Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yums, Yucking

The best birthday gift you can give a library coworker is to refrain from discussing your Irritable Bowel Syndrome, food allergies, eating disorders, and/or vegetarianism during her office birthday lunch outing.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Drinks, Dribbling

If you are going to spill dribbles of tea or coffee onto the floor as you leave the library's break room, please be kind enough to leave a trail that leads all the way back to your office.  This courtesy will allow the custodians to easily track you down and beat you mercilessly with their mops.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Booktruck dance teams, Avoiding

Never agree to be on a library committee without first reading its charge.  Sometimes an innocuous sounding group, like the "Collection Assessment Revisioning Team," turns out to be the code name for your library's secret book cart dance troupe. And, yes, costumes are mandatory.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Handouts, Displaying

Never clean off your library's service desks.  Your display of outdated flyers, bookmarks, maps, comment cards, business cards, fast food coupons, calendars, newsletters, free newspapers, path finders, search tip sheets, and database help guides can just be buried beneath their new, more up-to-date replacements.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Victories, Celebrating

Librarians should celebrate monumental workplace victories with Gatorade showers. A meeting that lasts less than one hour? Give the committee chair a Gatorade shower! Faculty members who return books before their due dates? Give them a Gatorade shower! A class in which students make eye contact and respond to you? Give yourself a Gatorade shower! While costly clean-up can be an issue, the rarity of these events should minimize any damages.

Ask the readers: What "victories" would deserve a Gatorade shower @ your library?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Law, Being above the

As a librarian, you have the authority to flagrantly disobey your library's food and drink policy. Have pizzas delivered to the circulation desk, answer reference questions while gnawing on a fried chicken leg, and shelve books while eating cotton candy. No librarian should ever have to go hungry while vigilantly enforcing the library's prohibitions on bottled water.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Perverted, Being

Librarians who attend the Public Library Association's National Conference should be on the lookout for the most perverse group of librarians that ever existed... those that present at library conferences with no consideration of tenure and promotion. /shudder/

Monday, March 22, 2010

Volume, Pump down the

Never admonish library patrons for listening to their headphones too loudly.  Instead, a librarian should stand beside the offending patron, dance a vigorous MC Hammer dance, and say, "Wow!  I'm really digging that jam!"  Your endorsement will render the patron's coolness null and void, and send him or her running out of the library in embarrassment.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Instruction, Planning for

The more time a librarian spends preparing for a library instruction session, the more disappointed that librarian will be when it doesn't go as well as expected. Spare yourself the time, energy, and frustration by following this lesson plan:  
  1. Show up for class ten minutes late.
  2. Muddle through a database search on "global warming" (no matter what class it's for).
  3. Deride the class for being "a bunch of damn do-nothing millennials."
Dismiss class by abruptly walking out and slamming the door behind you for dramatic effect.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quiet, Enforcing

Set up a "quiet zone" in your library for your militant, overly-confrontational, hostility-seeking librarian to patrol.  This librarian-warrior should be provided with camouflaged clothing, a tazer (equipped with a silencer), and an intimidating metal finger guard for extreme shushing.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green, The wearing of the

Be sure to wear green on St. Patrick's Day.  As you read this, your perverted librarian coworker is wandering the stacks looking for someone to pinch.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Assimilation, Required reading for

College & Research Libraries News should be required reading for every academic librarian as they assimilate into the library workplace.  How else will one learn how to speak, make friends, and "be a person"?

Ask the readers: What other "assimilation" articles would you like to see printed in C&RL News?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Brackets, Filling out

Entertain yourself at work by making tournament brackets in which you pit your library coworkers against one another in fictional battles of competitive nerd-dom (book cart races), physical strength (librarian death matches), and/or interpersonal communication (maintaining eye contact during conversations).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tweets, Printing your

As many libraries and librarians embrace Twitter as a medium for professional correspondence and writing, they should be mindful to print their Tweets (individually; one per page) for inclusion in performance review portfolios.  Your reviewers will appreciate this documentation and will no doubt reward you for your concise writing style, your conscientious hashtagging, and your prolific professional "conversations" with yourself.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It, Sticking

Your choice of Post-it notes (or their generic counterparts) is essential to intra-library communication.  Choose a size and color for your correspondence that reflects your library personality.  For example:
  • Small notes are preferred by Tweeting-librarians.  
  • Large, line-ruled pads are used by more "mature" librarians.  
  • Pastels are for the meek, mild, and milquetoasts.  
  • Neons are used by librarians who are trying too hard to be cool.  
  • Pale yellow is reserved for the criminally insane (and/or the budget-restrained). 
Never use pieces of scrap paper and transparent tape to communicate with your library coworkers.  That is just pitiful.

Ask the readers: What kind of Post-its do you use, and what do they say about you?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Skills, Assessing your librarian

Your proficiency as a librarian can be measured solely through your ability to un-jam a printer without getting toner on your hands.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Socialism, Capitalizing on Anti-

Public libraries should capitalize on popular anti-socialist sentiments by using tax-payers' money to offer more "free" books by Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan, and Glenn Beck for their patrons.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Career Counselor, Being a

As a librarian, you will occasionally be called upon to counsel someone who is interested in joining your noble profession.  Always present librarianship in a positive way to these prospective librarians, and resist the urge to show them your "I Dewey Decimal" tattoo, your Nancy Pearl doll, or your pay check stub.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Budget, Cutting the

In tough economic times, libraries are often forced to make painful budget cuts.  Too often though, these cuts (layoffs, materials spending, etc.) happen behind the scenes and go unnoticed by library patrons.  Librarians can help their own budget situations by making bold, noticeable budget cuts that are sure to capture the attention of their users.  Some suggestions:
  1. Replace compact fluorescent light bulbs with... no light bulbs.
  2. Replace photocopiers with volunteer oral historians.
  3. Charge $5 per printed page.  (Twenty-page minimum.)
  4. Hire volunteer sex-offenders to conduct all story-time and young adult programming.
  5. Replace audio-book collection with homeless people who will follow patrons around and read books aloud.
  6. Heat the library by burning Bibles.
  7. Stop buying vampire novels.
Ask the readers: Do you have other bold ideas?  Let us know in the comments section below.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Flash mobs, Library

The best way to deter a flash mob from taking place in your academic library is to invite students to an official, library-sponsored flash mob.  Announcing it on Facebook, Twitter, and your library blog will drain it of all coolness and make it just as sparsely attended as all of your "local author" book discussion events.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Fanny pack, The ready reference

Every reference librarian should wear a fanny pack (or "bum bag" for readers in the UK) filled with office supplies. You never know when a patron will need your professional services to procure a pencil, an ink pen, a highlighter, WiteOut, Post-it notes, a small paper clip, a large paper clip, a 3x5" notecard, a 4x6" notecard, a staple remover, a permanent marker, a pair of scissors, a hole punch, a pencil, a ruler, binder clips, a blank CD, scrap paper, a stapler, a tissue, pain reliever, a Band-Aid, Rolaids, or a condom.

Ask the readers: What else do you carry in your "ready reference" fanny pack?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Women's History Month, Celebrating

March is Women's History Month. Celebrate the accomplishments of women everywhere by making your library's lone male librarian create a book display to mark the occasion.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Reading, Professional

Many library organizational memberships come with complimentary subscriptions to professional library magazines or journals. Pile these publications in a prominent place in your office to give the appearance of being a well-read, up-to-date librarian. By the time you retire, you will have enough issues to build a fortified wall around your desk to protect you from the kind of librarians who actually read those things.