Ask A Librarian November 23, 2015 2:23 PM   Subscribe

MeFi's own jessamyn [retired] will be having a Reddit AMA on November 24 at 11AM. That is all.
posted by Johnny Wallflower to MetaFilter Gatherings at 2:23 PM (103 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

Yay jessamyn! I was joking around about it on twitter earlier but I'm genuinely interested to see how this goes and hope that how it goes is well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:24 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


The link you followed may have expired, or the page may only be visible to an audience you're not in.

:(

I'm guessing I need to log in to Facebook or something?
posted by ODiV at 2:28 PM on November 23, 2015


Awesome. She'll be great at that!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:28 PM on November 23, 2015


I think it will work. Jessamyn just has to friend all of us on FB first.

(waiting)
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:29 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh shoot! Well, here's a tweet.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:30 PM on November 23, 2015


Cool!
posted by zarq at 2:33 PM on November 23, 2015


Made the status public, did not know someone would be linking! Feel free to show up and either ask questions or help downvote trolling types. Note: this is just me posting a thing not be being an invited fancy person. I am 100% happy about that. 11 AM EST.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:34 PM on November 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


We are expecting an epic answer to the duck / horse question.

No pressure. :)
posted by zarq at 2:38 PM on November 23, 2015


Wait, is it going to be in /r/IAMA (the main AMA subreddit), or /r/AMA?
posted by zombieflanders at 2:52 PM on November 23, 2015


this is 11AM EST?

(actually, i am not sure i know what EST means. what i am really asking is, i guess, is the the same 11am that will be 11am for the people i work with near new york?)
posted by andrewcooke at 3:16 PM on November 23, 2015


I think we're planning on /r/IAMA. Actually don't know the duck/horse question offhand, so may punt on that one. Yes 11 am EST, probably be around for a few hours.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:18 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used to be Facebook friends with Jessamyn but then I unfriended her because we don't really know each other so it was kind of weird so what I'm saying is my question on Reddit is going to be uncomfortable.
posted by zennie at 3:20 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Actually don't know the duck/horse question offhand

"which is taller, a duck or a horse?"
posted by Greg Nog at 3:38 PM on November 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


(actually, i am not sure i know what EST means. what i am really asking is, i guess, is the the same 11am that will be 11am for the people i work with near new york?)

EST is Eastern (US) Standard Time, and yes, New York is on EST.
posted by jaguar at 3:39 PM on November 23, 2015


Actually I guess it's Eastern (North and South American) Standard Time.
posted by jaguar at 3:40 PM on November 23, 2015


Except apparently it's on the the west coast of South America. I'll stop now.
posted by jaguar at 3:41 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


We are expecting an epic answer to the duck / horse question.

I don't even know why this is a question.

A horse-sized duck is essentially a dinosaur, and I've already seen that movie. There's running and screaming.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:28 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


“I am a former moderator of a better web community than this one. AMA!”

I kid, I kid.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:45 PM on November 23, 2015 [12 favorites]


I anticipate being blessed many librarian knowledges!!! How exciting!
posted by yueliang at 5:27 PM on November 23, 2015


(actually, i am not sure i know what EST means. what i am really asking is, i guess, is the the same 11am that will be 11am for the people i work with near new york?)

EST is Eastern (US) Standard Time, and yes, New York is on EST.


In addition, IMHO it's always clearer to write ET (Eastern Time) in communications rather than EST. Half of the year ET (which New York uses) is not EST: it's EDT. If I receive an email in June saying "Let's talk at 2pm EST", I know they really mean 2pm ET, which is EDT at that time. 2pm EST would actually be 3pm local time in NY. (I'm not sure whether being that pedantic makes me a bad person or not.)
posted by NailsTheCat at 5:28 PM on November 23, 2015 [9 favorites]


Yay, Jessamyn!
posted by Songdog at 5:35 PM on November 23, 2015


Jessamyn for LOC!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:37 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


invited fancy person

new username brb
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:52 PM on November 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


(I'd really like to read this but I refuse to give reddit my eyeballs, I'm sorry.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:53 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is she going to do it from her car?
posted by vrakatar at 6:17 PM on November 23, 2015


Actually don't know the duck/horse question offhand

"Would you rather duck or be hoarse?"

