Librarian Revolution

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Librarians see themselves as the guardians of the First Amendment… I wouldn’t mess with them. I really didn’t realize the librarians were, you know, such a dangerous group.

— Michael Moore, after outraged librarians saved his book

To celebrate our profession’s revolutionary approach toward freedom of expression,
I have created a new product line* at the Librarian Avengers store, featuring the Revolutionary Librarian. She’s a deadpan librarian, wielding the Flaming Stamp of justice. You can get her on a coffee cup, shirt, or on some glossy cards to send to your nettlesome patrons. Yes, those are knitting needles in her hair.

*As usual, all proceeds go toward the Erica family “mortgage and random charities” fund

Hot Librarian Necklace

From the department of products-inadvertently-marketed-to-librarians:

Hot Librarian Necklace


$40 USD – Handmade in Toronto and sold on etsy.com

Oh yes. Hot indeed. I believe some of us here can confirm that boys and girls DO make passes at folks who wear glasses. Especially if they are well-versed in database design, collections management, or bibliographic instruction.

Allergy alert stickers

allergy_stickers.jpg

I have a life-threatening peanut allergy. My lungs fill up and my throat closes and WOW are nuts a bad thing. Which is why I want these vinyl “No Peanuts” stickers by Jeeto.

Chuck and I have been trying to translate the word “peanut” into 30 languages whenever we go to a restaurant. It would be nice to have a visual aid.

When I was a kid, nobody had heard of “allergies”, so I didn’t get a lot of cred when I pouted and refused to eat my snickerdoodle. My folks fought for me when they could, but there were plenty of incidents. There was the Evil Girl Scout Leader with the PBJ, the home economics class with the peanut brittle, my forgetful grandma and the cracker jacks.

Having it in writing might help a kid stick up for herself.

So, yay to Jeeto and a generation of militant parents! Yay for continued access to oxygen!

Amazon customer reviews: Bananas

I spent the afternoon poking around the more obscure areas of Amazon.com (It’s snowing, I’m lazy) and I came across a distributor that sells fresh groceries.

amazonfruit.jpgThe page layout is the same as any other Amazon product, the content is just a bit…different.

I love reading what other people think about something before I buy it. The Amazon customer reviews for bananas, however, are just a bit silly.

There is some hilarious writing lodged in the crevasses of online consumer reviews. I can’t help wondering if the Internet caused these folks to burst from their creative shells, or if they might be writing actual books instead of, say, posting on their weblogs.

Just in case you were wondering, Amazon directly sells bulk drygoods groceries through their beta site Amazon Grocery. They have some good organic stuff that might be difficult to find outside of Hippieville, USA where I live.

Full disclosure: I do not work for Amazon.com. They aren’t paying me to be nice to them. But they should. Amazon: Call me!

My new shopping technique is unstoppable

(apologies to mnftiu.cc)

I visited the Cornell Dump & Run this weekend, an ingenious fundraiser that sells the cast-off detritus of graduating students. I went last year and got a pretty good idea where the good stuff was located. I made a beeline for the bags, dresses, lamps, and women’s tops.

For $28, I came away with:

  • Gucci handbag
  • Banana Republic handbag
  • Kate Spade handbag (washable stain on bottom)
  • Paul Frank monkey wallet, new
  • Liz Claiborne purse and wallet
  • $360 red BCBG dress (looks new, fits!)
  • Banana republic jeans that mysteriously fit my body
  • Ann Taylor cashmere sweater and shell
  • Esprit fall jacket, new w/tags
  • University of Chicago hoodie, looks new & warm
  • DKNY party skirt to Ebay (size 4, free to any interested anorexic readers)
  • A variety (20 or so) of nice work clothes from various high-end retailers
  • A variety of nice work clothes that don’t fit me but will fit friends
  • Wood beaded necklace
  • Benetton blazer, one loose button
  • Chrome clamp-on desk lamp, looks new
  • Various office supplies
  • Swanky Lexus Keyring

Ladies and gentlemen, beware my discount bling!

Shoes

So now that I live in New York, my habit of wearing all black in the summer has a certain cachet. In other states, however, there are apparently things called “summer clothes” which are pastel in hue and employ an efficient use of fabric. I discovered this while at a party in Austin, where my black mules became an object of some amusement. “It must still be cold in Michigan,” a helpful Texan proclaimed, “since you still have your winter shoes on.”

Up until that point, I had only been familiar with three categories of shoes: Cute, Hiking, and Work.

Now, apparently, there was some mysterious fourth category, a shoe only used for two months out of the year. A summer shoe. A quick survey revealed that every woman at the party besides me was wearing rubber thongs on her feet. Yes, those things that people wear in the shower when visiting locker rooms or suspicious motels. Fortunately, I work in a library where extreme office temperatures and the wearing of cardigans is expected, and the issue of summer shoes has not reared its head.

That, by the way, was my summer shoe story which I promise never to tell again because I have officially worn it out. Some stories are so easy to pull out in certain situations that they get overused, tired and worn. Others never wear out, and their telling becomes a sort of ceremonial chant. The shoe story ends here.

In other news, my department is running a workshop this week, and as a result I spent a small part of my day sorting tea into different colors and arranging it in rows.

It was a weirdly library-like thing to do, all of this sorting and arranging, and although I know that tea is often presented this way, I still felt the urge to affix little catalog numbers to each row of tea.

If this is a symptom of someone who needs a vacation you may rest easy. I’ll be in Pennsylvania all next week.

Hooray Hooray the ALA

Oh that wacky American Library Association convention. Imagine, if you will, 50 billion librarians wandering around downtown Toronto. Yes, it looked like that.

I did a bit of shopping on Sunday afternoon, and had the honor of being informed by a salesgirl that a librarian had appeared on TLC’s A Makeover Story and had been brought to that very store. “See” she implied, “it’s not too late for you!”

On a similar “weird public image of librarianship” line, I had more trouble with the ALA vendors than usual. Since I’m no longer a student, I had to contend with eager sales representatives trying to sell me their wares. I found myself regularly explaining that SOME librarians don’t actually work with books, deal with the public, or care much about the latest installment in the Harry Potter series. Once I made the mistake of mentioning the words “digital preservation research” and was treated to a sales pitch for a music journal.

I did get a chance to see a copy of Revolting Librarians Redux this weekend, and I would like to encourage everyone to buy the heck out of it. Among other things, the book contains a poem that I hadn’t read since I submitted it. I was pleased to see that it didn’t suck quite as badly as I had feared.

News Flash: A woman just walked by my library office window practicing sign language to herself. People often walk by my office and don’t realize they are being observed. Unfortunately, this works both ways, and I’ve often been caught chewing my fingernails by a casual passerby.