Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Bathroom Breaks, Taking More Than You Need When Working With Annoying Co-Workers

Feel free to just leave the reference desk for 15...hell, 20 minutes at a time when working alongside annoying co-workers. If pressured to provide your whereabouts, your excuse will be: "I have a bad case of the shits, dude."

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Utilization, Using the word

Something they should teach in library school...
u til ize (tr. v.) To put to use, esp. to find a profitable or practical use for.

USAGE NOTE: Many critics regard utilize as an unnecessary and pretentious substitute for use. But this is not true in all cases. Utilize can mean "to find a profitable or practical use for." Thus, the sentence The teachers were unable to use the new computers might mean only that the teachers were unable to operate the computers, whereas The teachers were unable to utilize the new computers suggests that the teachers could not find ways to employ the computers in instruction.

From The American Heritage College Dictionary. 4th edition.

Resume, Updating your

An academic librarian shouldn't have a resume, but a curriculum vitae. This is apparently Latin for "long boring resume" and can be referred to as a "C.V." for short. A CV should contain a list of every meeting you've ever attended, every association you've ever been on the mailing list for, and every time you've spoken within earshot of your Dean or Department Head. Ever written a letter to the editor of your local weekly newspaper? Heck, throw that in too!

CVs, being longer than traditional one-page resumes, require more than the traditional one-page cover letter. You should try to summarize -- in narrative form -- every single item that is listen on your CV. Brevity won't get you a job, but prosaic self-congratulation will!

Expert search committee member,

Professional Associations, On Avoiding Like the Plague

Professional Associations can provide valuable information, opportunity for networking, the wherewithal to consolidate opinions, and the ability to form or change paradigms within a professional field, except in Library and Information Science. Avoid all library associations as if they were deadly diseases, even if your employer pays the bill. A good librarian boycotts these aloof cliques in order to one day start up a totally new rad association for librarians who are fed up with the present 'system.' Such future association might be named NĂ¼ Skool Liberians or possibly Infopro's On Da Loose or some other similar awesomely-named title. There might be a microchip implanted under the member's skin for identification purposes (thereby making sure that old-schoolers don't try to infiltrate the new association).

Friday, February 18, 2005

Meetings, How to have effective

Are you finding that your meetings aren't as effective as they could be? Here's plan!
  1. Have a pre-meeting meeting to discuss what will happen in the meeting.
  2. Have the meeting (as usual).
  3. Have a post-meeting meeting to discuss what just happened at that meeting.
This works best when the three meetings are back-to-back-to-back. Also, a change of scenery helps give attendees a fresh perspective, so move the meetings from room-to-room.


Thursday, February 10, 2005

Listservs, Taking Over and Making A Nuisance of Yourself On

Speaking of Listservs, don't forget to horde the spotlight by commenting, berating, patronizing and intimidating the poster of every single message that comes through the Listserv. This type of behavior should begin in Library and Information Science school, and should get gradually worse once you start your first professional job. One day, you'll be so notoriously obnoxious that your behavior will insure that every single intelligent librarian who reads the Listserv will be too intimidated to post. This will drive all of the bright people in our profession into radio silence mode and keep internet superheroes such as yourself believing that their abrasive, condescending 'characters' matter. Also, make sure that you post at least 5 jokes, recipies, chain-emails or other miscellaneous messages per day. Everybody loves off-topic content as much as you do.

Listservs, Participating in

Library listservs can be great for keeping up with the goings-on in the professional world or sharing problems and concerns with your colleagues. Some are very low-traffic, while some send several hundred email messages a day.

However... If you can't manage the amount of email you get, maybe you should UNSUBSCRIBE from some of those lists. If you can manage to filter listserv messages into folders, or get digests instead of individual emails from the list, GREAT! But if you are unable to read work-related emails because you "just get too many emails to read them all," then get off the lists. That excuse is insulting, and it says a lot about your skills as "an information professional."

Also, if you spend more office hours sending and responding to listserv messages than you do working at your real job, maybe you're not as necessary as you think you are.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Eccentric, On Being As Much As Possible

Your high school days are long gone, but remember to project as much pain, misery and depression as you did back when the jocks and stoners bullied you between classes. Being a grown-up doesn't mean you have to act grown up, at least not if you're an MLS-level librarian. Make sure you don't sell out to the man by wearing grown-up attire or by letting a professional stylist cut your hair. Do it yourself, you radical hip thing, you! Make handbags out of random bits of felt, denim and something shiny (for that 'found' look) and cut your own hair. Don't cheat by buzzing it with clippers, though, use scissors and cut the hair at medium length. If you're male, only wear the most horrific glasses frames. This will insure that you don't accidentally get laid more than once a decade.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Potluck meals, Inviting retirees to

Don't invite Retirees to library potluck parties. They will steal your shit.

I don't think they intentionally try to sneak off with a new casserole dish or crockpot lid, but they're old and senile and may not realize they've left you with a lid that doesn't match your bowl.


Monday, February 07, 2005

Cell phones in the public restroom, Using

If you happen upon someone who is using a cell phone in the stall of a public restroom, it is your responsibility to make that person admit (to the person on the line) that they are on the toilet.

You can do this by knocking loudly on the stall door, flushing a neighboring toilet, or interrupting to ask for some toilet tissue.