Buffy the GLAMpire Slayer – S01, E02-03

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution. 

S01, E02 – The Harvest

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

In this ep we get our first look at “Giles doesn’t get computers, and Willow does get computers”

personal space, Giles!!

This will be a long-running trait for both of them until ‘computers’ is replaced by ‘magic’ in terms of Willow-skills. I’m not sure Giles will ever come around to computers though…

Later, Principal Flutie catches the Buffster sneaking off campus for some slayage and the following exchange occurs

But Flutie knows that ‘sending teens to get a book from the store’ is not a sensible collection development policy. So he doesn’t fall for it.

S01, E03 – The Witch

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

Alright so there’s a witch on the loose — how can we find her with library science? Violate patron privacy of course!

No Willow, don’t!

There’s a lot going on in this scene:

  1. Amy didn’t actually end up being the one who borrowed the books, it’s just a gag for showing Xander perving on semi-nude engravings.
  2. Would Giles [who knows magic is real and dangerous] really put spell books into the circulating collection?
  3. Willow next states that Xander *currently* has several witchy books checked out — why not have him earlier in the episode drop some witch knowledge and act smug before the reveal on why he’d really borrowed those books
  4. When Willow later hacks morgue records, Giles makes a big show of “I didn’t see this, I wasn’t here” but when Willow violates patron privacy he doesn’t make a peep!
  5. Most importantly: do not store borrowing history [though that wouldn’t help in this case as he currently has them out] but check with your systems librarian and see if your ILS is storing patron’s history. If you don’t have it, they can’t subpoena it.

Once the Scoobies know that Amy’s the witch and Buffy gets hit by the bloodstone vengeance spell, Giles lays down what the next step is to reverse her magic.

all this being British has given me a headache

So I’m a big believer in the power of books, and I know Giles is too, to an even greater degree. But why do they actually need the book? We’re going to see magic a lot more in coming seasons but this is the only time anyone ever says that you need the specific book that the witch used to cast the spell to undo it.

Do you also need the exact item she used? I mean Giles knows the name of the spell “Bloodstone Vengeance”, surely the counter spell to that shows up in more than one book.

LCGFT Hierarchies

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution.

At ALA Midwinter 2018, in Denver, I attended the Subcommittee on Faceted Vocabularies meeting [as an audience member, I’m not on the committee] which is part of the Subject Analysis Committee.

There, another audience member [guest? attendee?] asked if there was a way to view LCGFT not as a purely alphabetical list of terms but as narrower terms of their hierarchies.

At that time, there was not–but now there is: http://netanelganin.com/projects/lcgft/lcgftType.html

I downloaded every single term, one by one, from the LC linked data site [unfortunately I couldn’t find a way to bulk download LCGFT as MARCXML records], then I added an 072 field [often several] to every single record indicating which hierarchy it belonged to. Add a little XSLT to transform it into a visual display and we’re off to the races! I also added a bit of interesting statistical data, because who doesn’t love that.

Anyway, maybe you’ll find it useful, maybe you won’t but there’s at least one person who wanted it — so there we go!

If you just want the data, here is a link to the raw xml, and here is a link to the XSLT used to transform it.

Buffy the GLAMpire Slayer

The library at Sunnydale High

This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution. 

At my new student orientation for Simmons College of Library and Information Sciences, Professor Mary Wilkins Jordan cracked that all library students loved three things: cats, knitting, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At that point (May, 2013) I loved cats, I’d knitted several scarves and hats, and sure enough, I dug Buffy. I didn’t watch it when it was on — I was probably too sexist in 1997 [at the awful age of 13] to be interested in a show with a woman lead.

It was actually a librarian who turned me onto the show years and years after it had aired. While working at libraries, and before I began my MLS [this was 2011] I found myself dating a librarian who loved Buffy, and I was happy to watch it with her and finally suss out what drew people to this show.

I ended up finishing the show on my own, and then watched it again a few years later, this time incorporating Angel into the rewatch.

I’m not ride-or-die, and I’ve found plenty to criticize, e.g. Xander is every terrible thought/impulse I had in my worst Nice Guy(tm) years but never really gets called on it by the show or characters, but I enjoy it enough to want to rewatch it with Anna.

