Wednesday, February 06, 2008

For Your Guybrarian Fix

Pity I had to drop the martini blog, "Relaxin' with the AL." (I've considered putting the best posts on a static website, for the dozen of you who were regulars.) I'm now at home, relaxin' with an excellent martini and listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing "Blues in the Night." There are few things in life as fine and soothing as a well made martini, and I mix them with the best, if I do say so myself. This weekend I mixed some for guests that got involuntary "ooohs" and "ahhhs." I could be a great bartender if I didn't make more as a librarian, and if I knew how to mix other drinks as well as I mix martinis. If I still had the Relaxin' blog I could share that with you. Since I don't, I'll move on to library related stuff.

They sure are colorful down there in Dixie. From South Carolina comes The Mildly Attractive Men of SLIS at the University of South Carolina 2008 Calendar. A reader sent this to me with the with the comment, "this is f'ed up."

I'm not quite sure what to think about it. My first thought was that "mildly attractive" exaggerated a bit. A couple of the "guybrarians," as they called themselves, looked okay (the ones with the jackets; note to you male librarians: there's nothing wrong with dressing up just a bit. Oh, and facial hair is fine, but there's facial hair and then there's scraggly. Learn the difference.), but the others . . . well, I'm not so sure. I have no idea what that guy in the superhero suit is doing to that woman in the alley, and I'm not sure I want to know. The ad says there's a guybrarian to suit every taste; every taste, I suppose, except the taste of those who think "guybrarian" is a stupid word. I'm on record as wanting more hot, straight guys in libraries, since as far as I can tell they are the largest unrepresented minority in librarianship. This calendar isn't doing it for me.

Perhaps they got the idea from the Desperate Librarians Calendar that came out a couple of years ago, which seems not to be updated. You might remember that one, where the female middle-aged librarians posed naked for calendar photos to try to make money for libraries or some charitable thing. This guybrarian calendar is certainly an improvement, because in general I think we can all agree that pictures of naked librarians are not what we want to decorate our walls with. Not that all of you librarians out there reading this aren't very attractive naked, but I'm talking about as a general rule. Imagine the ALA exhibit floor with all nude librarians. On second thought, don't imagine it. I'm sorry I brought it up.

They're trying to sell calendars to make money to send students to the World Library and Information Congress "Libraries without Borders: Navigating towards Global Understanding." I wonder if the title for this conference was at all inspired by the stupid nautical theme of the last ACRL. Why anyone, especially a library school student, would want to go to anything with that title is beyond me, but it's going to be in Quebec in August, so that might be an attraction. Quebec during August has got to be more pleasant than South Carolina during, well, during all times most likely. I'm sure the south is fine if you like pickup trucks and Confederate flags and lynchings and such, but the South Carolina heat in August must be unbearable to civilized people. I remember Florida in June during ALA when I wilted like the delicate flower I am, and I think those two states are pretty close to each other.

It does seem a little strange, though, that these librarians are selling print calendars. Does anyone use print calendars anymore? I know the point is to make money to send the kids to a conference, but how many trees do they have to kill to do it? Couldn't they just put the calendar up on a fee-based website and charge a buck to view it? They'd probably make more money. Or maybe sell tee shirts. Everyone likes tee shirts, except the Annoyed Librarian.

Maybe calendars are the way to go, though. Calendering 1.0. Very retro. If so, I think it would be a good idea if other library groups started putting out calendars as well. They could organize so that only one appeared per year. We could have one of shelvers doing crazy things with shelving carts. Wouldn't that be wild. Or one of things found in returned books. I hear some people use wacky items for bookmarks that then get returned to the library. Or one with 12 pictures of the same librarian taken 12 years in a row, so we can watch how the job ages her. She'd start out fresh and eager, and end up like the rest of us. It'd take 12 years to make that one, but the result would be worth it.

35 comments:

The.Effing.Librarian said...

I'm not sure about the cover, if that's a book between his legs or, "is that a copy of The Taming of the Shrew, or are you just glad to see me?"

Brent said...

I like drinking coffee and listening to Ella Fitzgerald's "Black Coffee." Although, I can't relate to the song, except the coffee part.

Your choice in music I like. Your cultural tastes are one of the positive things in this blog. The elitist stuff, not so much. But I guess they go hand in hand.

Amanda (the librarian) said...

