Monday, June 16, 2008

Ink pen diva, Being an

A good librarian should be fanatical about his or her preference in ink pens. Refuse to write with anything that doesn't meet the standards set by your pen of choice. Label your pens with your name so that people won't steal them. Leave decoy pens on your desk for others to borrow/take. Throw tantrums when your pens disappear. Berate the office secretary who accidentally orders your pens without the gel-grip.

Library administrators should be "pro-choice" when it comes to librarians' fanaticism with ink pens. The additional cost of each Pilot G-2 05 will be money well spent if it helps quell a librarian uprising.

Ask the readers: What is your favorite pen, and what makes it so special?

71 comments:

Cindi said...

I cannot be satisfied by a single brand of pen. Nay, I have a jar of more than two dozen fine gel and roller ball pens that I alternate daily, according to color.

You think I'm kidding, don't you? The Sarasa gel pens and Pilot roller balls are my favorites, particularly the blues.

Chloe said...

I like a good felt tip pen. Preferably one with a fine tip. They're good for drawing my "How Many Librarians Does It Take to Beat a Dead Horse?" comic series in meetings.

Anonymous said...

I too prefer a good felt tip pen. I'm partial to the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner.

Anonymous said...

My library only orders cheap pens, so I go for the vendor freebies. My favorite is PsychiatryOnline's pen because it writes so smoothly and has a comfortable grip.

David J. Fiander said...

I don't use library-provided pens. But that's primarily because my library doesn't provide fountain pens. Heck, it doesn't even provide ink for my fountain pens.

How's that for being an ink pen diva?

Anonymous said...

I favor a nice sharp pencil. The bonus on that is no one thinks to steal it.

Nothing is worse than a generic gel grip pen. Those suckers leak, all over everything. I'm using them as decoy pens now.

domesticat said...

I'm the worst of all: I'm a library IT person who uses a fountain pen.

(Which means, of course, I bring my own supplies from home.)

Emma said...

I also don't use pens supplied by the administrators. Instead I prefer those left around the library by our readers.

Using this method I've finally found the ultimate pen: Pilot's BPS-GP-M-L 1.0. Wonderful!

heidi said...

I have some SCOPUS ballpoints that are pretty awesome. I also like a mechanical pencil that I got as a souvenir from the digitization center at the university next door: manufacturer unknown.

I am still on a quest to find the perfect archival photo/film marker though. It took my student workers only two days to destroy the fancy Pigma pens I got them.

waltc said...

For years, my favorite (my $ and worth it) was Sanford's uni-ball Roller Grip micro (0.2mm) black--but as far as I can tell, either uni-ball (that is, Mitsubishi) stopped making them or Sanford stopped importing them.

Other fine-point alternatives either seem to run out too quickly (e.g. regular uni-ball Roller Micro sticks) or, if they have vents, have a nasty tendency to vent on airplanes, which is hard on shirts.

I'm reluctantly shifting to the uni-ball Signo Micro 207 (a click pen, which is convenient), but it's not the same...

[Why all micro-point pens? Because my illegible scribble has at least a chance of being readable if it's in a very fine line.]

waltc said...

Follow-up: The "Uni-ball Roller Grip Pen" currently showing up is not the same pen, not at all, For one thing, "micro" now means 0.5mm, not 0.2mm. Still, I'll give it a try (but I see a vent hole, always dangerous).

Anonymous said...

For ordinary ballpoint you can't go past the Kilometrico brand, and for gel pens nothing beats the Gelly Roll brand. What hoity-toity libraries do you work out with the provision of pens to staff? We just clean the library and claim all left pens as Spoils of War.

LL said...

I, too, am a fountain pen user. I am particularly enamored of refilling it from the bottle mid-rant on evaluations following useless training days. Brown ink, so they know it's me.

Jenny said...

I prefer the Pilot Dr. Grip. It has a gel grip and writes more smoothly than any other pen. It is too pricey for the library to purchase, but my boss also favors them, and she bought a bunch of them as "gifts."

