Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Case Study No. 0437: Emily Rushing

Emily Rushing -- Pirates v. Ninjas; Librarianship in the 21st Century
Emily Rushing -- Pirates v. Ninjas; Librarianship in the 21st Century @emily_rushing

A passionate supporter of library services and librarians, Emily will speak on what librarianship means today, what librarians really do, and how librarians are today's information ninjas. Topics covered include: databases, SecondLife, crowdsourcing, folksonomies, and Freedom of Information. Bun hairdos and glasses optional!
Tags: Emily Rushing Pirates Ninjas Librarian 21st Century IgniteDallas IgniteDallas 2
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[a young female librarian walks on stage and talks into the microphone]
EMILY: Hi, I'm Emily Rushing, and I'm a librarian ... Woohoo!
[the audience applauds, as "Librarian, the Original Search Engine" appears on screen]
EMILY: The title of my speech is "Pirates versus Ninjas," and the thesis here is that the internet meme "Pirates versus Ninjas" ... well, librarians are today's information ninjas. Yep, it's true.
[she laughs, as a still from "The Breakfast Club" appears on screen]
EMILY: Um, you've all been to a library. Probably not by choice, but a lotta people are using libraries. A lotta communities are going to libraries to access resources that are totally unavailable anywhere else.
[she points at the image on screen]
EMILY: Um, I especially like detention time ...
[a painting depicting the Library of Alexandria appears on screen]
EMILY: Libraries are really old. They date back to 2000 BC, and they used to have tablets and scrolls, and then there were books. And really, the message here is that librarians have been doing this a really long time. Way longer than Google.
[a portrait of Melville Dewey appears on screen]
EMILY: Melville Dewey had a little system, it's called the Dewey Decimal System. Yes, uh, that reformed libraries, and created a new way for us to access information that we'd never been able to do before.
[a photograph of two stereotypical female librarians appears on screen]
EMILY: Uh, a little factoid about our friend Mister Dewey. He hired only women to be librarians ... Yay!
[the audience applauds]
EMILY: No, only because he didn't think it required any intelligence ... Boo!
[the audience boos]
EMILY: Yeah, so thumbs down for the guy, but thumbs up for finding stuff you're looking for.
[a cartoon of a female librarian with the text "She Blinded Me with Library Science" appears on screen]
EMILY: Yeah, and the librarians who do that are called technical services librarians. Yeah, they do a lot with cataloging. And cataloging is all online, it's all digital. It's all digital collections.
[a diagram of a catalog record with the text "Anatomy of an AAS Catalog Record" appears on screen]
EMILY: Um, and those digital librarians now are called technical services librarians. And what they do is catalog information, which is metadata. They find the metadata about an information object, put it in a database, so you can come to the library and find a book about pole-dancing. Or bacon.
[the audience laughs, as a cartoon illustration of a librarian at her desk labelled "Search Engine" appears on screen]
EMILY: Whoo! So, the other kind of librarian is a reference librarian, and they sit at a desk and they have lots of books and they answer questions. Um, and incidentally, this is the kind of librarian that I am ... Yeah.
[the audience applauds, as a 1970s Hanes ad (featuring a naked female librarian covering herself with books) appears on screen]
EMILY: Thank you! Reference librarians do a lot of stuff. They give instruction, they help people learn information-locating techniques. They also go to the stacks and get books. Yeah, they usually wear clothes.
[some members of the audience boo, as a panel from the "Strangers in Paradise" comic book (where a woman is saying "Look it up!") appears on screen]
EMILY: Librarians are obsessed with authority. What is the best resource on any particular topic? And this has led librarians to deal with topics like crowd-sourcing. Like Wikipedia, yeah?
[a scene from the game "Second Life" appears on screen]
Librarians know all about that, they're doing that stuff now ... It's really cool. They also do a lot with technologies. Librarians are anywhere you are, maybe places you've never even been, like Second Life. You can walk in Second Life, or whatever, right up to a virtual desk with your horns and wings and stuff, and ask a question.
