Archive for the ‘Humor and lighter fare’ Category



I hope no one minds another library cat story. This one comes from Kent, UK via the  BBC. The cat in question, Fidel, apparently doesn’t like being left alone because he shows up when his owners are at work and leaves when they come home. As always, the cat is immensely popular with the library’s patrons.



As if one cat weren’t enough, the Ocean Shores Public Library in Washington has two: Olivia and Waldo, the latest in a number of cats they have given homes to.  Someone at the Seattle Times must like cats because not only is the story accompanied by a picture but there is a nice little video of the cats in the library and a photo gallery, as well. Here is a picture of  of Olivia working at the circulation desk:


 Apparently, black cats are particularly attracted to library work.


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American troops on parade in Vladivostok in August 1918. Japanese marines are standing at attention as the Americans pass a building occupied by the staff of the Czecho-Slovaks.

The Library History Buff Blog is always a wonderful read but Mr. Nix has been hitting ’em out of the park recently. There are two posts, in particular, that I recommend. His Sunday, Dec. 14 post is entitled Christmas in Vladivostok, 1918.  The ALA War Service and the American Expeditionary Force sent postcard greetings to the troops in Siberia, where Harry Clemons was working for ALA to provide services to the troops. This is a lovely post and I cannot help but feel proud, once again, to be part of a profession and tradition that takes books and learning and their critical importance in everyone’s life so seriously and with such dedication.


 On a lighter note the post for Friday, Dec. 12 is entitled, Library tim-toolman-taylorArtifact from Hell, and recounts a most amusing salvage operation carried out to preserve the old-fashioned iron shelving that was discarded when the Wisconsin State Law Library was restored. I don’t know why but the story reminded me of Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor for some reason. 

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42_grumpy_quiet_librarianYou young librarians may not know this yet but we older ones do. People almost always assume the best about librarians.  This follows on our image about which we often complain– but it does have benefits. I think only nurses, maybe, have it as good as we do.

I learned years ago, that when you are trying to convince a potential, pet-hating landlord to rent to you and your two cats, nothing opens doors faster, literally and figuratively, than the words, “I am a librarian”, particularly if you are a woman teetering on the edge of middle age. We ooze respectability. We really do. Messy reality simply doesn’t enter into it at all.

Nobody knows the troubles I've seen! Nobody knows my sorrows.

Nobody knows the troubles I've seen! Nobody knows my sorrows.

Even knowing this as I do, I was surprised to find out a couple of days ago that our image works for us, even when we get caught embarking on a life of crime.

I had discovered that my driver’s license was missing and had spent the afternoon retracing my steps in pursuit of it. It was not to be found. I finally gave it up for the day and headed home. It was rush hour and, as I watched the usual running of red lights, speeding, etc., it occured to me that I was going to have to be very careful. I had never been pulled over for a traffic violation but there is always a first time. It would not help things, if I couldn’t produce a license.

I turned into my neighborhood and, a block and a half from home on a very quiet street,  I was stunned to see flashing blue lights in my rearview mirror. Shaking my head in disbelief, I pulled over, uncertain whether to laugh or cry. A very pleasant officer came up and told me that I had not come to a “complete and full stop” at the stop sign. I handed over my registration and insurance and then, with a sinking heart,  ‘fessed up to my lost license. He took down my information and, to my surprise, asked me where I worked and what I did. He then asked for a phone number at the library. 

He returned to his squad car and was gone for what seemed like forever. He apparently verified everything and, to my amazement, came back and handed me two warnings. One for running the stop sign and one for not having a license. I could not believe my eyes. I suppose it is possible that I was born under a fortunate star. It is also possible that the officer was motivated by sympathy for my plight and went beyond the call of duty in showing mercy. But I am convinced that, once again, the magic of being a librarian saved me; if not from the big house, at least from having to pay fines, and deal with points on my license (or whatever happens in Alabama, when you are a traffic scofflaw).

Needless to say, I have been thoroughly rehabilitated and will never, ever fail to come to a full and complete stop again.

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What can I say? Mr. Bean— you either love him or loathe him.  If you don’t already know him, this clip is as good an introduction to the character as any and a nice addition to our growing collection of humorous library videos.

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I have heard Gov. Palin’s style referred to in the press as the “sexy librarian” look but dismissed it, as I do most such remarks. However, I discovered today, thanks to the Carleton Place Public Library blog, Tales from an Open Book, that an Italian design label, Marni has been inspired by us. The Wall Street Journal had this to say:

The Italian label offered its take on sexy librarians this season, much as Prada did last season. While Prada stuck with more classic lace patterns on its skirts and tops — albeit over flesh-colored linings — Marni reinterpreted lace in its own modern way. Large polka dot cut-outs gave the look a 1960s pop feel, and there was no lining underneath at all. While Prada’s show was kinky and voyeuristic, Marni’s was flirtier.

It would be hard to over emphasize how much I hate these “fashions”. In fact, I feel inspired to let my hair grow long, so that I can put it in a bun.

This is your home town librarian?

Would you let this woman read to your children?

Is it just me or is that not a modernized version of prison garb? Clearly, I have no fashion sense; however, those who do can see many more pieces of the Marni collection in New York Magazine if they wish.

I will never understand the world of fashion. Never. Can someone please find me a hair net?

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Another find via Library Link of the Day; a very funny item about a book published by Princeton University Press and withdrawn because of numerous grammatical and spelling errors.

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Two of the things I most enjoy in this world come together very nicely at the Library Cats map.

ACRLog celebrates or, at least, enumerates obsolete library skills. Now that was a trip down memory lane! 

Then there are an amazing number of librarians to be found at YouTube, for instance: Super Librarian

And then there is: Librarian Lays Down the Law:

Searching on the title ” I am a librarian” will bring up quite a few videos– and, judging by the ones I looked at, most are just plain weird.

Also in the weird category are a series of short films called Erik the Librarian Mysteries. Erik is our favorite stereotype- the reclusive, nerdy reference librarian, who, in this case, appears to be listing towards insanity. The series is supposed to be funny but … judge for yourself. The episodes are short!

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