Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ph.D, Getting your

There are only two reasons a librarian should get a Ph.D:
  1. You are bored with being a librarian
  2. You have some serious insecurities to overcome

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Doubt, Giving the benefit of the

Always assume that patrons are using your library computers for legitimate, academic reasons. It is not uncommon for students to research...
  • autobiographical communication perspectives in Facebook user profiles
  • the effects of high bandwidth speed on illegal file sharing
  • a "how they do it" demonstration on student plagiarism
  • feminism and gender identity in pornographic depictions of big beautiful women
  • a participative ethnographic study of librarians' hostility towards cell phones, loud iPod ear buds, and unapproved beverage containers

Friday, November 07, 2008

The, The

A polite librarian should always insert a the before proper names of Internet name brands. Demonstrating your familiarity with the Google, the Facebook, or the Twitter, is a good way to establish some internet-cred with the kids.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Shark, Jumping the

Librarians should be wary of jumping the shark when it comes to their use of technology. During its election night coverage, CNN introduced "hologram" interviews. And now, dear reader, sit back and wait for the first hologram reference librarian, hologram library instruction session, and vendor-sponsored holograminar... coming soon to a library near you.

Ask the readers: Have libraries already jumped the (technological) shark? If so, when? And how?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quotation marks, "Unnecessary"

Forget what you learned in your "grammar" classes... a good librarian will sprinkle quotation marks liberally throughout his or her written and electronic correspondence to give certain words more "emphasis." You can also do this with your verbal communications, though beware of people who may mistake your emphatic gesture for sarcastic "dick fingers."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Meetings, Filibustering in

By learning Robert's Rules of Order and enforcing them in library-related meetings, a good librarian can act as parliamentarian and either a) learn to filibuster bad ideas and delay implementation with procedural motions, second readings, and votes or b) be totally obnoxious and get un-invited from future meetings.

Ask the readers: The editors will now accept motions from the floor (e.g., "I hereby move that...")

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Vendors, Hating

Librarians should not hate library database vendors. Yes, they dress better than you and they get paid more than you, but they are miserable soulless people who deserve your compassion. Plus, they give you free ink pens.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Webinars, Library

Every time a librarian uses the word webinar, a little piece of his or her soul dies.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Banned books, Celebrating

A good librarian will celebrate freedom of information and the diversity of ideas by celebrating Banned Books Week at the library. The best way to do this is to round up all the really nasty books in your library and lock them all up in a glass display case.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Affirmations, Daily

Librarians should puff up their self esteem by reciting daily professionally-self-righteous affirmations, like...
  • I promote literacy
  • I support free speech
  • I am an advocate for communities
  • I am a defender of civil liberties
  • I am an educator
Reminding yourself of your professional nobility will make you feel better about pissing away the afternoon reading blogs and goofing on Facebook.

Ask the readers: Share your own self-righteous library affirmations in the comments below.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Candy, Keeping

A good librarian will always keep a dish of jelly beans around for those occasions when a coworker will bring their kids or grandkids by the office. The kids will like you and remember you if you feed them sugary treats. If, by chance, you don't like kids, just lace the jelly beans with poison.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Emails, Sending flaming

It is generally not acceptable for librarians to send flaming, angry mass emails to their coworkers. Instead, try slapping your coworkers across the face. This direct, personal touch eliminates the electronic paper trail and leaves little room for misinterpretation.

Ask the readers: What inspired the most recent flaming email at your library?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Assignments, Writing Library

Librarians should make the instructions on library assignments as excruciatingly detailed as possible. Always assume that your students are mentally retarded and require phonetic spelling of big words like pir-e-ah-deh-kul and mi-kro-film.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Poop, Sharing a

Noisily pooping in a stall next door to a fellow (pooping) librarian colleague is an intimate and sometimes awkward event. As you both emerge from your stalls to wash your hands, break the tension by saying, "Well, that was the most productive I've been all day!"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Doodles, Passing time with

Librarians can pass the soul-crushing hours spent in committee meetings by doodling in the margins of their notepads. If you're looking for inspiration, consider doodling some of the following pictures:
  • a reconfigured floorplan for your office or workspace
  • caricatures of the other people in the room
  • Pac-Man (eating bullet points)
  • flowers and rainbows
  • genitalia
Ask the readers: What do you doodle during library meetings?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

URLs, Sharing

It is incumbent upon you as a good librarian to choke the obnoxiousness out of anyone who attempts to shorten "U-R-L" to "earl" in their everyday conversation. Keep a tight grip. It could take a while.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Close talker, Being a

If you insist on being a close-talker, do your library's patrons and your coworkers a favor and try to have good breath.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Character, Being a library

Every library's personnel roster should include someone to fill each of the following character roles:
  • the village idiot
  • the insecure scholar
  • the Pollyanna
  • the skanky slut
  • the pretty one
It is recommended to write these roles into people's job descriptions so that you don't end up with more than one idiot.