I also have an entire box of my own Pilot G207 Purple gel pens in my drawer. The office manager gets them for me whenever I run out. Rock on! But sometimes they clog, requiring a messy homemade paperclip intervention.

Sue M. said...

I want to read the "How many librarians does it take to beat a dead horse" comic.

I use Uniball black pens. I am thinking I need to be experimenting with some of these interesting sounding pens.

I used to use fountain pens, but they just got too messy.

Anonymous said...

My favorite pen at work is a cheap pen with the label "Circulation desk - Remove and Die".

Micki said...

i am a fanatic for ultra fine point sharpies. black. but blue will do in a pinch. i love them because they will write on ANYTHING. library cards, papers, annoying children, etc. I keep a secret stash in my desk at all times.

Anonymous said...

After a short dabble in fountain pens (oh the ink-stained fingers) I switched to a Pentel P205 mechanical pencil which I've been using for ages. If I HAVE to use a pen, the Uni-Ball Vision Exact Micro will do.

Nugget said...

Pilot G-2 05's are yummy! I can't do without ultra-fine sharpies as well! The G-2's just write so well, with little effort. Except it take a little while to dry the ink. And I agree with Micki about the sharpies, man you can write on glass if you want to.

Anonymous said...

Cross Century. Blue ink. Fine point.

Anonymous said...

I too am a fountain pen lover. I use the fountain pen I got from my grandfather when he died. It is actually a pen set, but only one works. I love to use it especially at the Web Committee or other technology group meetings. I took the ink when I left my last job. I have not had to have the new one special order it for me yet.

Other than that the Pilot G-2 07's are great. My library is so cheap that all they have are the generic Papermate M in blue, black, or red. I am using my cache of pens from my last job.

Anonymous said...

Seconding the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner. Doesn't bleed when it gets wet, doesn't smear on glossy paper, A+.

Ashlee said...

My absolute favorite is the Uni-ball Power Tank Roller ball pen. This is the best pen ever! It writes smoothly on all kinds of paper, and all kinds of angles. Supposedly, it even writes when it's upside-down, but I've only tried it once or twice.
The bad thing is, they've stopped making them. Boo!

Anonymous said...

Since our office manager only gives you a pen at a time, I'm left to steal pens from students and other library users. My favorite pens are ones that still have ink in them. Most often I use a pencil because we tend to have more of those at the reference desk. I like to walk away with the pencil we use for keeping stats.

donutage said...

Black Pilot V-Ball Extra Fine has served me well for many years. Good combination of sharpness, ink flow, and feel in the hand.

Lisa said...

Ha. The ones at work that I like seem to be the house brand at the box store: "Foray medium pt."

Self-provided: two from Target with sayings from "The Office" on them; one with Hello Kitty's pal Chococat; and any Parker Jotter, med. blue ink.

David J. Fiander said...

Oh yeah.

My Parker Jotter has a Fisher Space Pen refill in it.

Kate said...

Current favorite is Uni-ball Gel Impact 1.0mm which I buy in 12 packs at Sam's Club.

Anonymous said...

I'm in Rare Books ... no pens, only pencils, thank you very much.

Marie said...

I love Sharpie Ultra Fine point. I have the 24 color pack in my Staples cart right now!

Dani said...

I am crazy for Pilot Precise V5 because of the fine point. I have pretty, no, beautiful handwriting and these pens show it off to the max.

I have been known to drive all over the Wilkes-Barre area looking for these pens. Now I just order them in bulk. Diva-esque yes, but I'm worth it!

PS
I work in archives too, so only mechanical pencils in there.

Logan said...

I'm particular, too. I prefer Jimnie Zebra retractable ballpoints.

Deborah Fitchett said...

My favourite writing implement is a keyboard.

When I used to handwrite a lot at highschool and uni, I ended up using a Parker fountain pen, and for more casual situations a Parker roller-ball pen that a student's mother gave me when I was teaching English in Korea. At work, where I don't have to handwrite much at a time, a ballpoint pen is okay - I just can't use it for long periods of time because my thumb goes funny and cramps up. (Bad writing grip, I think, but it's not worth the effort to reteach myself.)