(The other day I saw a bumper sticker that said "Duck Commander" and I laughed out loud because my first thought was "I am the duck commander + I command you to duck!")
posted by octobersurprise at 6:18 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


godspeed.
posted by phunniemee at 6:32 PM on November 23, 2015


Made the status public

My god am I glad I didn't leave a smartass comment.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:42 PM on November 23, 2015


“I am a former moderator of a better web community than this one. AMA!”
I kid, I kid.


Well, I mean, the obvious question is "You're reddit's content manager with unlimited power. All the volunteer moderators answer to you (or quit). What's your plan?"
posted by ctmf at 7:16 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


One obvious question, that is. Not to imply you're not as interesting or more in your other work. But well, the mefi thing IS well-known.

Maybe it'd be best not to start something by asking you to criticize reddit ON reddit, but someone might.
posted by ctmf at 7:24 PM on November 23, 2015


11 AM EST.

I'll be working then, but I hope it goes well.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:39 PM on November 23, 2015


I just tried to Friend Jessamyn, and discovered that my old friend Molly -- of course -- is already Jessamyn's friend. Because why not, everyone knows Molly, apparently.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:46 PM on November 23, 2015


Actually don't know the duck/horse question offhand, so may punt on that one.

No worries, it's just a question about their respective Dewey decimal numbers -- it trips up the Hollywood types but it's going to be a total softball for you.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:48 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've known Molly since probably 1998 or 1999. We are (were?) old school bloggers together.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:56 PM on November 23, 2015


fffm - ama threads usually get a bot who posts all questions and answers in a table. i'd guess someone (maybe me!) is going to copy and paste it here.
posted by nadawi at 7:57 PM on November 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Argh. Always the cool AMAs are during work times.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:01 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was looking at a book here last week? But I didn't check it out but now I want to? It had a blue cover. Do you know the one I mean?
posted by uosuaq at 8:08 PM on November 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


Q: Has the FBI been here?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:19 PM on November 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


/me says nothing but directs shakespeherian's attention to an empty spot on the wall where a poster used to hang.
posted by uosuaq at 8:51 PM on November 23, 2015


Why a duck!
Hope you have fun!

posted by not_on_display at 9:44 PM on November 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was looking at a book here last week? But I didn't check it out but now I want to? It had a blue cover. Do you know the one I mean?

Dude, she's a librarian. Ask her a tough one.
posted by Pink Frost at 12:01 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was looking at a book here last week? But I didn't check it out but now I want to? It had a blue cover. Do you know the one I mean?

When I worked in an academic library (not as a librarian, I was a few rungs further down the ladder), there was a book that always got assigned to the first-year Education students that caused a weird mental block in people. Like, about 60%+ of the "I'm looking for this book about which I have basically no catalogue-searchable information at all" requests were for that book. So a few times every week we'd get conversations like this:

"I'm looking for a book? It's for Education, um... it's blue? About this thick?"
"K 0.0193 SCO."
"...wow."

Truly, they saw us as gods.
posted by Catseye at 2:26 AM on November 24, 2015 [21 favorites]


Molly and I were born a few houses apart, and I am pretty sure my earliest conscious memory is from her house. :7) We also went to half of grade school together, and as my longest-serving friend, she introduced my second-longest-serving friend to his future wife.

She's pretty awesome. And like I said, of course you know her.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:15 AM on November 24, 2015


Hah! And just last night I was telling one of my kids about working in a B. Dalton's bookstore in the 1980's, and "I heard about this book on TV it has a blue cover" was my (factual) example.

Authors, attend: if your designer chooses blue for the cover of your book, no one will ever remember it!!
posted by wenestvedt at 3:17 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dude, she's a librarian. Ask her a tough one.

RDA: joke or catastrophe?

I was telling one of my kids about working in a B. Dalton's bookstore in the 1980's, and "I heard about this book on TV it has a blue cover" was my (factual) example.

I heard a lot of these questions when I worked in bookstores, but my favorite anecdote is about the person who came in looking for "one of those books with words in them" and how it was ten minutes before we realized she wanted a dictionary.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:33 AM on November 24, 2015 [12 favorites]


Recommended daily allotment?
posted by Going To Maine at 6:50 AM on November 24, 2015


RDA: joke or catastrophe?

