Cranky is as Cranky Does

I’m finally back from Orlando and guess what? I’m still cranky. Why? Because during ALA, someone approached me and proudly announced she just bought a Lipstick Librarian shirt at the conference.

There was only one problem: I wasn’t selling any LL shirts at the conference.


After stomping up and down the exhibit aisles, I found the culprit: a t-shirt vendor selling shirts with the the phrase “Lipstick Librarian” on the front. I was stunned. I approached the vendor and introduced myself and explained just why I was peeved. After about ten minutes of drawing a little picture of the problem for her (I tempted to use handpuppets since they were sitting in the next booth), she promised that she’d let the owners know so they’d get back to me.

Fat chance on that happening.

I don’t want to name the vendor because I don’t want to give them any publicity whatsoever. Suffice it to say, I want everyone to know that LL shirts are only available from my website or from my Cafepress.com store. And they have the LL logo on front. If you see a purple shirt with “Lipstick Librarian” on front in a butt-ugly font AND (god help me) a heart over the phrase, that is NOT my shirt–it’s a rip-off, pure and simple.

And they will be hearing from me very soon….

Next Time: my thoughts about some of the ALA presentations as well as just how long I manage to walk around Orlando before I collapsed from heat prostration. For the curious, I will also answer the hot (no pun intended) question of the conference: just where are all the houses in Orlando?? (Hint: I actually stayed in one)

5 Responses

  1. alan
    alan July 11, 2004 at 6:26 am | | Reply

    Now that’s interesting. A copyright violation at a gigantic library conference.

  2. nanette
    nanette July 12, 2004 at 10:07 am | | Reply

    Yeah, I saw those too, and I was wondering what was up with that. They were ugly. But then again, so are most clothing items that can be purchased at an ALA conference.

  3. Winona
    Winona July 13, 2004 at 8:12 am | | Reply

    Wowzers…not a nice thing to have happen, but ironic that it was at a library conference.

    I’ll have you know, I ordered my authentic tank top last week, and once I get it, I will wear it proudly.

    1. Gabriel
      Gabriel March 12, 2014 at 1:45 pm | | Reply

      JD,If the public doesn’t read signs, then they’re in rellay big trouble because in BISAC based libraries, that’s all they have to indicate the book’s location. A big sign over the general area, and within that, every book becomes essentially a mini sign with it’s subject heading label.The idea that this system empowers patrons and helps them find what they want more easily is a false one. Since I work in a library like this I can offer specific examples. A woman came in looking for books about birthday parties. Where in the BISAC subject heading system do books about birthday parties fall? Answer: Crafts and Hobbies.A woman came in looking for books about Asperger’s Syndrome. Where in the BISAC system do those books fall? (Our branch elected not to use the MEDICAL heading.) Depending on how the subject is treated, the books fell in either HEALTH, HEALTH/DISEASES, FAMILY/PARENT, and PSYCHOLOGY. A high-school student came in looking for scientific books on dreams and dreaming for a school report. One was in HEALTH, another in TEEN/SPIRIT, others in BODY/MIND/SPIRIT. Most were not scientific, but she’d waited until the last minute Also, in Dewey all the books would have been next to one another and not been scattered throughout the nonfiction or throughout the ranges.The point is that only in the simplest circumstances does this BISAC system work. A book about how to train your dog is probably going to be in PETS/DOG. But it doesn’t work in so many other instances. Where do you look for books about what to wear, what type clothing suits your body type? ART/FASHION? HEALTH/BEAUTY? BUSINESS/CAREERS? You might laugh at the last suggestion, but that is precisely what Baker and Taylor assigned to one book about what to wear to the office for women. For the matching men’s book it put it in ART/FASHION. Starting to see the problems?Where are books about the Civil War? HISTORY, HISTORY/U.S., HISTORY/MILITARY, HISTORY/U.S. SOUTH? More likely than not there are books in all those areas. Dewey had them all together in ONE location. How’s that for efficient browsing ?It seems like the real issue is the lack of willingness on the patrons’ part to learn how to do good, efficient catalog searches-and I admit it is a complex skill that requires some education and a good deal of practice to do well. It’s a skill that should be taught beginning in elementary school and all the grades to graduation not just during the research paper portion of the senior year.Proponents of BISAC seem to want to do away with the catalog and rely on intuition. Yet, the examples I gave are not intuitive. You must go to the catalog. Even in instances where you think you know where to go, what happens when you get there and everything is checked out? Don’t you want to look for available items in other branches or to put checked out items on hold for yourself?People get frustrated searching card catalogs because, despite appearances, they’re not web pages and full-text search engines. They’re databases, and must be searched as databases. Teach these skills to students, and there is no need whatsoever to reorganize the library. They’re also skills the patron can take anywhere and will stand them in good stead for the rest of their information seeking lives.

  4. Rachel
    Rachel July 20, 2004 at 5:41 am | | Reply

    Ouch! That calls for a stiletto in the eye, methinks.

    LL, I must thank you for this site; you’ve been a great source of inspiration for me. I’ve requested an LL shirt for my b-day and am starting a site called the “flirty archivist” partly inspired by what you’ve done here.

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