That brings us to now where we’re watching it. I thought it’d be fun to notice the library science moments in the show and scribble about ’em! I’m not doing detailed recaps or analyses, rather I’ll be directing you to Jenny Trout’s blog posts for that — but I may occasionally note something I find particularly…noteworthy.

So, hop aboard! Catch something I missed? Have a comment, question, criticism? Hit me up here or on twitter: @Oponions

Also, special shout out to The Toast and Daniel Mallory Ortberg for this post on Giles’ curriculum.

S01, E01 – Welcome to the Hellmouth

Link to Jenny Trout recap/analysis

Executive producers: Sandy Gallin Gail Berman
Before we finish the opening credits we get our first library shout out! I mean I assume you all read the names diagonally like I do…


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Willow lets the audience know early on that the library is going to be an important base for the Scoobies. Her comment ‘where the books live’ is disappointing, apparently we’ve been fighting to be recognized as more than just a book repository for an awfully long time.

Cordy gets on in on the action as well, though this does raise questions about Sunnydale High’s library textbook policies. Are they on two-hour reserve? Can they leave the library room? Does Giles get frustrated every semester because teachers forget to let him know what textbooks they’ll be using and then suddenly get swamped with all their requests?

Pushed by both Cordelia and the plot, Buffy makes her way to the library where it gets a great reveal shot

The library at Sunnydale High
Take a good look! we’ll be spending an awful lot of time here


Noah Wyle, eat your heart out


Screen Shot 2018-07-21 at 6.24.57 PM 1
hey check it out–Xander went to the library and actually got Theories in Trigonometry, just like Will suggested! [Presumably from QA531, or 516.24]

Buffy and Giles have a bunch of expository speeches on both the premise of the show and her backstory, but that’s about it for hot hot library content in the first episode.


This post is the opinion of Netanel Ganin and is in no way to be construed as an official communication from any section of any institution. 

As always — check out the full approved list, and be sure to read through the newest tentative list and to send feedback to LC! Your feedback matters, as PSD says:

“Each Tentative List includes an email address to which comments on the proposals may be submitted. PSD accepts comments from LC and SACO catalogers, other library and archive professionals, lawmakers, and members of the general public. The comment period lasts approximately one month, beginning with the publication of the Tentative List and continuing until the closing date indicated on the list.”

This month take note of [and be sure to check your catalog!] the changes to Mental retardation and related headings. The term has been changed to Intellectual disability.

And now, onto the headings!

Bagpipe and harp music

Camp (Style) in music

Mamma Mia 2, now playing in theaters everywhere


Centaur objects

Some people object to powerful depictions of awesome ladies


Chinese in popular culture

I grew up with a lot of racist Chinese caricatures — Tikki Tikki Tembo, Five Chinese Brothers, etc. I wish i could’ve been watching this show instead



Complaints (Rhetoric) in literature

Spoiler alert: it’s “women”


Cultural appropriation

Stop. Just stop. Three cheers to Violet Fox for her cataloging lab making this possible!


Doubles in mass media

Color coded for your convenience


Endurance art

Art is a broad category


Fried chicken

The real shocker is how we went this long without this heading!


Gene drives

Pretty specific for an LCSH, but okay


Generation Z

Finally! Enjoy being blamed for everything, Gen Z [i’m so sorry]

Hashtags (Metadata)

Just think, we could’ve been saying octothorpe all this time


Librarians’ writings, American

Gotta click thru and read the tale!

Moose meat–Contamination

Someone contaminated all my moose meat with chubs!


Neoliberalism in popular culture

Check lefty twitter if you don’t believe me


Plants in motion pictures

still from The Ruins (2008)
If you have a fear of vines or plants or thorns or w/e, do not watch The Ruins


Sexual intercourse on television

Still from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Remember kids, sex is bad, don’t have it!–BtVS


Smart cities

I assume in our Smart Cities we’ll find all new Smart ways to hate the poor


Train hopping

Still from The Wolverine
I assure you, he hopped just before this Train flying/Train screaming


Zombies on television

Still from Game of Thrones depicting an undead
Only the second most obvious example