ASSOCIATES (2004, July, v. 11, no. 1) -

*Some Lighter Notes From Our Early Contributors*

[Editor: Several of our earlier contributors sent greetings and an update on their current activities rather than a follow-up on original articles. I enjoyed hearing from them and share their correspondence with you.]

Linda Owen

Linda J. Owen
University of California at Riverside
Science Library/Technical Services

[Editor: Linda Owen was President of Council on Library/Media Technicians, Inc. in 1994, and contributed an article titled "COLT Speaker Information Exchange" <> in Associates (1994, July, v. 1, no. 1). While still active in library paraprofessional activities, she has become an avid fan of Clay Aiken. Here's what Linda has to say:]

OK, I admit it. I am a Clay Aiken fan. You know, that guy who did not win American Idol, but did go on to become a multi-platinum recording star and create a foundation to support the integration of children with mental disabilities into mainstream activities. I am a Clay Aiken fan because I enjoy listening to music for which I do not have to cringe at the lyrics and which is, surprise, actually sung on key. That the young singer is personable, has an intriguing back-story, and is generous to a fault has led me to be more than a casual fan. I follow a message board, attend concerts from which I give cellcerts*, and support The Bubel/Aiken Foundation. During the process of being a Clay Aiken fan I have developed friendships with other women, and a few men, similarly drawn to this young singer.

One way I indulge my "claddiction" is to be a member of a Clay Aiken message board. There are numerous message boards on the Internet dedicated to Clay Aiken. They cater to fans of all ages with varying levels and styles of fan enthusiasm. The board I follow, The ClackHouse (CH), is a branch of The Peoples’ Republic of Clay. The name The ClackHouse comes from the corruption of the words "crack house." Let me explain. In Clay fandom words are often manipulated by replacing the first two letters with (or adding to the word) the letters "CL" in order to create a Clay-centric word. Anything that feeds the "Claddiction" is referred to as "Clack." Magazine articles, reports of events, recordings of appearances or interviews in any media form are all "Clack." The ClackHouse is a repository of "Clack" that is shared with fans on other boards. Hence the name The ClackHouse.

The ClackHouse is a moderated board for adults that is open to reading by others, but requires membership in order to participate in the discussions. It has a reputation for being too irreverent, too bawdy, and too serious. It is all of that and more. Messages are often snarky, creative, insightful, boring, stimulating or opinionated. CH has a linear main discussion thread that can become fast moving and sometimes confusing as multiple topics run concurrently. Unlike many Internet messages boards CH requires posters to use complete sentences, good grammar, and to attempt to use some semblance of logic in their messages. All of which works pretty well until Clay shows up on stage in a new outfit and then the messages may deteriorate to GAH!, THUD!, and PANTS!, while people debate the fit of his trousers, cut of his coat and length of his hair.

The Clack House is not the only message board on the Internet. Some are age based. Others are centered on a particular perspective of a segment of Clay’s fans. There are also web sites without message boards for concert reports and photographic and multimedia files. While a web search will bring up thousands of Clay Aiken references, an extensive listing of the more popular sites can be found on Finding Clay Aiken, Other important web sites are the official Clay Aiken site at and the Bubel/Aiken Foundation site at

*Cellcert: When an attendee at a live concert cell phones another person so that person can hear the concert live. Hey, it is fun. Interestingly enough, the word "Cellcert" has a trademark application pending by none other than Clay Aiken.

Bob Farnsworth

Dr. Bob Farnsworth
University of North Florida Library
Jacksonville, FL

[Editor: Bob was on the original Editorial Board of Associates and could be counted on to contribute his thoughtful insights and sense of humor. He wrote book reviews beginning in 1995 and I'll bet Kendall Simmons twisted his arm to write an editorial for Associates <> in Associates (1997, July, v. 4, no. 1). Here is what our "founding father" has to say:]

When Wendee and Jim Jackson mentioned that we were going to have a "reunion" issue, I cringed.  Then I realized ... Hey, I don't have to worry about looking older than I did ten years ago!  OR ... I won't wonder why my classmates look so much older than I do!

