Friday, December 30, 2005

Ciao 2005!

Happy New Year from a Jew Darling Readers, it is once again time to reflect back on what made 2005 such a nice little year.

For starters, I became a librarian in May. No more Library School TM, only pleasant memories to reflect on. Things I can convey to librarians in training:

a)Group Projects are only a cruel invention of graduate school. In real life if someone screws up, you can tell the boss about it. And the weakest link doesn't define your worth.

b)Unlike Library School TM, if you need a book, you can inter library loan it instead of shelling out $98 dollars for Chan's "Cataloging and Classification". I used it 4 times. That means each viewing cost me $24.50.

c)The people I went to school with taught me more about the profession than anything else. Some were neurotic. Some were uber-organized. Some were always late. Some were control freaks, and need to steer the ship. Most are type A personalities. Most could be diagnosed with OCD. Most of them were women. Welcome to libraries.

d)Don't despair about jobs. They are out there. You might have to move to get one, but its worth it.

e)Power Point presentations can be to long. Be brief, be concise.

f)Being smartly dressed and well groomed can set you leagues apart from other librarians. At a conference I attended this fall, I was told that I was the "best dressed librarian" that the coordinator had ever seen. *dabbing eyes* What a proud moment. In the classroom, the professors pay attention to you.

g)If you think you can do it better than someone else, prove it. Saying it won't get you anywhere.

h)Look for scholarships, or see if your employer offers tuition reimbursement. I was too lazy. There were tons of scholarships I never applied for. I found out WHEN I graduated my super deluxe library would have paid for one class per year if I had gotten "A's".

i)Network and join organizations while you can get the cheap student rate. Attend conferences. Be a part of the library world. Be knowledgeable about who you are playing with.

j)Know that if you keep a blog, people will find out about it. You can be "googled". I make a serious effort not to chat work on the page - only to convey general, groomed, library wisdom to other library darlings. I'm not sure if my employers like knowing they have a homo, self-styled Miss Manners onboard, but here I am!

l)Participate in class. Its good practice for the real world. If you are one of those quiet people that sits back and lets everyone else do the work... silently you are hated. We do all the work, while you get some of the glory? Think again butterpants.

m)No future employer looks at your grades. Its OK to get a "B". You can still become the AV Media specialist you've dreamed of becoming. As long as you get a diploma, its all good.

n)Don't make your professors hate you. They may be your best references for PhD work, or your first job. Unless you go to school part time, and you are getting your MLS so that you can keep your job. And have no intention of applying anywhere else.

o)If you decide to blog about your life, have an original voice. We are all different, and so it follows that in print, we should set ourselves apart as well. Nobody likes a copy cat.

p)Never USE PUBLIC BATHROOMS. OK, that has nothing to do with Library School. Its just good advice.

q)Don't abuse extensions. I'm not talking about weave. Ask for them only if they are necessary. It holds up the rest of the get yours back when we get ours back. In real life, you don't get them. Deadlines are deadlines, learn to work by them, or pack your bag.

r)"Mature Learners" can be a challenge for bright young things in the classroom. As much as we cringe, we will be working with "Mature" management. Get used to it.

s)Keep an address book, so you can keep in touch with classmates you enjoyed working with. Perhaps later in life, you can join forces again on a publication, or exhibit, or library program! I can't wait to work with S&I someday again.

t)Professional development!! Learning doesn't stop when you graduate. Attend seminars, in house workshops, and KEEP READING THE LITERATURE!

u)The MLS is a special degree. Only 47 institutions offer it in the US and Canada combined. Always remember that.

v)Don't be afraid to throw away the papers you've written in class. They are all saved on your hard drive.

w)Always tell people "YES Librarians need a Masters degree". It stresses the importance and education underlying they conveyance of information. No novices need apply.

x)Remind people that not everyone that works in a library is a librarian

y)Desk Set with Katherine Hepburn is a wonderful movie, and a source of inspiration when you are down and out. We can all be that mega librarian.

z)I am the cutest gay Jewish librarian I ever met.

With all that being said, I hope you all have a Happy New Year, and that you all behave and don't embarrass yourself at work related holiday parties, if you are insane enough to go to one. Happy 2006 Gentle Readers.

Moral of this blog: I returned all the ties I got for Chanukah and exchanged them for a red stainless steel blender.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dear WDL

my slot It is that time again, when I dig into my mail bag, impart advice, ideas, and respond to my gentle readers.

Dear WDL,

I'm not sure what brought me to your blog, but as a librarian, don't you feel obliged to provide information? Other blogs created by librarians are, well, more "scholarly" and provide "how to", or reviews of products or information services. It seems you of all people would keep up with the Jones'


Dear Sandy,

Every blog has a flavor. Librarians (as you seem to know already) don't fit neatly into a single line. Art Librarians, Corporate, Archivists (academic, religiously affiliated), AV Media specialists, Tech-Geeks, etc. The one thing we have in common is a MLS. That is probably about it. Blogs, like newspapers or magazines, appeal to a broad range of people - but within that context specialty journals or trade publications crop up. My "flavor" is more Op-Ed than anything else. Reflections of a new librarian, facing the same thing that generations before me have.

And the Jones' have nothing on me.


Dear WDL,

This winter weather is wrecking my skin. Dry at home, dry at work, and I am constantly touching paper - which is resulting in some nasty little cuts. This is not to mention static, and my hair has taken on a life of its own. Suggestions ?


Dry as a bone

Dear Daab,

Winter weather can plague a librarian, or any library employee with dry skin and more. A few suggestions: start at home. Switch to a liquid fabric softener, and be sure to use it with each load of laundry you do.

Use a conditioner in the shower, and use a body lotion as soon as you dry off. Application on warm, slightly damp skin traps moisture in your epidermis. Additionally, moisturize before going to bed at night - especially your face, and hands. This will not give you oily skin. Promise.

Pomade is the answer for winter hair. Stay away from products with alcohol in them - all they do is dry out your hair. If you must use hairspray, use a non aerosol, pump type. Have a little fun, try something new. Just remember - perms died with the 80's.

At work, keep a good hand lotion on your desk. And drink lots of water. Just keep a bottle on your desk, and carry a small one in your purse.


Dear WDL,

Suggestions for work related holiday parties?

Jenny, Eastern Wisconsin

Dear JEW,

I am a strong advocate for keeping work and personal VERY separate. Its awkward for me to watch co-workers drink and mingle.

But, if you must, I suggest wearing a snowflake lapel pin, or wearing colors that express your concept of the holidays. No holiday sweaters - express your sentiment throughout the "holidays" by acknowledging them in your wardrobe. Too many ideas about what is "holiday cheer" and how people expect you to agree with them. Plus, not everyone has a holiday right now.

Save the holiday parties for home. Unless of course, you run a family owned business. But you are a librarian, so that's not the case.


Dear WDL,

Your blog is dull.

Someone with a recognizable ISP


I am not here to entertain, merely to inform. And at that, I mostly inform about how much I adore this profession. And how gorgeous I am. In the future, feel free to stop me in the hall.


Sadly, that is all I feel like responding too all I have time for. Keep sending your letters, suggestions, and thoughts.

Moral of this blog: We all admire the wisdom of people who come to us for advice.

(Jack Herbert)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Google This

The Most Gorgeous Librarian.

Moral of this blog: Gotta love those google kids.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Well Dressed Nephew

thats my boy! Yesterday, while going through my inbox, amongst the fan mail and whatnot, I noticed an e-mail from my Dad's girlfriend (faithful readers will remember that my parents divorced many years ago). My darling nephew had his picture in the local paper, he was shoveling his Great-Grandma's driveway - my dearest Grandma that I talk to each morning at 7:00 A.M.

I suppose that this picture was such a great and wonderful thing to me because I have only actually seen him in person three times in my whole life. He is funny, silly, and a typical 4 year old in many ways. More often then not he gets on the phone with me when I call my Grandma. He gets up early because he goes to Nursery School. He is at my Grandma's house because he lives with her. In the 21st century (and not that it hasn't happened in other times)we are afforded with the notion of the "non-traditional family structure", and here we have a living, breathing, functional portrait of just such a thing.

The picture was snapped by a local newspaper photographer who was driving back to the newspaper, and happened to see my brother and his son shoveling. Warm fuzzy human interest story just waiting to happen. So, this showed up in the paper the next day. And in true form, he has told almost everyone he has met in department stores, restaurants, and the grocery that he "is in the paper".

My Grandma tells me everyday how much he reminds her of me. Sometimes she accidentally calls him Matthew when she's talking. I don't mind, I like it when Grandma gets into "reminisce mode".

You see, Grandma actually lived with my family until I was in the first grade.

