutjobbery, I thought I'd spare my library based readers from having to listen to any more of my rants on the subject. With a federal election looming I'm putting a bit of thought into that side of things, so feel free to drop by and see it, oh and it's not all my work on that blog, but I'm sure you can work out which ones might be mine (hint, look for the post All Christians are Wankers). Otherwise, I'll be posting here still as inspiration strikes, but I wasn't that regular to begin with.

But think about the fun you're going to get if I get this thing off the ground. Someone try to imagine me sharing the stage with the Christian Political Lobbyists on Compass or Insight. Reason enough to support a group, even if it disagrees with your own religion and politics, right!

27 April, 2007

Hey diddle diddle

It's from Cyanide and Happiness and it is funny.
message ends.

23 April, 2007

With a melon?

My new assistant has been doing a fair few of the storytime sessions recently. She's a natural at it, full of confidence and playful with the kids although, not having any of her own, she tends to think they are fragile and easily scared. So she tends to edit the stories to make them a bit more innocent and fluffy. I however tend to enjoy the bits that make the parents squirm a bit and am happy to think that there'll be a bit of explaining to do on the way home.
However, I haven't had to read this book yet.

19 April, 2007

ADHD reprints - pt6

This was a comment on Tom Goodfellow's blog which was long enough that I shouldn't have wasted it in a comments box. So it is the latest in my reprint series. As for the year seven story,
well I haven't yet found the correct box but perhaps in time I will.

As an expat Pom, I have to say that I am appalled by the way people keep on banging on about the old country. Now this isn't just Poms, it's Kiwis who won't shut up about the all blacks, or Greeks who cheer Greece over Australia in the round ball game.
When my family stepped onto the runway at Kingsford Smith, we decided Australia was home now and there was to be no more barracking for the old country.

That said, I add my hopes for an English victory in the cricket. Not that I am supporting England (you understand) but rather I can't stand the Aussie cricketers. they are a bunch of poor sports on and off the field. They sledge even when they are winning. They treat other countries (and their people) like dirt. And to top it off they insist that Warnie should be playing, despite the obvious facts that he is a drug cheat and in the pocket of Indian bookies. If he was playing for any other nation, Australians would be up in arms because we're always the first to scream cheat when anyone else give a positive test.

The trouble is growing, in that of late I've been finding that I feel the same way about the Leaguies (come on New Zealand) and I would probably feel the same way about international rules if it wasn't for the fact that that is a joke game, so I don't care about AFL players acting like dickheads (they all are anyway).

All in all it is getting hard to support Australians in any sport and still keep your sense of fair play and decency.

Still, at least the union boys are learning to be gracefully losers. I just hope they can start winning a few and still keep the good manners.

18 April, 2007

ADHD reprints - pt5

This time, in the reprint series, I've taken two posts I put up on signposts in 2005. I've combined them into one and removed names. The first (italicised) part is some of a quote I was writing in response to. Again, it might show a change in my writing but it also makes this blog a bit more of a comprehensive look at my writing.
Next in the series?
Perhaps the novella the I co wrote with Conway Chung during year seven (which I think I still have in a box of stuff and I will then need to transcribe as there is no way you could OCR our year seven cursive script).

“...I’m so used to acting another role in order to fit in as the ‘heterosexual’ at church and the Christian ministry where I worked, and before that, in my family... I’ve found I have absolutely no idea how to act as myself.

Has anyone any ideas on how to revert from playing the role that others expect of you, to being yourself? And particularly making that work within a church setting, ...”

I’ll just say for the moment that some of the specific scenarios going through my head of being authentic in church makes the whole concept just laughable.
e.g. You’re at a wedding and you’re thinking the bridal party look just like nondescript clones wearing WAY too much make-up and the groomsmen look really cute, and one of them’s a real spunk.