Why can't it be both!? Even though I am "good with computers" my background in hard-metadata is pretty paltry so I usually leave it to the experts to make sure that stuff works. I don't trust OCLC not to be self-serving but I do trust them to make good products (even if they will take data that should be public and sell it back to you) and have the smartest people in the room working for them.

It's literally been this past few years where I've realized that my "I can find that" abilities are really exceptional (finding something on a web page, finding what a patron is asking for from very few details, finding the thing in the messy closet, finding the awesome sweater at the thrift store) among the general population though I think they're just average among librarians. Trying to explain to people that it's a (partly-learned) learned SKILL like driving or baking and not just "being smart" has been threading an interesting needle because there's something ego-gratifying about being "Oh yeah I'm just smart" but that's really not it.

As more of our lives become technologically intermediated, these skills rise very quickly to the top of things it's important to know how to do in order to thrive and people who have been good at other skillsets who find themselves suddenly not-thriving because they don't have these.... well I'm surprised they're not more supportive of libraries getting more money and more resources to help the general population do this stuff for free. I guess this is because people basically want ot sell this service back to you instead and it's seen as some kind of socialism to just give it away.

Anyhow, I hope it's an interesting AMA.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:26 AM on November 24, 2015 [16 favorites]


Is it true you wanted to change your metafilter username to cooter but the mods (cabal) wouldn't let you?
posted by milarepa at 7:26 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Don't ducks have hollow bones like most flying birds? A horse-sized duck (I'm assuming roughly the same mass as a "regular" adult horse) would probably break its own legs with the first few waddling steps out of water (and I'm not sure that it could swim, for that matter). A hundred duck-sized horses, though, would be able to swarm you, and their teeth and hooves would be sharper for being smaller.

/may have overthought this
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:33 AM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why can't it be both!?

You're right. It isn't a tough question at all.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:45 AM on November 24, 2015




That was much better than most AMAs, I think. How long will you be going back to answer questions -- or was an hour enough? :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 9:10 AM on November 24, 2015


This says a great deal about me right now: I read through your bio at the top, and parsed "A few other links..." as "A few other kinks..."

Anyways, off to read what I'm sure is a great AMA.
posted by nubs at 9:12 AM on November 24, 2015


I think I'll be on for another hour or two.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:17 AM on November 24, 2015


Surprisingly few questions about how MeFi is a crazy SJW haven, so far.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:27 AM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not a Reddit member, but I've been reading along. Civil & infomed discussion, so far. Enjoying it.

Waiting impatiently for my Action™Jessamyn® figurine!
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:27 AM on November 24, 2015


It'll go well alongside my Cortex® Flip-Arm-Banhammer™ pat. pending figurine.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:29 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Great answers, good discussion.
posted by nubs at 9:31 AM on November 24, 2015


Yeah, it's been really interesting! And I'm pleased that there's been minimal fucknuttery though I am making a pretty effortful go of not actively hollering at those few fucknuts. Not my site, not my problem, but ugh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:42 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


My web diet includes the first page or three of Reddit, and your AMA showed up there. (Leading to a brief moment "I'm seeing the name Jessamyn but I'm pretty sure I'm not on MetaFilter right now" confusion.) On Reddit that means that you got a bunch of upvotes, not just that you're the most recent, so congrats. Also, the stuff about the Librarian of Congress is interesting.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:53 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


> Not my site, not my problem, ...

How can you pass up a chance to use the best dismissing remark I've heard in the last five years?!?! "Not my circus, not my monkeys."
posted by benito.strauss at 9:55 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


site : circus = problem : monkeys is not a big stretch, yeah?
posted by iamkimiam at 10:22 AM on November 24, 2015


Oh yeah, they mean the exact same thing. I just love the image summoned up by the phrase "not my monkeys", but I don't get a lot of chances to use it myself.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:36 AM on November 24, 2015


I liked the "no need to be coy" / "i'm not being coy" exchange, as far as fucknuttery goes.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:47 AM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


i've been loving the conversation over there! the ideas about sewing machines and lawn mowers as part of a lending/maker space is fascinating, as well as making spaces for social services or public health stuff. i was nervous that this was going to be a dumpster fire, but overall i think it's gone very well with a bunch of interesting questions.
posted by nadawi at 11:11 AM on November 24, 2015


three hours thirty seven minutes.