My Grandma and Grandpa owned the big country house that I grew up in. When my parents married, my Dad bought the house from his parents. Grandpa moved into the city when I was a baby to start his business, a large automotive repair & maitenance chain. Grandma stayed on. She had a big bedroom on the second floor. My brother and I shared a bedroom on the second floor next to grandma's, divided by a big walk in closet, and a hall way. We were not supposed to bother Grandma.

One of the things that I have been my whole life, besides a nancy boy, is a morning person. Grandma was too. The only two in the house in fact. No body knew that I used to sneak into grandma's room. Who else was up at 5 A.M.? I'll tell you. No one.

She would read me the newspaper, and we would work on crossword puzzles. We only used red pen. We would drink coffee. Why not? We ate caramel and chocolate covered peanut clusters from the local chocolate shop. We fed the stray cats outside, putting their food in my mothers good mixing bowls. Then I would get ready for school, and I'd pitch a fit if she wouldn't walk me down the driveway to the bus.

Then the summer following 1st grade, Grandma moved to the city with Grandpa. So, I did too. But only for summer break. This became a standing tradition. Last day of school, pack my suitcases, and go to Grandma and Grandpa's.

We went to the beach almost every day. When we didn't, we went to the duck pond, shopping, to visit cousins who were also out of school, and lots and lots of restaurants. My last summer was after my Junior year of high school. Senior year, I had to get ready for college.

Then Grandma and Grandpa would come visit me. On Saturdays. Most people thought they were my parents. Grandpa was very tall and thin, and handsome. He had an Errol Flynn moustache. He had jet black hair, and always wore dress shirts with a cardigan. We'd go out to lunch, go to the park, and somehow when hugging our goodbyes, Grandpa could always get a few $50 bills tucked into my palm.

Then I moved to England. Grandma and Grandpa wrote to me. Grandma wrote weekly, Grandpa wired money into my account to make sure I could travel while living there. This was very important to both of them.

When I moved back. I graduated. I moved to Chicago.

In 2000, Grandpa was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I flew home a few days after he found out. I am glad I did. He died 5 weeks later.

Now Grandma lived by herself in a 3 story home. I was 663 miles from home. But we still called each other everyday. At 7 A.M. This has been going on now for 24 years.

My nephew is 4. He grasps irony. He likes to make Grandma laugh. She reads the paper to him in the morning now. He sneaks her coffee, as she now realizes that a 4 year old shouldn't have his own cup. He's a morning person. He feeds the stray cat that he introduced to me this summer. He named her Edda. She drives him to nursery school - no busses for the city kids. Plus he's too young. He got his picture in the paper when he was 4. I was 5 when I had mine in the paper for the first time.

I sent Ronald Reagan a get well card when he was shot by John W. Hinckley, Jr. (I know I know...just shut up.)

The WDL tends to relate everything in some way, shape, or form to being a librarian - or the field of librarianship. I grew up going to the library. My Mom made sure that this happened. I still remember getting my first library card. I actually got to print my own name on the card. I carried it in my own baby murse. (a red canvas tote that I carried at all times. It said "RED BAG" on the side, and had a pocket for chapstick. super).

Grandma kept me in books. She bought them for me. I had a whole wall of them as a child - especially my beloved glossy, yellow covered Nancy Drew books. I remember when I gave them all to my cousin Kirstin, she was so proud of me. She went out and bought me my first Agatha Christie book. I had graduated into "mature reading". That first book turned into 100's - which comprise to this day a large part of my personal library.

I think my nephew is in good hands. Grandma is sure he'll turn out just like me - but I think he's going to like the ladies. How much would I love to have another librarian in the family?

Moral of this blog: I'm late calling my Grandmother.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Up 10,000 in 2 months

My blog is worth $24,275.22.
How much is your blog worth?

Moral of this blog: My blog is just like good wine.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I hated Math so I became a Librarian

how much in the bank? I am not going to sit here in my office and lie to you. One of the driving factors behind becoming a librarian was the fact that I did not need to take any graduate level math classes. Or have any pre-requisite experience with math.

I took one math class as an undergraduate, this was how I explained to potential grad schools why I did not have a 4.0 as an undergrad. That one math class knocked me down a few pegs. Painful memories.

At any rate, in library school they neglect to tell you something. At least mine did. You will have numbers thrown at you like panties at a Tom Jones concert. These numbers control a little thing called your budget. Which brings me to my point. Finally. But you loved getting here.

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Just when I thought that budgeting season had passed, it came back.

Oh, please don't misunderstand gentle reader. The 2006 is buttoned up, pressed, and put on the shelve until January 1st, 2006 graces us all.

It is the final month, of the last quarter that I'm talking about.

Because scholarly library blogs TM always mention things that push them into print, I find it my duty to once again compile facts and figures for librarians across this vast world to share.

I would not be doing my duty as an information scientist, unless I was sharing scientifically proven points with you dear, gentle librarians. A few definitions and scenarios to help you follow along:


These are meant to provide guidelines when spending.

TEXT BOOK: You have $100.00 in the branch account for say, furniture. This means you can spend upto $100.00 on furniture.
REAL WORLD: You have $100.00 in the branch account for say, furniture. This means you spend $298.00.


This is meant to aid you when you are looking to see how much is left in your account. You can type in account codes, and it magically tells you the balance. You can even print the results!

TEXT BOOK:You wonder how much money you have left in your account. You log into the software, provide your username and password, enter the account code, and find out where funds should be shifted, how much is left for the year, and even allows you to bookmark frequently checked accounts.
REAL WORLD:You wonder how much money is in your account, log in, but while you wait for the little hour glass to stop spinning, you check your e-mail, you remember to send Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, via to your nephew in Buffalo, NY, notice you need a breath mint, get up, rummage through your bag, remember you were doing something with budgets which reminds you to go shopping at Target for supplies for the branch Christmas Party.


These people are here to help you if you have questions. They get paid real money to work with numbers and figures, and accounting software. This is the same department that generates your pay cheque!!

TEXT BOOK: "Hello, Patty - this is Letitia. I'm trying to transfer some money into my conference and travel budget, from my mileage account. I know I have too much left to spend this month, but we are going to a conference in Boise."

"No problem Letitia, let me talk you through this. Its really simple....."

REAL WORLD: We have an accounting department?

I remind people of these valuable resources, because as librarians, well, that's what we are supposed to know about. Resources. Especially readily available resources. If you didn't know how to use the phonebook, people would kinda get nervous working with you.

I also remind people of these valuable resources, because as librarians, we look for answers when we don't have them. Naivety only goes so far. A great example: Little kids pee in their pants. OOps! Grown ups don't. (well some do, some even pee on the floor over near the audio-visual department...)Once its been explained to you, its OK to ask for help - but if you know how... well, then, Bobs your Uncle. (he really is mine!)

Now, the nitty gritty is, some librarians do like numbers. Some librarians actually balance their own cheque books! The goal here is to find a happy balance between asking questions, finding those number loving librarians, and a bit of learning.

Moral of this blog: Library Journal is sooo going to print this.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Incognito Librarian

who is that hot guy? While it is most certainly our jobs as librarians to have photographic recall, the same can not be said of those around us. Take me for example.

I realized this morning as I left the house, I did not really need to bring my fabulous vintage tortoise shell sunglasses with me. The sun is not up when I leave the house, and it has already set by the time I drive home in my gas friendly mid size SUV.

However, every day on my lunch - I stroll around in a near by park, so as to whet my appetite for my well packed lunch. Though the sun has almost completely disappeared from this part of the world, at noon, it is shining brightly. Of course, I need my sunglasses - to prevent me squinting, possibly ruining my caramel colored eyes for the rest of my life; as well as preventing premature wrinkling in the form of crows feet.

Why, despite the fact that this behavior could actually have a clock set to it, does no one recognize the man in the camel overcoat with the tortoise shell sunglasses? I must admit, I wonder.

The security guard stops me and asks to see the contents of my bag everyday. I pull my badge on a lariat out of my coat, to which he always replies "OH! It's you!"

I know understand the concept behind Clark Kent/Superman. It really does work.

It assures me of a peaceful walk around the park. I am masked even as I sit on a park bench and fill in pages of my Moleskine with a fine nibbed Waterman fountain pen.

On entering the building, the usual barrage of paparazzi like hello's fails to buzz in my ears - because I am so well hidden.

Now I do admit, wearing sunglasses inside the library on my way in and on my way out may seem a bit over the top. At first it was practice for being a celebrity librarian.

Now it is essential. I am given an entire hour of lunch, in peace and quiet. No more adoring fans stopping me. I am not elite, I do say hello to people on my way out, as well as when I enter.

I recently learned, thanks to my reality TV obsessed partner, that good supermodels wear sunglasses all the time, because when photographed, they do not have to worry about their eyes looking funny.

