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You know you’re a reference librarian when…

I’ve had the more standard stress dreams, the ones where I’m supposed to teach but have no idea what or where and I’ve missed most of the term already, the ones where I’m supposed to take a final for a class I don’t remember enrolling in and have never attended. Last night I had a new kind of stress dream.

The library’s heavy duty stapler had died under the constant stress of massive eReserves printouts and student frustration. The library had decided that handing out large paperclips was the better way to go considering the expense of a new heavy duty stapler and the amount of time we spent fixing it every week. Then we got an email from a (fictional) history prof on campus who had forgotten that librarians might be on the all-campus email list and had sent out a passive-aggressive plea supposedly behind our backs asking for the campus to chip in and help buy a heavy duty stapler. (Man am I glad this guy doesn’t actually exist.) This prof hinted that the library must not care much about the history department since our decision hurt them the most. He also said that only one model of stapler would do and that he intended to collect the money and then hand it over to the library so that we could make the purchase.

When we looked into it, it turned out that this model of stapler was discontinued (and yet we knew we’d have to find one anyway). Not only that, but the staples that it required were only available in small quantities at auction, and each set of 100 staples came in its own display box, much like the little boxes watches come in, with the staples hanging from a display stand. As you would imagine, the staples weren’t a bargain.

At this point, I woke up in a cold sweat.

Published inRandom Thoughts


  1. I attended an improv show with a group of librarians and we got them to act out a triumphant scene of stapler repair! Clearly staplers are an issue that looms large in all librarians’ psyches.

  2. Our library went through “Staplegate” last week. Pretty much your dream but for reals, minus the history prof. It’s nice to know we’re not alone!

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