Librarian Trading Cards
September 25, 2009 5:33 AM   Subscribe

Librarians at the University of Rochester -- River Campus Libraries create trading cards viewable on Flickr. They apparently got the idea from the Carlton College librarians. More examples.
posted by GenjiandProust (49 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've got a Jessamyn rookie card in NM. If anyone's interested, you can MeFi mail me.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:37 AM on September 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


There are a few terribly photoshopped ones in there, but for the most part they're great. Not a bad little idea to get students to actually find out who their most relevant librarian is.
posted by Dysk at 5:41 AM on September 25, 2009


The holy grail, of course, is the Melville Dewey card that a tobacco company issued in 1906, which he demanded they withdraw from the market because they didn't spell his name Melvil Dui.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:42 AM on September 25, 2009 [11 favorites]


They probably got it from CASE - Council for the Advancement and Support of Education - or as we call it Copy And Steal Everything.
posted by parmanparman at 5:56 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


to actually find out who their most relevant librarian is.

For some reason, this is highly classified information at my local library. The librarians are all friendly and know my whole family (sending home a book for me with my father-in-law, asking about kids that aren't there that day, etc). None of us know even a single one of their names because they refuse to even wear nametags, let alone make fun trading cards, and it's waaaay too late now to admit we have no idea what they are. They got our names from our patron information, obviously--when/where were we supposed to get theirs?
posted by DU at 5:57 AM on September 25, 2009


So if you throw down a Jessamyn card, do you get a +1 on your attack?

Seriously, this is a great idea. I'd like to see trading cards for authors in school, with the higher the reading level the higher the value, but realistically I know that's never going to happen.
posted by misha at 6:02 AM on September 25, 2009


My Jessamyn, let me show you her.

Now I get +1 on all favorites while Jessamyn is in play.
posted by ursus_comiter at 6:19 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


My card was withdrawn after somebody noticed I was holding a book called 'Fuck Face.'

Also the gigantic metal erection.
posted by box at 6:26 AM on September 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Not really trading cards, more like comic book covers.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:29 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Carleton.
posted by nicepersonality at 6:30 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's Carleton College, thank you very much.
posted by Tsuga at 6:32 AM on September 25, 2009


They were going to store all the cards in the Rush Rhees dome, but the architect forgot to account for the weight of books so they can't put too many up there.

Also, there is a walking tunnel between Susan B. Anthony and the library, but it's, like, sealed off because of the CHUDS and expelled Theta Delts in the vast network of steam tunnels or something.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:36 AM on September 25, 2009


Here's my librarian trading card.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:38 AM on September 25, 2009


Hey, hey, hey! That tunnel is practically CHUD-free!
posted by tommasz at 6:58 AM on September 25, 2009


since I'm a librarian working somewhere other than a library, do I get some sort of steath powers for being seekrit undercover?
posted by pointystick at 7:30 AM on September 25, 2009


Et voila! (I may do a better one when I have time.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:32 AM on September 25, 2009


Hey, hey, hey! That tunnel is practically CHUD-free!

No, that's the tunnel that runs perpendicular to the Quad buildings. I'm talking about the tunnel between Susan B. Anthony dorm and Rush Rhees. The one that they closed in the 70's. My friend was totally in the secret campus exploration group The Penetrators, and they had master keys to everywhere on River Campus, and he has been in the rotunda and that tunnel, as well as G. Dennis O'Brien's crypt under the Interfaith Chapel and the secret lab in sub-basement 7 of Bausch and Lomb.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:34 AM on September 25, 2009


They are the unsung heroes of our generation.
posted by Iron Rat at 7:37 AM on September 25, 2009


None of us know even a single one of their names because they refuse to even wear nametags, let alone make fun trading cards, and it's waaaay too late now to admit we have no idea what they are. They got our names from our patron information, obviously--when/where were we supposed to get theirs?

Nametags are demoralizing and no one should ever have to wear one.

Is it really that embarrassing to say, "Hey, I've been coming here for 3/5/20 years, and I realize that I don't know your name!"