[the audience laughs]
EMILY: From a librarian!
[a photograph of a girl standing in the stacks (with each row featuring books of the same color) appears on screen]
EMILY: And it's not just reference librarians, cataloging librarians have a lot of fun. A cataloging librarian here has organized this collection by color! Yeah, that's using tagging. Librarians always had tagging, it's the rest of you that copied us!
[the audience laughs, as a cartoon illustration of a man lowering his sunglasses (with the text "Good thing I brought my library card, cause I'm checkin' you out!") appears on screen]
EMILY: And it's not all boring stuffy stuff ... Librarians are really fun! Librarians have gaming collections, they have Dance Dance Revolution events, they have downloadable media for your iPad!
[a picture of Conan the Librarian from the movie "UHF" (with the text "What is best in life? To shush the noisy. To see them driving home. And to hear the silence of the library.") appears on screen]
EMILY: Your new iPad, yeah ... And in the middle of all of that, they still provide a quiet place where people can study, can get help with their resume, look for a job, look up news articles, or maybe read a book.
[a picture of an Indian woman riding a bicycle appears on screen]
EMILY: There are librarians in India now who are riding bicycles through the countryside with satellite internet connections on their laptops, and they are bringing laptops and information services to rural communities.
[a picture of a tattoo (featuring a skull in front of two books with the word "Librarian" underneath) appears on screen]
EMILY: There's also libraries that lend music rehearsal studios, or even tools for fixing your home. Librarians are really proud of being librarians.
[the audience laughs]
EMILY: Really into it, yeah! It's an identity, and they've embraced alterna, in their own community and in their patron communities.
[the cover of the "Tattooed Ladies of TLA" calendar appears on screen]
EMILY: Some ladies over at the Texas Libraries Association--
[someone in the audience whistles]
EMILY: Uh, yeah!
[the audience laughs]
EMILY: Took their pictures and put it in a calendar to raise money for flooded school libraries in the area. You can buy one at TLA dot org ... I'm not selling stuff.
[the audience laughs, as the cover of the book "This Book is Overdue!" appears on screen]
EMILY: It's all for charity! And what kind of librarian would I be if I didn't leave you with a reading list? This is new book by Marilyn Johnson called "This book is overdue!" It's about how technology and Google's not threatening librarians, but how librarians are driving those technologies.
[a still from the movie "Desk Set" appears on screen]
EMILY: And a fun movie about the early days of librarians is a 1950s classic called "Desk Set," and zany adventures ensue when they think that the library's gonna be replaced by a computer, which of course, it's irreplacable.
[a picture of a Boy Scouts merit badge for reading (with the text "Thanks!") appears on screen]
EMILY: You've all earned your librarian badge!
[the audience applauds]
EMILY: So support your local library! Thank you!

Ignite Dallas
June 2, 2010
Dallas, Texas

Chris Walters
Mike D. Merrill
Joey Pomerenke
Danica L. Mathes
Chris Bond

Produced for Ignite Dallas by DaveCurlee Media

[cc] (Some Rights Reserved)



A passionate supporter of library services and librarians, Emily will speak on what librarianship means today, what librarians really do, and how librarians are today's information ninjas. Topics covered include: databases, SecondLife, crowdsourcing, folksonomies, and Freedom of Information. Bun hairdos and glasses optional!

Emily Cunningham Rushing is a law librarian and competitive intelligence specialist with the Dallas office of Haynes & Boone LLP.

Fast-paced, fun, thought-provoking, social, local, global—Ignite is all of these and more. It's a high-energy evening of 5-minute talks by people who have an idea—and the guts to get onstage and share it with their hometown crowd. Run by local volunteers who are connected through the global Ignite network, Ignite is a force for raising the collective IQ and building connections in each city. And, via streaming and archived videos of local talks, local Ignites share all that knowledge and passion with the world.

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