I got this email from Erin this morning. I’m all ego-y now. Once in a while I get a letter like this, an occurrence which pretty much defies reality and constructs a nice illusion of me as some sort of e-persona, which I suppose I could be if I worked on the website once in awhile instead of staying up until 4am reading “Sewer, Gas & Electric” by Matt Ruff. Dangit. Curse you Matt Ruff and your seductive prose!
at the YMCA tonight I saw…
an awesome girl in a “librarian avengers” t-shirt.
I was like, “Aw na, hell na– that’s awesome! Erica Olsen is like my best friend in the world.”
she was studying to become a librarian and generally thinks of you as an extraordinary genius.
I am beaming with pride!
We were walking around on our lunch break yesterday and found a really big feather. Next to the feather was a squirrel. By using Occam’s Razor, we determined that we had found a squirrel feather, and spent the rest of lunch trying to convince the reference department.
I got an email yesterday from a nice person who was curious about what exactly “library research” involves. Well, you know that little webcam on top of your computer? It only LOOKS like it’s turned off. Mwah-ha-ha-ha! Ha! Heh! Heh. ahem.
Overheard at the Cornell University library: “PubMed? That’s the bar you go to when you visit ClubMed.”
Apparently there have been at least two masturbation incidents in the stacks this week. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has worked in a library, but some people find the library to be quite arousing. Is it the books?
I’m told that Henry James can be rather risque. Or maybe the stacks create a feeling of public-privacy, an alone-in-my-room sort of feeling that works to the detriment of hapless female shelvers. And yes, there is often a hapless female shelver involved.
It happened to me. I think. He left fast, so it was difficult to tell.
I moved to a closed stacks collection soon afterward.
So my friend Clay (of reference desk fame) and I have just gotten out of our dance class, and we are talking about books. A woman overhears us and starts talking about a book she is reading on the subject of Jack the Ripper.
“What was that book?” she asks, “The one they made a movie out of?”
At this point I should pause and remind you that neither of us were in any way identifiable as librarians, nor were we at work, where we might have had a contractual obligation to answer this woman’s question. Yet answer it we did, with alacrity.
We pipe up, “Oh! you must mean the graphic novel From Hell by Alan Moore,” and our cover is blown. We have been exposed as professional know-it-alls. Any chance we might have had to pose as members of another, sexier profession has been lost.
We couldn’t just say “huh” like normal people. Nope, had to jump in there with the full bibliographic citation.
This is how librarians talk when they think no one’s looking. The following excerpts are from actual email conversations:
Me: Good news! The ALA now has a Library Worker’s Day! ALA loves library assistants! What I like most about this day is how close the phrase ‘library worker’ is to ‘sex worker.’ “Hi, I’m Erica and I’m a library worker! I started out as a library dancer, but now I just do some phone reference and a few library tricks on the side.”
My Librarian Friend: Some day I will be Madam at a whole Library of Ill Repute. Really naughty boys will be sent to Technical Services!!!
Me: Good news! The ALA now has a Library Worker’s Day! ALA loves paraprofessionals!
My Other Librarian Friend: Show me the money.
Hey, big news! Why you should fall to your knees and worship a librarian is now online in a nice temporary format. In other news, this blog has been discovered by people at work, so now I have to be extra careful not to mention how frightening I find the break room.
Here’s an interesting factoid about libraries and the people who work in them: Many of us have absolutely no contact with patrons or customers or whatever you call them. Mmm hmm. It’s true. Most of the straight-up academic librarians around here can be found hidden in back rooms, far from the maddeningly crowded cybercafe, trying to wrap their poor heads around grant applications and articles on digital preservation. Which, among other things, means I get to wear Birkenstocks to work.
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.