Hedgehog Librarian said...

Pentel RSVP Fine point preferable but I'll suffer through a medium point if I have to.

Usually I get them in bright colors (the plastic outsides) so I can immediately spot who has run off with my pens.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Preferred pen: 0.1mm Staedler wire mapping pen. Second best: 1950's black bakelite Swan fountain pen.

Both impose the required discipline to my otherwise chaotic handwriting.

(A stick pen with a size-40 'William Mitchell's Scrolling Pen' is pretty good but not practical at work 'cos you end up carrying round a bottle of India Ink)

Kim said...

I have a preference for a uni-ball eye needle point .5 black only...

I try not to get too uptight about it cos I am always stealing other peoples pens.

In fact friends have bought me those horrible pens you were around your neck cos they we getting sick of me walking off with their pens.

Sarah W said...

I had a co-worker who bought the pilot g-2 05 special because she couldn't stand the 07 the office purchased. She was very particular about her pens and wore them on her badge around her neck so that no one could steal them, and if she was missing one she'd accost anyone using a pen with any resemblance. She could tell from just a second writing that it was the thicker tip too. I always wondered that she didn't get more ink on her shirt then she did.

Ashley Stang said...

Alas, I am far more of an ink pen hussy than diva...I'll take whatever I can get as long as I didn't pay for it and it's not too bland...bland I leave at the circulation desk where my assistant sits. Ah the joy of being the librarian...all the good free vendor pens.

It makes me feel so good to belong to a profession where a blog about pens can elicit such a response...

Kate said...

I'd honestly be happy with "pen that writes". I don't know why we even waste money on pens if we're going to get the $0.10/dozen pens, since we all end up using various hotel pens (i kid you not) instead of those crappy ones. They don't even have a brand name on the side!

Rebecca Hickman said...

I love the Sanford Uniball Micro. I really, really, really love a good mechanical pencil.

Kat said...

A pen? What's that?

Sarah said...

I've recently stumbled upon the nicest writing pen ever: the Stabilo Bionic Worker Rollerball! When it went wrong and leaked all over the desk i contacted the company who sent me a PACK OF 4 to replace it! I was SO pleased...

Anonymous said...

Love all the brand recommendations--I've got to admire the attention to detail you people show--I'm pretty happy if it's fine point and it writes.
My main conclusion from this post: Librarian Uprising would be an awesome name for a band.

Walt Lessun said...

Parker T-ball Jotter for heft and grip. Preference: pen body with nib and ink well.

zelda said...

Geez! Who'd a thought that pens were such sacred objects?
My sacred pen, black Pilot Precise fine extra fine.
No longer ordered by my library. I just went in the supply closed and nabbed the last box to secret away in my desk.

Anonymous said...

I'm with our esteemed editor on the Pilot G-2 05. However, I have a generic vendor freebie ballpoint stashed in my inbox in my library's collection development office, since all of the pens in that room were manufactured before 1975.

And don't get me started on rubber bands....

Marissa said...

I like this pen: http://www.pilotpen-store.com/product_detail.asp?T1=PIL%20G2-10-BLU Bold point. I got the 4 pack of colors, but I like the blue for everyday writing and red for everything else. I have one in my bag, but I usually leave it in there for fear that it might get nabbed. There is a particular pen from a local bank that I love. It lives at the drive-thru window, though, so I try to leave it be like a good girl.

I love pens in general. Gelly Roll is AWESOME but I don't like the cap.

InfoGnome said...

The pencil all the way for me...usually prefer the Dixon Ticonderoga or the old Eberhard Faber brand that is now Paper Mate

Laura said...

bwaa ha ha haa! This is funny, cause it's about me, for one. Maybe we need to put barcodes and security strips on our pens and have people check them out if they borrow them.

I'm now using the Pilot G-2 PRO now, not those Pilot G-2 05s that the unwashed peasants use.

miriella said...

I am highly possessive of my purple pens (do I work with you? You must be talking about me.). My ultimate favorite pen is the Pilot V-5 Extra-Fine Rollerball Pen, of course, in purple (and now, in retractable style!). If I catch you with a purple pen in your hand (regardless of owner), you are in for a world of hurt.