Pretty awesome I am sure my attention span would have snapped by the twenty minute mark.
posted by bukvich at 11:59 AM on November 24, 2015


Just wrapped it up. It was fun and I'm glad I had the day free. Missed most of the trolling (I think?) thanks for downvoting.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 12:39 PM on November 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Awww. I didn't get my question answered. Still, it was pretty cool. I upvoted many much. Thanks for doing it!
posted by Toekneesan at 12:52 PM on November 24, 2015


I can answer it here: no. Libraries having book sales for weeded stuff or whatever, sure. Becoming bookstores? No. Then they are bookstores, not libraries. I know there are libraries that have toyed with this sort of thing but I think it's a non-starter. Libraries and bookstores can work together, certainly, but a bookstore is a fundamentally different entity than a library. I know it's your general area so I didn't want to get into a really deep discussion about that in a more general-topic space. Also what about that joelschlosberg guy? He must have asked six or eight questions.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:03 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Whoa, your dad was the Soul Of A New Machine guy? I was literally awed by that book when it came out. You come from good stock, eh.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:47 PM on November 24, 2015


Jessamyn, you are totally after my heart with the "Strip the DRM" Action Button, that was one of the most exciting things I've read in a long time. I just tried using Overdrive for the first time last week and I almost cried from how frustrating it was, since I live too far away from my library to be able to get there in less than an hour or two.

I'm also currently learning how to do HTML/CSS, and looking into user experience design. Are there open source or open access projects that I can get involved with that can help make information providing more friendly, that fit along with a librarian ethos? (does that make sense?) Like I think I'd love to be able to help learn how to work more under the hood, so it can make the content itself shine, rather than just writing the content.
posted by yueliang at 2:09 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Whoa, your dad was the Soul Of A New Machine guy?

How are we on you-sent-me-a-postcard levels of familiarity (thanks, btw) and you did not know this? Yes, that's me. You will probably like this story.

Are there open source or open access projects that I can get involved with that can help make information providing more friendly

I know this sounds not that awesome but documentation (especially in the age of Agile development) is something sorely lacking from many OS projects. Finding a thing and helping work on the documentation for it is a huge kindness to a community that often overlooks the human side of software. GitHub has a really nice starter page about ways to get involved in a general sense. A few more specific suggestions in this blog post.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:39 PM on November 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


Hey, thanks for answering my question! You're wrong, of course, but I value your opinion and have long wondered what you thought about the idea.

ps. I also sent you a postcard once AND I knew your dad was one of the Data General guys in Kidder's book. I've been meaning to go back to that book and reread it in light of that, but there are so many new and tempting books out there that I haven't gotten around to it. I recently saw a picture of Kidder and wow did he get old. We all are, I suppose, but it was jarring.
posted by Toekneesan at 3:26 PM on November 24, 2015


Soul of an Old Human, as it were.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:31 PM on November 24, 2015


You will probably like this story.

That is (unsurprisingly) a great story.
posted by Pink Frost at 3:45 PM on November 24, 2015


Hey, thanks for answering my question! You're wrong, of course

In the spirit of "I've spent the day on Reddit" please don't be that guy. I've been interacting with that guy all day and I know you are not really that guy.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:00 PM on November 24, 2015 [11 favorites]


How are we on you-sent-me-a-postcard levels of familiarity (thanks, btw) and you did not know this?

Because my postcards don't report back to me on the lives of their recipients as far as they know. Thanks for reminding me to read the essay I bookmarked way back when. I did enjoy it.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:03 PM on November 24, 2015


Sorry.
posted by Toekneesan at 2:27 AM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Shoot, I missed it! Probably the only time my MeFi-related Reddit handle will ever be relevant.
posted by Comic Sans-Culotte at 9:00 AM on November 25, 2015


it doesn't look like this ama got the put all the questions and answers in one comment bot treatment, but this view should at least put all of the things jessamyn responded to up at the top. i would just copy and paste them all, but it's honestly one of the best ama threads i've ever seen because the questions and answers were so lengthy and went back and forth a bit, so it's too much text to put into the comments here.
posted by nadawi at 10:07 AM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


How long does the Reddit thread stay open? Can it be my new office?
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:28 PM on November 25, 2015


