Friday, October 23, 2009

Web sites, Abandoning

The best library Web site is a library Web site that doesn't need to be updated. Libraries can save valuable human and technical resources by removing all links, staff directories, hours, and other "changeable" information on their pages. Additionally, by disconnecting the phones and locking the library's doors, the librarians will suddenly find more time for meeting with one another to discuss the design and effectiveness of the library's Web site.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Exclaiming, Job Search

Unless you have ever worked for Yahoo!, there is absolutely no excuse for using exclamation marks in your library job application letter or resume.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Battles, Email

If you are going to subject your library coworkers to a fiery toned public email battle with another colleague, at least try to make it interesting. Nobody wants to read fifty back-and-forth argumentative emails about your use of the MARC record's 856 field. Consider your audience... use more expletives, insult the other person's cats, and ramp up the obvious sexual tension. Your readers deserve better.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Reading, Popular

Labeling a shelf the "popular" reading shelf, does not necessarily make it popular. If you want your library's bookshelves to be popular, stock them with smutty magazines, the illustrated Kama Sutra, Lost Girls, The Anarchist's Cookbook, and free candy. Oh, and anything involving vampires.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

ALA, Going to

Don't feel guilty about spending your library's money to travel to ALA. It is the one time of year when your colleagues and staff actually get to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the library without you in it. Everyone will agree that that is money well spent.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Embarrassment, Avoiding

Never let your mother find out that your library has an Instant Messenger service at the reference desk.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Jobs, Helping people find

Libraries can make themselves relevant during tough economic times by hosting resume writing workshops and job fairs. Your recently laid-off library staff and unemployed new library school graduates will thank you for helping them get jobs at McDonald's.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Up, Warming it

A good reference librarian should be courteous to his or her colleagues by warming the seat of the chair at the reference desk during a shift. Your fellow librarians will thank you for the posterior warmth your inactivity provides.

Be careful not to take this advice too far... no one wants to sit in a sweat-soaked seat. If your ass sweats when you answer reference questions, bring a towel.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Up, Beaming yourself

It is never, under any circumstances, appropriate for a librarian to come to work dressed in a Star Trek uniform.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Web site, Designing your library

When redesigning a library web site, libraries can make up for their lack of a real web designer by assembling a committee of librarians to tackle the job. Five or six untrained, tasteless, design-illiterate people can surely tackle the task of site architecture, user interface, and graphic design.

Ask the readers: Got a library web site that was designed by committee? Share it (and your commentary) in the comments below.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Overdue notices, Sending

Libraries should use the threat of overdue fines to create a sense of power over their patrons. Nothing says, "I am a force to be reckoned with!" like a generic system-generated email/postcard/letter demanding 25-cents.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Parties, Throwing

Final exams week is a great time to host an impromptu party at your library. But don't invite your security folks. They will confiscate uncovered drinks and/or spray your students in the face with mace.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Mug, Your ugly

Librarians should choose clever coffee mugs to express themselves creatively around the workplace. A person's mug says a lot about him or her. For example, your "An oyster a day keeps the Viagra away!" mug explains to your library colleagues both your bad breath and your boners.

Ask the readers: What's the best/worst coffee mug used at your library?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In, Blending

Librarians should not wear clothes with pictures of books on them. This "library-camouflage" may hide you as you wander in the stacks, but it makes you a target for nerdhunters as soon as you walk out the library's front door.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Week, Celebrating

Librarians can celebrate Earth Week by...
  • Unplugging all of the library's computers
  • Burning library books to save fossil fuels
  • Encouraging staff to not shower for a week
  • Only circulating green books
  • Using patron poop to fertilize library landscaping

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shushing, Equal opportunity

It is your responsibility as a librarian to inform library patrons when their headphones are too loud. Nevermind if the patron has impaired hearing and turns out to be using an assisted listening device. Disabilities are no excuse for noisiness in the library.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Meetings, Escaping from

It is perfectly acceptable for a librarian to fake a small bladder to escape from a meeting, workshop, or conference presentation. If you play the part convincingly enough, you can even angle for a "handicapped parking" spot.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Booktrucks, Loving your

Book trucks are a hot commodity in libraries. Protect them. Label them for your department so that they don't wander. Send out accusatory mass emails when they go missing. Decorate them. Rotate their tires every 7,000 miles. But please, please, please, please, please.... spare us all and don't dance with them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

No, Just say

List all your library's prohibitions on homemade signs and paste them around your library. No food. No drinks. No cell phones. No animals. No noise. No weapons. No sex. No farting. No murder. No eefing. How else will your patrons know all the things they are not allowed to do in your library?

Ask the readers: What is the most ridiculous prohibitive sign in your library?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Circulation, Beware of

Library circulation departments are where the real crazies work. Don't mess with these people. They will do something to your car. Or unravel your cardigan.

Ask the readers: Which is the craziest department in your library?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Coffee, Fixing the

A polite librarian will sneak into the library staff's coffee stash, empty the Folgers Half-Caff canister, and refill it with the good stuff. You can make your library a better place.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Librarian, Being a librarian's

If a colleague calls you "a librarian's librarian," it is perfectly acceptable to punch him or her in the mouth.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Projecting, Overhead

Librarians can kick it old school by using an overhead projector and transparencies in their library instruction sessions. Print the transparencies from PowerPoint slides to show that you are being ironic.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Breaks, Taking

Happy, healthy librarians smoke cigarettes. Smoking librarians get more breaks, take longer breaks, and get outside the library several times per day.