ANYWAY ... Thinking about the start of our journal brought back some wonderful memories ...

Me?  Well ... I got involved when I heard through the LIBSUP-L grapevine that there was talk of an electronic journal for library support staff.  My comment to the group was that I hoped someone would do some adequate proofreading so that we wouldn't be embarrassed in front of our peers and our supervisors.

Yep ... guess who got volunteered!  And I don't regret it in the least.  It was such a rush to be able to trade ideas with other editors all over the world.  It was amazing to see what a little encouragement could do in producing some truly inspired and inspiring writers in our field.

And working with Kendall (our first editor-in-chief) was both educational and comforting for me.  We all knew that she was learning all the behind the scenes "stuff" that goes into making the technological wonder we call "our" journal.  And Kendall never lost her cool ... no matter what went wrong, she kept her sense of humor and her patience going (at times, she may have thrown her computer out the window--but she never admitted it!).

And the same is true of Wendee ... who brings new achievements each issue showing that our standards only go up!

And speaking of a sense of humor ... if nothing else (and there was a lot more), a definite sense of humor kept the original editorial board going. I truly don't know when I've encountered such a fun group! They could laugh at problems ... but could continue to do such professional work.

I see current issues of Associates, and I admit to a distinct thrill of parenthood (in a sense, I guess I WAS the "father" since I was the only male on the first Editorial Board!).

Thanks and compliments certainly go to all the people who have done so much to ensure the success and professionalism of Associates.  May it have many, many years more of success and accomplishments!  "Papa" is so proud!

Tracy Van Voris

Tracy Van Voris
Georgia State University
Division of Development.

[Editor: Tracy wrote a book review titled "Book Review and Attitude From the Library Punk" <> in Associates (1994, November, v. 2, no. 1). I wrote to her recently and asked if she was still a library punk with an attitude. I was delighted to hear an "ahoy!" from Tracy and here's what she has to say:]

Oh Wendee, Wendee, Wendee!

It does seem just like yesterday when I was at GSU Library.  Ya wanna an update?  Here goes:

1) I am still at GSU, but I am now working as a trainer/tech writer/work station support chick for the Division of Development.

2) I am still married to my awesome man - the one who also used to work at the library.  We are blissfully happy and childfree.  We are the Evil Aunt and Uncle that my brother's kids are going to grow up and want to live with....heee.

3) Am I still a punk rock chick?
    Not just yeah, but Hell Yeah!

In fact - and here's the coolest thing:  My husband and I are in a local (local to Atlanta, GA, that is) punk rock band called The Crumsy Pirates.  There are no sacred cows for us.  We bash the Liberal Left and the Restrictive Right equally and without mercy. The band's been together for a little over a year now, we're gigging pretty regularly and we'll be doing our first one day tour to Birmingham next month. We'll be heading into the studio in June, too!

Attached are a couple of pictures which you can use if you want (Crumsy Pirates photos <> and Bio of the Crumsy Pirates <>). Never let it be said that I pass up an opportunity for publicity.  We don't have a website yet, but that may come.

In the meantime - feel free to share my address - I'd LOVE to hear from some of the "old-timers"!

Oh, and my hair is still dyed black (those who 'know' me know that I am born blonde), it's shoulder-length chic.  No new tattoos, and the navel piercing has since grown out...but you betcha that I wear big gold hoops in my ears AND nose when I perform.  <wink>

T. - former Library Punk, now Pirate Queen!

Michelle Laws

Michelle Laws

[Editor: Michelle wrote "A Matter of Degrees" <> in Associates (1994, November, v. 1, no. 2). Michelle came to the U.S. with a library degree from Australia, but the degree was not recognized in the U.S. She found work as a library paraprofessional and had recently been married. I phoned Michelle for a follow-up to her article. This is what she said:]

My husband and I have two children: a boy, Alexander, and a girl, Helen. I have attained an MLS in the United States. I will continue in the library profession, but now my time is filled with caring for my family.

About Us | Subscribe/Unsubscribe | Editors | Submit | Current Issue | Archives | Home