TILT-Y Mail #2

Reporters, please knock this shit off, like yesterday

This is an expansion of one point of a thing I wrote several years ago about how reporters cover librarian news. Look, we get it, when you’re a venerable awesome institution like libraries it can be hard to whip up fresh headlines every decade from now until the heat death of the universe, but please try.
 I have a Google Alert for “librarian.” I get to read some incredibly poignant obituaries, and I see a lot of small town papers writing the same clichéd headlines. A few examples…
 1. Please do not ever use the phrase “check out” in a librarian headline unless you’re actually talking about checking books out. Poor Colleen Graves, she is trying to show off her badass makerspace and she gets these chuckleheaded headlines. You can do better.

2. The word “chapter” can refer to the chapter of a book, or a chapter of a sorority or the Red Cross and that is IT. Do not use it when a librarian retires. Not if you like that librarian. Bookmobile librarian Linda Caravaggio might forgive you, but I won’t.

3. A librarian is either someone who works in a library in a professional libraryish capacity (i.e. not generally the person who builds the shelves or the person who shovels the walk, unless it’s a solo library) or someone with a library school degree who may or may not work inside of a library. A robot who puts books away is not a librarian. Then again, this is from someone who thinks DDC is great, so possibly they just have bad judgment.

I left a comment (the only comment) on this article, in case you missed it. I was proud of it.

I was hoping I’d be able to track down some old tyme lulzy librarian headlines from the National Digital Newspaper Project which is apparently called Chronicling America (which I always confuse with Making of America — part one, part two — please tell me how this is a collaborative project if it has two websites? This has always confused me) but I was not successful.
 Librarian headlines were more SRS BZNS back then. Someone tell John Szabo about this story!

But I did find this curious little trivia nugget in a random Oklahoma newspaper about possibly the world’s only blind librarian (at the time, in 1908) in Lynn Massachusetts who was in charge of the “room of happiness”? I had to know more.

I tracked down this recounting of the formation of the room and its general use in the Proceedings of the Ninth General Convention of American Association of Workers for the Blind in an article written by Miss Bubier herself. It’s a neat story (if a bit dated) and ends on an up note

If you are sad and despondent I am sure you can find enough sunshine in the Room of Happiness to make your hearts warm and glad.

I hope that we can all find something that satisfying with our work this week. Thanks for reading.

TILT-Y MAIL is written irregularly by Jessamyn West who also maintains librarian.net. It’s also available in your inbox via TinyLetter.