- Are about to leave work to go to the dentist
- Receive anonymous emails complaining about your breath
- Spent the night alone in the library, drinking in your office
- Are preparing to make out with a custodian in the broom closet
- Did something really perverted with your mouth
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
- Always answer with a long, detailed greeting including your name, title, rank, department, and the name of your library. (This is especially helpful with internal calls.)
- Read from an institutionally assigned script.
- Never answer with just a last name: "Stabler." It works for t.v. detectives; not librarians.
- Never, under any circumstances, answer with a simple, "Hello?"
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Note: It is never acceptable to grope a coworker without their consent.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The best costume for your library’s Halloween party is one that requires a lot of explanation (e.g., minor characters from Star Trek). Also, be aware that even if you do choose a sexy costume over a scary one, your coworkers will still most likely be frightened.
Monday, October 30, 2006
- old-fashioned books
- real books
- printed e-books
- off-line resources
- those things they sell in bookstores
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
- Nonprofessionals (or similarly: Unprofessionals)
- Library Helpers
- Information Custodians
- The Others
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
- "Get new/better signage."
- "Get rid of that ghastly art work in the reading room!"
- "Restock the white chocolate Reese's Cups in the vending machine!"
- "Buy more black, urban, lesbian erotica!"
- "Forget the coffee shop... I'd like to see a pub!"
Thursday, October 05, 2006
An example: find + able + ity = findability.
Can you find this word in a dictionary? No, it has no findability.
[Note: The editors invite their loyal readers to post their own made-up words in the comments section below.]
Thursday, September 21, 2006
- Avoid the [enter] key and type your email messages in large, single-block paragraphs
- Name your files using the first line of your document's text (e.g., As a means of improving.doc)
- Print handouts for PowerPoint presentations... one-slide per page
- Double click on web links during presentations
- Leave the body of your email messages blank and type the entire content of your message in the subject line instead
Friday, September 15, 2006
Though it may look hilarious, don't laugh. Do your best to sneak away unnoticed and never mention it again. Your coworker may indeed be a ninja armed with throwing stars, a sword, and the ability to rip out your heart with his bare hands. Better to err on the side of caution.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Flag all your outgoing email messages with subject lines expressing the importance and urgency of their content through liberal use of capital letters, hyperbole, and exclamation points. Be consistent with your urgency so that everyone will know the importance of everything you do.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
- Click here. Try different keywords.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
"Which is the best default search for the library catalog: Keyword or Boolean?" It depends. Perhaps the better question is: "Which default search will get you off the reference desk this weekend?"
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Can't think of one? No problem! Just use the following template to create the title of your very own presentation:
Bringing __________ ...
- information literacy
- the "long tail"
- an alternative to Google
- Library 2.0
- Gen Y
- rss feeds
Monday, August 07, 2006
Friday, August 04, 2006
Bona fied librarians should take it upon themselves to rub this painful realization in the face of any recent library school graduates on their library's staff... right after offering congratulations on their achievement.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
- the pitiful librarian
- the fat librarian
- the lush
- the Chester Cheetah-impersonating librarian
- the funniest second-funniest librarian ever
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Monday, July 31, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
- Leave your fluorescent lights off for the day to conserve electricity
- Give away all your home-grown zucchini (no one else will take it)
- Donate the dusty Reader's Digest condensed books in your grandfather's attic
- Scribble an I.O.U. on the back of a losing lotto ticket
- Continue to work for a paltry salary
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
There is a reason these people hang out at the library all the time: Their families (which can be traced back "to George Washington's brother-in-law!") won't let these insufferable old birds back in the house.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
And do the same with your library blog or web site. A periodic change of color and/or layout will only make your content seem all the more brilliant.
(Note to readers: This is where you all post and tell us how you liked the old layout so much better ...)
Monday, July 24, 2006
- Advertise the position
- Review applications
- Interview candidates
- Deliberate over finalists
- Offer the position
Your library will eventually hire someone, even if they end up scraping the dregs from the bottom of the unemployment pool.
