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Of Penguins and Podcasts

Wow! What a week. Gone are the days of synching my palm to my desktop calendar once a week. Gone are the days of keeping up with my email. On Tuesday it happened: the library got busy. Classes don’t start for 10 days yet, but freshmen are arriving soon (international students have arrived already), new faculty orientation is soon, and basically the campus has forgotten about summer and is rarin’ for fall.

Preparing for fall, I’ve been thinking a lot about penguins. This isn’t because Minnesota is cold in the winter and I’m thinking of winter (it is cold here, but I’m not thinking about it), nor is it because it’s predicted that we’ll have a colder than normal winter here (though we are). No, it’s because Oscar the Penguin is our unofficial mascot here in the library, and we’ve been putting penguin pictures everywhere. (By the way, Oscar is a stuffed penguin that Mr. Gould brought back with him from his Antarctic adventures.) He’s already on our web site and ready to help (though he’s not very research savvy, being stuffed… and – er- not alive, but we love him).

One thing I’ve noticed about Oscar is that he makes it really hard for us to take ourselves too seriously. How serious can you be when you’ve got penguins everywhere? I love it.


Anyway, this week he’s been put on our new trading cards (they’ll be done soon, I promise), the notepads we put out at the reference desk (they look like this), and all of our new student and new faculty fliers, guides, brochures, etc. That’s a lot of little penguins! (Oh, and that little drawing in the center of the notepads… that’s my clumsy attempt to draw on a computer for the first time. It turned out okay, but it was a PAIN.)

But today we tried something ENTIRELY new to us. We swallowed our fears of recording our voices. We decided not to worry too much about having lots of specialized equipment. And we recorded our very first podcast!!!! It’s not edited yet, but when it is it’ll go up on our web site. It’s nothing fancy, just a library tour, but it’s pretty exciting for us. (I haven’t heard my voice yet, so I may resurrect those fears of recording myself after this, but sometimes ignorance really is bliss. By the time I hear this it’ll be too late for me to back out.)

Oh, another thing that’ll soon be linked from the library’s web page is a video compilation of some interviews we did at the end of last year. I haven’t seen it yet, but I hear it’s quite entertaining (as well as informative, of course). I also hear I get mentioned by name! I hope it’s a good mention…

It’s been so incredibly busy here that I’ve got several other placeholder posts waiting to be written. I just haven’t had the time to write them yet. Ta-ta for now. I’m off to work on shrinking my “to-do” list. (So far every time I work on something it only reminds me of more items to put onto that list, so it’s been growing rather than shrinking, but perseverance should pay off sometime… I hope.)

2 thoughts on “Of Penguins and Podcasts

  1. Busy can be very good, Iris, stops one from being bored ;)

    Great to hear that YPOW is doing podcasts – I’m looking forward to hearing what you sound like. MPOW has been doing them all year and they have been pretty popular!

  2. Have you recorded your voice yet? Is it somewhere that I could find? If so, drop me a line so something. It’d be nice to hear what you sound like.

    And you’re absolutely right about busy not being bad. I’m CERTAINLY not bored, and I’m working on interesting projects, so it’s always a surprise when I look up and see the time at the end of the night.

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