The Texas Library Association did an 18 month (Jan. 07 - June 08) Men of TLA calendar as a fundraiser for the TLA Library Disaster (read: hurricane) Relief Fund.

Another Annoyed Librarian said...

That's scary, but not as scary as the fact that those guys are much better looking than the guys that were in my class.

the green librarian said...

Heres the link for the Montana Book Babes 2008 that supports Montana libraries. There are both girl and guybrians...
http://www.mtlib.org/calendar/index.html

ms.kite said...

Well, I tried to translate "guybrarian" into russian and burst out laughting:)
If to speak about the calendar - I like the idea, but don't like the realization and the choice of that brarians. There chould be more either humour or seriousness. Those fotos lack both.

laura k said...

I appreciated the tongue-in-cheek humor of the SCSLIS calendar, and the acknowledgement that most men (or people, really) in librarianship are, frankly, only mildly attractive. I figured the use of the term guybrarian was part of the humor and not meant to be taken seriously.
The naked librarians calendar was a spoof, as far as I remember.
And I still use print calendars. It's often much easier to just look up at the wall then to open some program in the computer. Not everything is better digital. And I say this as a tech nerd burgeoning systems librarian.

Conflicted librarian said...

"This calendar isn't doing it for me."

Maybe some number of these posers on the calendar are "gaybrarians" and not guybrarians. Could be the reason for the lack of appeal.

"Imagine the ALA exhibit floor with all nude librarians."

Hey, at least it would rid us of the kitty-cat sweatshirts and the library-themed-slogan tee-shirts.

"Or one with 12 pictures of the same librarian taken 12 years in a row, so we can watch how the job ages her."

At my current place of work you could take the pictures to document this in 12 months.

Ed Crank -- Librarian (not guybrarian) said...

If you wanted to sell calendars, you should put out the annoying patron calendar.

A few examples from my library:

Dump Truck: The guy tips the scales at 300 pounds (at least) and sits at the public use machines, eating smelling, talking to himself. . . generally keeping everyone else away.

Albert Einstein: The guy knows it all. Will come and ask a question at reference just to start an argument. Last meaningful haircut, 1987.

Grandma Clicker: Always complaining that the public use machines are slow and will not display what she wants. After a check of the machine and closing of 800 open windows, you can amuse yourself by watching her click a link repeatedly.

This is but a start.

To make it really sell, I would have them pose nude (just for laughs).

Guybrarian????

***hurl****

Dances With Books said...

Ow, my eyes. Too late, you just had to bring up that image of naked librarians at ALA. Where is that AJAX and scrub brush when you need it?

On a serious note, we can propose a new LIS Course:

LIS 1231C Calendaring for the Library Profession

This class will teach the basics of creating calendars for charity. From choosing librarians that can get naked to...well, choosing librarians that should never get naked, this class covers all the bases. Extra credit if you can somehow integrate twopointopian principles and make an online version as well.

And hey, we could encourage Ed Crank's idea. A calendar of annoying patrons? Now I willing to bet that would definitely sell.

And finally, I also use print calendars. Easier really to look on the wall, plus, if you pick a nice one, have something good to decorate.

Ed Crank -- Librarian said...

If you want wildly attractive male librarians, I am available and willing to bare all.

No reasonable offer refused.

Anonymous said...

I do so miss "Relaxin'" and please don't say "...and end up like the rest of us." Like the rest of "them." AL is ageless, timeless-- grace and fineness; beauty and ele-gance...

--Taupey

j- said...

Mixed drinks are for sissies. Give me a belt of bourbon, a snifter of calvados, or a shot of tequila.

As for this calendar, did you place your tongue firmly in your cheek when you glanced at it?

*"Libraries without Borders: Navigating towards Global Understanding." I wonder if the title for this conference was at all inspired by the stupid nautical theme of the last ACRL*

No, it was probably inspired by Doctors Without Borders or one of the other transi-orgs out there. Maybe they will all volunteer to be human shields at Iran's nuke facilities in the near future and we won't have to worry about them--unless they wuss out like those wimps that went over to Saddamland in late 2002 and ran like scalded dogs as soon as they saw another carrier group float into range.

*Quebec during August has got to be more pleasant than South Carolina during, well, during all times most likely*

Are you sure? One is run by French and the other by, um, Southerners. It's a wash, really.

