Friday, February 26, 2010

Paralibrarian, Being a

The term "paralibrarian" should never be used to classify your library's paraprofessional staff.  These greedy library staffers already have enough names without having to devalue the education and training required to become a parachuting librarian.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Signs, Making patrons read

Frustrated with patrons who won't read the signs you have hanging throughout your library? Here are some tips...
  1. Invest in a newer, bigger, shinier, more colorful sign that reads, "PLEASE READ ALL SIGNS @ YOUR LIBRARY."
  2. Subliminally sneak random naughty words into your signs (e.g., "NO porn sex FOOD naked OR DRINKS IN xxx adult THE LIBRARY")
  3. Add the following language in small print to the bottom of all existing signs: "Patrons who do not read signs are subject to eye rolls, sassing, or even bodily harm from the librarian on duty."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Legacy, Leaving a

Decorate the librarian-side of your reference desk with hand-scrawled sticky notes, outdated scraps of paper, and dog-eared policy documents of unknown origin. Your contribution of an unlabeled call number on a Post-it will most likely outlast your career.

For extra fun, discreetly post the URL for this post somewhere on your library's reference desk (dated on the back), and see how long it lasts there.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Robot, You are not a

Librarians should refrain from calling themselves "cybrarians."  If you talk this way, it may be time for someone to reformat your hard drive.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stapler, Loading the

Never let the library's stapler run out of staples at the reference desk. This important piece of equipment fastens more than just your partrons' sheets of paper, it holds together the entire fabric of the library profession.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Comedian, Being an amatuer

Instruction librarians should use well-rehearsed library jokes, one-liners, and puns in an attempt to lighten the tone of their library lectures.  Just remember that you are only funny in relation to the dryness of your lesson, and your students still think you're a dweeb even if they do laugh at your recycled jokes.

Ask the readers: What comedic gems do you use re-use in your library lectures?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Timing, Perfecting your

A librarian should never prepare one hour of material for a one-hour class. The professor will always be ten minutes late, instruct you to wait five more minutes for any "straggling" students, and then take ten minutes to hand back homework and check attendance. You can spend those twenty-five lost minutes looking at Facebook like everyone else in the room before teaching your 30-minute class.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kids, Supporting your coworkers'

As a librarian you will be expected to buy overpriced magazine subscriptions, candy bars, fruit, and frozen cookie dough from your coworkers for their kids' school fundraisers. If you don't yield to these solicitations, those snot-nosed little punks might slash the tires on your library booktruck.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hands, Holding

A good librarian will register his or her library colleagues for the Handheld Librarian Online Conference, set up a group viewing room, and send daily reminders leading up to the gathering. Those who stand to benefit most from the conference need a lot of hand holding and can't do these things by themselves.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Webinars, Attending

Library administrators can use webinars to provide their librarians with professional development opportunities right from the comfort of their computer desktop. If you are lucky enough to attend a webinar, be sure to thank your boss for letting you sleep through a soul-crushing PowerPoint presentation without the burden of having to travel to a new city, eat at nice restaurants, and swim in the hotel's indoor pool.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day, Celebrating

Embrace the stereotype of sexy librarian, and celebrate Valentine's Day at your library by flirting with your patrons. [Note: If you are a children's librarian, this advice may get you arrested.]

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day, Preparing for

As Valentine's Day approaches, librarians should begin reviewing and updating the library's prohibitions against public displays of affection, the viewing of explicit online content, and the reading of terrible love poetry.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Black History Month, Celebrating

Celebrate Black History Month @ your library by publicly calling your cataloger a racist for using the subject heading "Blacks -- History" instead of "African American -- History" in a catalog record.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Snacks, Squirreling

During the cold winter months, librarians will sometimes deplete their stores of office snacks, frozen Weight Watchers meals, and vending machine fare at their libraries. Should the need arise, you may turn your computer keyboard upside down, shake it, and find a full meal of granola, muffin crumbs, and M&Ms Minis.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Morning person, Being a

Being a morning person does not give you the right to talk to your library coworkers before 9:00 a.m. Be courteous and give them some space. Conversations involving database contracts, 856 fields, or Access reports are strictly prohibited until after lunch.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Questions, Stupid

You are professionally obligated to tell your library's patrons that "There's no such thing as a stupid question," even though they will always try and succeed at proving you wrong.

Ask the readers: What is the stupidest question you've ever been asked?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Humble, Being

Never admit that your web design skills surpass those of your Web Librarian. If you do, you might find yourself assigned to a powerless Web Page Oversight Committee that makes recommendations your Web Librarian can't implement.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Mobile, Going

Libraries should spend a lot of time, money, and effort to make their web sites mobile-phone-compatible. Smart phone users should have just as much right to ignore your page as the rest of your patrons.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Shadows, Seeing

On February 2, acquisitions librarians will emerge from their offices with a printout of the library's budget. If they see their shadows, there will be six more weeks of book ordering. If they don't, new book orders will go into a queue for the next budget cycle.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Authority file, Respecting your

At least once per year, one of your library's catalogers should walk up to the reference desk and shank a reference librarian with a letter opener. These public shows of aggression will earn you the respect of your colleagues and help maintain the social order in your library.