Top ten articles I might be prepared to write in another lifetime
10. Skydiving Without a Parachute: Working for Grant-funded Programs and
9. Debunked At Last: MedlinePlus usage tops WebMD
8. Improving Book Return Rates with Large Electromagnets
7. The Library and Public Etiquette Training: Waiving Overdue Fees if
Patrons say "Please"
6. Why Small Children Scream
5. You Can't Stay Here: Exciting New Scripts for Library Closing Time
4. On-the-fly Furniture Repair Tips for Library Staff
3. Does Your Library Have a Ghost, or Does Marvin from Cataloging Just
Need to Get More Sun?
2. Lizard-O-Rama: a Special Fundraising Event
1. How We Eliminated Theft in our Library Collection
This spring I wrote my first article for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Recently the column editor contacted me to say it's one of the best written articles she's ever received, and she thinks I can make an important contribution to the profession by writing more. My mind immediately turned to all the other topics I could write about, but after some thought, none of them seemed very viable. So instead of trying to figure out what to write about, I started thinking of things I'd probably never be able (or willing) to write about. This was the result.
This one might be a little obscure to non-library-types. Let me explain:
- Grant-funded programs are notorious for running out of money at the end of the grant period because the parent organization made no provisions for continuing the project once the money is gone. This didn't happen to me, but it happens to a lot of librarians.
- MedlinePlus, from the National Library of Medicine, is my favorite consumer health website. WebMD has the best advertising budget of any consumer health website, but I have been trying for several years to find evidence of any endorsement or contribution to WebMD by any non-commercial entity whatsoever. It's all for-profit, corporate, advertising-funded information, folks. Visit MedlinePlus with your health questions.
- Kids scream. Even in hospitals. (Especially in hospitals.) And they seem to scream louder as they get nearer to me. Maybe it's the acoustics.
- Why is it that library patrons feel this pathological need not just to sit on chairs and put their belongings on desks, but to pick at bits and pieces of them, leave leaky beverages on them, pull out and steal miscellaneous bolts and metal pieces, and let their kids decorate them with pens? No, really, why?
- I don't know anyone named Marvin, but I have a year-round Librarian Tan (tm) on most parts of my body--that is, no tan whatsoever. Partly this is because I'm always wearing long dresses and long sleeves when I'm outdoors at SCA events. But also, it's because I just don't otherwise spend time outside.
- Lizards in the Library? Actually I like this idea. The library was full when the former Governor visited; why not his relatives? (Ooops, did I type that out loud?)
- No one can write article #1, because no one's ever figured this one out.
©Jennifer Friedman, 6/12/03