Friday, September 15, 2006

Read at Your Own Risk

The management will not be responsible for unusually coincidental, tragic, deserved, ironic, or Darwin-esque deaths that may or may not occur within a certain time limit of visiting here. In fact, the management denies all responsibility for any death or injury or property damage or anything out of the ordinary in any way whatsoever that may or may not occur in the next ever as a possible result of having anything to do with this blog. At all. Reader(s) assume all liability and responsibility. Don't blame us if you trip and fall down the stairs.

Now that we've gotten the required warnings out of the way, a brief discourse on why I decided on the "ninja librarian" moniker. Perhaps "alias" would be a better word, but I'm not a Jennifer Garner fan. I'm not too fond of Ben Affleck either. ;-)
Anyway (fair warning, I digress often. Misdirection is one of the ninja's most effective tools), yes, I am a librarian. I have been long amused by some of the other names of blogged librarians out there - Lipstick Librarian comes to mind - so I thought I would toss my proverbial hat in the ring.

Even though ninja tend not to wear hats unless they're in disguise.

So why Ninja Librarian? Well, I find that ninja and librarians are two of the most misunderstood professions around today, at least in the eyes of popular culture. At the same time, they share several important similarities in their job descriptions. More on that later. Also, I think Ninja Burger is one of the funniest-yet-applicable concepts ever.

Anyway, misunderstandings.
Many people consider Librarians to be boring, staid old ladies with blue hair sitting at a desk shushing people and bitching about technology. The common conception - which I may add was not helped at all by the god-awful TNT movie - is that Librarians are bookwormish founts of useless esoterica who, again, hate computers.
I have news for those blighted souls who buy into this stereotype: Librarians are on the bleeding edge of information storage and retrieval. We, and people like us, are responsible for the useful index on, the Dewey Decimal System (long has it been mocked), and yes...even the first databases. What else do you think a card catalog was, other than a convenient way to kill people with papercuts? Those rooms filled with index cards were the first relational databases.
It goes on from there, but this isn't a history lesson. Suffice it to say that I know more librarians with nose studs and pierced tongues than I do old blue-haired technophobes.

Now, about Ninja. I'm sure most net-savvy people have heard about RealUltimatePower and other such 'fan' sites. There are also many sources like Wikipedia which strive to maintain some semblance of historical fact. Trouble is, as with other such 'secret societies' and whatnot, even the facts are disputed. I sometimes wonder if Colbert's "Truthiness" is more than just sharp satire.
Ninja, historically, were spies and by some accounts, assassins. There seems to be ample historical evidence for them having combat training and a preference for easily disguised weaponry. No, I won't go into it here. This is not the reference component of the Ninja Library. ;-)
Spies. In other words, gatherers of information. Sometimes potentially sensitive information, mind you, but information nevertheless.

The immediate implication here is that I am trying to relate librarians to spies. That, dear readers, is sloppy inclusive logic of the worst sort. Librarians and spies are both subsets of "information gatherers."
And really, spies steal sensitive information and restrict its access. Librarians are all about public access to information and generalized education.
So, does this make me, the Ninja Librarian, a contradiction in terms that should lead to immediate universal erasure?
Yes, but only if you ask the right people. :-)

The one thing that everyone can agree on about the ninja is that they are sneaky. And quiet.
Okay. The two things people can agree on about ninja is that they're sneaky, and quiet. And masters of a diverse array...
Right. You get the idea. You may have also noticed that this 'brief' diatribe has turned into something rather a bit longer than I'd intended. Oh well.

So, welcome to the Ninja Library. Let's see what we can find, shall we?


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