Monthly Archives: November 2012


I’ve been reading various posts of late that are instructing people on how to be successful in social media, either for themselves or for their organizations.  At some point, many of them tell you to be clever. Or be funny.


Now, people have often told me that I’m funny. I think my sense of humor is one of my strengths, and is one of the things that make me a passable speaker. My sense of humor is deeply ingrained – and if you met my family, you’d know from whence it came.

Humor.  I has it.

However. Librarians, as a group, do not tend to be enthralling presenters, sorry to say. I have been to many, many presentations where the presenter was stultifyingly dull. And at some point, they attempt humor because, you know, you’re supposed to be funny. It’s not pretty. And I feel bad for the presenter, because it’s incredibly uncomfortable to throw what you think is a laugh line out there only to have it crash at your feet.

Here’s the thing: if you’re not a funny person (and you probably know who you are) don’t force it.  You can be engaging and interesting and informative….and that’s more than enough.

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Filed under Libraries and Librarianship, Miscellaneous

Common Sense

….or not.  The new Health and Safety Officer at Oxford has issued a decree that stepladders may no longer be used in the Bodlean Library:

Stepladders have been banned from part of Oxford University’s historic Bodleian library – because of health and safety fears.

The ruling by officials means that students cannot use items on the higher shelves of the Duke Humfrey reading room.

Wait, what??

Stepladders have been used by scholars to reach books since the library was built more than 400 years ago.

But no more, apparently. So there are now parts of the collection that are rendered unusable. Are modern librarians particularly clumsy? Beyond ridiculous.  Let’s hope someone develops some common sense, and fast.


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Filed under Academia, Libraries and Librarianship, Things that make you go, "Hmmm..."