*Calendering 1.0. Very retro. *

My employer will provide any and all with one of those super old-school desk calendars that takes up your whole desktop [actual, not virtual]. I declined mine, displayed my HTC Touch and asked why they won't let me sync it up to my Outlook calendar. Security, don'tcha know, trumps technology every time.

*If you wanted to sell calendars, you should put out the annoying patron calendar.*

Don't forget "Smelly patron", "Homeless patron" or "Weird homeschooled kid and his weird mom patron(s)".

Anonymous said...

Maybe the librarians without borders can solve things in Kenya. Then they could move on to Iraq.

The ALA will not stop in its relentless quest until Israel and its Arab neighbors bury the hatchet permanently and live side by side with no threat of violence.

Either that, or the ALA should put out some READ! posters with select librarians baring it all. (I get to select the librarians and get to do the photo shoot)

AL said...

"Mixed drinks are for sissies. Give me a belt of bourbon, a snifter of calvados, or a shot of tequila."

A martini is not a "mixed drink." Things with fruit juice or carbonated sugar water are mixed drinks. A martini is in a class by itself.

Bernard DeVoto's The Hour is the best book on drink. From The Hour:

"There are only two cocktails. One can be described straightforwardly. it is a slug of whiskey and it is an honest drink.... To make a slug of whiskey, you pour some whiskey on some ice.... Before you give a slug of whiskey to anyone be sure it is cold. Cocktails are cold. With the other cocktail we reach a fine and noble art."

He's of course referring to the martini.

Anonymous said...

j. said (at 11:19): "...My employer will provide any and all with one of those super old-school desk calendars that takes up your whole desktop [actual, not virtual]..."

I don't have a wall calendar any more (I use the calendar in Outlook in my office) but I do use one of those desk calendars on the bulletin board in my assistant's area. The current month and next month are up there and I fill it in with times I'm off our floor (either at the main floor ref desk, a meeting or training somewhere, or off campus completely). My assistant is supposed to do that too, and note when student workers miss/are going to miss shifts. Student workers can't access my Outlook calendar (thankfully), and I want to know why they aren't here when they are supposed to be. My assistant is technologically challenged and can't seem to work with the Outlook calendars (despite many training opportunities), so this is the only way she can keep track of me and vice-versa.

Anonymous said...

AL,
You need to bring back the relaxin' blog. It is always delightful to read your wonderful prose, especially when you are talking about martini's and giving great song suggestions. I never gave much attention to 'coctail hour' until your blog and now I wouldn't miss it for the world.

--Chris

j- said...

*A martini is not a "mixed drink." Things with fruit juice or carbonated sugar water are mixed drinks. A martini is in a class by itself. *

AL, you are contradicting yourself:

*There are few things in life as fine and soothing as a well made martini, and I mix them with the best,*

So either martinis are DRINKS that you MIX or they aren't.

Anything DRINK that needs construction of any sort is for a sissy--there, is that a more watertight statement for you? :)

*Bernard DeVoto's The Hour is the best book on drink. From The Hour:*

Reading about drinks is like dancing about architecture, to borrow and mangle another famous phrase. If you need to read about how to drink or how to make a drink, you're wasting valuable drinking time!

Anonymous said...

I'm a gaybrarian and that calendar ain't doing much for me either. Looks like the geeks who go to Star Wars conventions showing us thier day jobs. Guess I'm just not with it but then I look and dress better than most 47 year males in the "profession" I could be Mr. March.

AL said...

Oh, j, it's sad that you're so unfamiliar with the history and philosophy of the martini.

And Chris, I've thought about bringing back the Relaxin' blog, but it was just too hard to find the time to write two blogs. Also, I decided some of the stuff on that blog had too many identifying tidbits. Perhaps I'll put the best of on a web page and add a widget for recommended drinks and music on this blog. That would probably be easiest.

Anonymous said...

Drinks?

Try water.

Music?

Try quiet.

This is a library after all.

Calendars.

The one from OCLC will suit everyone just fine.

Now get back to work.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of drinks, I personally like the following:

Flaming Dr. Pepper:

In a double shot glass pour

1 shot Amaretto
1 shot Everclear

In a mug pour 1 beer.

Light shot glass with match and drop into mug.

Privateer6

Anonymous said...