I don’t see the problem with this scenario. You think the bride is a meringue and the bridesmaids look like someone ate a florist’s stock then threw up on a frock?
Hell I think that too and I quite like women. Honesty isn’t the same as blurting out everything you think (I tend too be a blurter and I don’t recommend it). So it comes back to what is ‘authentic’. Let me continue your analogy.
You’re sitting in a wedding thinking to yourself that the best man (a rugged librarian) has buns of steel and a face that’d make a Greek God weep. Your mate Barry turns to you and says “phwarrr, that bridesmaid looks a right proper root rat, wouldn’t you love to do her”
  • If you reply, I bet she’s into photography nudge nudge, know what I mean. Turn to page 32.
  • If you say, she doesn’t do anything for me. Turn to page 16
  • Or if you respond, I’m a homosexual and if you don’t accept this fact here and now then I’m being persecuted. Turn to page 96
OK, it's not a choose your own adventure post, but I’d say option one isn’t being true to yourself, option three would probably cause some sort of a scene and spoil the wedding for the meringue.
Option two however allows you to talk further to Barry after a few pints at the reception or to simply leave it be if you couldn’t be bothered to talk to Barry because if you ask me he sounds like a bit of a dickhead.
I think Christianity and conformity are different animals. I’m also a bit of a lefty (but not a drinker of Chardonnay) I’ve voted democrat and green, I’ve had arguments with people about my refusal to condemn abortion or nude beaches or ...
You get the drift, I have no problem with a Christian being a homosexual, nor with a homosexual being a Christian. I see the hypocrisy when the church can change its stance on so many issues which were once “man the barricades, we’re here to the death!” issues. Divorce and remarriage is one example where I’ve seen the change (and I didn’t grow up in the church).
The whole question boils down to what is the essence of Christianity, and I say it is between God and me. I wouldn’t get an abortion (as a man I couldn’t but you know what I mean) yet I won't condemn someone who did. I wouldn’t have sex with a man, but I think that has more to do with what I find attractive in people than it does with my faith. If someone else thinks that a bit of bloke on bloke action feels good for them, well it’s up to them to work out how God feels about it. If someone with a club foot feels like becoming ordained as a minister, I’m not about to complain about that either (although I could quote scripture at them and stand on my moral high ground as someone who God loves more as is evidenced by my lack of club feet – but somehow I don’t think that’d feel right).
I know the frustration of engaging with people whose views are already fixed and immovable, yet in a debate where the prevailing ethic is a Christian one it would be a poor debate if the conservative views weren’t raised.
That the Christian Church has moved on and accepted change does not automatically mean that we model our Christianity on what is culturally appropriate. Sometimes we need to be inappropriate (salty if you will) to demonstrate what makes us different from everyone else. If the only argument we have against that, is that we don’t accept it or that we’ve moved on from there then I don’t think we’re being true to our shared belief.
I personally hate the writings of Paul (much to the dismay of many at the Bible study I facilitate) I find him a misogynist, think that when he writes he is oversimplifying and I worry that what we are getting is his personal opinion. That said, it is the Bible folks and as Christians that alone carries some weight.
We can argue that we imperfect people place more emphasis on homosexuality than on other things but if we are watering down our beliefs in some areas that doesn’t mean that watering them down in all areas is better. Some people believe they are correct in labeling homosexuality a sin, therefore what they says on the subject is consistent with their beliefs. What if they are correct, should they shut up just to be socially acceptable? Does the fact that our society has changed override scripture? It depends on where you stand on the authority of scripture and the literal interpretation of the Bible and while I don’t subscribe to those views I see that they have a firm base from which to argue, as opposed to someone who calls themselves Christian without reconciling their personal beliefs with the core beliefs of their faith. If I stand up and say that homosexuality is not a sin, I need to either accept that scripture is not literal or not unerring otherwise, calling myself Christian seems to fly counter to the definition most people would use.
I know it is broadening the debate but I have problems when someone like Spong or Thiering stands up and states that they are a Christian who does not believe in the divinity of Jesus. It would seem to me that to deny divinity is to refute Christianity and I don’t know why someone who doesn’t believe Christ was God would want to be called Christian. Yet I can also see how someone more conservative than myself could see my beliefs as counter to the basic tenants of the faith and wonder why I wanted to attach the tag Christian to my beliefs when I don’t accept some of the Church’s teachings and have questioned or will question most of the others.
If liberal Christians can’t cope with the arguments of conservative Christians it is probably because rather than draw our liberal theology from Jesus we have drawn it from western society. Society's influence on us is unquestionable, yet I stand firm in saying I am left wing because of the example of Christ. Despite being protestant I draw a lot from the liberation theology of South American Catholicism. Jesus came to set captives free, give sight to the blind, reduce poverty, combat oppression (even that of the Church). I believe it is this spirit of Christ which should influence me as a Christian rather than a literal interpretation of a Greek text translated into my tongue via Latin which covers issues I don’t experience from a time and a people whose context I can’t comprehend. But the fact that our permissive society would side more with me than with the conservatives, does not in any way indicate that I am right nor does the fact that I hope they are wrong make it so.