Friday, April 1, 2011

Bad News ... & Other News That Makes The Bad Bearable

I found out yesterday that the QandANJ Virtual Reference Service that I have been a part of almost since it started nearly ten years ago is being discontinued because of a lack of funding. I guess given the current political climate I should not have been surprised by this; after the last NJ budget, the QandA leaders really had to scramble for funding and they found it; but only until June 30, 2011. I was sure something would come through for us after that. But it didn't.

I had a lot of good times working for QandANJ, but if I had to pick my favorite songle thing this here is the winner, hands down:

QandANJ was loved by the people who knew about it and used it, but a problem with any library service is ... you barely have the money to fund it ... where you gonna find the money to promote it so that foax will know it exists? (E.g.: You're paying Netflix for movies? You can get them FREE at your library!)

QandANJ was not immune to this problem. So at the Project Managers Meetings, foax were constantly brainstorming about ways to get the word out about our service. A couple of years ago, it was decided we should have a contest: Ordinary users (ostensibly) of QandANJ would make their own video commercials for the service, upload the vids to YouTube and one of them would win the privilege of being the video our limited advertising budget would be spent on so that it could be aired on TV1.

So without further ado, here was my favorite video ad:

Needless to say, this was NOT the winning submission. And for the record: QandANJ is pronounced "Cue And Ay En Jay", not "Cue And Ange". Which one would think was also needless to say. If we couldn't even get THAT fact across to people ... no wonder we ultimately failed. I'm laughing through the pain, over heeyah, ya pussbag! (As we say in Joisey.)

Yet another useful and (dare I say) loved public service falls to budget cuts.

RIP, Cue And Ange.

Now here's the part that makes that part up there bearable:

I'm looking through my blog's stats this a.m., which I am wont to do, and I see this in the keyword search stats:
Many of you have been wondering what happened to Xenia of late, since she disappeared from Teh Blogosphere, claiming she was working on her Archæology PhD, but there she is, RIGHT THERE, happily ensconced under AT LEAST three uncut cocks.

It does my heart good to have this visual proof that in this day and age of budget crises, some things remain uncut.

And Xenia's got 'em.

That's money well-spent2.

1 The flaw in this seemingly impeccable approach: How do you get the word out about the existence of a contest about a service few (or not enough) people seem to know about? This particularly tough and regressive nut was never successfully cracked; because I think there was a grand total of like seven people who submitted videos in the contest. Most of which were really pretty good. But not all. See above.

2 I just noticed that the search right above the circled ones includes the phrase (from the song "Tam Lin") "I forbid you maidens". Then, there's Xenia under those cocks.

Yeah, so how's that "forbidding" going, Anonymous Searcher?

(That fucking Tam Lin post I did continues to get hits. This is perplexing to me. My most popular post, BY FAR, is the one I did with the pix of the Phillies' Four Aces (R2C2), which outperforms all my other posts combined. I get that. But "Tam Lin"?)


  1. I get more action on the web than I do in real life. This depresses me.

    I think I blocked my blog from search engines so you're getting all my 'action'. I do what I can to spread the love.

  2. I once had someone find my blog by using the search phrase "naked guy riding lawnmower." I have never written a post about naked lawnmower riding in my life.

    Google, you continue to both delight and perplex me...

  3. Dude, that's a bummer about Q and Ange. How are people going to find out "WHAT HORES FARM WAS NAMED FOR A BAKING POWERD BUNIESS".

    I found some pretty odd stuff in my keyword search stats the other day. Hmmm.... wonder who is to blame for that???

    Happy Friday, G :)

  4. The problem with many of the reference services, and much of what librarians do is that it's being replaced by "The Google" as people at work call it. And yes, the library is where we get lots of our videos. The only problem is that some of them look like they have been chewed by a dog. Which happens at Rogers too, btw.
    Our library is fighting funding battles of it's own too, so it isn't just a Joisy thing. Our local branch, and the downtown branches are some of the busiest in the country, by any of several different ways of measuring it. And the politicos still want to cut library services. This is the one thing that leads me to believe that our corporate masters really do want us just smart enough to do office work, and too stupid to see what they're doing to us. Thank you George Carlin.
    The post on my blog that gets more traffic than anything else is "Stock on road means only one thing". Like 4 times the next most popular post.

  5. Wait...Glaven, I though AC/DC wrote "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" about you!

  6. That's a shame.

    I used to use a group called the Wombats, a collection of research librarians, to find answers to questions I had like: Why do priests wear backward collars? and Why isn't the element Technetium naturally occuring? The group was named for the original question of what do you call a baby wombat (apparently no one's ever decided if it's a kit, cub, joey, etc.) and I have no idea if they still exist.

  7. Reference? We don't need no stinkin' reference desks! That's so last year. Next you'll be expecting libraries to have books. Geez.

  8. Just checked. Project Wombat lives at

    There's also askMN here, which looks to be exactly the same as QandANJ, except every answer ends with "youbetcha."

  9. @SQ: I think the wombats were an offshoot of the LIBREF Listserv (listserv for Reference Librarians) - the Wombat site became the listserv's archive so foax didn't have to re-research the same question. I recall getting numerous mailings on the listserv in which various ref librarians labored collectively to answer a tough question and, hours later, someone would have a "Eureka!" moment and get the definitive answer and send it to the listserv; and minutes after that, another ref librarian would chime in with: "Or you could have searched the Wombat archives because this exact question was asked, and answered, 4 years ago." Then that librarian would supply the URL to the page in the archives with the answer.

    RTFA (Read The Fucking Archives) was our RTFM.

    I haven't subscribe to the listserv in years. I assume it still exists.

    Incidentally, Wombats would yell at me for calling it a "listserv" since "listserv" is a brand, not generic, name for an electronic mailing list. And I don't think LIBREF used Listserv software.

  10. It just occurred to me that it wasn't the LIBREF list that generated project wombat. It was something else. And it was something else. It was the Stumpers list.

    Which is defunct.

  11. Not an April Fool's joke?


    They're cutting back on interlibrary loans down at my library. I have to go get these obscure books myself in the next town over? Bah.