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.