Just say it, get to know their names, and then greet them the next time you see them. Fun for everyone.
posted by explosion at 7:38 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Gogo Carleton! We even have clever librarians!!!

(Geology, 1985)
posted by Windopaene at 7:41 AM on September 25, 2009


since I'm a librarian working somewhere other than a library, do I get some sort of steath powers for being seekrit undercover?
What do I get for being a non-librarian who works in a library? Bonus--my library has tunnels that connect to the Capitol.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:49 AM on September 25, 2009


They got my name from (something functioning as) a nametag. I don't feel too demoralized, but even if I did turnabout is fair play.

However, I don't insist they wear them. Just somehow tell us who you are. A "know your librarian" display or newspaper story or trading cards or something. Because yes, it's going to kill my socially phobic wife to have to say "I've been coming here for 35 years and I don't know your name".
posted by DU at 7:52 AM on September 25, 2009


(dammit, I meant to save my 10000th comment for something awesome.)
posted by DU at 7:52 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


None of us know even a single one of their names because they refuse to even wear nametags

Don't assume that they're refusing to wear nametags -- their library may not be able to afford them. I don't agree that all nametags are demoralizing, particularly if you're in a public service setting, but I do think that the sticky ones that you peel off and write your name on with a Sharpie are demoralizing.
posted by blucevalo at 7:59 AM on September 25, 2009


For what it's worth, I know of at least one library staff person who, after a stalking incident, asked that her face and name be left off of all public material. I had no problem wearing a name tag as a faculty member (the institution issued them to everyone, and most people wore them to faculty functions so we could get to know each other), but I can see how some/many people might.

And I knew it was Carleton; my fingers slipped. Perhaps I can get that fixed. Or just accept my well-earned mocking....
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:04 AM on September 25, 2009


Also, WRT the nametag sitch, some librarians (in particular female librarians, whether they're wearing a nametag or not) in public service positions are sexually harassed by patrons, so they might be reluctant to wear them. Nurses traditionally don't have their last names on their name tags for the same reason.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:06 AM on September 25, 2009


LOL (League of Librarians)
posted by grouse at 8:08 AM on September 25, 2009


None of us know even a single one of their names because they refuse to even wear nametags

This is, in library circles, a thing. Some people feel that it makes you seem like you're a fast food worker or other sort of service worker desk jockey. Others feel that putting your name out there makes you a better target for stalkers (you'd be amazed, I think, how much of a problem this is) and others just feel that it makes people play favorites when in many public lirbaries you're basically supposed to get the help from the person who is at the desk and consider them more or less interchangeable. This is not true for academic libraries and often those libraries have websites with names and headshots and etc.

When I last worked in a large public library, I agitated to have nametags because I wanted people to know my name since I felt weird already knowing theirs. Before the nametags I was known as "that librarian who smiles" which should give you an idea of the general climate we were working with. People who didn't want their names on their nametags got nametags that said "librarian" which I thought was a decent compromise since it made it clearer who was working the reference desk and who was a page or a circ staffer.

I'm surprised these haven't been on MeFi before. Happy 10,000th comment DU.
posted by jessamyn at 8:13 AM on September 25, 2009 [9 favorites]


Patricia does not seem pleased to be in space.
posted by orme at 8:41 AM on September 25, 2009


That's because she's sitting in a tin can. Far above the world. Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing (she) can do.
posted by explosion at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2009


Some people feel that it makes you seem like you're a fast food worker or other sort of service worker desk jockey.

I actually use my name as a shibboleth. If someone asks for me by the (nick)name I go by, as opposed to the (full)name listed in the directory, then they probably have a valid reason for seeing me. If they don't, then they're either a salesperson taking a desperate chance or (more likely) someone whose needs can be satisfied by one of my staff.

It makes things easier for me - with 40+ students and 5 FTEs working for me, I don't usually have time to stop and listen to some vague spiel about discount toner cartridges. Faculty will sometimes try to name drop in hopes of faster service, but honestly, they'd get better service through one of my FTEs than through me*. I follow a Roman model - my staff/border guards handle most of the local uprisings and if they can't handle it, they call me/the legions in.

