Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Discreet, Being

A polite circulation librarian should always repeat the name of the patron's book aloud at the conclusion of a library check-out transaction.  By loudly saying, "I hope you enjoy An Idiot's Guide to Do-It-Yourself Colonoscopies, Ms. Johnson," you will not only confirm your patron's book selection, but also send the patron away with a personal touch they won't likely forget.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Interviews, Preparing for

Librarians should always prepare for job interviews by stalking their interviewers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools.  Nothing says, "I have mad research skills!" like sharing your intimate knowledge of a complete stranger's personal life.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Teaching, Mastering the art of

If students are not falling asleep during your library instruction classes, you are not doing it right. Lower the lights, turn up the heat, and consider getting a mentor to coach you through the intricacies of mass sedation.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Games, Playing

Librarians can improve their library instruction classes by adopting a game-show format.  Use a long microphone, have a leggy model point to the projected image of your computer screen, and give away fabulous prizes like an all-expenses paid trip to Boredom Island.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Minds, Reading

Beware of fellow librarians who claim to have an omniscient understanding of how patrons think.  This ability to empathize with their users can cause these librarians to overlook the fact that they sound like condescending gas bags when sharing their "knowledge" of a patron's point of view.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Candy, Throwing

Throwing candy to students as an incentive for participating in your library instruction classes gives you, the librarian, an opportunity to showcase not only your library catalog, databases, and facility, but also your glaring lack of athletic ability.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Jargon, Avoiding

Librarians should avoid library jargon at all costs.  Using outdated words like patrons, library, catalog, books, circulation, and reading is a surefire way to alienate people who come to your information building to use a findy thing to look for words on paper that they can then take home and view with their eyes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stats, Increasing

One measure of a library's effectiveness is its reference desk statistics.  Librarians can increase their stats at the reference desk by:
  • replacing the desk's "Information" sign with one that reads, "Free Office Supplies!!!"
  • hiring hotter reference librarians
  • making the library impossible for lay people to use
  • firing all the instruction librarians
  • consistently inflating the numbers to make yourself appear more valuable
Ask the readers: How do you increase reference desk statistics @ your library?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Instruction, Rehearsing

Always rehearse your search demonstrations before you go into a classroom so as to avoid stumbling upon any of the nuances and idiosyncrasies that your patrons will actually encounter once they begin their own research.  Taking the time to prepare can spare you the excruciating experience of explaining all the different ways your link resolver sucks.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Paper, Clipping

Librarians should always keep a stash of paper clips available at the reference desk.  You can use paper clips to...
  • eject illegally burned CDs from uncooperative PCs
  • perform emergency body-piercings for Goth patrons
  • make a chain/lasso for roping unattended children
  • create a collapsible ladder for your dramatic escape from the library's roof
  • gouge your eyes out after seeing the thing that guy was doing in the stairwell

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Diverse populations, Serving

Librarians can overcome language barriers at the circulation desk by answering every foreign language question with the answer, "No!"  And remember, everyone speaks the language of wild, exaggerated hand gestures.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Zombies, Fighting

If your library is invaded by zombies, a librarian should invite them all into the classroom and bore them to death with a lecture about scholarly versus popular periodicals.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Zzzs, Catching some

If you find one of your library coworkers sleeping at his or her desk, just leave them be.  If the librarian doesn't move for five days and begins to attract flies, you may have a bigger problem that will require you to file a work order.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Passwords, Securing

Librarians should secure their patrons' privacy by using a piece of transparent tape to affix sensitive system passwords to the library's reference desk computer monitor.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Privacy, Choosing

Celebrate Choose Privacy Week by giving your library's resident pervert a little extra space to do his thing in the back corner of the public computer lab.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Exams, Final

Academic reference librarians should welcome Final Exams Week by taking a much deserved vacation.  Before you leave though, be sure to hire a monkey who, in your absence, is capable of pointing to the stapler.