The last thing I want is my mug showing up somewhere on the "Lifestyles" page of Library Journal, looking like I just got out of bed. My G-d, the talk in the community would be awful.

My suggestion is that all librarians wear sunglasses when they are not in the building. A scarf is not a bad idea either - safe for both sexes, while helping shatter the myth of the awkward, ill dressed librarian. It is a trans-seasonal look. Fedora in the summer with a fitted denim jacket, ladies, hat with brim and a chiffon scarf.

Moral of this blog: We are public figures, my dear readers, whether we like it or not.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Well Dressed Thanksgiving, III

Gorgeous Tabletop A Well Dressed Librarian is more than a gorgeous, gay,Jewish, bookish guy. He is also a host. Thanksgiving planning (as any worthy event) starts several months beforehand. Ordering roses, buying the proper tapers, picking out the wine, and deciding which dishes to use is very important, and should have much thought applied.

You see dear readers, our friends and families count on us to remember the details.

My Thanksgiving is Grandmotherly. I'm all about traditional (whatever that means), and while I don't require my guests to wear black bucket hats with silver buckles, I do ask the guests to "dress smart".

Cream colored table clothes, autumnal colored napkins, little cast iron squirrel place card holders (with the guests name painted in watercolors), napkin rings, wine glasses, water glasses etc. I think next year I'll invest in 8 more settings of Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles. Though I admit, the contrast was lovely this year, against the gold rimmed dishes from my Mother-in-"Law".

Thanksgiving has, for the past 5 years, meant new people in my home. I host a Thanksgiving dinner for those people who either can't go home, don't want to go home, or have never experienced it before.

The table is set with fabulous china:

aren't you jealous?

The roses really captured the idea of a old world dinner. I know during the War, they may not have been able to use roses, but the idea is nice. I put two of the arrangements in tortoise shell vases, and 4 in depression era amber glass coffee cups. I ended with lavender and ivy that I cut from my own garden. The guests thought they were breath taking. They were.

Dinner was a wonderful experience. I am not one for praying, but do like to elicit from my guests what they are thankful for. I like this part best because it ensures tears at some point - and a sure sign of thankfulness. Or allergies. But that is beside the point. I'm talking about me here.

After dinner, when you serve dessert, break out the vintage coffee service, it is a delight to guests who don't ususally use a coffee service. And of course, more vino:

johnson brothers coffee service

I used a lot of dishes this year:

17 wine glasses
17 water glasses
17 forks/knives
17 dessert forks
17 dinner plates
17 dessert plates
17 coffee cups & 17 saucers
17 demitasse spoons
Assorted serving pieces & serving silver
2 creamers
2 sugar bowls
2 coffee pots
the cooking things (bowls, pans, spoons, whisks, pots)
5 pie plates
6 port glasses
6 whiskey glasses
4 butter plates
2 sets of salt and pepper shakers
17 napkin rings (though - I didn't have to wash them)
17 place card holders (again, no washing up there)
17 cloth napkins (twice)

It was like playing house. Who am I kidding?

G-d. It's no wonder that it took me 4 hours to do all the dishes & put them back! Even with the help of one drunk guest who managed to put a dessert fork down the garbage disposal(! - I'll recover, eventually), it was a seamless and perfect evening. Besides everything looks beautiful under the glow of candle light. Well, almost anything. That's a whole other blog.

So you say, what does this have to do with being a librarian? I respond, it has everything to do with being a celebrity librarian. Our skills are put to the test, everything in order, timing things properly, asking the right questions (who is a vegetarian?, rather, "Are all the lesbians coming to dinner vegetarians? - Imagine my surprise when I found out they weren't! At least they all liked folk music and had dogs...)

It is more than keeping up appearances. It is BEING. Faking won't cut it. This is the ultimate test, and much to my delight, I think I aced it.

Most rewarding, were the flower arrangements the morning after, on my mantle. The morning light really made them look spectacular!

everything is perfect

Moral of this blog: Well Dressed Librarians. Amen.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Well Dressed Osteopathy

ostrich bones!

Librarians are often asked "favors". Being the only librarian in a family often makes me the walking card catalogue. I of course take it in stride. We've often called my ER Nurse Mother-in-"law" with questions while we are sick, asked my mechanic Dad how to knock the sale price of a new car down, and once, asked my social worker mother about Living Wills.

My task: find a victorian-esque medical/anatomical drawing of an ostrich skeleton. Labeled drawings are a plus.

And like any resourceful librarian, I turn to you my dear readers. Please send me information, if you have any. I'd appreciate e-mailed scans of books, directions to great websites, or titles of volumes that contain this information request.

Thank you in advance.

moral of this blog: the thigh bone connected to the hip bone....

Friday, November 18, 2005

Well Dressed Forgery

what EVER! Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine. And apparently liked it a lot.

What is it that the kids are all saying? Imitation is the highest form of flattery?

Apparently, I've been flattered.

Titling each post like mine, ending with a moral, even a name like mine.

moral of this blog: Celebrity librarians have such trying lives.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Well Dressed Dialing

one ringy dingy "HELLO?"

Yes dear readers. It is that time when I impart more wisdom of library service to you. All of you have used the phone, I assume. Unless your Amish. But at least you know how to quilt. That's something. Anyway,

I am constantly amazed at what people expect from the phone, or the person on the other end (i.e. the WDL). By the time the phone rings in the Administrative Office, you know something has gone terribly wrong at some level. This means the patron (or customer as we trendily call them)has not been satisfied by a)the customer service / circulation person, b)the Circulation Manager, c)the Branch Manager. Now it is my turn to bat.

Some prime examples of the calls, what they expect, what I find out, and what they get.

Call #1:

Patron Issue: My daughter has an unfair fine on her card.
Suggested resolution: Remove the fine from the card.
Backstory they didn't mention: Her daughter is 25.
Actual Resolution: Tell your daughter she needs to resolve this. She is an adult, despite the fact that she still lives at home while she is in college. Even if your daughter does call, how is a .10/a day fine unfair because she forgot to return her book before she went to Palm Springs for spring break?

Call #2

Patron Issue:I feel like I was mistreated because I'm a)old b)a different race than the customer service person c)I was sleeping on the floor of the bathroom d)poor e)rich f)not usually a patron of that location.
Suggested Resolution:An apology from Administration
Backstory they didn't mention:a)they cussed at the Manager of the branch b)they pee'd in the stacks c)they were sleeping on the floor of the bathroom d)they have a history 3 pages long in the notes section of the patron screen for repeat problems e)they think this is the local utility company
Actual Resolution:A warm recital of a prepared apology, with blanks to say their name at least 3 times.

Call #3

Patron Issue:I only got 3 hours on the internet, and I know they kicked me off because I was looking at artistic sites.
Suggested Resolution: More time on the internet, (he is a tax payer, you know).
Backstory they didn't mention:He was looking at porn on the filtered computer. Patrons only get three 1 hour sessions per day. He wasn't kicked off the computer, his time ran out.
Actual ResolutionA quick recital of library policy, a few "but sir, no one gets more than 3 sessions per day", and an "I'm sorry to hear that", when they tell me they "will NEVER use our library again"

Call #4

This one is just a lot of cussing from the patron, where I can't get a word in edge wise. I have no idea what is wrong. I assume they have Tourettes.

Actual Resolution: Hang up. Resume good posture, and put a pencil behind my ear.

I also think that people have a lot more chutzpah when they are on the phone, then they would in real life, should they manage to come into my office. Oh my dear G-d. Besides they would be astounded if they saw how hot I was.

Moral of this blog: One ringy dingy. Two ringy dingy.

Well Dressed Hump

Not lady lumps Far be it from me to judge. I just make strong recommendations about what is and what isn't polite.

Today, as I was driving home from work, as I always do at a red light, I press each button on my radio dial to see what else people listen to. And my ears were assaulted with "MY HUMP MY HUMP". I of course, could not stop listening, perhaps thinking I would suddenly be hip to pop culture, and was horrified to hear the rest of the lyrics.

I then laughed.

My Grandmother hums while she cooks, and does light housework. She tends to hum Nat King Coles "Baby...Baby..All the time". My Mother, the next generation, tends to sing when in the kitchen, and in the car...70's songs -, I pay tribute more than often to the great and grand Andrew's Sisters (who can help but sing Tico Tico?). I just imagine in 40 years some Grandmother stuffing the Thanksgiving turkey, singing "My hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps".

There is humor in that.

Moral of this blog: My hump is from a curvature of the shoulders. That's hot.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Well Dressed Immaculate Assistant

You rang?
A new order of the Catholic faith? No dear gentle reader. This is your daily dose of graceful librarianship.