* I had one professor last year who spoke over one of my staff demanding to know the status of the coursebooks we had on Reserve for her class. She insisted on speaking with me first and did not want to 'waste her time' with someone who 'wouldn't have the answers she needed'. Of course, the staff she refused to speak with is the person I put in charge of tracking just that sort of thing, so after she asked me, I just turned to him and said 'what she said.'
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:53 AM on September 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


These are the best things ever.
posted by mippy at 10:16 AM on September 25, 2009


We should probably do this for our library, considering that most of our patrons get quite confused when they realize that yes, there are REAL PEOPLE out in the yeehaws and not just robots. (Where the fuck the robot joke came from, I don't fucking know.)
posted by sperose at 11:19 AM on September 25, 2009


I'm posting this from the Carleton library about 20 feet from these cards, should I say something clever?

Here's a limited edition of the library currently on duty. They should have made it glossy or holographic.
posted by shii at 11:23 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


These are, I must admit, much better than the vast majority of librarian in-jokey attempts at humour (about which I have ranted previously). I especially like the idea of an entire deck of Magic: The Gathering-style cards, only based upon the entire library and not just the staff:

Difficult Patron

Creature - Giant Pain In The Neck

When Difficult Patron comes into play, all Tranquility spells are negated. Difficult Patron causes +2 Annoyance to all Librarians and Regular Patrons on that floor until an Expulsion spell is cast.

posted by The Card Cheat at 11:57 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hm. Instead of nametags, what about desk nameplates? Maybe not practical if you're moving around all day, but at least they're more usually associated with prestige than servitude. Could be as simple as a piece of paper folded into a triangle. </engineer>
posted by hattifattener at 12:25 PM on September 25, 2009


 _____________________
| DIALOG              |
|                     |
|   ?????             |
|  ??? ???            |
|  ??   ??            |
|      ??             |
|     ??              |
|     ??              |
|                     |
|     ??              |
|     ??   ========   |
|                     |
| That which you wish |
| to know can be had, |
| but you shall pay a |
| terrible price.     |
 ---------------------
?_</blink
posted by Decimask at 3:52 PM on September 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think that was to obscure even for Metafilter...
posted by Decimask at 5:45 PM on September 25, 2009


"TOO", dammit.
posted by Decimask at 5:45 PM on September 25, 2009


Not for me, Decimask. I went to library school '99-'01 and we still trained on Dialog in my intro to reference class, although there was a pretty clear sense in the air at that point that it was on its way out and Google was the new hotness.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:06 PM on September 25, 2009


Fuck Dialog. I had to learn that last fall. (I did turn out to be pretty good at it, which was hilarious to the other students.)

Of course, then they wouldn't let me into their school. Fuckers.
posted by sperose at 6:35 PM on September 25, 2009


I was in library school 93-96 [on and off] and I definitely get the dialog joke. We had an open note test on dialog, it was considered so confusing.
posted by jessamyn at 6:41 PM on September 25, 2009


A part of me still misses the Dialog command-line searching. It was esoteric as all get out, but, boy howdy, could you do precise searches! And you could search all day on one paid search, if you set up your terms right. Kids these days don't know what they've got going nor what to do with it!
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:28 PM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, God...Dialog. I was in library school in 1999, and it was obvious that it was something none of us would ever use (kind of like how I was taught BINARY in my grade 11 computer class). RIP.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:45 AM on September 26, 2009


(I used it on Monday)
posted by Decimask at 8:46 AM on September 26, 2009


*shakes fist at sky* DIALOOOOOOOOOOG! Even now I curse your curs├ęd name!
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:34 PM on September 26, 2009


Has anyone other than librarians and researchers even heard of Dialog?
posted by Decimask at 5:16 PM on September 26, 2009


I learned Dialog in two different classes I took in 2007-08. And my (big multinational) law firm has access to it. (You have to request a password, though, and even though I'm reasonably competent, I'm too scared to ask for one). I thought it was great. So much information in one place.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:31 AM on September 27, 2009


Aww, Rochester! (Class of 99) But where are all the people I worked with at Rush Rhees?
posted by orrnyereg at 12:40 PM on September 27, 2009


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