Saturday, February 13, 2010

Reference Librarians rock it again!

Recently, a patron told me "I wanted a picture of my great grandfather's tombstone (located in a far western state) that was located on private property. The person I contacted about it wanted TEN DOLLARS for the picture! When I told Mary Jo, Reference Librarian Extraordinaire, she said...."Let me work on it." Within a short time, she had obtained the same full color picture for me for free!"
Hidden behind the librarian's (usually) mild exterior lies a tremendous resource. There is no question about the veracity of the popular bumper sticker:
Ask and a Librarian will tell you where to go!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Brett Favre: Top 5 Ever?

So on the eve of the Super Bowl, it is always interesting to talk about who is the greatest at various positions, with quarterback being the most intriguing. Completely un-library related, but still a good topic to debate-- is Brett Favre one of the five greatest QBs of all time?

Interesting question, one that was debated on the local sports radio program last week. My take on it? In a word, No. He's a great QB, probably top 10 all time, but there are two factors that take him out of the running for top 5. 1) He holds the record for most Interceptions all-time. Partially a factor of his longevity, yes, but more a function of factor 2) The dude is too reckless, too impulsive, too much of a gunslinger to be rated at the same level as Joe Montana, Peyton Manning and Johnny Unitas.

The latest meltdown in the NFC Championship Game pretty much illustrates the point-- no, it was not Favre's fault that the Vikings put the ball on the ground as many times as they did, but once they started doing that, once the game was close despite the Vikings superior overall play, he felt the need to make a play. Force a play. And he did. And it probably cost the Vikings a trip to the Super Bowl.

A veteran QB, a future first-ballot Hall-of-Fame QB, has to know, simply has no excuse not to know, that the one thing you can't do is turn the ball over. At the end of the game, in field goal range, you simply must not give the ball away or take a sack that takes you out of field goal range. But Favre tried to make a play, to "sling it" into a place that he had busy trying to hit and which was absolutely disastrous for his team.

Do you recall Joe Montana doing that? Ever? Elway, Manning, Unitas, even Brady? Aikman, Bradshaw, Starr? They all make mistakes, and Elway tried to force some balls that he had no business trying to force, but not at the critical moment in the game where an interception absolutely destroys your teams chances.

So, despite all the records, all the great throws and unbelievable plays, Brett Favre is simply not one of the best 5 Quarterbacks ever. He has now cost two teams a chance to go to the Super Bowl by making a really bad decision at a really critical point in the game. A pretty good case can be made that Brett Favre should've appeared in at least four Super Bowls, but only made two because of his own flaws.

For the record, I'd take Joe Montana as the greatest QB in history, but if Peyton Manning wins today, and gets back to the Super Bowl a time or two more, I might have to reconsider that conclusion.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Great New Business Database!

The new ReferenceUSA Residential Module is now available! Check it out-- the residential module is a very useful tool for businesses who sell products and services directly to consumers. It's also great for just finding reliable directory information. You can access this excellent new database, plus a variety of other business resources from the Waukesha County Federated Library System's (WCFLS) Business Resources page:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Didn't Realize It Had Been That Long

One of my favorite comic strips of all-time is Calvin & Hobbes. Brilliant, hilarious, irreverent and often touching it was one of the few strips I looked forward to reading every day. Just came across a recent interview with the strip's creator, Bill Watterson, where it points out that Calvin and Hobbes went "dark" fifteen years ago.


One of those thudding realizations that a big chunk of life somehow went by in what feels like a brief flash. Fifteen years ago I was single (and had just met my wife to be), had no children, had a cat instead of a dog, was living in an apartment on the east side of Milwaukee and was bartending to support myself while I went back to grad school to get my Masters degree in library and information science. Yikes.

It's a fascinating interview, although a very brief one. It is well worth a read, and an interesting look into Watterson's perspective on his own art. If you'd like to revisit those bygone strips with the incorrigible Calvin and his best friend Hobbes, the library has several collections of the strip. They are in our non-fiction section, under the call number 741.5 WAT.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Expansion Meeting Tonight

There is a Village of Mukwonago Board of Trustees meeting this evening, Feb. 2, at the village hall. The hall is located at 440 River Crest Court (behind the NAPA store on ES/Main St.) and the meeting starts at 7:30 pm. A major portion of the evening's agenda will deal with the Library's expansion plans, so if you are interested in our expansion project, please stop down.

We'll have drawings of the newest version of the expansion available for review, and the Library Board and the Village Board will be discussing financing and the future of the project.

Tonight, Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 pm at village hall. Hope to see you there!