Friday, January 30, 2009

Ask Marian

Got Questions? Got Problems? Librarian Beat's advice columnist has the answers.

Dear Marian,

There’s a cute dad who brings his son to my storytime. He’s been coming for about two months and he usually hangs around after storytime is over and we chat a little, but that’s it. How can I tell if he’s single? How can I tell if he’s interested? He’s friendly and nice and sometimes I think he’s interested in me, but then I wonder if he’s just being polite. Last week he touched my arm when he was laughing at something I said – does that mean he likes me? I’m going nuts! Please help.

Not Understanding The Signs

Dear NUTS,

Ah, the cute maybe-single dad, the bane of many young librarians’ existence. First, NUTS, I’m going to assume that you’ve checked for a wedding ring. Lack of a ring doesn’t guarantee single status these days, but it’s a good place to start. (And, seriously, married guys, slap on a ring or mention your wife early in the conversation and save us single girls a lot of unnecessary obsessing and confusion, will you?)

Now, some less-scrupulous advice columnists might suggest looking up your love interest’s library record and checking for women at the same address or with the same last name. I’m afraid that’s just not cool, NUTS. You’re going to have to put on your big-girl panties and tackle this one head-on.

That’s right, NUTS, you’re going to have to ask him. Now, we’re not talking a profession of your undying love here, but the next time you’re wrapping up your post-storytime chat try saying, “I’ve got to get back to the desk, but would you like to continue this conversation over coffee sometime?” We can’t guarantee he’ll say yes, but any reasonable man will be flattered by such an invite. Plus, you’ll spare yourself another two months of chatting amongst the puppets and big books while overanalyzing every gesture he makes. From what you’ve said it sounds like he may be interested, but there’s only one sure way to find out. Be casual, be cute, and be ready to put the image of the meek librarian to bed.


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Thursday, January 29, 2009

February Horoscopes

Librarian Beat's in-house astrologer lets you know what to expect this month.

Aries: (March 21 – April 19) You are full of big ideas this month, but certain stodgy coworkers are determined to block your efforts. Never forget that you are a brilliant visionary, and overcoming your opposition in ways that are both thorough and diplomatic is merely one extra step on your way to greatness. And while you’re taking those steps, don’t forget a pair of fantastic boots to make your climb all the better!

Taurus: (April 20 – May 20) That stubborn will of yours could get you in trouble if you’re not careful this month. Try to be a little more flexible with your friends and coworkers. A new whirlwind romance might be just around the corner, if only you can forget your rule about only dating someone without a Masters.

Gemini: (May 21 – June 21) Your sympathetic nature will make patrons and coworkers flock to you with their problems this month. Don’t be afraid to dole out a little advice, but remember to keep some emotional distance. You especially don’t want that creepy patron to get too attached, or you’ll never get rid of him.

Cancer: (June 22 – July 22) Those notorious crab claws of yours never like to let anything go, but it’s time to discard some things from your life this month. Try weeding your collection of those shabby 70s paperbacks and tossing a few high school fashion choices. If something isn’t serving your awesome self this month, it’s time to say goodbye. And why hang on to an unfulfilling old romance when there’s a hot new cataloger to meet in tech services?

Leo: (July 23 – August 22) We know how you tend to roar when censorship is suggested, but you might want to try a little self-censoring this month. Your coworker doesn’t need to hear that Stacy and Clinton would throw up their hands in horror over her work wardrobe, and sharing every criticism you have of your director won’t win you any favors when promotions become available.

Virgo: (August 23 – September 22) Expect to do some traveling this month: perhaps on an exciting spur-of-the-moment destination date, or maybe to an out of state professional conference. Wherever you’re going, be sure to pack wisely and keep your wits about you during happy hour.

Libra: (September 23 – October 22) As Libra is ruled by Venus, the planet of love, beauty, and aesthetic, you are always at the height of fashion whether giving a presentation to city council, or just hanging out at book club. And somebody new is going to be paying attention to you this month. Beauty tip: Mixing more than two argyle items in one outfit is only for experts!

Scorpio: (October 23 – November 21) A rare fit of temper could leave you wanting to tear your hair out this month, but try to just let it go. Yes you spent years of your life and dug yourself deep into debt to become a librarian, all because of your love of literature and a burning desire to serve the community, but some days you’re still going to have to deal with lunatics and direct people to the bathroom. You may as well just get used to it.

Sagittarius: (November 22 – December 21) You are one adventurous librarian, and it shows this month in everything from you outfit choices to you additions to the collection! Make that crazy spirit work for your career by taking on challenges your coworkers are too nervous to attempt. Organizing a poetry slam for teen patrons? You can do it. Getting your coworkers to play Rock Band during a staff meeting? Easy! You can do anything you put your mind to this month.