Ask the readers: What other characters belong on the library payroll?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cartoons, Decorating with

Librarians should decorate their office doors (or cubicle walls) with cartoons strips. Be sure to label each cartoon with a proper APA citation, copyright notice, and a bibliography for further reading.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Guilty pleasures, Sharing your

Librarians often have guilty pleasures that belie their professional personas. Your unhealthy fascination with celebrity gossip magazines, World of Warcraft, hip hop music, romance novels, or prostitutes won't qualify as a guilty pleasure if you're shamelessly blogging about it at the reference desk.

Ask the readers: What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

Friday, June 27, 2008

ALA Annual Conference, How to pack for the

Before heading off to the American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim, be sure to pack the following items:
  • Your laptop (for live blogging the Distance Learning Interest Group's business meeting)
  • Your knitting (for times when you're not live blogging)
  • A bottle of your favorite liquor (for the "Web 2.0" drinking game)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SUDOC, Putting the "eww" in

A polite librarian should never correct a patron when he or she mistakenly asks to see your "government suppository" collection. Once the desired government document is checked out, the library has no business knowing how the patron plans to consume it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rock you, We will

Librarians should follow the rock concert model and spend the first five minutes of each library instruction class with some music to get your students in the mood for research. Before the main attraction, offer up one of these motivational selections:
  • "We Will Rock You" - Queen
  • "Gonna Make You Sweat" - C+C Music Factory
  • "Search & Destroy" -- Iggy and the Stooges
  • "Whoomp! There It Is" - Tag Team
  • Or any funeral dirge of your choice
Ask the Readers: What song would be a fitting introduction to YOUR library instruction classes?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Animal cruelty, Reporting incidents of

It is not necessary to contact PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) when your library administrators are beating a dead horse. On the other hand, a librarian should contact the authorities immediately if you catch someone spanking the monkey or choking a chicken in the library.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cheezburger, U cannot haz

You are a librarian. An information professional. You are too old to be into lolcats. Seriously. Stop it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Obsessive-compulsive, Being

If you are going to be an obsessive-compulsive librarian, at least try to be good at your job. Excessive incompetence isn't good for anyone.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Politics, Talking

A librarian should never talk politics at work. Especially if you work with a bunch of idiots who don't agree with your political views.

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?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Reference desk (Part two), Timeliness at the

A professional librarian should publicly berate colleagues who show up two minutes late for a reference desk shift. How else will the offending librarian know that he or she is inhibiting your immediate need to get a candy bar from the staff vending machine?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Reference desk, Timeliness at the

Librarians should be aware that showing up two minutes late for your reference desk shift will make your colleagues hate you. Your fellow librarians are petty people who measure their grievances in minutes and seconds.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Staff break room, Using the

Feel free to leave expired dairy products, decomposing produce, and months-old Mexican leftovers in the library’s staff refrigerator. Leave exploded gravy from your frozen Lean Cuisine lunch to dry on the interior walls of the staff microwave. Leave empty ice trays and dirty coffee mugs in the library’s break room sink for someone else to wash.

But never allow a patron to bring food or drink into the library. Patrons are filthy, dirty people.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Computer format wars, On taking sides and feeling important about it

Make sure that you make it perfectly clear to everybody around you that you prefer one computer format over the other in loud, snortling, condescending tones. If you hear someone in the distance mentioning having computer problems with a PC, go over to the person, shaking your head and rolling your eyes, and say something patronizing like "pssshaw, you use a PC?" and force an audible passive-aggressive laugh as you walk away. Then saunter off Dubya-style like a cowboy knowing that, even though you didn't invent the Mac, you are a far superior and smarter person for having purchased the better platform.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Innuendos, Using library

With the sexual harassment fuddy-duddies trying to ruin everyone’s fun, librarians are forced to get creative with library-related innuendos for their explicit workplace small talk. Some examples:

  • I’ve got something he can check out!
  • May I pull your call slip?
  • I’d like to cite that in the bibliography.
  • I think his index is cross-referenced.
  • I think she’s got a little mildew in her special collections.

Ask the readers: Got any other library innuendos you’d like to share? Use the comments section below.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tutorials, Creating online

If your library’s patrons are having a hard time navigating the wealth of information on the library web site, create online video tutorials to demonstrate some simulated searches. If your patrons can’t figure out how to use the tutorials, create a “How to use this tutorial” web page. You can then print this page and hand it to patrons when they wander to the desk and ask you how to search for information.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hands, Washing your

Librarians who use waterless soap to repeatedly wash their hands should consider investing in disposable surgical gloves to keep germs at bay. One can never be too careful… there’s no telling who’s been rubbing their ass all over your keyboard.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Crafty, Being

Librarians should try to carve out part of their library work days for knitting, crocheting, and needlework. Appropriate occasions for doing crafts include your reference desk shifts, staff meetings, and professional development workshops. If these subtle cries for help don’t work, try broadcasting your sexual frustration by starting one of those “I’m a knitting librarian” blogs.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Committees, Naming

How to name a library committee:
  1. Pick a corny acronym.
  2. Find words that loosely fit letters in acronym.
  3. Form a subcommittee to look into changing the name of the committee to a fit a new corny acronym.
Ask the readers: What is your library's best committee acronym?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Given names, Eschewing

Never let anyone at your library call you by your first name. It is demeaning. You are a librarian and you command respect from both patrons and colleagues. You are a Mr. or a Ms. You should demand that your library’s plastic name tags reflect it.

