Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tote bags, On hating

The next time you go to a library conference you will be given a tote bag with your registration materials, usually emblazoned with some type of library-related logo. Unless you want to look stupid, make sure you throw the tote bag out or refuse to accept it in the first place. Tote bags are cheaply made, ugly and totally impractical. There's nothing worse than a librarian carrying a tote bag...nothing! Stop making an already bad image worse. Stop it!

13 comments:

nd said...

I don't USE the cheesy-ass library vendor tote bags, and I tend to turn them down when they are offered to me, but the ones I have accumulated do come in handy for moving. I throw crap that I don't feel like packing in real boxes into them and toss them in the moving truck whereever there happens to be space. As long as nobody SEES me carrying them out to the truck, I'm fine.

I worry more about people who purchase clothing and jewelry from the vendors at the ALA exhibits. Have you seen that stuff? It's terrifying.

Mary Beth said...

Oh, I beg to differ. Tote bags are rather far down on my personal list of "What the &*^% were they thinking?"

To wit:
- Hair that hasn't been redyed in so long that the roots are down to their shoulders. Honey, if you're gonna dye your long, grey hair, you've gotta keep it up. Or dye the whole mess grey. Or better yet, get a decent haircut, for crying out loud.

- Librarians who dress in gynormous frocks with ankle socks and "sensible" shoes - usually very worn out athletic shoes.

I'm sure there are more, but I need to take a few deep breaths first...

m. said...

i have to say that i agree with your comments 87% of the time. and then i see bags like this..
http://www.flickr.com/photos/librarianinthecity/99479175/
...that are so freaking amazing i actually considered becoming a member of the "Quebec Library Association" just so i could get one.
if that makes me a cheesy-ass loser...i can take it.

Anonymous said...

But serious library groupies LOVE vendor tote bags! Spurn their use if you must, but bring them home and distribute them to those who crave them. (Better them than you, eh?)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I gotta disagree on your hatred of tote bags. They are possibly the only practical giveaway at Lib Conferences. They're great for shopping, carrying your gym clothes, a clean change of clothes so you don't have to do the walk of shame, etc.

Of course, when you are married to another librarian, the accumulation of tote bags does reach astronomical proportions. When your closets start to flow over, they are good for donating to the Salvation Army.

Anonymous said...

Two questions :
1) If tote bags are so cheesy, why does Martha Stewart keep suggestion I make them in my spare "living" time ?
2) Since librarians often fly to conferences, wouldn't it be better to have barf bags emblazoned with library related logos ?

libwitch said...

well, I horde the better made totes and keep them in my trunk for grocery shopping and the like. They hold up better then the plastic shopping bags.

However, in my defense, I don't use those bags at conferences, and I refuse the ones that are really really bad (B&N dark green bags with large ornage polka dots, anyone?) Instead I have a three compartment purse that is long enough to hold sheets of paper in so when I wander about (taking my name tag off), I look like I just have a nice purse.

Mister Mustache said...

I actually use my library tote bags all the time. For one thing, men are not allowed to cart things around in purses but men can get away with library tote bags. Handy too. Yesterday I went to a communal dinner and stuffed a piece of pork, a six pack of beer, 2 Garrison Keillor tapes, and a plastic container of beans.

Anonymous said...

I carry a Coach tote bag to all conferences, but that's because I'm a snob.

I found a handy way to purge my vendor tote bag collection. We have a "free" box in our FOL book sale area, and I throw them all in there. Within hours, the bags are gone. This explains why homeless people in my community carry Demco tote bags.

jc said...

Sorry, all the positive comments in the world won't make vendor tote bags cool. I feel the same way about them as I do clothing that has elaborate designer logos on them: If the company in question isn't paying you to be a sponsor, then you are a tool.

An exception should be made for bags promoting your local library - bringing them to a conference is good marketing. You ARE being paid to represent them.

Anonymous said...

Hey m. I am a member of the Quebec Library Association and attended that conference last year, so I am now a proud owner of that "Batgirl was a librarian" tote bag! Are you jealous now?

Anonymous said...

Those tote bags are cheesy, but we give them away at our annual children's book week poster and dust jacket giveaway. We promote the event to students in the teacher education and library programs on campus. They love the freebies and I also use the event to purge any of those unsolicited stickers and memo pads that I get in the mail at home or work. Hmmm. Next, maybe I'll be throwing those atrocious holiday gifts from people who should know better into the event to see what disappears...

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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