Friday, June 29, 2012

Bisexuality Week! (With an aside on my growing Librarian Instincts)

As I mentioned last week, this week I began work on my Bisexuality LibGuide. Actually, I finished work on it too. Now that I’m more familiar with how to build a LibGuide and now that I have a template for how I want my pages to work, it didn’t take very long to get the bones of the page laid out. I just needed to find the items in various categories with which to fill in the page.
My initial searches through the catalog didn’t turn up very much information on bisexuality, however. There are a good number of books on the subject in our library, but only two documentaries, and few feature films. For the latter, I found more titles by looking up movies on the Wikipedia page on Bisexuality (also linked on the LibGuide page), then searching Muscat to see if we had them. If they were in our collection, onto the list of feature films they went!
I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of material in the library on the subject of bisexuality. At the same time, what we do have in the library is fascinating to me. For those of you who may not know, I am (very openly) bisexual.  Reading about my own sexual orientation from an academic point of view, which I had to do to pick my Top Ten books on the subject, was quite interesting for me, and also very frustrating when I reached the passages about why biphobia and erasure of bisexuality are so prevalent. (Most of the books agree: it’s because we don’t fit neatly in either hetero- or homosexuality, and people don’t really like phenomena that they can’t effectively categorize.) Anyway, the point is that, as much as I tried to be objective when I picked the top ten books, I may have been a little biased in this category. Be that as it may, the books I’ve put on the top ten list are quite informative and thorough.
Cataloging, like the LibGuide, went much faster on this topic, too. Part of it was that I had fewer books with records that needed updating (due to having fewer books overall and, of those, more that already had complete records). The other part was that I’ve gotten used to cataloging, and so each book takes me a shorter time to complete. I’ve even gotten faster at typing in long tables of contents!
Librarian moment of the week: One of the books on my list had a cartoon drawn on the title page in blue ink, and excessive underlining in the table of contents and in some sections of the book, also in ink. My immediate reaction? “Awww, poor book!” (Amy, one of my supervisors, had me look up the latest edition of that book, and hopefully we will acquire a replacement copy.) Dear patrons: please DO NOT write in library books. Especially in ink. You make the librarians cry.
Up next: I’m deciding between making the general LGBTQQAI etc. page, which will include books, documentaries, and other resources that do not focus exclusively on one part of the acronym, or researching one of my special topics (most likely LGBTQ and Religion, which I find fascinating. I already know where in the stacks to look!) It would be more practical to focus on the former, but the academic/librarian geek in me says to go for the latter. Tune in next week to see which topic won! J

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