Nothing stings like having someone call you by your given name as they ask you for directions to the toilet.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Patrons, Dating

Librarians should always consider their clientele as a potential dating pool. You never know... occasionally one of your homeless patrons just might be desperate enough to be seen in public with you.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Collections, Special

A good librarian should collect something. Anything. House your collection of unicorn figurines, Pez dispensers, or dog skulls in your library workspace to show your coworkers what a well-rounded individual you are.

Ask the readers: Got a coworker who collects weird stuff? Let us know in the comments section below.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Feng Shui, Practicing

A librarian should always position his or her computer monitor so that its screen is not observable by casual passers-by. Viewing online pornography at work can create a hostile work environment if other people can see it too.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dressing, On how to use as a torture device

All librarians are notoriously bad dressers (even the ones who think they look ok) so suddenly dressing and grooming yourself in a professional and appealing manner will serve as one hell of a tool for terrorizing your boss. Most library managers are massively insecure and seeing an old employee suddenly look good will make them think that you are looking for another job or even possibly in the process of interviewing. That will create work down the line for your boss as he/she scrambles to start their own interviewing process thereby making it impossible for them to take a 3-hour 'lunch.' Note: possible consequences might include the boss taking time out from his/her incredibly busy day to talk to you more often than usual in an effort to find out what the hell is going on with you and all your fancy suits. Play your cards right and never deny (or admit) anything. This should make up for the pathetic raise you got last year.

Men, bonus points for wearing hats like the gents in the pic.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wikipedia, Bemoaning

A librarian should never give a presentation without making an uncomfortable reference to patrons' use of Wikipedia. It helps if you claim to do this from atop your soapbox.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Goodbye, Saying

Show your library colleagues how much you will miss them by giving a demonstration and lecture on the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature as your retirement party speech. Then, ride off into the sunset on your booktruck.

Monday, April 14, 2008

National Library Week, Celebrating

It's National Library Week. Celebrate by taking a snort from the flask you keep in your fanny pack.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Fridays, Casual

Your library's "Casual Friday" dress code does not give you the license to wear sweatpants to work.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Odor, On dealing with the pungent stench of the guy sitting next to you

If your co-worker has a conscientious objection to using soap and water to wash him/herself and the odor makes you dizzy and suicidal, solve the problem by going down to the pharmacy and buying the strongest air-freshening product available. For added visual humor, buy one of those royal pine scented Car-Freshners and hang it near the offending stench factory.

Breasts, Looking at

When a fellow librarian tells you about a patron or coworker staring at her breasts, it is thereby acceptable for you to steal a glance at said breasts. But only for a second. Never touch them and say, "These?"

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bowels, Your

Don't be the librarian who continuously discusses your Crohn's Disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic diarrhea with your library coworkers. Keep that shit to yourself.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love, Declaring your

Librarians should not embarrass themselves on Valentine's Day by declaring their love for the Fed-Ex delivery guy.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Directional questions, Answering

Reference librarians should never admit that a large percentage of their work days are spent telling people how to get to their library's restrooms.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Student workers, Delegating tasks to

Sometimes the time and effort spent delegating a task to one of your library's student workers can take longer and involve more work than just doing the task yourself. Before delegating any task to a student worker, it is often beneficial to ask, "Are you retarded?"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Insane, On slowly driving your boss

Any time your boss asks you to send him/her a link to something obvious such as Google, Yahoo or AOL, send this link instead. Not only is it the wrong link, but you will most certainly release an assload of endorphins in your own brain knowing that your boss probably sifted through a few nuggets such as "How, the first time KITT was wrecked, they called in hundreds of scientists and engineers to fix him, but the last time, they did it in a garage with some kids from auto shop?" Ponder that, boss man, ponder that.

Internet, Hilariously renaming the

Demonstrate your comedic genius by cleverly renaming the Internet in your everyday library conversations. Your library coworkers will marvel at your zany wit every time you coin a crazy mix'em-up phrase like interweb, information highway, or the internets.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sick sense of humor, On having a

Respond to every reference question with the following phrase "Well, let me check Wikipedia..." This will amuse you while alarming the library patron. Repeat as needed.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Containers, Approving

Place arbitrary restrictions on the types of drinking containers your library patrons can use.

Patrons need rules, restrictive signage, and librarian "cup cops" to keep them from making a mockery of our profession.

Ask the Readers: Cup cops? Beverage bobbies? Who enforces your library's "approved container" rules?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Climate, Controlling the

If the temperature inside your library dips below 67 degrees Fahrenheit (brr!), it is perfectly acceptable to dress like a homeless person and build a bonfire in the nearest recycling bin.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Up, Catching

Always assume that your library coworkers want the short version of your answer to the obligatory question, "How was your holiday break?"

Some sample short answers that will suffice:
  • "Okay."
  • "Pretty good."
  • "Too short."
  • "Kind of sad... my _____ died."
  • "I'm an atheist."