kittens, glitter, and unicorns

Whenever I post something highly incendiary — see my forays into cover letters and Jeff Trzeciak for examples — I hold my breath and obsessively hit refresh on my email, blog stats, and Twitter. Because people are assholes on the internet, but by god I’m going to make sure my voice is heard, and there’s good, bad, terrifying, and exhilarating in those contradictions.

So last week I scheduled the ACS post to go live on the 12th at 6 am after vetting the post through the librarians involved, the chemistry department, the Dean of Arts and Sciences, and the Provost. And then I got in the car and went on a 10 hour car trip to go see Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra play live in DC at the 9:30 club. (Kick ass show, btw.) So I had my iPad during the parts of the trip when I wasn’t driving, and I spent them obsessively checking my my mail, blog stats, and Twitter.

Holy crap, y’all.

You quadrupled my biggest blog day, and left more than 20 comments seemingly immediately. It was retweeted at least 65 times. There appear to be about 10 other bloggers boosting the signal and expanding the discussion, each with a conversation in the comments (librarians should check out In The Pipeline for perspective from working industry chemists). The post has gotten more than 6,000 views on its unique url, not counting those who read it from the front page, and it’s a few hundred hits away from passing the Trzeciak post, and 1500 behind the cover letters post. In six days. Not to mention that the Goog and its analytics tell me that the ACS staff have come to look at it about 100 times since Wednesday.

And on Friday I talked to a reporter from the Chronicle of Higher Education for 40 minutes, after giving a heads up to the Public Affairs office on campus.

Here’s the thing: I expect monkeys flinging poo when I write incendiary things on the internet; I’ve had enough shit thrown at me for speaking up and being disruptive that I brace myself every time. And this time out, there’ve been no monkeys. No attacks. I’ve gotten largely kittens, glitter, and unicorns. With a side of accolades like “brave” and “fiery” and several encouragements to run for ALA president (which made me laugh out loud and then stifle an endless giggle fit in the car when my boyfriend read it to me off the comments. Um. Thanks. NO.). People seem to think I’m on the side of the angels on this one, and for that I’m grateful. It says that my professional peers understand. It says that I was right, we have a real problem. It says that I was right to do the hard work I did on this. And it says I was right to talk about it, out loud, in public.

In any case, thanks Internet. You didn’t suck this time out, and I’d be happy to share the glitter and unicorns. But I’m keeping the kittens.


  1. This – balancing the library budget with the needs of the community the library serves – should be commonplace. The reaction of the blogosphere was very telling. We library directors have a lot of work to do. I’d love to live in a world where this happens on a regular basis. Some of our peers may not have known that this was possible and feasible. Thank you for showing them that it is.


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