Before I do anything else…can we all just take a moment and bask in that new banner? Ahhhhhhhh. Indy taking a stack of books pretty much sums my life up. Especially the whole “running from boulders” thing. A thousand thanks go to my good friend Jovon!
Also, a quick shout out to my friend Emma who had her birthday last week. Happy birthday, E!
So I’ve been buried in finals and other brouhaha for quite some time! I know you’ve all been anxiously awaiting to hear from me, so let me be *brash* and jump right in! (I couldn’t resist.)
The Florida Library Association (FLA) meeting was about two weeks ago, I was there from April 17th-20th and had an amazing time! You can see all the goodies and links here. FSU held a mixer the first night and I had a great time meeting professors and making friends. I had the pleasure to speak with Professor Christie Koontz, mostly about how the Brash Librarian can help FSU get more kids into the MLS program. I’ll also be taking her Storytelling class in the summer! Anyone who has ever seen me tell a joke knows I will rock that class up and down the street.
Other new friends I’ve made include Meredith Myers, the Stand-Up Librarian! She too has a totally sweet blog loaded with videos, adventures and her own clothing line! Check out her blog here.
Meredith did some great stand-up comedy at the FLA showcase which you can see below! Other acts included songs, dancing, storytelling, science theater, even a break dancing gecko…let’s take a look!
The other presentations, lectures and demonstrations were everywhere ranging from all over…emerging technologies, finding employment, children’s reading programs, virtual reference, legal research, library partnerships, open source resources, film making, senior reader advocacy, social media and demographics, E-Books…even folk tales! For the degree that can take you anywhere, there were certainly enough venues to show you where and how you can take that degree.
One of my favorites was Award Winning Elevator Speeches: Being ready to advocate your library anytime, anywhere. Honestly, they had me at “elevator speeches”. Having a background in business and theatre, I really enjoyed Chhh Chhhhanging: A Library Job Isn’t Always In a Library. During these tough economic times, librarians have to do whatever work they can; I feel this presentation showing other paradigms in how librarians can adapt to non-library jobs was vital to anyone in the field. Should there be no library jobs when I graduate, I want to know how else and where else I can use my skills to gain employment. As much as I’d like to use my skills to be Batman, I don’t think will happen. At least not for awhile. I had an awesome time peeking in on an Ethnographic Assessment Techniques workshop given by my friend, Rachel Besara. (Sorry I couldn’t stop to say hi, Rachel!)
Out on the exhibition floor, I got to meet tons of great people. I was walking past a booth when a very pretty girl said those magic words…”Hi! Would you like to see our Zombie Dictionary?” WOULD I? Anyone who knows me knows how completely obsessed I am with zombies. I actually won The Black Theatre Network Young Scholar Essay competition in undergrad for my essay on George Romero’s use of zombies as a social commentary on racism in his 1968 film, Night of the Living Dead. Long story short, I really love zombies. Actually, I hate them – hence me trying to stop them from taking over the world. A fun chat and seven dollars later, I had the book and a new friend, Victoria!
Great times, great people, great everything! Well, my friend got this really salty margarita, but they gave her a new one.
Just when you thought I was done, I throw even more at you! After coming back home on Friday, I ran in the Swamp Dash Marathon the following morning. That’s right, we’re talking a 5K obstacle course of high adventure! Mud slides! Barbed wire! High walls! Ropes! Nets! Underground tunnels! Pipes! Hay stacks! Bars! My shoes literally fell apart – the soles tore halfway off, so I ripped them off completely and kept running. Some scrapes, dings and cuts were well worth the medal and beer we got at the end of the race. Yes, they actually give you a can of beer if you can finish the race. An ice cold beer after nearly an hour and a half of slogging through mud is way more satisfying than I expected. I dedicated my run to my friend Garrison who recently passed, may he rest in peace. Many thanks to all the friends and family who helped us train for this!
“So Justin, librarians do more than sit in a library? They go to conventions and stuff?”
Yes, condescending voice in my head, they do! We even run in marathons and drink beer on occasion! I considered running the Gator Gauntlet coming up in May, but I’ll probably be at the May-Hem Sci-Fi/Horror Convention in Orlando.
Conventions, marathons, all in a day’s work for the Brash Librarian.
Coming up! I’ll have a new Unusual Librarian Who Rocks this week along with other goodies. Have fun out there, everyone!
-Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian