March 7, 2007

ABC (Australian Broadcasting System) Creates New Sitcom: The Librarians

.: From the ABC Web Site:


The humble suburban library takes on a whole new meaning in the ABC TV's new comedy-drama The Librarians, which starts production in Melbourne on March 5.

A co-production between ABC TV and Gristmill Pty Ltd, The Librarians is the brainchild of actors/writers Robyn Butler and Wayne Hope. Married in real life, Butler and Hope will also star in the production.

The six-part series centres on the trials and tribulations of Frances O'Brien, a devout Catholic and head librarian. Her life unravels when she is forced to employ her ex-best friend, Christine Grimwood - now a drug dealer - as the children's librarian. Frances must do all she can to contain her menacing past and concentrate on the biggest event of the library calendar - Book Week.

The Librarians will also star Roz Hammond (The Micallef Programme, Welcher & Welcher), Bob Franklin (BoyTown, The Extra, The Craic), Kim Gyngell (The Comedy Company, Love and Other Catastrophes), Kate Kendall (Stingers), Heidi Arena (Thank God You're Here, Blue Heelers), Stephen Ballantyne (Corpse Bride) and newcomers Josh Lawson (BoyTown, Blue Heelers) and Keith Brockett.

Butler and Hope joined forces in 2004 to write and produce 13 short films called Stories from the Golf for SBS. Butler, who will play the lead character Frances, has starred in feature films including BoyTown and Crackerjack, as well as numerous television series. Most recently she teamed with Mick Molloy on the Triple M's successful ToughLove program.

"We are thrilled to be making The Librarians. With 25,000 books on set we have fabricated the perfect excuse to extend our summer reading, added to which, the children's library is very handy for cheap childcare, " said Robyn.

Hope, who will direct all six episodes, is a seasoned performer with feature films such as BoyTown and many television roles including Stupid Stupid Man, Crashburn and TheMicallef rogramme to his credit.

ABC TV's Executive Producer for Drama Miranda Dear added: "It's great to be working with such a dynamic comic team. With this series they bring their acute eye for social satire to bear on the world of the library in the most surprising ways. Borrowing a book may never seem as safe again."
For further information contact:

Kelly Davis
Ph: 03 9524 2629

February 12, 2007

Introducing The Book

.: Puts it all into perspective.

April 3, 2006

The Fully Electronic Academic Library® - Oh Really?

.: Has anyone read the v67 n1 January 2006 issue of College & Research Libraries? The lead article is titled The Fully Electronic Academic Library®, by Norman D Stevens, Director of the infamous Molesworth Institute. The abstract reads:

This description of the planning for the first academic library to contain only electronic resources, and no books and no paper of any kind, is derived from the limitless possibilities of our imagination. The concept of such a library and the dramatic changes it will bring in collections, budgets, staffing, services, and buildings are outlined in detail. Finally a few questions are raised as to whether such a library will best serve the information needs of academic institutions in the twenty-first century.
Stevens describes how the Molesworth Institute was commissioned in December 2000 to develop a plan for the new library of the Ezra Beesley University (EBU), which will accept its first students in 2007. By emphasizing cost-effective applications of IT, EBU's students will not use textbooks. To avoid major start-up costs, EBU will construct its own wind farm to generate power to run the campus.

Following a meeting of trhe Fellows of Molesworth Institute in April 2004, it was decided that EBU's Edmund Lester Pearson Library (ELP) would be an electronic library only - no books or paper products of any kind would be available. Stevens notes:

The ELP Library will contain no printed books or other printed material of any kind. Those constraints will apply to book substitutes (for example, microforms) and other specialized formats that require specialized mechanical equipment (for example, films, sound recordings and videos). No one, including staff, will be allowed to bring any of those materials into the library. That rule will be strictly enforced, and contraband will be seized at the entrances and destroyed on the spot. All information resources will be available only in digital formats and accessible only electronically. Paper will not be allowed within the library. The library will have no photocopy machines, no computer printers, no provision for the receipt of mail (the library will not have a mailing address), and no wastebaskets or recycling bins. Neither staff nor users will be allowed to bring notebooks or any other form of paper into the library. Only personal data assistants, computers, and other paper-free devices may be used to bring information into the building. This will require users to and staff to use their imagination rather than simply to print out copies of information to take home that they might never look at again. There will be hot air dryers, not paper towels, in the unisex rest rooms, which will feature the paperless Washlet toilets developed by TOTO that have a heated seat, a streamlined wand that provides a warm, aerated flow of water, and a warm air dryer.
Other important points to note:
  • So that the ELP Library can operate on a 24/7/365 cycle, it will only ever close on February 29th.
  • minimum starting salary will be $100,000
  • the arcade which connects the library to a classroom building will feature a changing moving light and sound show similar to one in Las Vegas
  • seating options will include " and lounge chairs, soft foam cubes and beanbags, bar stools and high tables, and hammocks."
This is hilarious stuff, the kind Stevens has been writing for decades. What's really weird is that there is no editorial in this issue, which might have explained why the article was published. It's hilarious, and I wonder how many readers might have taken it seriously.

January 3, 2006

Songs About Physics

.: Let us begin 2006 with something on the lighter side, with songs about physics:

These recordings were made in 1947 by faculty and students of the "State University of Iowa" (now the University of Iowa). Prof. Arthur Roberts (of the physics dept.) wrote all the music and words, except as noted below. Click here for Liner Notes.
Check out lyrics such as these, from How Nice to Be A Physicist in 1947:
Oh did you write a book on fission which you tried to sell?
Or wonder while you lectured what you could or couldn't tell?
Or try to get declassified some nuclear equations,
Or wonder if the work you do was done at secret stations?

Research is long,
And time is short
If you find a fact essential
Classify it confidential
Never give
A second thought
The F.B.I.'s approval must be sought.

.: Previously documented problems with the RSS feeds for this site continue. I apologize for this, and continue to hope and pray that BlogLines will solve it before the sun goes nova.

September 2, 2005

Google Announces Plan To Destroy All Information It Can't Index

.: During a week in which we could all use a wee bit of levity comes this brilliant piece from The Onion on Google's plan to destroy everything it cannot index. We may need to surround our libraries with impenetrable osmium walls if this ever happens.

May 30, 2005

Patently Silly

:: If you need a break from the daily intensity of work, check out Patently Silly, a web site dedicated to, well, silly patents. Daniel Wright, the editor, writer, publisher and coder, is a NYC-based stand up comedian who was once an engineering major in college, but now "he now prefers to make fun of them." Check the archives for silly patents by category.

September 30, 2004

What We Do

:: Downtown there's this guy called a reference librarian.

March 30, 2004

It Had to Happen: AIM has a Blog

:: The Annals of Improbable Research has joined the blogosphere with the blog, Improbable Research -- What's New. Nothing like a little scientific humour to lighten up a bad day on the reference desk. BTW, if you are a scientist or engineer with long, beautiful locks, the latest issue of AIM has information on LFHCfS, or The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists.

The Guardian featured an article about LFHCfS in December, 2003.