The Laughing Librarian: A History of American Library Humor

McFarland
1
Free sample

Despite the stodgy stereotypes, libraries and librarians themselves can be quite funny. The spectrum of library humor from sources inside and outside the profession ranges from the subtle wit of the New Yorker to the satire of Mad. This examination of American library humor over the past 200 years covers a wide range of topics and spans the continuum between light and dark, from parodies to portrayals of libraries and their staffs as objects of fear. It illuminates different types of librarians—the collector, the organization person, the keeper, the change agent—and explores stereotypes like the shushing little old lady with a bun, the male scholar-librarian, the library superhero, and the anti-stereotype of the sexy librarian. Profiles of the most prominent library humorists round out this lively study.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Jeanette C. Smith, a Fellow of the Molesworth Institute, received the first-ever Edmund Lester Pearson Library Humor Award for a cautionary essay on the hazards of reading and driving. She has been a librarian since 1973 and a collector of library humor for almost as long. She lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Read more
Collapse
2.0
1 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
McFarland
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Jan 10, 2014
Read more
Collapse
Pages
239
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780786490561
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Best For
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Library & Information Science / General
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
A daily diary of actual interactions between a reference desk librarian and his patrons

Reference Librarianship documents a year in the life of a young librarian working in the “trenches” at a library in the Midwestern United States. This one-of-a-kind book provides a daily diary of every librarian/patron transaction—no matter how mundane or absurd—to demonstrate not only how advances in technology have affected the reference librarian’s job, but how the public’s expectations have changed, as well. The book also includes observations by a now-retired reference librarian on the current state of the field based on these unedited interactions.

Over the past two decades, the job of reference librarian has seen many changes. But in many ways, reference desk work hasn’t changed a bit, with its mix of odd, humorous, routine, and ridiculous requests that capture what it’s like to deal with patrons day after day. Reference Librarianship paints a clear picture of the field for library school students, provides emotional and philosophical support to practitioners, and reminds library administrators of what life was like on the “front lines.”

A sampling of the daily transactions documented in Reference Librarianship:

Monday, May 19, 2003:
pencil
pencil
network down
I tell people that I can’t sign them up for an Internet terminal because the network is down and they just stand there, staring into space
One of them asks for three days worth of newspapers
microfiche machine explanation
Sorry, Sir, the network is still down (multiply by twenty and insert randomly into the remainder of the day)
magic tricks, but he pretty much knew where they were
One of our large interior plate glass windows shattered. No one was hurt and it made a fascinating noise, like a crystal waterfall landing on soil.
“Books on prostitution, you know—whores?”
Someone from the County called to ask if any criminal activity had occurred on a particular street. Someone else referred her to us. She was dubious—with good reason.
“Math puzzles.” Okay. I show him the books.
“Just math.” Certainly. I show him the books.
“I need them in Spanish.” Grrr ... Reference Librarianship is an enlightening, educational, and entertaining look at the real world of reference desk work. It’s an essential read for reference librarians (both public and academic), library administrators, and library school students, as well as anyone who works with the public.
From “the only political writer in America that matters” comes a collection of his best reportage about the worst of times (Harford Advocate).
 
Matt Taibbi is notorious as a journalistic agitator, a stone thrower, a “natural provocateur” (Salon.com). Now, bringing together his most incisive, intense, and hilarious pieces from his “Road Work” column in Rolling Stone, the “political reporter with the gonzo spirit that made Hunter S. Thompson and P. J. O’Rourke so much fun” shines a scathing spotlight on the corruption, dishonesty, and sheer laziness of our leaders (The Washington Post).
 
With no shortage of outrages to compel Taibbi’s pen, these pieces paint a shocking portrait of our government at work—or, as Taibbi points out in “The Worst Congress Ever,” rarely working. Taibbi has plenty to say about George W. Bush, Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, and all the rest, but he doesn’t just hit inside the Beltway. Taibbi gets involved in the action. He infiltrates Senator Conrad Burns’s birthday party under disguise as a lobbyist for a fictional oil firm that wants to drill in the Grand Canyon. He floats into apocalyptic post-Katrina New Orleans in a dinghy with Sean Penn. He goes to Iraq as an embedded reporter, where he witnesses the mind-boggling dysfunction of our occupation and spends three nights in Abu Ghraib prison. And he reports from two of the most bizarre and telling trials in recent memory: California v. Michael Jackson and the evolution-vs.-intelligent-design trial in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
 
A brilliant collection from one of the most entertaining political writers of today, Smells Like Dead Elephants is “the funniest angry book and the angriest funny book since Hunter S. Thompson roared into town” (James Wolcott).
In the years following her role as the lead author of the international bestseller, Limits to Growth—the first book to show the consequences of unchecked growth on a finite planet— Donella Meadows remained a pioneer of environmental and social analysis until her untimely death in 2001.

Thinking in Systems, is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. Edited by the Sustainability Institute’s Diana Wright, this essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.

Some of the biggest problems facing the world—war, hunger, poverty, and environmental degradation—are essentially system failures. They cannot be solved by fixing one piece in isolation from the others, because even seemingly minor details have enormous power to undermine the best efforts of too-narrow thinking.

While readers will learn the conceptual tools and methods of systems thinking, the heart of the book is grander than methodology. Donella Meadows was known as much for nurturing positive outcomes as she was for delving into the science behind global dilemmas. She reminds readers to pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable, to stay humble, and to stay a learner.

In a world growing ever more complicated, crowded, and interdependent, Thinking in Systems helps readers avoid confusion and helplessness, the first step toward finding proactive and effective solutions.

Every day researchers face an onslaught of irrelevant, inaccurate, and sometimes insidious information. While new technologies provide powerful tools for accessing knowledge, not all information is created equal. Valuable information may be tucked away on a shelf, buried on the hundredth page of search results, or hidden behind digital barriers. With so many obstacles to effective research, it is vital that higher education students master the art of inquiry.

Information Now is an innovative approach to information literacy that will reinvent the way college students think about research. Instead of the typical textbook format, it uses illustrations, humor, and reflective exercises to teach students how to become savvy researchers. Students will learn how to evaluate information, to incorporate it into their existing knowledge base, to wield it effectively, and to understand the ethical issues surrounding its use. Written by two library professionals, it incorporates concepts and skills drawn from the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and their Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Thoroughly researched and highly engaging, Information Now offers the tools that students need to become powerful consumers and creators of information.

Whether used by a high school student tackling a big paper, an undergrad facing the newness of a university library, or a writer wanting to go beyond Google, Information Now is a powerful tool for any researcher’s arsenal.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.