Beastiegirl5 said...

Black, medium point pens. Brand doesn't matter, as long as it's not blue ink.

Yes, this is where my OCD comes through. I'll use any other color before blue, and you have no idea how tough it was to get the clerk in charge of ordering supplies to honor my request. It turns out she only likes blue pens.

emu said...

I knew I'd seen something on this subject before.

Anonymous said...

I would have no pens at all at work if vendors didn't hand them out at conferences.

Anonymous said...

My favorite pen - anything that I can find that still works.

scott said...

I'm with Zelda and Dani. Those Pilot Precise gels are super-nice!

blake said...

Ultra round stick bic (buy they at office max)... best box of pens you can buy for under $3.

Who the hell can get 56 comments on pen preference... You're an impressive person.

jlr said...

I'm with all the fountain pen users. Living in Europe, where decent and cheap fountain pens are readily available, has spoiled me.

The Wary Librarian said...

Anything that doesn't smear is usually fine with me. One of my coworkers, however, must have a specific type of pen and they must be kept in a specific place at the desk.

nalini said...

my all time favourite is the pilot VBall Grip 0.7 mm

The Liberry aka Amy said...

I am such a pen snob. It has to be either gel (not the cheap kind) or rollerball. In college I used a fountain pen and always changed the color.

Mark said...

I like aurora fountain pens.

Anonymous said...

Pen Divas & Pen Snobs . . . mine is a Pen Fetish. It is an obsession, and I will tell you that I had to have mine sent from the UK for my most recent prized fine ballpoints. They are Staedtler Stick 430 F. Made in Gt. Britain and to our dismay not imported to US.

Newest discovery in gels is the Pentel EnerGel. Now in retractable with needle point. Try it, you'll like it.

If you like a standard stick ballpoint, get your hands on the U.S. Government fine points made by Skilcraft. Ideal for the library, but they'll get scarfed up quickly.

Pens said...

Being a pen diva is ABSOLUTELY not a problem! I mean hey, they even say that putting someone down is wrong because its not nice.... What, is it not nice to win??? Winning is perfectly alright so I support being a pen diva because if I was a female I'd rock the pink armani exchange pen every where I go!

Xerox Phaser 8550 ink said...

Hey cindi :)
I just want to say that I agree with most of you and especially you! I am the same way except that when it comes to microsoft excel I get to use my digital ink :)
In the mean while Ms. Cindi, I hope that the pens company have enough pens for us to write with, and to be honest thats the only thing that I can not complain about a recession... Because no matter what! There will always be pens!!!

Anonymous said...

Pen-Klepto here, I, too, prefer the
forgotton patron's pen. Usually
I return it to the patron next time
the person comes in....
unless it is a really fine pen.
Then I choose to battle my ethics than rather than return some Beamer of a pen. Kansas

Anonymous said...

whew! and all this time I was worried it was just me. I was going to secretly order refills, so no one would know of my diva-ish ways. But I am ready to come out of the Ink Pen Diva Closet! UNIball SXR-C7Jetstream 0.7mm (blue). Comfortable, good color, very smooth. I am an ink pen diva.

Georgia said...

I love Uni-ball eye pens in fine (the ball ones, not the needle point), and I also love felt tips, my favourite being the staedtler triplus fineliner. I also like fountain pens, but I have lost all but my fattest nib, so I am finding it difficult to use. I am distressed at the moment due to the fact that all of my ideal pens have either run out or gone awol. >.<

Anonymous said...

I recently went to a pen store that had practically every good rollerball, gel and ballpoint pen in display cases that allowed you to try them individually. I tried almost all of them. My two favorites are without a doubt the Uni-ball Gel Impact 1.0 and the Pilot Precise Grip 1.0. Of these two, I like the Pilot just a little bit more.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I love Pilot G-2! However, I prefer the 07 to the 05.

Heather

Promotional Pens said...

I think fine points are best. They give a crisp, clear read.