Capricorn: (December 22 – January 19) Hardworking Capricorn might need a break this month. Everyone knows you’re the go-to librarian when something important needs to get done, but let yourself loosen up and have a little fun as well! Try chatting with your reference desk partner during lulls, surf the web on your break, and consider a night out with your book club. You deserve it, and work will still be there tomorrow!

Aquarius: (January 20 – February 18) The stars are aligning for you this month! You are one glamorous bibliophile, and you know that any librarian who believes nobody makes passes at girls who wear glasses simply doesn’t have the right frames. Work that star power while it’s at its peak, and toss a wink at that sexy single parent who comes to story time.

Pisces: (February 19 - March 20) Everyone knows you’re a great listener, whether you’re conducting a reference interview or taking in all the staff gossip. You are the master of information in more ways than one. But while you’re keeping everyone else’s secrets this month, be sure to keep your own as well! Nobody needs to know about your crush on the library IT guy until you decide it’s time.

(ed. note: Anyone else humming that Weird Al song now? No? Just me? Okay. )

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Man of the Month

It’s not often you get to meet the whole family on the first date, but that’s exactly what happened on my date with James Kennedy last Saturday. Okay, so it was less a date and more a book signing attended by dozens of other people, but it was magical just the same.

After a lively performance, the adorable author allowed a group of Librarian Beat reporters to join him for lunch. He held open doors, listened attentively as we discussed our cats and our profession, and shared hilarious stories of his own. His polite manners, three piece suit , and Hugh Grantish good looks solidify his spot as Librarian Beat’s first Man of the Month.

A few days later, he answered our interview questions via Facebook message.

LB: I'm so glad you had fun at the lunch, and that you find us amusing and not creepy for putting you on the fake cover of our fake magazine. Don't forget us when you are inevitably rich and famous!

Speaking of the fake magazine, if you have a minute can you give us quick answers to the following ridiculous questions? It can only be good for your career, I promise.

LB: Librarianism: sexy profession, or sexiest profession?

JK: Draw your own conclusions. I've put my money where my mouth is: I'm married to one.

LB: How can a sassy and single librarian find an adorable YA author of her own?

JK: I understand they're available by mail order, like Sea Monkeys.

LB: Have you ever met John and Hank Green? Can you introduce us to them?

JK: Next year, the ALA plans to move all YA authors into one big dormitory in Miami. If I bump into John or Hank in the community bathroom, I'll see what I can do.

(ed. note: Let's all just take a moment to think about that, shall we?)
LB: Do you think women who wear reading glasses combine the best of both worlds and are thus irresistible?

JK: "Both worlds"? I've figured out that one of those worlds is astigmatism; what's the other?

LB: Would you be willing to read me a bedtime story?

JK: Sure! (I'll even throw in another story the next morning.)

(ed. note: James Kennedy! Stop flirting with me! Just kidding, keep going...)

LB: Do you need a personal assistant?

JK: Absolutely. Could you do all my Facebooking for me?

LB: What are your feelings about the Oxford comma?

JK: My feeling is that I just had to Wikipedia "oxford comma" to find out what it was.

LB: What's your sign?

JK: Pisces! What's more, I share my birthday with Yuri Gargarin, Amerigo Vespucci, Bobby Fischer, and Kato Kaelin. March 9, represent!

LB: What is your favorite:

JK: Blue.

Flavor of Ice Cream?

JK: Peppermint.

Thing to do on a rainy Sunday?

JK: Write.

Dance move?

JK: . . . it's complicated.
LB: What super-power would you choose?

JK: Super subtlety.

LB: Do you sing in the shower, if so, what?

JK: I try to imitate Bollywood musicals in fake Hindi.
LB: Coke or Pepsi?

JK: Coke.

And there you have it. Librarian Beat's very first Man of the Month!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Interview Questions

We here at LibrarianBeat strive to bring you the highest quality swooning fangirl materials available. This Saturday a few of us will have an opportunity to meet and talk to our Man of the Month (and centerfold) James Kennedy! What burning questions do you have for this hunky (albeit married) YA author? Here's what I've got to work with so far:

1) Librarianism: sexy profession, or sexiest profession?
2) How can a sassy and single librarian find an adorable YA author of her own?
3) Have you ever met John and Hank Green? Can you introduce us to them?


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

While gushing about Mo Willems to a co-worker today, I realized I sounded like my pre-teen self talking about Leonardo DiCaprio and an idea was born:

A magazine for librarians,Tiger Beat style, with posters and interviews for the fangirl (or boy) that still lives within each of us.

YA authors tend to be a charming sort of nerdy-hot, so of course the first cover would contain a bunch of them. Oh, John and Hank Green! SWOON! This was thrown together today (um, on my breaks, of course) and makes me laugh. If only it existed for real.

How far can we take this fake magazine?