Archive for January, 2010

You are a Librarian, aren’t you?

Ah, the age-old question: “You are a librarian, aren’t you?” What a wonderful question! Whenever librarians hear this one, we instantly realize that what the patron really means is: “You are all-knowing, aren’t you?”


Sorry to disappoint you, patrons, but sometimes your questions are too vague even for our advanced minds to answer. It’s rare, of course, but it does happen. ūüôā Thanks to “Bethany” for sending in,¬†what Merry likes to call,¬†an amusing¬†Reference Desk Interaction (RDI). We just can’t get enough of these!

My favorite reference phone transaction involved our extensive sound recording collection.¬† A woman called and asked if we had “that Indian music that was on the radio last night.”¬† Not knowing quite how to respond to an obviously silly question (the caller WAS very serious), I decided to pursue this like any other ref question.

“What was the radio station?” I asked, thinking that perhaps I could locate a play list.¬† The patron didn’t know.

“What tribe was the music related to? I asked, thinking that among our collection I could find music from the appropriate group.¬† The patron didn’t know.

“Was it Native American Indian or Asian Indian?” I continued to ask since we also had a fair amount of Asian music.

“I don’t know!” the patron plaintively said, “but my boss heard it last night and wanted me¬† to track it down.” (She was his secretary.)

“Hmmm,” I said.¬† “I don’t think I’ll be able to find what you want.”

“Well why not? You are a librarian aren’t you?”

While I was very tempted to say something snotty like “Yes, indeed, I am a librarian but I must have missed the classes on Omniscience and Clairvoyance,” I meekly responded, “Sorry, but I really do need more information before I can proceed.¬† Please ask your boss if he can remember anything more.” (and then whack him upside the head with a rolled-up newspaper.)


Send your RDI’s to, or phone them in: (216) 23M-ERRY (216-236-3779)

Attention, Australian readers! We need one or two more stories from your neck-o-the woods to complete our “Librarians of the World” month in March. Send in your crazy down under stories to us today!

Out with the Old Dog, In with the New Year

As we enter the first full week of 2010, we’re looking forward to some hilarious stories from libraries everywhere. Merry has a few goodies up her sleeve for the new year, too…

  1. Now you can call or text in¬†your library stories to The Merry Librarian…for free*! Merry is excited to announce our “Call In A Story Line!” ¬†Simply call (216) 23M-ERRY and leave us a message telling us your story. Be sure to speak very clearly, and leave us your email address if you want to hear back from us. (Your number will remain confidential, and no one from the Merry Librarian will ever call you or release your number to any outside agency.) There has never been a faster or easier way to share your library stories with the world!
  2. If you love reading, Merry has great news for you! The Merry Librarian will be launching¬†“Merry’s Book Club” in 2010. We will add a page to the site that features short book reviews from fellow book-lovers and librarians, including reviews by Merry. You’ll be able to read reviews of all types of books, and maybe discover a few new gems for yourself. You’ll even be able to purchase titles directly through The Merry Librarian! Pretty cool, huh?¬†If you’re interested in applying to be a book reviewer for the site, contact us at!
  3. In March,¬†Merry will¬†host our very first “Librarians of the World” month,¬†featuring a whole month’s worth of stories sent in by librarians from¬†Australia. (If you’re an Australian librarian¬†, send us your stories by February 1!)

We’re excited to see what 2010 brings for The Merry Librarian!

The first Story of the Week for 2010 is a “tail” of one librarian going above and beyond the call of duty on behalf of man’s (or in this case, woman’s) best friend. Who knew a librarian’s job description included “Pet Wrangler”?!

So a coworker calls to the workroom to say that there is a dog running around the library. Being a government-worker I think, “that isn’t really my job, where is management?” But unable to resist the pull of the chance to pet a dog I go out on the floor as well. One patron seems to have the dog under control, and I say that I’ll take the dog (? why? I don’t know)

I grab the leash in time to hear the guy say, “The leash isn’t attached to the collar!” Dog wanders away and is getting more and more agitated, as more of us try to help. I’ve got the leash however so, I feel that this is my responsibility. The man who had the dog says to me, “I think the dog is blind, his eyes were weird.”

“OK,” I say following the elderly blind dog who also seems to suffer from arthritis. A low-speed chase follows with the dog occasionally stopping 30 feet from me to cock its head and debate if it should approach me as I call out to it, “come here little old dog.”

Dog leads me out of library, down the street, to an apartment complex. Runs to an apartment and throws itself down to sit at the front door. I ring the bell and knock. No answer. I wait

I knock. I try the door. Open.
Cat tries to bolt from apartment and dog runs in. I block the cat. shut the door.
“Well, I hope that was the apartment,” I think. If not I’ve made a bad situation weirder.

I leave the apartment and head back to the library. I run into a woman who has a I’ve-lost-my-dog look about her. I ask. and yes it is her dog and yes the apartment number I say is her apartment. I tell her that her dog went home.

I feel very good about this.

Send your harebrained “tails” to, or text or call in your stories to 216-23MERRY (216-236-3779).

*There is no charge to call or text The Merry Librarian on our end. However, your personal phone plan rates will apply. Unfortunately, we cannot offer a call-in or text line for our readers outside of the US at this time.

What’s New With Merry?

Merry's Book Club has arrived!

The highly-anticipated debut of Merry's Book Club is finally here! Check out reviews of books by fellow librarians and book lovers, and even purchase the titles you love through Merry's Book Store!

NEW! Call In A Story Line

Now all US readers can call or text your stories into The Merry Librarian. Call us at
(216) 23M-ERRY today!

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