Yes, I am a part of the library world. I have my degree, and I am ready to personally aid you in your research needs. But do I? No. Why do you ask? Or shall I que you to ask? I am an Assistant. The Immaculate Assistant. This you may have garnered, is not the title I use on my resume, but nevertheless, I am the Immaculate Assistant.

My job is to make your job easier. No money left in your travel & conference account? Call Matthew. Haven't heard back from Executive Management? Call Matthew. HR never returned you call? Ask Matthew. I wave my magic wand, and create the paperwork necessary to set afloat your sinking ship.

How, do you ask, do you manage day after day to make everything so rose colored and set all my soldiers in a row? The answer my dear friends is not quite so magical. It is all about interpersonal relationships.

It helps to know who in accounting is a soccer mom, and who in HR has an ailing mother, and who in community relations likes cats. Social candor can lead to miraculous accomplishments. A quick exchange of a quiche recipe can result in getting two weeks worth of paperwork signed off on in less than 10 minutes. If you care, they will care back. It works like a charm.

Yet this behavior can not be feigned. You must take a serious interest in your co-workers to make this happen. I intended to write a post about being a "personal librarian", and realized this too happens because of a)proximity to information and b)knowing where to find it. It is my role as the Immaculate Assistant to plumb the depths of human information repositories.

Think of it as calling Great Aunt Agatha for that missing bit of information in your family tree. She isn't going to just tell you. You need to ask over her sciatica, and further carry a small arsenal of intimate questions to the table. She wants to tell you about her canary Peter, you should ask her about him BEFORE she is able to steer the conversation in that direction. Its all about anticipation. You need to know before they know they even want to tell you.

Its that whole clairvoyance thing they never offer a class on in Library School.

So it is this vein of information you must be adept in tapping. The reference interview doesn't have to happen behind the reference desk. It should be happening in your everyday life.

I mention this because I have been told:

"Well, you were the only person that could have fixed this situation"
"You're the only person who knows X- in accounting so well"
"No one else likes to talk to her because she cut to the chase"
"You are in a position to get this information, one of the few..."
"They only told you that because you've formed a relationship..."
"People don't know how the organization works - they know you do"

To this I say "poppycock and rubbish". Yes, I do say that.

I am admittedly a people person. Yes, some of our most valuable resources are our co-workers. While I am not going so far as to say "EMBRACE THEM", I am saying "get to know them."

The Immaculate Assistant knows they are a key resource. They enjoy the attention that they receive because they know that no one else will take the time they take to groom relationships. I am sure many of you have taken the time to get to know the Director of Finance's personal assistant. Rather, do many of you even know this person? What about the Director of Property Managements Administrative Assistant? Both are wealth's of knowledge.

In an organization as small as (and I say small, even if you are 1000 employees)you can't afford not to let the right hand touch the left. Breeches are created when resources can't be found. They are all there, and unlike reference materials, can talk. They can verbalize the answer. I am not saying that the Assistant to the Children's Services director knows the blue book value of a 1975 Chevy - I am saying that you'll never know unless you ask.

Moral of this blog: Reference 101 isn't all about books & databases. Its about learning who you work with, and what they know - or don't.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Well Dressed Training

thats my bathing suit area Being sensitive is all part of the job. My library, like any good library, offers continuing staff development - which includes trainings on diversity, sexual harassment, customer service skills, and the like.

Recently, I was treated to a session on diversity. This was learning about stereotypes, and how they can live in the work place. I found this interesting for several reasons. For one, very sensitive issues on race, sexuality, and gender were brought up - as if we were discussing favorite cake recipes. No punches pulled, we just went straight for the facts. The leader of the session did a good job.

I was imagining that it could have gone out of control. Finding out about co - workers prejudices, and beliefs (a.k.a. morals) is always a tough thing for me, especially because I do not bring my private life to work. This lead to many conversations, etc. I thought I had escaped the day without really learning too much about anyone. Shall I say I was wrong?

Stereotypes about homosexuality are awful. I loved the trainer because the word "orientation" was used, not "choice". I loved the trainer because the subject was treated with respect, and not looked at as the "alternate life style".

So, to all those tough guys, who like to note that I sleep with men, I say "so does your mother".

I also don't like that people say "men", because I only spend my time with one man.

This is one of the stereotypes that really sent me off my gourd. Not all gay men want to have sex with every single man they walk past. Many of us are in successful relationships with other bright, well dressed, educated guys. We have families. Our living rooms are not disco strobe parties on the weekend, and surprise: we don't all wear tight jeans.

I only mention this because when the strereotype was mentioned, a few people rushed in, and agreed...perhaps before they realized that this was the part of the conversation you were at least secretly allowed to think things, but not actually say them outloud. Oops. Talk about sensitive.

At any rate, this blog is about librarians. Well, this librarian.

Believe it or not, I do not talk about my personal life at work. I think most of my co-workers know that I have someone special in my life. But that may be about it. I'd like to think that I lend a positive light to ideas that some may carry about being gay.

I'm educated.
I'm well dressed.
I'm in a committed relationship.
I show up to work everyday.
I have a good relationship with my family.
Excitement on the weekend stems from finishing or NEARLY finishing the NYT Sunday Crossword Puzzle.

I'm not an ignorant slut, who spends all spare time clubbing and soliciting the male species.

I sadly learned that is what some people think gay folks do. To you I say:" do not collect $200, and go straight to jail".

It is true that some gay men do this. It is also true some straight women do this. The same people who wouldn't say "women are sluts" will say it about gays. Go figure. It amazes me when the oppressed oppress.

Moral of this blog: Don't you wish your boyfriend was hot like me?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Treat?

BUSH: Today, Judge Alito... both know you can't go wrong marrying a


Friday, October 28, 2005

Well Dressed Reply

emailA much coveted, slightly work related story.

E-mail is obviously the easiest way to communicate with people in the system. Even in the building. I work in a gigantic building. Here, I present some correspondence to you for your reading pleasure.

WDL, 4:43 PM:Have you reviewed the documents that I left for you to mark up?

ADMINISTRATION, 4:46 PM: Yes. They are on my desk. You can get them whenever you want.

WDL, 4:49 PM: I'm tired. Fax them to me.


Moral of this blog: Use humor in the workplace. It is a great tool.

Well Dressed Autumn

its fall It is at this precise time of the year, when we set our clocks back, and the leaves start to change that I always tend to get introspective. I think it is because everything else is starting to sleep, or die off that I start to take stock of my life. Perhaps it is just Sunlight Affective Disorder, but I prefer not to lend myself to self diagnosis.

I also find myself wondering what jacket to wear, if it's time for gloves, hats, and heavier jackets. Of late, I have found myself wearing a cashmere camel colored over coat, my burberry scarf, and my black flat cap. It does look particularly dapper on days when I also carry my stick umbrella. But all this is actually besides the point.

I am finally working as a professional in a library setting. Kind of.

I like the behind the scenes look at library life that administration offers. I know, that someday, ideally, I'll work as a full fledged administrator. I have been fortunate to work with two of the most ideal administrator-librarians that anyone could wish for. Very different backgrounds, often divergent ideas about what constitutes a great library.

This makes me think of what my idea of a "great library" is. For starters, its urban. Multiple branches. Listed with HAPLR as a top 10. Funded. I was heart broken to see that not one of my libraries from back home made it onto the list, but NY never has been a state that cared deeply about library funding. For heavens sake, Niagara Falls Public Library is in litigation for their funding. That is not attractive at all - I can't imagine being saddled with that each day going to work.

I also think a diverse staff is important, as well as a well stocked collection, that appeals to all levels of society.

I was distressed to learn that Wal-Mart sells more books than and Barnes and Noble combined. Think about it. The NYT carries a Sunday "best sellers list". Wal-Mart is driving the sales for those books, and they are selective in what they sell. Remember George Carlans "When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?". Wal-Mart doesn't. They didn't sell it. Not christian enough. Essentially, Wal-Mart is generating that NYT best sellers list. That is scary.

People say they shop at Wal-Mart because there isn't any where else to shop. Think about it kids. That is WHY Wal-Mart is there! Everyone quit shopping at the local Mom & Pop stores, because Wal-Mart sold something for .10 less. Enough of that, this is leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

I do not want to live in the South. Plenty of public libraries down there, I'm sure. But I want snow for a few months out of the year, this time of the year always makes me excited for that weather, and not just because I can crack out my ripping collection of vintage cardigans, sweaters, and sports jackets. So the North it is. I'm still partial to the East Coast, but the Mr. is keen on exploring the west. I've reminded him he did NOT marry Sacajawea. Plus I look awful in suede.

Overall, librarianship means serving people. I guess I'd be happy in some cozy New England town, with a little library. I would still be able to do what I love.