I don't think reddit threads ever really close automatically, they just fall massively off the radar.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:11 PM on November 25, 2015


OMG this is so my new office. Have to go find some memes to decorate it with. Can someone find me a picture of a ball of thread with someone living inside of it?
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:18 PM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can also use bullshit mod abuse to turn this actual metatalk into a MetaFilter Gathering just to buy it six months instead of the standard month. In fact, I'm just gonna do it. WHO CAN STOP ME.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:21 PM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh, are these jessica's office hours? Hi, jessica mod? i'm... i'm a freshman... i uh wanted to know about the paper that was due yesterday? I didn't finish it? I mean, I did, but it's gone? Can I get a do-over?
posted by Greg Nog at 2:29 PM on November 25, 2015


cortex, this isn't bullshit mod abuse. More like bullshit mod awesome!
posted by nubs at 2:39 PM on November 25, 2015


This isn't going to open up a wormhole between MetaTalk and Reddit, is it?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:44 PM on November 25, 2015


Are we speaking in the euphemistic sense of reddit tolerating a troubling amount of overt wormholery from resident wormholes out a constitutional inability to say that validating and celebrating the act of behaving like a wormhole is in fact bad for community health?
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:55 PM on November 25, 2015


This isn't going to open up a wormhole between MetaTalk and Reddit, is it?

And this, kids, is how we got a darkest timeline mathowie with casinos and hookers.
posted by phunniemee at 2:58 PM on November 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


How long does the Reddit thread stay open? Can it be my new office?

r/jessamyns_office
posted by Going To Maine at 3:13 PM on November 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


This isn't going to open up a wormhole between MetaTalk and Reddit, is it?

And this, kids, is how we got a darkest timeline mathowie with casinos and hookers.


I take issue with that insult. We shouldn't be assuming that escorts and degenerate gamblers go to metatalk.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:30 PM on November 25, 2015


WHO CAN STOP ME.
posted by cortex (staff) at 17:21 on November 25


It's not very often that the onset of a dictatorship can be pinpointed to the minute.

ALL HAIL THE SUPREME DRAYGUN
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:03 PM on November 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Are we speaking in the euphemistic sense of reddit tolerating a troubling amount of overt wormholery from resident wormholes out a constitutional inability to say that validating and celebrating the act of behaving like a wormhole is in fact bad for community health?

Man, huge slam on wormholes out of nowhere.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:25 PM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Reddit threads won't accept comments or votes after a year, I think.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:54 PM on November 25, 2015


Reddit threads won't accept comments or votes after a year, I think.

Well we have 364 days to make friends with the person who can change that policy.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:20 PM on November 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


Is jessamyn still answering questions here or there?

One (because it was news to me that evil capitalists were marching on the Library of Congress although I would have assumed as much if I had thought about it) is there a quick fact sheet on the issues which the Librarian influences and which well-funded lobby groups are working?

Two (strictly personal and perhaps not any of our business) do you write in books that you own? My parents and teachers taught me Thou shalt not write in books was like the unwritten 11th commandment but ever since I was old enough to buy alcohol I have written in my books when nobody could see me doing it.
posted by bukvich at 7:02 AM on November 26, 2015


#notallwormholes
posted by nubs at 8:44 AM on November 26, 2015


I'll probably just answer questions over there but for now

1. Not sure? I mean there's a lot of overlap between the groups.

2. Writing in your own books is totally OK! I don't do it very often but that's just my habits/patterns.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:49 AM on November 26, 2015



How do you deal with the paparazzi?
By living in Vermont.

Snap!
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:37 PM on November 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


The "put all the questions and answers in one comment bot treatment" is in the r/tabled subreddit. Here's the relevant one:

Jessamyn's AMA Tabled
posted by CathyG at 12:21 PM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Interesting. How does that work? It's only got some stuff in it. I'll dive into the FAQs on it unless someone knows more about how the r/tabled stuff works.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:19 PM on November 29, 2015


Possibly only tabled very early on? Or only for stuff with a sufficient volume of upboat? I too am curious why that's so minimal in what it covers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:30 PM on November 29, 2015


It seems like maybe it only goes forward when there is a block of time when the OP isn't answering? I fear I may have quieted the tabler with my garrulousness.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:23 PM on November 29, 2015


« Older The Metafilter Collective   |   Decent Activity Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments