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The Laws of Library Science



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The Laws of Library Science

  1. 1. The Laws ofLibrary Science A U L S As Recorded and Observed by the Faculty and Alumni of the Acme Upstairs Library School LisaZawadzki, MLS ProfessorEmerita,AULS
  2. 2. Patrons who precede their questions with “I have a strange question to ask you”never have strangequestions. People who have truly strange questions have no insight into how bizarre their requests are.
  3. 3. Librarians never, ever, use the public restrooms if they can possibly avoid doing so.
  4. 4. A Public Library can never have too many cookbooks, GED books, or resume guides.
  5. 5. All of the library’s books on Satanism, witchcraft, and spell- casting will go missing. Library fines are a small consideration to someone courting eternal damnation, after all.
  6. 6. There is at least one blind spot in the layout of everylibrary building. This is where patrons will go to vandalize materials and teens will go to sneak- read books onsex. Bolder patrons will use this area to have sex.
  7. 7. Ifa work of fiction has a detailed map or a family tree onthe endpapers,it is waytoo involved to bother reading. The same goes fornovels that contain a glossaryof wordsparticular to that book.
  8. 8. Most people will fight youto the death over a thirty-cent fine. They will likely be wearinga watch that costs more than you make in 6 months while they doso.
  9. 9. There is never enough shelving. Or storage space. Or money.
  10. 10. Dr. Marshall’s Universal Weeding Maxim : “When In Doubt, Chuck It Out”
  11. 11. Never weed a book you personally likeno matter how out-of-date, worn, esoteric, or uncirculated it may be.
  12. 12. When in doubt on anycourse of action, form a committee. Give the committee an acronym or initialism for a name. The member with the nicest/best located library has to host.
  13. 13. Teachers will routinely send 100 or more students to the library to research a subject on which there is little or no information. There will beNO warning.
  14. 14. Make all the signs you want; no one will ever pay any attention to them.
  15. 15. Ifyou should happen to remark that you haven’t seen a particular patron in the library recently, that patron will soon appear. This is especiallytrue of patrons you don’t want to see.
  16. 16. Big pencils are for librarians. Little pencilsare for patrons.
  17. 17. When speaking of patrons with other staffmembersalwaysuse their descriptive nicknames –(Typhoid Janet, False Mailman,The Decibel Family, Mrs. Satan, etc.)
  18. 18. No one has ever used a new envelope to mail an out of state interlibrary loan. Always returnthem in the envelope they came in, no matter how ratty or mangled it has become.
  19. 19. The closer it is to closing time, the larger the overduefine and the more adamant the patron will be in their argument not to pay.
  20. 20. 99% of all professional literature has no basis in reality and no practical applications. Luckily, 99% of librarians have no time to read it.
  21. 21. The time, money, and effort the library spends on any program is inversely proportionate to the level of attendance.
  22. 22. If you can not find awork offiction who title is a character’s name, look on theshelf under that nameinstead of the author’s. For example, Billy Buddby Melvillewill be at BUDand David Copperfield has been shelved at COP.
  23. 23. The “e” in “eBooks” stands for EVIL.
  24. 24. Tutors believe theycan talk in the library because they are EDUCATORS. Their sacred mission absolves them from the rules of etiquette that apply to lesserbeings.
  25. 25. Software designed specifically for libraries always sucks. No exceptions so far.
  26. 26. The business of librarians is information and books. All other library activities are incidental to this.
  27. 27. The less you deal with actual books and actual patrons the less of a librarian you are.
  28. 28. Whenever possible, stamp right in the middle of a celebrity’s forehead when checking in the periodicals.
  29. 29. 99 out of100 patrons will be friendly, polite, and personable. Sadly it is the one patron whois rude, unpleasant, and demanding you will remember from the workday. Try to remember the majority and reflecton the goodpeople you serve every day. This is nevereasy to do.
  30. 30. Never let Consumer Reports out of your sight. Especially the April issue.
  31. 31. You never realized so many strange people could live in one city.