I'd also need technology. No dial-up computers for me. I want wireless, I want fines paid online, I want a fast connections - and scads of databases.

I want an office with a window. Sorry catalogers, I am no longer hoping to play ball with you. I wouldn't mind the library being a Carnegie building either....sort of posh in a way.

My hopes and dreams for what librarianship is and will be to me keep me moving forward. This is not a profession to get comfortable in - if you do, you've lost touch with the entire field. Information changes daily, so do the ways we receive it. I found myself talking the other day and mentioned RSS feeds...I might have been talking in Chinese (only I know I wasn't, I only speak romantic languages so far).

That is it. Fall makes me dreamy. Librarianship is dreamy. What a nice couple.

Moral of this blog: Think big, and you will be.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Well Dressed Commerce

My blog is worth $14,678.04.
How much is your blog worth?

Thanks to Spacedog

Moral of this blog: You can't buy happiness

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Well Dressed Google

Google's offering a librarian targeted site now. With news letters even.

Moral of this blog: Google still can't wear an ascot.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Library Blogs, Librarian Bloggers

B I B L EI'm a bit link happy. Don't think its because I have dried up. I just finished going to conferences/staff development for the past 4 days, and I'm ready to burst with hilarious things to write.

Library Journal just ran an article written by Michael Stephens of Tame The Web. It is a frank look into the blogging issue, and how it is looked at. Is it a tool? Is it a fad? Is it for fun? The article which can be found by clicking the link, is pretty interesting. I'm just sad that Mr. Stephens didn't call me. The other guy, Aaron Schmidt, is one of those guys in the library that I would probably stare at for too long. At any rate, blogging is becoming a big deal at work.

It has come to my attention, that my blog, dear old thing that it is, is no longer a secret. Seems everyone but the cleaning people read it. HR has mentioned that they are aware of it, people make references about it when talking to me (secret code for "I READ YOUR BLOG"), and in fact, my list of "Conference topics that SHOULD exist has been printed out and hung in several bathrooms across the system.


Now, of course, my natural curiosity has gotten the best of my cute self. I find myself looking for people who have linked to me, and why they have linked to me. One blog, that will remain nameless, noted that I was the "least favorite of all the library blogs" she read, because I didn't write about libraries. She noted that it might be interesting to read my blog if you knew me. She was writing it for library school. Poor disillusioned dear. Library Blogs aren't all fact spewing, filled with interesting links, and social commentary on the library scene at large.

Library blogs fill different purposes. If you want real library information, you visit sites like Michael Stephens Tame the Web or, or some of the fabulous links provided at this fine website.

I think if you want to laugh, you should visit sites that I have linked in the side bar. Kimchijon, of this great site is a really hunky librarian who loves to cook Asian food. What does this have to do with library science you ask? LIBRARIANS ARE PEOPLE. We don't sit behind desks all day, answering questions, doing paperwork, and going home to sleep until we go back to the building with books. We have lives. Blogs are not only a great communicating tool to express library related information, but also to let and remind others that librarian's don't have to live, breathe, eat, sleep, dream libraries. The Hot Librarian is a fine point in this case. She's just plain hot. She's a librarian with a crazy social life (and an affinity for pens with teddy bears on them). Sadly, sometimes life can get in the way of all of this.

It is sad that even librarian's blogs are stereotyped. By our own. Its like Jews turning on each other during the War. OK, not THAT bad, but my general impression is: If your blog isn't scholarly, or a "useful tool", your blog has less merit.


The funny part is, these same people read the Wall Street Journal, and Cosmo. Why? Both convey news, its just delivered differently. If you come to my blog to learn about being a librarian, there are a few links. Well Dressed was set up specifically for this purpose. This blog, as is stated at the top, is about me: "Young, fabulously well dressed librarian takes on the world of libraries,
and anything that comes at him while he's at it". And it's true. That's what this is about. Being a librarian. Our lives effect our work, our work effects our lives. A blog is the perfect milieu for this phenomenon.

If you want vanilla, there is plenty out there. If that is the case, I strongly recommend So, you want to be a librarian by Ms. Wallace, c. 1963. Text book information, or read about the real lives lead by librarians. What you learn in grad school does not happen at work. Trust me.

I never learned, NOR was any class offered at my wonderful (and prestigious) Library School about dealing with people with Mental Health issues (patrons, not co-workers, though sometimes one wonders). No class was offered in libraries in poverty stricken areas, reaching out to communities who WON'T or WILL not associate with people with different economic backgrounds. Issues in Race, Child Welfare, or Security.

Any of you take a class in library school that teaches you how to disarm a patron with a shiv? Email me if you did. It happens.

Though some of you may end up in Stepford. Some of you may end up in fuzzy rose colored high rises in sexy cities. Some of you may live your life in the basement or backroom of a library, sunlight only touching your skin as you walk to and from your car- and will never deal with anyone but coworkers. Some of you may end up with law firms, hospitals, museums, military installations (any of you army boys read this? you can email me too). Some of you may sit at home and play library, and make your cats check out Scientology pamplets all day...though I should point out that doesn't actually make you a librarian. Libraries have been given iconic status. Why? Because we, librarians, keep them that way. You learn what you learn in the trenches - but we never let them see us sweat.

Blogs are a great way for librarians to let other librarians know they are not alone, and to let "freshers" know what they are getting into.

Moral of this blog: I am way too passionate. And so well dressed...damn.

Well Dressed in the Press

keep it real kidsToday, I came across an article in American Libraries that really made me think. All this work I've done to shatter stereotypes, and then I realized something: The people that need to be reached the most, don't even READ blogs. They probably can't even check email. At any rate, I hope all of you enjoy it, and I hope Mr. Manley doesn't mind me using his article.

Moral of this blog: Librarian's are hot. Remember this. Keep shattering stereotypes. Perhaps you came to this field because you love books, but it doesn't mean you have to look like you found your clothes in a dumpster. I hesitate to reprimand people that shop at Sears, but, use common sense. Book sweaters and neckties only go so far. Try wearing a silver book lapel pin on a smart blazer. Same effect, only smarter.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Well Dressed Herpetology

Today I'll be attending my first Public Library Conference.

I was advised not to be a TOAD.

"A toad?" I asked?
"Yes, don't be a TOAD."
"What praytell is a toad?"
"A toad is someone who leaves their Tag On All Day."

"oh! I don't want to be one of those!"
"I strongly advise you to remove it when you go outside, or go out to eat."

Dear G-d. I don't want to be mugged. I don't even carry valuables in my murse!

Moral of this blog: Don't be a TOAD

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Well Dressed Favorite

Bonne Maman Jelly Bonne Maman makes my favorite strawberry preserves.

Even though I can hardly afford anything now that I've graduated, consolidated my loans (did you know you give up your grace period when you do that?), and started paying them back. Student loan repayment is the bane of my existance right now. But I do adore good French preserves.

Moral of this blog: Keeping up appearances is important.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Well Dressed Volunteers

read to a kid Volunteers. The word paints pictures of ample bossomed woman helping at the fire department next door. Blue haired Grandmothers baking pies for a cause, housewives knitting sweaters for the homeless. However, the reality is that volunteers, as helpful as they want to be, are sometimes scarier than all get out.

Today well sitting at my well appointed desk, an experience, that I will extrapolate happened today. 2 unscheduled individuals showed up wanting to offer, shall I say proffer, their services unto the hallowed halls of public wisdom.

A word to the wise, potential volunteers. Be presentable. Don't make me glad that I lock my man purse in my desk for just such occasions. Don't lend the impression that you are going to ask where the bathroom is so you can wipe the schmutz off your shirt. Without further ado: my list of musts for potential volunteers.

Some of this, arguably, is advice given to people going into job interviews. But realize, just because we aren't going to pay you doesn't mean that we will just hand out coveted volunteer positions like Halloween candy.

1. Bathe. Trust me, its a charmer in any interview.
2. Schedule an appointment. Don't surprise the library with your generosity.
3. Don't wear a light blue velour jogging suit with your thong showing over your hips.
4. Wear "job interview" apparel: translation: a shirt and tie.
5. Don't wave a form infront of my face and say "Can you sign this? I need to show my probation officer that I got a volunteer job". I don't give volunteer jobs, and please, start by telling me your name.
6. Don't say "Oh , I'll do ANYTHING". It means you have no idea what we do.
7. Bring a pen. It helps with the illusion that you at least came prepared.
8. Don't bring your kids.
9. Don't lean over my desk, I'm not a bar tender.
10. Don't you dare sigh exhaustedly when I tell you that you need to contact another department. I was going to call them. Now I'll leave a voice message.

Plus, be prepared for a back ground check, this is a public institution. If you aren't supposed to be around children, MAYBE, just maybe, this isn't the right place for you.