Friday, July 21, 2006
Never marry another librarian. Should you manage to reproduce together, your children will be misshapen. If you have no other options, just stay at home with your seven cats.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
- Paging patrons or coworkers (Perhaps adding a curt, "This isn't Wal-mart," to the requester)
- Rigging up your iPod to share your love of Neil Diamond with the rest of the library
- Serenading potential lovers
- Mass Ssshh!-ing
- Engaging in hollering contests
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
A librarian should be given a lifetime quota of mass emails (say... 15?) when signing an employment contract at his or her library. Once the quota is reached, the librarian's email account would then auto-delete and the offender would be ejected from his or her chair, out of the library, and into the fiery pits of Hell.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
The master's degree in library science from a library school program accredited by the American Library Association is the appropriate terminal professional degree for academic librarians.... With that said, go get yourself a second master's degree in a non-library discipline. Most academic libraries won't hire or promote you without one.
Friday, June 30, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Once you get up the nerve, you may have a difficult time asking the person out given that restraining order filed against you.
Monday, June 26, 2006
- Cull out the good vendor give-aways for yourself and then dump the rest off on your coworkers or the homeless (15 minutes)
- Make a list of all the practical things you learned at the conference (10 seconds)
- Erase all the boring "Why the hell did I take these?!" conference photos from your digital camera (10 seconds)
- Recycle all the PowerPoint print-outs, business cards, and other ephemera you collected, but will never look at again (5 minutes)
- Congratulate yourself on doing a good civic deed by helping boost the local economy of the conference's host city (until you get your credit card bill)
In order to make the most efficient use of your time, don't look vendors in the eye. Just grab the freebies by the handful and go! Do, however, stop to acknowledge the vendors whose companies have obviously spent an egregious amount of research and development money coming up with new ways to reinvent the ink pen. Let them know that they are the ones who keep the librarians coming back.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
If no one reads your blog, try sneaking some Google ads onto your library's web page. Be sure to load the ads in a prominent place on your web site to ruin any aesthetic you have going.
Friday, June 23, 2006
Or it could just mean that your office is closest to the reference desk, and that you're the only librarian working that particular Friday in the summer while everyone else is at ALA.
Plus, if you dress too well, it becomes obvious to the potential employer that you have unrealistic expectations about library salaries and their ability to keep you dressed in your fancy clothes.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
- Speed-weed your ready reference collection.
- Work a real-life reference desk shift... blind-folded.
- Make a halfway decent pot of coffee... then catalog it.
- Play a game of Trivial Pursuit/Scrabble against your most cantankerous faculty member.
- Explain Ranganathan's laws of library science through interpretive dance.
- Wrestle a cataloger.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
- Who orders the DSM-IV for the reference collection -- the head of reference or the subject bibliographer?
- Should the music education collection be managed by the music librarian or the education librarian?
- Who controls the web page to which everyone contributes?
- Who has the final say on how the public catalog records display -- reference librarians or catalogers?
Pee on it.
Yep, like a dog. Pee on your call number range in the reference collection. Pee on the music education books. Pee on the web page. Pee on the catalog. While you're at it, pee in your office. Pee on your favorite chair in the director's conference room. Pee on the reference desk. Pee on your coffee cup.
Note: Do not pee on people, even if they do report to you.
Drink lots of fluids. It can take a lot out of you to have so much control.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
"Uh, hello? Vanderbilt University's reference desk? Are any of your reference librarians sickly?"
Monday, June 05, 2006
Or send a message to your newly-emailable (yet ever anonymous) editors of A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
As mass hysteria ensues, quietly slip out and return to your office for a quiet cup of coffee and a few hours of Text Twist.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Take advantage of this fact by doing just enough to jump through the promotion/tenure hoops, then coast into retirement with as little work ethic as you care to muster.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
One good way to force everyone in the meeting to address the unspoken issue is to come up with creative things to call it. Put your heads together and brainstorm. Here are some ideas to get you started...
- the dead elephant on the table
- the pink moose in the corner
- the 300 lb. gorilla at the door
- the turd in the breadbox
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Defining what makes a quality lanyard is a matter of personal preference.
If you find one you like, hang on to it, and wear it at any subsequent conferences you attend. Traveling with your own favorite lanyard is one of the subtle, yet distinct, details that say to the world, "Yes, I'm a librarian."
If that's not enough, the world can just read your name badge.
Monday, May 29, 2006
... actually work.
Should one of these rare occasions present itself, purposely perform the assigned task as poorly as you can. And turn it in late. Hopefully your poor performance will keep anyone from ever asking you to "do work" again.
