Read, Research, and Be Spooky

Our intrepid librarian braves the world of witches to deliver the magic of information

Our intrepid librarian braves the world of witches to deliver the magic of information

Our library is filled with staff and students ready to get their fill of treats for Halloween.  Luckily no tricks, the joy of living in a fairly rural and polite region of the country.  Earlier today I was at the administration building for a meeting and the children from the child care center came through.  The halls were filled with laughter and talk, something unusual for a more serious and business-like building.  There were dinosaurs, Iron Men, Spider Men, princesses, she-devils, chickens, construction workers and the like.  There were rushes on candy and a lot of smiling faces.  Everyone looks forward to their Halloween visit.  I was glad to be there. I worked at a somewhat rural community college library as a reference librarian, and there was a period of about three years where the questions on October 31st took a decidedly macabre turn.  I think it may have been the same group of young men trying to overset the librarians.  Having grown up with three exuberant brothers and other prankster male relatives, I could handle that stuff without flinching.  The questions weren’t that weird, but definitely a little off the usual research questions.  “Did Mary Shelley do weird stuff with cats?” and the history of the electric chair were two of them as I recall.  Our library celebrates this holiday very creatively.   We use it as a fundraiser for our social events.  It’s always been fun and creative.  This year we had a department vs. department decorating contest.  For my department, the librarian action figure emerged from her sabbatical to, as the picture demonstrates, to deliver information to the witchy and wicked.  I would share their questions but that would violate their privacy and I would have to turn you into a frog.

Who needs a house to fall on you when there's a copy machine.  Don't kill the trees or this could happen to you.

Who needs a house to fall on you when there’s a copy machine. Don’t kill the trees or this could happen to you.

Alas, we did not win the contest, but we had a great deal of fun decorating, laughing, and touring other departments.  And of course we had a party with lots of good food.  Happy Halloween.

Chasing the Winter Blues Away, Library Style

little-debbieWinter has gone on long enough, but Mother Nature has other ideas.  For those of us who have worked in libraries long enough, we know that we are a community of workers serving a community of users; and sometimes we get on each others nerves.  We also have to work with other agencies and other organizations to make our work functional.

A few years ago, there were some stringent budget cuts from the state and the word came down that we could not pay for catering at our public events.  The Friends of the Library was putting on a program and we know food is an important part of programming.  We decided that the library faculty and staff would provide the food for the event and noted that in our promotional fliers and emails.

This elicited a phone call to the librarian organizing the program from the head of dining services.  He stated that the food must be prepared in a kitchen inspected and approved by the Health Department…. or all food must be wrapped and served with tongs.  In describing this phone call, the librarian said, very frustrated, “We might as well serve Little Debbie cakes!”  Luckily, some organizational powers-that-be intervened and the event had food provided by dining services.

But another idea was born.  The library’s social planning committee puts on an annual “Blahs Party” during Spring break (early March) and we had a Little Debbie party, partly in honor of the librarian in charge of the event.  The event had a variety of Little Debbie’s, a poetry reading, and, of course, tongs.  By coincidence [not], it was the 50th anniversary of Little Debbie.

When that librarian retired last year, part of her gift included boxes of Little Debbies and tongs.  And here in honor of shaking away the blues away …..

Ode to Little Debbie

On the Occasion of her 50th Birthday


The Library Little Debbie SnackFest

 By Prunella McShush

Librarian Extraordinaire[1]


In the middle of the cold winter blahs

We are cold inside when the wind blows.

Her sweet little cakes transform our woes

Into wonderful smiles and cries of “aahs!”

Little Debbie tells us, “Unwrap a Smile”

And gives us honest pleasure without guile!

Sweet packs of chemical deliciousness

Filled with unnatural ingredients

Distract us from our library busy-ness.

We are in aligned with the Department of Health

A pair of tongs to serve the wrapped little treat

We now have a party that can’t be beat.

We didn’t spend much money

This party sure is a honey.

Huzzah and Hooray for our fun, health, and wealth!!!!


[1]  ¯Dah-tah-dah-DAH¯