Thursday, March 31, 2005

Promotion, The Catch 22 of Librarians and

The better you get at being a librarian, the more you get promoted. The more you get promoted, the less real library work you get to do.

Are you good with the public? We'll stick you in an office and let you crunch numbers.

Are you good at cataloging? We'll let you manage people with difficult personalities.

Are you a good researcher? We'll let you draft strategic goals and other management rubbish.

Lesson: don't let anyone know you're good at what you do.


Cataloging Your Personal CD Collection

Only catalog your cd collection if you have over 1,000 cd's. Yes, it was funny when you decided to assign Dewey Decimal numbers to your cd's back when you were in LIS school and you and your friends had a good, hearty laugh for about ten minutes, but once you start working full-time, keeping that thing up-to-date will become a massive burden and you will only have yourself to blame, smart guy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Bore, Risk of becoming a

Librarians should take every opportunity to stop being librarians when they leave the library. Those who eat, drink, and sleep librarianship run the risk of becoming bores. Is this you?!

Warning signs:
  • You have professional library journals and newsletters mailed to your home address.
  • You read the Chronicle of Higher Education for something other than job ads.
  • Your personal email address makes a cute reference to something library related (ex:
  • You own the VHS or DVD of Party Girl.
  • You have convinced yourself that you like the song "Marian the Librarian."
Some suggested remedies:
  • Learn to play an obscure instrument (accordion, banjo, etc.)
  • Take a class in a subject about which you know nothing.
  • Get a subscription to a fluff magazine.
  • Listen to the radio (NPR doesn't count) and watch bad TV.
Generally speaking, pop culture is good for the soul. Plus, it makes you much more tolerable and less "pervy" to the rest of the world. If all else fails, just quit your job.


Television, On Not Admitting to Watching Any

Anyone asks you what you did last night, your choices are: a) reading Shakespeare b) organizing rare collection of [fill in the blank] c) volunteering at some do-gooder event or d) attended the theatre, ballet or opera. Never let on that you have a television; and don't let it slip that you have premium cable and that you watched a whole hour of World's Wildest Police Videos on Spike TV last night.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Bow ties, Wearing

Bow ties can be very cool (seriously), but there are three general rules to keep in mind:
  1. No clip-ons or fake bow ties. Learn to tie it, or abandon the idea.
  2. Keep it small. Big bow ties are not cool.
  3. Wear them sparingly lest you become the "bow tie guy."
And for God's sake, don't be the bow tie guy AND the pun guy. You will be truly insufferable.


Monday, March 28, 2005

Puns, Intending

Puns should used in moderation. You do not want to become "the pun guy."


Thursday, March 24, 2005

Buzzword Bingo, Creating your own game of

Buzzword Bingo is a game you can play in your next meeting. Make a bingo card and in each block list a buzzword. When someone uses a buzzword, mark it off your card. When you get five in a row, yell out "BINGO!" and you win.

Some examples of buzzwords from recent library meetings:
thinking outside the box
utilize (used incorrectly)
content management system (CMS)
link resolver
integrated library system (ILS)
federated searching

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Music Selection While at Your Cubicle or Desk

Only play the following genres of music at medium- to low- volumes while at your desk or cubicle:
  • Irish/Gaelic
  • "World" Music
  • Classical
  • Soft Rock (including Celine Dion, but not including Barry Manilow)
  • Country (including Tim McGraw, but not including Hank Williams)
  • NPR (only the shows that feature quirky profiles and interviews with pretensious authors)

Friday, March 18, 2005

Monograph, On calling a book a

If you want to sound like a library scientist, use the word monograph instead of the word book. The word book is very pedestrian, and shows little understanding of the complexities of our great profession.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Modernizing Your Budget

Most librarians will stay well within the strict confines of their given budgets, which is the worst thing you can possibly do. If you run out of money in the book budget, the salary budget, paper for the copier, paper clips, etc, it's your own fault. Instead, staff the library 24-hours-a-day, let the water in the bathroom sink run like Niagara Falls, buy up really expensive rare volumes of manuscripts you don't even need and make sure that every computer station has a 30" flatscreen monitor and an Ipod. You'll be out of money by the end of the first fiscal quarter, necessitating your parent company to tap into the emergency fund, and probably quadrupling the budget for next year. They're never going to give you more money because you asked for it, you've got to show them that you need a bigger budget. Some librarians actually take pride in running a leaner department (or 'doing more with less,' as the kids say nowadays). Those librarians are doing everyone a real disservice. Take a cue from our Republican friends: running up huge deficits is cool. You want to be cool, right?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Updating Your Dumb Blog at Work

One word: Don't!