Remember: a reputation of incompetence can serve you well in the future.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Don’t author racist or otherwise intolerant blogs chronicling your hatred of Muslims, immigrants, amputees, women, etc. It really ruins the librarians as liberal defenders of civil liberties thing the rest of us are so proud of. Not only are such blogs mean, they’re also terribly tacky.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Things to avoid:
- correcting them for emptying your recycling into the regular trash
- playing computer games while they empty your waste basket
- regularly dribbling coffee all the way from the coffee shop to your office
- refusing to participate in idle chit-chat about the weather
- leaving your pay-check stub face-up on top of the trash
- snorting like a pig when they crash the library potluck dinner (bearing no food)
- writing "custodians suck!" on the bathroom wall in your own feces
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
- give yourself some leadership experience
- practice delegating to your peers
- diffuse responsibility for tasks you don't want to do
- share blame for bad decisions
- pad your vita/resume
Thursday, May 11, 2006
For example, a surprisingly large number of people reach A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette by doing one of the following Google searches: nude librarians, nude sexy librarians, and sexy librarians (presumably the latter still being clothed). The Guide's authors can only imagine that their accidental visitors are sorely disappointed to learn that librarians, by and large, are not the least bit sexy. And more often than not (thankfully), they do wear clothes.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Sunday, May 07, 2006
The rules are simple:
- Pick a project that no one else cares about.
- Talk about your project all the time.
- Assume that your project is everyone's highest priority.
- Get defensive when no one will give you any feedback or comment on it.
"So I'm going to be changing the screensavers on all the public workstations this summer, and I was wondering if we could all meet to go over the first draft of my proposal?"
Friday, May 05, 2006
For example: A patron may ask, "What languages did the Vikings speak?" In his mind, he has communicated what he thinks is a clear information need. The librarian, however, can interpret his real information need to be, "How can I tell if I'm wearing too much cologne?"
The librarian's mission is now two-fold: a) find languages spoken by Vikings and b) let this guy know he is burning the hairs out of your nose. The first part is easy. The second may require some finesse. Be a good librarian and cough, gag, put your hand over your nose, or ask him to wait outside while you search for his answer. If he doesn't get the hint, light a match and see if he bursts into flames.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Are you crafty? Crochet a Kleenex-cozy to keep those tissues warm and comfortable. Just be sure to color coordinate it with your library's decor. Nothing ruins a good nose-blow like a mismatched tissue-box cover.
Monday, May 01, 2006
- Proudly drinking from a coffee mug bearing your new school's logo
- Gleefully bidding an early formal farewell in various committee meetings
- Unabashedly not taking notes in meetings
- Audibly counting down your remaining days at your current job
- Being happy
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
- embedded librarians (... as in embedded in BlackBoard, WebCT, etc.)
- wikis (bonus points for instructional uses for wikis)
- blogs (bonus points for instructional uses for blogs)
- 24/7 reference / e-reference
- librarians as advocates
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
“The American Library Association affirms that rights of privacy are necessary for intellectual freedom and are fundamental to the ethics and practice of librarianship.”—Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of RightsHowever, those ethics apparently go out the window when a vendor or publisher offers to buy the mailing addresses for ALA members. ALA would sell your mailing address to the devil himself if he had an encyclopedia for sale.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Friday, March 31, 2006
- staff: working at service desks, cataloging and automation, collection development, etc.
- faculty: teaching and instruction, research and publication, service and committees, etc.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Celebrating with a white cafe mocha
- Acing a particularly difficult reference question
- All your colleagues leave for a library conference, and you have run of the place in their absence
- Getting through a day with no email from any of your upline supervisors
- Having to endure more than two meetings and/or instruction sessions in the same day
- Sitting through a particularly long or annoying meeting
- Having to perform staff evaluations
- Too much cash in wallet
- Librarian's Guide to Etiquette mug is empty
Monday, March 27, 2006
Monday, March 13, 2006
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Note: Complications arise when your boss is using the oldest trick in the book with his/her boss. Depending on how many upline supervisors you have, it could be 3 or 4 in the afternoon before you get to eat lunch.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Besides, if the staff don't think you're important, who else will?
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
- I'm swamped
- I'm drowning
- I'm barely able to keep my head above water
- I'm barely able to tread water
- I'm flooded
- I'm in over my head
- I'm sinking
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Confused? Well maybe you need an ad hoc Labeling Task Force to clear things up. Ah, the beauty of controlled vocabulary.