Whoosh! Issue 30 - March 1999

IAXS project #633
By C. A. Casey
Copyright © 1998 held by author
1195 words

Once Upon a Time... (01-03)
Publish or Perish (04-06)
"YIYIYIYIYI" (07-08)
A Xena Cyberarchive? (09-11)

How Xena Brought Me Fame, Fortune, and Tenure

Once Upon a Time...

One more step and you'll see how a wand and a Gabstaff are similar!

We should all have such a fairy godsmother!

[1] This is a tale of how my interest, some may say obsession, with Xena led to the writing of an article published in one of the top journals in my field. Like a Xena episode there is some suspense, a few surprises, some action, but no actual blood was drawn, and the acrobatic somersaults were only in my personal virtual reality.

[2] It all started in February of 1998 when Xenos announced that she had lost faith in Xena and would no longer be maintaining the spectacular Xena: Warrior Princess Fan Fiction Index. The shock in the Xenaverse was so astounding that it got me thinking about how much commitment and energy would be lost forever once the index was pulled from the Internet. Of course, many others had the same reaction, and several stepped in to fill the void until Bardseye and Xenabat took over the original site, currently under the name The Athenaeum.

[3] As a librarian, I realized that, although we provide access to Internet resources, we are doing little about collecting and preserving them. I could not recall any discussion on the subject in the library literature, so I did some research into it. I found the occasional mention of preserving Web sites, but no one seemed to be doing it or expressing concern that we were not doing it. I realized that this was my chance to jump on the subject and get something published about it before anyone else.

Publish or Perish

[4] I spent the next couple of weeks pounding out a theoretical article on why we should be collecting the physical computer files of Web sites and housing them in our libraries. As if knowing that I was working against time, I wrote and rewrote with Xena-like focus and single-mindedness. I was so engrossed that my staff was dodging out of my way as I barreled around tracking down correct citations, word spellings, and all the little details needed to get the thing just right.

[5] In a brazen act, I decided to send the article to one of the most exclusive journals in the field, College & Research Libraries (C&RL). My attitude was, if you do not play, you cannot win, and the worse that can happen is they reject it. In other words, I did what Xena would do. The journal is refereed through a double-blind system. The editor sends the manuscript to two reviewers who know a lot more about most subjects than you do. It is a daunting thought, but sometimes you just have to put yourself out there to see how you stand. The length of time for the review process for C&RL is six weeks, so you can imagine my surprise when I got a phone call from the editor four weeks later. Let me just insert here that the following only happens in one's wildest fantasies and definitely not to unknown, unpublished little librarians like me.

[6] It is a Thursday afternoon, and I am in a Thursday afternoon mood, wishing I was home reading the next update of whatever Missy Good epic was being posted at the time (my other interest, er, uh, obsession). The phone rings. It is the editor of C&RL telling me that my article has been accepted, and he wants it in the July issue, which he is currently working on. He rattles on about how: he accepts only three in seven submissions, he wanted it in the May issue (it is bimonthly) but just could not get it in, he needs me to make a couple of format changes and prepare a final print, and finally he wants me to disk copy and Fed Ex it overnight to him.


[7] I am standing there in shock, barely grasping the fact that my article had been accepted for publication. When the phone call was over, I may have let out a whoop. I know I started to dance a demented jig, getting only a couple of disinterested glances into my glass enclosed office. This is the University Library Technical Services after all; strange behavior is normal, and strange behavior from the boss is best ignored.

[8] At that point, my office became too small for my excitement, and I stepped out into the main room and wished that I could do a spectacular series of Xena's somersaults. I do recall mentioning that if I could do somersaults I would be doing them after I blurted out my news to the first unfortunate person who passed by. To give some idea of the significance of this feat, our library director announced that this article put our library on the map. The major tenure hurdle had also been successfully cleared. I owe it all to Xena.

A Xena Cyberarchive?

Gab's special recipe for nutbread

Special Ancient Fantasy Greek Edition

[9] The article called "Cyberarchives: A Look at the Storage and Preservation of Web Sites", is in College & Research Libraries, vol. 59, no. 4 (July, 1998). Given a choice, I would opt for saving all the Xena sites. They might not hold much historical significance, but they sure would keep future generations entertained.

[10] To this end, I have received many questions about whether I am going to create a Cyberarchives. I have thought that the Xena sites would be a good place to start. They could be a test project for ironing out all the little details and help develop a prototype for saving Internet resources. This way, the considerable commitment of time and creativity does not have to disappear when the "Age of Xena" has passed.

[11] If you are curious, intrigued, or plain enthusiastic about the idea of having your Xena site saved for posterity, drop me an e-mail. I do not want to hear any nonsense about why anyone in the future would want to see your efforts. It is not for us to question what future cultural historians will find significant. It is up to us to give them as complete a view of the Xenaverse as humanly possible.


C. A. Casey C. A. Casey
C. A. Casey is a librarian at a University in the Southern United States. She has the usual assortment of degrees from Midwestern universities. Besides a purely academic interest in Xena (yeah, right), she's interested in the Internet as a phenomenon and a means of making a little lunch money by putting up Web sites for people. She also enjoys music of all kinds, theatre, hiking, bicycling, traveling, and fantasy fiction. Her two cats think she's nuts, but cats always think humans are crazy.
Favorite episode: BEEN THERE, DONE THAT (48/302); THE QUEST (37/213); A DAY IN THE LIFE (39/215)
Favorite line: Anything that Callisto says.
First episode seen: SINS OF THE PAST (01/101)
Least favorite episode: KING OF ASSASSINS (54/308)

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