Monthly Archives: September 2008

An Ode to Ravelry

Been AWOL for a bit. You can blame knitting and Netflix for that. Well, and Ravelry.

Let’s talk about knitting. I promise this is not going to turn into a knitting blog. I have my plurk for that. And I have Ravelry.

Ravelry is a glorious, wondrous thing. It’s considered a social networking site, but it’s specialized for knitters and crocheters.

It allows you to catalog your needles and your yarn stash. For my friends wondering why my Flickr account is mostly pictures of yarn skeins, well, that’s why.

Reader, I cataloged my yarn. I’m a librarian, are you surprised?

Maybe I’ve forgotten what weight a yarn is. I type it into Ravelry’s search box and I have not only the weight, the composition, the yardage. I also can see if people have made comments about it. This is very helpful when it costs like $13.95 a skein and 15 people report that it pills like crazy. I can also see if people are willing to trade or sell it their yarn. I can trade or sell mine. My knitting books are cataloged on Ravelry.

You can put your projects on Ravelry. You can put the things you want to do in a queue. You can look at other people’s projects, their blog posts. There are lots of free patterns on ravelry. They have quite a robust little search engine to locate these. I can tag my projects and my yarn.

There are groups and forums. I’m a newish knitter and when on the 4th of July weekend I was smack dab in the middle of a project and got confused with directions, all I had to do was post a question on Ravelry and I had an answer. Several answers.

It is beyond cool. It’s free and I’m on there. If you are too, please look me up. And if you knit or crochet and you’re not on there, join!

Dude, I know what I’m doing

Scenario: me on the reference desk after 5. Guy in line. Helping a student who like EVERYONE ELSE IN HER CLASS is trying to get her hands on the one recent copy of a textbook for her course. I’ve helped her earlier in the week on the same issue–helped her do a recall and explained/warned that people could do the same thing to her. Now she is dismayed and indignant that this has actually gone down.

Meanwhile guy in line is getting impatient. I make eye contact, tell him I’ll be with him in a minute.

Now the student is looking at getting a previous edition. The only one left that we have is from 1989. She wants that one. Of course, she does. Maybe it’s me, but I get awfully nervous when a medical student is willing to learn from a 19 year old book and the subject is not “where is the spleen?” Finally we’re done and I turn to the patron.

He needs a “drug desk reference book.”

Ok, fine, are we talking PDR?

Yes, no. A drug guide.

I start to walk him over to the reference collection.

No. He wants one he can check out.

Which means an older edition. Ok. Does he have a specific one in mind? Does he have a particular drug he’s trying to look up? What does he need to know about the drug?

He tells me “just type in ‘drug guide’ into the catalog.”

I meanwhile am trying to see what we have and am searching for specific titles.

He walks around and goes, “No. Just type in ‘drug guide.’

I try to explain that this is not really the best way to search.

He insists. Naturally we get garbage.

“You must not be doing it right.”

I’m trying to offer him online options, but in order to do that I need to find out if he’s an affiliate. I start to ask and he storms out of the library.

Meanwhile, first student comes back. The 1989 edition is off the shelves. Is there anything older than that available?

It was not a good night.