I made the mistake of looking at the calendar. It's at least nine hours until I can have any sort of drink (and there's nothing in my cough syrup, unfortunately). OMG. No wonder I don't put in extra hours and I'm eliminating job-related "outside" activities.

Anonymous said...

AL, you are so mean and condescending to librarians! How can you possibly, etc., etc.

I heart me some Calendaring 1.0. Every month, I get to change the calendars and watch Brand! New! Art! appear on my wall. Who on earth wouldn't want a wall or desk calendar? Sure, the function's been usurped by software, but bella figura!

Here's a radical idea for libraries that want to raise funds: why not sell things that have no visible link whatsoever to libraries? I spend 40-50 hours a week doing library things, and the rest of my time is spent doing non-library things. And when I'm at work, in a library? You think I want to look at pictures of library-related things then too?

Feh.

j- said...

*Oh, j, it's sad that you're so unfamiliar with the history and philosophy of the martini. *

Philosophy should never intermingle with alcohol. No one likes a philosophic drunk.

As for "mixology", I get irked when I have to add ice to high-proof bourbon. Thank G-d that it can be obtained on the freezer door.

Anonymous said...

scotch is much less work

Bitter Male Library Student said...

I think it's bullshit that these guys are probably going to get to go to the IFLA conference. Meanwhile, this male library student wrote an essay, collected professional references, and applied for a scholarship.

Conflicted Librarian said...

j. said "...Don't forget "Smelly patron", "Homeless patron" or "Weird homeschooled kid and his weird mom patron(s)"."

Well, I'll take that weird honeschooled kid ANY day over the noisy, disrespectful, unfocused, non-studying public school student (and his/her posse). Plus, I'll take the weird homeschooler's weird mom over the absent public schooler's mom.

j- said...

* Conflicted Librarian said...

j. said "...Don't forget "Smelly patron", "Homeless patron" or "Weird homeschooled kid and his weird mom patron(s)"."

Well, I'll take that weird honeschooled kid ANY day over the noisy, disrespectful, unfocused, non-studying public school student (and his/her posse). Plus, I'll take the weird homeschooler's weird mom over the absent public schooler's mom*

I don't know, brah. Have you seen this kid?* He looks like a rat. He has that mullet tied into a rat tail and his skin is almost translucent. You know he never sees the light of day unless it's to come to the library. He's got those tiny little mole eyes. He has no social skills. He's perplexed by you because you're male, which leads you to logically deduce that he has not a father, but the sole, weird, surely on-welfare mom--and what could she possibly be teaching this weird rat-boy at home?


*-Admittedly, I haven't seen him in 8 years or so--he's probably in jail or something, for snapping a little girls neck in two and then tossing her into a pond, to see if she'd float like the flowers.

Anonymous said...

Bitter male library student. Do I see a love match with the AL?

Anonymous said...

I'm a 30 year old male librarian, in sub-urban NY. i go out to happy hour weekly, enjoy sports, dress rather well (so i'm told), have a personality and i cant tell you how many people have asked me WHY i chose librarianship. Although i am not offended by the term "guybrarian" i dont really agree w/ it at all. Its an psuedo-stereotypical phrase made up by librarians trying to be "cool" and "hip"...pretty weak in my opinion. I work hard and went to school to be a librarian...i dont need some term to label my profession and or personality.

p.s. dirty bombay gin martini w/ extra olives for me please!

monty76 said...

WOW....is that a Flaming Dr. Pepper recipe posting??....NICE

Anonymous said...

SC's MLS program is probably one of the weaker ones in the US, so these guys need all the supplementary education and networking they can get.

The guy pointing at the camera scares me. Is he trying to lure me into a Ponzi scheme?

shade said...

Modern Drunkard magazine happens to have a guide to cocktail drinkers in this month's issue. They say, "ordering a martini says you appreciate the finer things in life, ordering a gin and tonic says you appreciate the simple things in life, and ordering a boilermaker says you appreciate knowing where your pants are."

I prefer gin and tonics, myself, extra lime.

cut cut cut said...

wait a minute - just what makes a guybrarian a guybrarian? i think it's a little more subtle than penis + mls = guybrarian.

for example, take your comment on jackets. don't most guybrarians enter the profession so they can avoid ever having to wear a jacket and tie until they are embalmed in a casket? if they were willing to wear jackets and ties, wouldn't they be "library directors" instead of "guybrarians"?