I do advocate that one always maintain appearances. I also advocate for washing your hands before you leave the bathroom. So please kids, do us a favor, and prepare yourself. We've done our part by being there, now you do yours.

I realize this blog doesn't apply to librarians, we would never think of being anything less than fastidious. But it does help keep the flame of attention burning - and the senses keen. Reminders are friendly. Think of this as very friendly.

moral of this blog: Volunteering is an art. Become an artist.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Well Dressed Housewife

1940's house wifes are hot One of the things that perhaps defines me better than anything else is my absolute refusal to live in 2005. I came across this picture today, and I am very tempted to have it blown up and framed in my own gracious townhouse. The epitome of perfection...the 1940 housewife.

I have always worked very hard at being perfect. If I found myself at a loss in a conversation, the topic I knew little about became a full out research project for me. Never again would that topic elude me. I would sit and practice my handwriting over and over again, until it looked EXACTLY like it should. Those 1940's-1950's instructional readers found on the living room bookcase could have been filled with my very own handwriting.

Once, I was invited to accompany a friend to a ball. I wore dress trousers and a white shirt, with a black tie. Upon my arrival, I noticed that it was no ordinary ball, but a fancy dress ball. I was completely, and totally underdressed. So ended my days of "slight" formal wear. I filled my wardrobe with sports coats, dress jackets, and a vintage tuxedo a la Cary Grant within 1 year of that occasion. I've yet to add the white dinner jacket, but it is nearing the top of my list, a purchase lingers, waiting to be made.

My home, much like my handwriting, is a carefully planned study. My Great Aunt Alice moved into an apartment during The War. She, apparently agoraphobic, decided it best to live in her gorgeous pre-War building. Taking the gated lift up to the fourth floor, I discovered what was to become my version of paradise. Her furniture, and decor perfectly captured the era, down to her thick pressed glass juice glasses, decorated with two cherries; the pitcher matched. Deco inspired persian knot rugs, mixed with an inherited Edwardian desk and hall clock. She had groceries ordered in, and when ill, a nurse came to her home. She loved to have people over, she just didn't like to go out.

This apartment maintained (or some say retained) its charm. At Christmas she would set up her silver aluminum tree, decorated sparingly with green and blue blown glass ornaments. The sturdy, well built furniture never sagged, the cushions on the sofa maintained their original plush, Burgundy welts. The glasses weren't chipped. Her white embroidered apron was always ironed. Her dresses were floral, her neck always covered with a strand of single pearls. As her hair thinned, she began to tuck the white bob behind her ears. I don't remember it being any other way, but pictures reveal her to have been a bomb shell with horn rimmed glasses.

Then she died in the early 90's, a visiting nurse found her in the hall of her apartment. Very sad indeed.

My last visit to Alice's apartment was important. I must memorize the cut and color of everything from the drapes, to the curve of the matching, weathered leather club chairs. She kept very little in the way of knick-knacks, but did have some gorgeous McCoy pottery in the most beautiful shades of sea green, and milky light blue. I think I was about 15, but knew that I had to remember it.

Today, my sitting room and dining room have that same War Era look. Once I've put an Artie Shaw, or Benny Goodman record on the mahogany deco record player, I can almost feel my self pulled back to her apartment. My Grandma Loretta has even told me "I feel like I've stepped back in time". Of course, I've had to make a few concessions to modern technology. My television rests upon a deco radio/record player cabinet, and the interior has been converted to hold my VCR and DVD player. My record player plugs in, and isn't cranked. My lampshades have the same cut as Alice's, but sit atop reproduction lamps. My coffee and end tables are white washed mahogany (during the war you made do with what you had), as well as one of the low standing bookcases. The knot carpet on the floor is a family piece. One bookcase is filled with first edition Beverly Nichols publications, a definite nod to the period.

My dining room houses my period china, and I meticulously wax my mahogany dining room table with the same lavender wax that my Great Aunt used. I've even kept a tea set out, and used one of my Great Grandmother's hand embroidered buffet runners to keep the eye delighted.

My collection of old cookbooks (encouraging me to use my War rations properly - as any good housewife would do)keep the cuisine 1940 contemporary, and fill my house with the most delicious smells. Some have been updated by me, spontaneously, to avoid full out coronary complications. Besides, butter was a commodity - as were eggs, and spices.

When I come home from work, and slip on my own pressed white apron, perhaps it is 1946. A little bit of music from the sitting room, news of another real war on the radio, and a bit of repressed reality can go a long way. A period look is difficult to achieve, but one I have aspired to, and accomplished. Practice makes perfect.

Next year, a Victory garden. I have also been eyeing a buffet and hutch that would serve perfectly to store my home grown canned preserves. One never knows.

Accordingly, the well dressed librarian must keep a closet full of vintage sweaters, french cuffs, deco cufflinks, and several sturdy pairs of polished Oxfords. Paper for proper correspondence, brown paper envelopes, and a well used Waterman fountain pen aid in rounding out the persona that accompanies the look.

Gentle readers can learn lots from the 1940's housewife. They looked perfect, created perfect surroundings, and strove to make the most from the least. Let this be our moral of this blog.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Whitetrash Librarians

I need my dolls...Now I know that judging people is wrong, but , I've never really been one to conform to convential thought.

I read this today, LOCAL LIBRARIAN ARRESTED, AGAIN and thought, hmm, I should read this.

Turns out she's not only good at the Dewey Decimal System, but smuggling drugs!

I recently asked the question "Does an MLIS come with mental disease?" Do I need to flip over my diploma, and its actually a large, written out perscription for an anti-psychotic? I think I'll go down stairs and check.

Moral of this blog: Public librarians should not smuggle drugs.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A Well Dressed Conference

hot librarians in one room! Ahhh, the arrival of fall. Fall means lots of picking, farmers market, dried flowers, cutting herbs, and annual conferences. One must love conferences. Note I don't say one should, or one could, but one must. Yes, when else can you be surrounded by colleagues? Oh yes, at work. So, the logical thing to do is to find a convention center, and put lots of librarians from all over into one happy place. Bliss. According to the statistics I have gathered from my blog-o-meter, people come here looking for things like "librarians with each other" and "librarians in charge" and "undressed librarians", and spare that last one, that's what conferences are really all about. Sharing.

But what to share? Librarians know so much. Reference skills, management techniques, even children's literature. I propose a few other, practical seminar "break out sessions".

-"How to pretend to listen"
-"Why you shouldn't wear holiday sweaters during the holidays"
-"Working with a hangover" (you know librarians can be kinda boozy...go to a holiday party)
-"Foods you should prepare at home, and not in the employee canteen"
-"Not all male librarians are gay" (that ought to draw an interesting crowd)
-"Living up to stereotypes for fun"
-"How to clean up vomit, and other fluids"
-"How to teach and encourage elderly staff to use "the e-mail"
-"Crafts NOT to make during Summer Reading Club" (this includes all crafts that include glitter, baby oil, or kerosene)
-"Sue them back, or Administration's guide to problem patrons"
-"Dying behind the reference desk- A frank discussion about retirement"
-"Embracing micro-management"
-"Weeding 101" *reserved for librarians who have been employed since Dewey died.
-"The sling-back: practical solutions for reaching and bending"
-"How do I end this reference session?"
-"Ending sexual harassment in the work place: the Lone Librarian"
-"How to answer awkward questions" (good for children's librarians who get questions like "Where did my doggie go?" or "Why doesn't daddy work?")
-"Pets in the library"
-"Breathing through your mouth during a reference interview" (You know, sometimes the smell is just too bad)
-"Internet filters and how they work" OR "Why isn't viewable at your terminal"

There are so many things they don't think of. I should really get on board with these ideas - the kids would go crazy for them. I for one am very eager to learn, aren't all librarians?

Moral of this blog: Get a free tote bag, then load up at the vendor displays.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I want to be a hooker

not a real hooker, pervert But first, an amusing anecdote. When I was a child, I watched a police drama, and armed with a slightly new vocabulary word, asked my Mother "What is a hooker?". My Mother told me that "Hookers are women who sell their bodies". "What generous people" I thought. I imagined women ready to hack off and sell an arm to a person in need, perhaps a kidney, or a clavicle. Obviously, my naivety was in full swing back then.

And now, in late 2005, I find myself wanting to be a hooker. I was shopping the other day, and a woman reading a magazine caught my eye. I tried not to make it obvious, but there I was thinking about it. Right there on the shelf, next to the magazine she had picked up was a copy of "Rug Hooking". Primitive Rug Hooking to be exact. Designs that would grace the hardwood floors of my turn of the century townhouse. I couldn't stop thinking about it.

