Friday, April 30, 2010

Opening, Waiting for an

It is customary to make patrons wait outside until the precise moment your library opens.  As the opening hour arrives, be sure to stand within view of the locked front door and make a big show of watching the clock while you drink coffee, laugh with your coworkers, and animatedly discuss the morning's inclement weather.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gates, Securing the

Many libraries are equipped with alarmed gates that set off sirens when a patron leaves the building with uncharged items.  It is then up to the librarian to stop the offending patron and administer a humiliating full-body search for the nearly-stolen item.  Some polite strategies for stopping patrons are listed below:
  • Repeatedly say, "Sir?  Sir?!  SIR?!" in escalating volumes.
  • Throw a foam boomerang at the patron's feet.
  • Use a homemade paperclip lasso to rope and hogtie the patron.
  • Equip the alarm to trigger a trap door that will dump the patron into an alligator-filled pit.
  • Shrug in defeat and let them walk away.
Ask the readers: How do you stop patrons who set off your library's security gate?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stools, Kick

The perfect gift for a newly minted library school graduate is not a Nancy Pearl doll, a book of temporary librarian tattoos, or one of the wonderful items from the Librarian's Guide to Etiquette online store.  Instead, buy your aspiring librarian his or her own library kick stool to represent the big step they are taking from being "a graduate student" to being "unemployed."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sticks, Carrying big

Every librarian should speak softly and carry a big stick.  This stick can be used to hang newspapers, prod sleeping patrons, or retrieve foreign objects from public toilets.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yourself, Being

Librarians should not use the library's anonymous "instant message" reference service to get a colleague to do their work for them.  While it might be easy to pass off an emailed reference question or request a copy of a hard-to-find article, your cover will likely be blown when you ask them to write your annual review for you.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hell, Avoiding

Librarians should try to do good deeds and live good lives. Because Hell, for a librarian, involves working at a reference desk with an endless line of patrons who want to tell you about their family genealogies.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Abstinence, Practicing

Librarians should never have sex.  The world can't handle it.  Plus, your profession needs your resulting sexual frustration channeled towards the uniform placement of call number labels on book spines.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Administrative Professionals, Honoring

Celebrate your library's administrative professionals by having them purchase themselves a "Happy Administrative Professionals Day!" greeting card using petty cash.  Each honoree can then hand-deliver his or her card from office to office collecting signatures from library coworkers.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New librarians, Hazing

When your academic library hires a new librarian, he or she should be subjected to a one-semester hazing period. If wedgies, swirlies, and noogies aren't your style, just have the person conduct all the freshmen tours, record the minutes for your library staff meetings, and tally your five-year backlog of hash marked reference desk statistics.

Ask the readers: Do you have other suggested activities for hazing new librarians? Share them in the comments section below.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Read, Being well-

Use your experience at the library's reference desk to get the pulse of what people are reading.  If you want people to read and cite your writing, consider writing an article entitled, "The Effects of Global Warming on Marijuana Legalization: Can Childhood Obesity be the Next Diabetes for Autistic Serial Killers with HIV/AIDS."  If you can publish this in The Academic Journal -- Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Research Articles, that's all the better.

Note: If you are a desperate undergraduate who stumbled upon this page in a Google search, stop right now and go see your local librarian.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dissatisfaction, Faking

Librarians should celebrate National Library Week by pretending to be dissatisfied with their profession. Admitting that you actually like your job is a sign of weakness, and it will open you up to ridicule and resentment from your library colleagues. You'll be much happier if you pretend to be miserable.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tweets, Writing archive-worthy

Librarians should celebrate National Library Week by tweeting their support for libraries.  Your public Twitter posts will now be recorded for posterity by the Library of Congress, thus cementing your writing in the cultural record alongside tweets from @glennbeck, the unofficial @MTV_JerseyShore, and @fart_robot.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Posters, Motivating with

Celebrate National Library Week by staring lustfully over your glasses at your hunky celebrity READ poster while absentmindedly filing vendor invoices in your lonely cubicle.

[Link updated 4/9/12.]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yourself, Celebrating

Librarians should celebrate National Library Week with desperate, self-congratulatory behavior, like begging patrons for written compliments about the library and ghost-writing pro-library letters to the editor.  If you think you have done an especially good job of patting yourself on the back, consider nominating yourself as a "National Library Week Star."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Without, Doing

Librarians should celebrate National Library Week by temporarily closing their libraries.  Nothing will make your patrons appreciate their libraries and librarians like going for a whole week without free books and movie rentals, free wireless Internet, and online pornography.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Management, Classroom

A librarian should begin each library instruction class by plucking headphones from students' ears, confiscating cell phones, and searching all bookbags for contraband food.  If there is any time remaining, show them all how to become fans of the library's new Facebook page.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


Librarians should never LOL in a library.  If you hear, see, or read something in the library that requires you to LOL, quietly dismiss yourself from the room and LOL into a paper bag in your office. If you excuse yourself to ROTFL, be sure to straighten your skirt before returning to the circulation desk.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Books, Smelling

Never let your library patrons know that the romanticized "book smell" they love so much is actually just a mixture of burned popcorn from the staff microwave, carpet mildew from the children's section, and sweaty teenagers making out in the stairway.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Traps, Setting

Count the Skittles in your candy dish each morning and evening to see if the library's after-hours custodial crew is eating food from your desk.  If you determine that they are, in fact, eating your candy, hide a note at the bottom of the bowl that says, "You have just been busted by a very petty librarian."

Monday, April 05, 2010

Briefcases, Beware of rolling

Librarians should beware of patrons toting rolling briefcases.  Those briefcases are loaded with so much unspent hostility that they can't be lifted.  You don't want these bags to be opened in the reference room.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Expertise, Establishing

Always begin your answer to a reference question by stating your educational credentials.  Your master's degrees in library science and English literature will lend credibility to your directions to the nearest restroom.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fools' Day, Celebrating

Celebrate April Fools' Day by telling playfully outlandish tales to your library patrons, like, "The library web site is a good alternative to Google!" or "I would love to hear about your family genealogy!"  Hilarity will ensue.

Ask the readers: What outlandish tales will you tell this April Fools' Day?