Calling all Catalogers! I want to get a spine label tattooed on my spine.
April 9, 2004 6:54 AM   Subscribe

Calling all Catalogers! With the impending completion of my MLS, I want to get a spine label tattooed on my spine. However, after reading this thread, the last thing I want to do is make a mistake in my self marking. I'd be laughed out of the ALA! [More Inside]

So far, I have made this: Z682 .M43 1978
Z is for Libraries
682 is Personel (this is the part I'm most concerned about)
.M43 is the cutter for my author/parents last name (Meg...)
1978 was the year I was published.

If I was really hard up, I guess I could go Dewey, but... You know... It's Dewey.
posted by robocop is bleeding to Education (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Neat idea! You might want to check out other books that have similar top-level call numbers because you know someone is going to look it up. Here are a few...
Safeguarding our patrons' privacy [videorecording] : what every librarian needs to know about the USA PATRIOT Act & related anti-terrorism measures. Washington, D.C. : Association of Research Libraries, 2002.
Z682.35.P75 S24 2002 (46 min.)

Goodson, Carol F. The Complete Guide to Performance Standards for Library Personnel. New York, Neal Schuman, 1997.
Z682.28.G66 1997.
IMHO you might want to think a little bit about a tattoo that describes your job [or future job] only because who knows, that might change. How sure are you about your career path? However if you want it to mark a point in time, then it seems totally appropriate. I think if I got a library oriented tattoo [and I still don't have one surprisingly], it might be the one from this page. Live to Read. Read to Live. Of course if you get a job in a public library, it'll be Dewey all the way. Also, keep in mind that you can get laughed out of ALA for all sorts of things, so I wouldn't let a few cutter numbers stop you. You go to Simmons? I'm giving a talk there two weeks from today.
posted by jessamyn at 8:29 AM on April 9, 2004 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hrm, good call on checking up on the call number. Looking at ye olde LoC, I see our friend Melvil Dewey's biographies lurking around Z 720. Call number browsing reveals most biographical material lurking there as well.

I'd be going for a general descriptive mainly because the tattoo is for marking a point in my life, rather than what I'll being doing forever (current goal: coup and takeover of HUL).

The Dewey is actually kind of tempting because if I can take it to enough of an extreme, the cutters could provide enough length for an arm band.

Also, I'm at Simmons and have actually used you in previous presentations on blogging. So thanks for that and for your more recent help!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:06 AM on April 9, 2004

I'd be worried about Dewey, we all know how OCLC feels about its unauthorized use.

Me, I'd go for a formal public identifier but that might get a bit long.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:11 AM on April 9, 2004

How odd. I work in a library, and have recently had the exact same idea - spine included. Two weeks ago, I emailed Jessamyn and asked her opinion on the same thing...

However, my tattoo will be Dewey, and will include a scannable barcode.
posted by bradth27 at 9:42 AM on April 9, 2004

This is so geeky. I love it!

I asked a cataloger here at work (it's Friday; we needed a distraction), and she pulled down the schedules from Super LCCS, Class Z, pages 48-49 (with changes through 1998, though this seems like a pretty stable area in LC). Some things to consider:

682 is for Library Personnel, "including librarians, staff, etc." Z 720.A1+ is for biographies and directories of librarians.

Under 682, here are some specifics you might consider:

* 682.2A-.2.Z is "by region or country, A-Z." If you want a specific region or city, ask a cataloger. (I'm a reference librarian; I only understand half of what I'm saying right now.)
* 682.35.E65 is for "Employment", if you're looking for a good luck charm
* 682.35.L52 is for "Librarians unions", if you're a bit of an activist
* 682.35.P82 is for "Psychology" (??)
* 682.35.T55 is for "Time Management" (I might consider that one, myself)
* 682.4.A37 is for "Afro-Americans" [sic]
* 682.4.A83 is for "Asian Americans" [sic]
* 682.4.C38 is for "Catalogers"
* 682.4.C49 is for "Children's librarians"
* 682.4.C64 is for "Computer specialists"
* 682.4.G39 is for "Gay men and lesbians"
* 682.4.R44 is for "Reference Librarians" (w00t!)
* 682.4.W65 is for "Women"

There are many other "Special groups" under 682.4.A-.4.Z; let me know if you have something specific in mind.

Again, I only sort-of understand what I'm dooing vis-a-vis cataloging, but when I asked the cataloger here at the Museum she went straight for this table (after giving me a very odd look for a few moments).

Let us know what you decide!
posted by arco at 9:57 AM on April 9, 2004 [1 favorite]

I haven't done any cataloging since I got out of library school six years ago, so I don't have any insight, but I just wanted to say this is a way cool idea. Might have to consider it myself.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:40 AM on April 9, 2004

Heh, cool idea. Bonus points for routing yourself in when you report for a shift.

You should do like a public library and put a cheesy genre sticker above the spine label, perhaps 'Mystery' with a little skull. Although that would make you fictional, it would give you a chance to use some color...

greetings mefi library people I'm a library person too
posted by ulotrichous at 12:41 PM on April 9, 2004

I suppose getting an entire MARC record would be taking it too far...
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:02 PM on April 9, 2004

I suppose getting an entire MARC record would be taking it too far...

Arlene Taylor (the person who probably wrote the book you used in cataloging class) made us do precisely that as an exercise in her class. Not the tattoo part, of course, but drawing up a MARC record for ourselves. It was a pain in the ass. As I said, though, I'm not a cataloger and am not genetically inclined to be one, so the entire course was pretty much a pain in the ass. YMMV.
posted by arco at 1:33 PM on April 9, 2004

Just for the record, there is a guy in my cataloging class with the same tattoo on his forearm in big black letters. Very cool, but you won't be the only one.

And who knew there were so many 'brarians on Metafilter?

I, for the record, have an archaeopteryx and a trilobite on my arm from when I was studying geology. As a friend of mine observed, even my tattoos are nerdy. And I've thought about getting the library guy from the sign on the side of my neck.
posted by stet at 1:57 PM on April 9, 2004

Handy MeFi Member Authority Record Template

100 1 {name as appears on title page of publication that cataloger has in hand/in view}
400 1 {MeFi name}
670 {title of publication}, {date} : subfield b t.p. (name on title page)
670 Metafilter WWW member profile page, {date viewed} subfield b (MeFi member name)
posted by initapplette at 3:31 PM on April 9, 2004

I am at the halfway point in my slog, and the other day I was joking with a friend and fellow student about getting tattoos when we graduate.

I told him if he got a tattoo of his personal MARC record I would pay for it. If he gets drunk enough I am scared he will do it and present me with the bill.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 7:19 PM on April 9, 2004

You all do know about the Modified Librarian site, right? Not my favorite site design in the world, but some good images of librarian ink. I've also always liked this one.
posted by jessamyn at 1:45 PM on April 10, 2004

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