Fast forward to Tuesday, when I was finally back at my Glam Library. Little did I know, we had an entire section on Rug Hooking, and further, a generous collection of books on Primitive Rugs . Just the idea of working with wool makes me all tingly, or maybe that's my allergies acting up.

Somehow, the art of making rugs just seems appropriate. I'm already practically perfect in every way (eat your heart out Mary Poppins). I already make beeswax candles, and hand milled soap. I can bake, and sew (my summer hot flash of Dorothy Draper-style pillows got a little out of hand). At any, while I may not be the next Martha Stewart, I have got this domestic librarian thing down to a science.

Now if I could only design my own line of interior paint, I'd be all set, but I suppose I do need something to look forward to, outside of Celebrity Librarianship.

Moral of this blog: This hooker wants it all over the floor.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Save the Pets

If there is anything more important to me than appearances, it is the house pet population. The poor things have no one to take care of them. I can't imagine my Moscow and Sophie trying to fend for themselves.

I would like to suggest if you are going to be a part of this relief effort (and I know my gentle readers are) I have a few places that I think would be good causes.

Noah's Wish.

Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Pearl River County SPCA

Dollar donations, not pet food please.

The rest, for general aid:

Red Cross: 1-800-HELP-NOW or

Episcopal Relief & Development: 1-800-334-7626 or

United Methodist Committee on Relief: 1-800-554-8583 or

Salvation Army: 1-800-SAL-ARMY or

Catholic Charities: 1-800-919-9338 or

FEMA Charity tips:

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster:

Operation Blessing: 1-800-436-6348 or

America's Second Harvest: 1-800-344-8070 or

Adventist Community Services: 1-800-381-7171 or

Christian Disaster Response: 1-941-956-5183 or 1-941-551-9554 or

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee: 1-800-848-5818 or

Church World Service: 1-800-297-1516 or

Convoy of Hope: 1-417-823-8998 or

Lutheran Disaster Response: 1-800-638-3522 or

Mennonite Disaster Service: 1-717-859-2210 or

Nazarene Disaster Response: 1-888-256-5886 or

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: 1-800-872-3283 or

Southern Baptist Convention - Disaster Relief: 1-800-462-8657, ext. 6440 or

Other Information:

Federal Emergency Management Agency: 1-800-621-FEMA;

Louisiana Homeland Security:

City of New Orleans:

Louisiana Governor's Office:

Mississippi Emergency Management:

National Hurricane Center:

National Weather Service:

Hydrologic Information Center (river flooding):

Well Dressed Advice

I believe that the American Library Association should seriously reconsider holding the ALA Conference in New Orleans in 2006. I know the dollars would really help the city at this point, but I don't think it is worth risking America's finest librarians.

Moral of this blog: It's only advice.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Well Dressed Lapels

cary grant, mmmm! As I walked into my back garden after returning home from my glam library job, I was over taken by one thought. I was astounded that I had never thought to share this with any of my gentle readers. Without further ado, I walked through the rain, up onto my back steps, closed my black stick umbrella and headed towards my office where I could impart this valuable piece of advice.

"Why is it that we never see these,spare tacked to some poor, unsuspecting woman at some tired old luncheon?" Honestly, I really thought that. So, just when you thought I couldn't be any gayer...

The boutonniere is lost on today's gentleman. Ladies, don't feel left out. You too can wear one. It is not confined to the fine cut jackets of the dashing information scientist. Do you want to look smart in the library? Do you think a collared shirt and trousers is going to cut it? Think again. You look like a vagrant.

The boutonniere has been worn for centuries, but was made popular by the Victorian man. Oscar Wilde (now there's a surprise) was an aficionado of them. The late, and devastatingly handsome Cary Grant also was manly enough to wear one. They do not need to be elaborate nose-gays pinned to your chest, nor the 4 pound orchid that most of America feels obliged to purchase for dear old Mater on Mother's Day. A simple rosebud, a few heads of lavender, even a marigold pinned to the lapel look absolutely divine. Masculine elegance at its finest.

Lately, a book titled The Boutonniere: Style in One's Lapel chronicles this very subject. I would advise my readers to purchase it, OR check it out of your library.

Moral of this blog: Can you keep up with the Duke of Windsor and Prince Charles, or Hollywood icons such as Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, and Sean Connery? I hope so.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Etiquette for library employees

Moral of this blog: Tisk tisk. Gossip is so ugly.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Well Dressed Practicalities

mama want All I want is a damn toast rack. You might think that I had asked for a kidney donation. Why do people bother to ask what I want, if all they are going to do is raise their eyebrows and say "what?"

I for one think its incredibly practical. I mean, what else are you going to do with your toast after its toasted? It needs to go somewhere. And ideally, on a toast rack.

Now perhaps some of my British readers can tell me, do only old people use these things in England? If so, that is just more fuel on my fire.

I was recently treated to seeing Ladies in Lavender and of course, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith both used one at the dinner table. I turned and grabbed my boyfriends arm during a breakfast scene. He just looked at me and said "NO" outloud in the theatre! Way to bash a faggy librarian's dreams, honey.

I did score a set of four vintage dessert plates soon after, which I love. But they seem so lonely without a toast rack.

Moral of this blog: Rack 'em up.

Monday, August 15, 2005

A Well Dressed Birthday

Happy 20th Birthday Precious!! As it turns out, even though I am turning 29 today, my, erm, kitty is only 20. Shocking. I got her when I was 9 years old. I came home from my friend Kristie's house. My Mom had gone back to school after the divorce, and got me a latch key cat. Nanny Bonnie couldn't be there right after school everyday. Precious was there to keep me safe, give me company, and someone to talk to. And did she ever.

My first memory of her is noting a board across the bottom of the bathroom door...and something white scampered right across the floor. She was the size of a tea cup. My Mom put her in there for safe keeping the first night. And now, 20 years later, she is having a birthday party, and having whipping cream out of a tea cup.

Precious was actually a few months old when I got her. Her mother had been run over by a tractor, and my Mom picked her out of the litter because she looked like the smallest and sickest. We fed her with an eyedropper. I also decided that her birthday would be the same day as mine, so it would be easier to keep track of. I got her in November of 1985. And here she is as pretty and cranky as always. Just like her big brother Matthew. Who is now 29 year old. I already feel the decay setting in. Though on a positive note, my Grandmother has been 29 for almost 50 years. I think that next year, I'll be 29 again. I hope Precious catches up. I promise, if she turns 29, I'll have a HUGE party.

And in case your wondering how I spent my birthday... cheesecake, chianti, and candle light. Quite a lovely evening.

Moral of this blog: A librarian's furry kitty can be old, and still quite loved. You know I mean my kitty. Perverts.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Well Dressed Brows

This morning I was putting the finishing touches on my eyebrows, when I realized: I've never shared advice with my gentle readers about this subject! And so you have it: The Well Dressed Brow. This post, sadly, is addressed more toward the male reader, than the female. I trust my female readers regularly moisturize, pluck, and groom their brows.

Men: If the eyes are the window of the soul, then your eyebrows are the awnings. And like all windows and awnings, it is possible to have gorgeous windows, and really tacky awnings. Now, you have no excuse, you have been warned.

When you look in the mirror, do you see this?:

If you do, your first step is saying out loud "I do not want to look like Frida Kahlo". If you do, well, then, be prepared to sleep with this:

On the off chance you want that on top of you, I can not help you.

Thick brows do not mean you are manly. They mean you are sloppy, and perhaps do not own other implements of hygiene (read toothbrush, nail clippers, etc.) It is simple to groom eyebrows, let the notion of "plucking is for girls" rest.

As with a good shave, your brows should be relaxed with a warm cloth for several minutes, or you should do it right out of the shower. You should own a good pair of tweezers as well. Tweezing can hurt: but what is more painful? 5 minutes of plucking or photographs that immortalize you as Bert's twin brother?

This is assuming you don't suffer from Bushy Brow as well (see top photograph). This can be remedied the next time you are at the barber shop, or the stylist. Ask them to trim you down to size. They may even offer a service to take care of those brows right there. In Chicago, lots of the hot middle eastern men (and those in the know) have threading done. Very nice results too.

I recommend a starter wax or a proper threading to make the foundation easy for you to maintain.

After the foundation is put into place, plucking should take about 10 minutes of your week, once a week. This is to keep the area between the brows clear, and , like me, to keep the arch looking natural. I recommend the Revlon Deluxe Tweezer, Slant Tip. It's my personal favorite.

DO NOT SHAVE YOUR EYEBROWS. Especially between the brow. It will eventually become stubble as thick as your 5 o'clock shadow. That is just awful.

So please remember, taming the savage brow is your responsibility. If you think grooming your eyebrows is feminine, you've just got issues. Scenario:

Potential girlfriend/wife/lover: You should really think about grooming your brows.

Bushy McBrowenstein: I'm not into grooming my brows.

What potential hears: "shut up bitch, i'll take care of myself, and grooming my brows isn't a part of that"

What man should say: "yes, I've been nervous and really don't know anything about having my brows done...maybe you could book me an appointment with someone good?"

What potential hears: "yes, I've....been waiting for you to help me get these caterpillars of my face." You might even get laid.

And last, if you need a reminder: clip this handy picture out and carry it with you to remind you this is what people see when they look at you.

Moral of this blog: If you don't trim the hair on your face, what else are you neglecting?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Tagged in the library

I've been tagged by Librarian Is it even legal to run in a library? Hmmm. Without further ado...

1. How many books do I own?
Lots. I have book cases in almost every room in my house. Minus the bathroom. But that room is not for reading.

2. Last Book I Bought:
Playing for the Ashes by Elizabeth George.
If you like mysteries, and have finished all of Agatha Christie's stuff, try this.

3. Last Book I Read:
I just finished Murder in Belleville by Cara Black. Paris, murder, smoking cigarettes. Ahhhh. Perfect.

4. Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me:
E.M. Forster's Maurice
The New Bedside,Bathtub,& Armchair Companion to Agatha Christie
Drusilla by Emma Brock
The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton
Reference & Information Service by Richard Bopp & Linda C Smith *what, I think I sited it in almost every single paper I wrote in Library School(TM).

5. Tag Five More:

Nettie Day
And finally...The Hot Librarian

Moral of this blog: I'm reading a mystery right now too. With no one as Witness by Elizabeth George. It's crazy scary.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dear Well Dressed Librarian

You've all been so patient waiting for me to sit back down and tell you more things about my tremendously jet set life. Chicago was fabulous. The 7 a.m. photo shoot on the beach was amazing, the models were beautiful, and the breakfast afterward was to die for. In fact, according to our waiter, someone actually did die in the restaurant the day before. Waiter, you need to be funnier than that to get a good tip out of a Jew.

Now, finally, because I can't think of anything completely clever to write, I am going to dip into the old mailbag.

Dear WDL,
Now that you've graduated from school, and have moved into [working in] real libraries, do you think it was all worth it?


Well Wannabe, the answer is a resounding yes. I could not have moved into my current job without my MLIS. It was more of a $32,000.00 key to open a door that wouldn't budge otherwise. Have I used ANYTHING I learned in school yet? Nope. The few management classes I took made me realize the magnitude of administering to a group of librarians. More over, I feel like a Mamma bird, feeding hungry chicks. The imagery is about right too. I like my job. Its tough, but its fun making the wheels turn. I described it to my Mom as if it were a scene from the Wizard of Oz ..."pay no attention to the man behind the curtain". People have no idea what makes the public library run. But Library School (TM) is probably one of the greatest things I've done. It was worth it.

Dear Well Dressed Librarian,

Are you gay?


Dear Curious,

Did Rose Kennedy own a black dress?

Dear WDL,

Do you NEVER write about work anymore?

xo, Wishing For Work Stories

Dear Coworkers,

I do write about work. Libraries are my life, and therefore, I must write about my work, as work is a part of my life. Most of my work is secret, I can't even tell other co-administrators what is going on. That's a pretty tall order. My corner of the web isn't really worth losing my job. That and I'd hate to be poor, and sign up for food stamps. I can tell you this though: I learn more shit about the library when I'm assigned to shred old documents. There is something to be said about be the low man on the totem pole - rather the only man.

Dear Well Dressed,

Tell me something about you that would surprise me. Really.

An adoring fan

Dear Mom,
Hmm. Good one. I'm a NY Yankees fan. That usually surprises people. When I was in Undergraduate, I came home on the weekends to use the bathroom until the end of my Freshman year. Literally. I guess that's not too surprising though. Enough with the revelations.


When I wear my sweater over my shoulders, should the tag show if its a designer cardigan?


Dear K,

No. Never. Ever. Its gauche. Plus, it means you are not wearing it properly. It should be folded over at the shoulders and the neck should face you - not away from you when you wrap it around your shoulders and tie it. Logo sweaters, sweatshirts, and long sleeve t-shirts should not be used. Unless you are trapped on an island, and they are the only things that washed ashore with you.

It seems I've answered everything I felt like answering. I hope you've all learned something valuable. That, and Martha Stewart's new live NYC show starts September 12. Check your local listings.

Moral of this blog: I'm full of advice, among other things.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I'll be visiting my beautiful friends in Chicago this weekend, I'm very excited to see all of them. It's my first official trip back as a librarian.
I wonder if the A.L.A. is going to send a limo to the airport to pick me up?

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Expatriate

Just because I always wondered, and these tests are so valuable...

Achtung! You are 23% brainwashworthy, 22% antitolerant, and 4% blindly patriotic

Congratulations! You are not susceptible to brainwashing, your values and cares extend beyond the borders of your own country, and your Blind Patriotism ("patriotism" for short) does not reach unhealthy levels. In Germany in the 30s, you would've left the country.

One bad scenario -- as I hypothetically project you back in time -- is that you just wouldn't have cared one way or the other about Nazism. Maybe politics don't interest you enough. But the fact that you took this test means they probably do. I'm gonna give you the benefit of the doubt.

Did you know that many of the smartest Germans departed prior to the beginning of World War II, because they knew some evil shit was brewing? Brain Drain. Many of them were scientists. It is very possible you could be one of them, depending on your age.

Conclusion: Born and raised in Germany in the early 1930's, you would not have been a Nazi.

Moral of this blog: Good, because I'm a gay Jew.

The Would You Have Been a Nazi Test

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I want this

My office is made out of metal. Thats nice and all, it doesn't leak or anything, so I don't really have to worry about rust. Not industrial metal either. My old office was industrial metal. It was shiney, and looked quite sexy (rather like me, only I'm not made out of metal..just ice). I have teal blue carpet in my office. And lots of cupboards. Lots of them. I have so many supplies I could dole them out to the poor for months, and I would STILL have post it notes left. I have air conditioning, and a gigantic piece of modern art in my sitting area. Oh yes. I have a sitting area, with two side chairs and a little teak occasional table in between. And its huge.

Why are you complaining, you ask yourself.

Because I don't have a deluxe office. My boss does. And I like it. She even has a dark wood desk. That's hot.

I know jealousy isn't a pretty thing, luckily the rest of me is. It masks it really well, like the cover up that Vanessa Williams uses to cover her pock marked face. That was kind of mean. Oh well.

But it got me thinking, what do I need to do to get one of those big old fancy desks, and really nice chairs? I can't order them from Office Depot. My only option is to persevere and get deeper into the world of administration, or to inherit a Royal title. Then I get one of these fancy library offices with my estate. But I'm not in line, my family isn't even British. We're a bunch of French Jews. OK, not all of us, some of us.

And the fireplace? Come on! No libraries have these anymore. Are they really that dangerous? My library back home had one. It was quite nice. At least put one in my office. No one will know. I wonder if I can order one of those from Office Depot?

Moral of this blog: I like wood.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Camera Never Lies

I know this is true because I have never seen a bad picture of myself. OK, so that is stretching the truth just a little bit to help make my point.

When your child is caught stealing on a security camera, and we show you the video, do not call me and explain to me how "the camera distorted what really happened". You know why? Because it didn't. Your little angel is really a petty thief.

A sad reality. Now instead of calling me, go hide your jewelry.

Moral of this blog: The camera adds ten pounds, AND puts things in your pockets!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Dear Convicted Felon

jack the ripper How terribly exciting. Today I got to answer my first reference question from an incarcerated individual. The letter showed up in my inbox, and was addressed "Dear Director". A post-it note attached to it said "Matthew, can you take care of this? I don't know where to begin..."

And so my journey into enlightening a criminal began. The question was really quite straight forward. I answered it, typed up a letter and realized "I can't sign this thing!" So I closed with a simple "Thank you, XXX Metropolitan Library". According to several veteran librarians at my library, NO ONE signs their name on enquiry's from jailbirds. Makes sense. It could be terribly amusing to sign the name of another librarian that you dislike. Just remember, what goes around comes around.

I shall always remember this momentous occasion, my first reference question as a degreed librarian.

Then of course, I got morbid. I decided I had to find out what this guy was behind bars for. The internet is a wealth of information when you have a convict's prisoner number. I simply went to this site and entered the valuable information that he had provided in his return address.

Turns out that this queery answered the query of an individual convicted of aggravated murder. Delightful. Simply delightful. Apparently, there is no library in his facility.

If you are interested in Prison Libraries, check out IFLA's documentation on the subject. The Directory of State Prison Libraries might also be helpful.

Moral of this blog: Everybody in the whole cell block - was dancin' to the Jailhouse Rock