Visit Citebite Deep link provided by Citebite
Close this shade

As of 22 April 2009 IFLA has a totally redesigned new website

This old website and all of its content will stay on as archive –

IFLANET home - International Federation of Library Associations and InstitutionsElectronic CollectionsSearchContacts

Library Humour ...
if we can't laugh at ourselves, who can?

Knock knock...

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Redda who?

Read a lot of books this summer!

(submitted by Susan Schaepman)


Our Chief Librarian at BNB,
Hallowed be thy Catalogue,
Thy Issues be increased,
Thy Books be Strict-Ordered,
In Fiction as they are in Non-Fiction
Give us this day our Overdue Books back,
And forgive us our Classification Errors,
As we forgive those who Misplace our Books
    (as they know not thy Prophet Dewey)
Lead us not into False Subject Headings,
But deliver us from Categorisation
          ..........and cuts in Opening Hours
               ..........and reductions in the Book Fund
For thine is the Issue System,
       the Date Stamp
           and the Light Pen
For Ever and Ever

(submitted by Sue Marsden)

(with apologies to Murphy)

6 books on a topic + 5 classes = odds are 2-to-1 on teachers assigning the same topic at the same time.

Budget statements from the District Office are always inversely proportional to your budget.

If you made the system foolproof you discover that everybody has suddenly become geniuses.

When 60% of your book order is back-ordered, you can safely bet that 90% of the back-orders are out of print.

A "missing" encyclopedia will remain missing until the replacement you ordered is placed on the shelf.

Books will remain upright on the shelf until you go to place another book beside them.

You finally revise you card catalogue after putting it off for a year only to discover a week later that a complete revision is coming out in a month.

You can be sure the student who has the most overdue books reads the least.

When a teacher recommends a library book to a student, you can be certain that the teacher has checked out the only copy and has lent it to a friend in Peru.

Students always require a 400 word article for a 500 word essay.

Change libraries frequently. It allows you to place the blame on your predecessor for anything that is wrong.

Make 17 subject headings for a book and you will find that you should have made 18.

If a teacher discusses a unit with you well in advance, it is a certainty that she will be absent on the days scheduled, the substitute cannot administer the unit, and when the teacher returns she cannot do the unit because she has to make up for lost time.

The one time of the month that you take 5 minutes to read MAD magazine is when your superintendent walks in.

Prepare your year-end report in September before you have screwed everything up.

If it's a good book, it's out of stock. If it's an excellent book, it's out of print.

No matter how many books you have on a subject the student always thinks they're all "too big".

The "super" syndrome: Libraries are always empty when the principal or superintendent comes to visit.

The volunteer aide who files the worst is the one who volunteers the most.

If you have a system that works you must be doing everything wrong.

When you spend half your library budget on a teacher's request for a course the odds are that the teacher will quit or be transferred and the course will be dropped or changed.

No matter how long you keep an article or piece of information you will never need it till you throw it away.

If you have lost one issue of a magazine there will be 35 students who will require that issue.

No books are lost except those that are most needed and hardest to replace.

The books you need the most always come from your worst supplier or jobber.

Every librarian should have a full-time aide. It allows you to put the blame on someone.

If everything's fine you're probably in the wrong library.

When you re-catalogue a book to correct an error, you automatically create seven new problems.

If you close the library only 3 days before year end for inventory and administration it is a fact that 2 teachers will ask you to do a library lesson on those days. These are teachers you couldn't get into the library before but now need marking time.

The thinnest books have the longest catalogue numbers.

From The Bookmark, September 1989, p.48-49
M.L. REVEYRAND, teacher-librarian, KLO Secondary School


How many academic librarians does it take to change a light bulb?
Just five. One changes the light bulb while the other four form a committee and write a letter of protest to the Dean, because after all, changing light bulbs IS NOT professional work!

How many catalogers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Just one, but they have to wait to see how LC does it first.

How many cataloguers does it take to change a lightbulb?
Only one provided it is in AACR2.

How many reference librarians does it take to change a light-bulb?
(with a perky smile) "Well, I don't know right off-hand, but I know where we can look it up!"

How many reference librarians does it take to change a lightbulb?
None if it has a LCSH heading.

How many library system managers does it take to change a lightbulb?
All of them as the manual was lost in the last move (or flood).

How many library managers does it take to change a lightbulb?
At least one committee and a light bulb strategy focus meeting and plan.

How many library technicians does it take to change a lightbulb?
Seven. One to follow approved procedure, and six to review the procedure. (8 if you count the librarian they all report to)

Why my book has not been returned to the library!

... cuz I left it in my truck and my truck was in an accident and got towed to the garage and I won't be able to get to the garage in Abbotsford until this weekend.

... my mother took it camping and lost it.

... I didn't take it out!

... cuz my cat peed on it and it smells too bad.

... it flew out the car window on the 401 Freeway and was devoured by an 18 wheeler!

The Top 13 Obscure Campus Library Rules

13. No Shoes, No Shirt, No Books!

12. One millionth visitor receives lifetime supply of Turtle Wax.

11. $3.00 cover charge, 2 drink minimum.

10. Use a Canadian coin in the copy machine, get a bonus copy!

9. 1st Tuesday of each month - "Find the Hidden $100 Bill Day!"

8. Sink a book in the return bin from 50 ft., win a thousand bucks.

7. Must submit to drug test for presence of library paste.

6. Overdue book fees: 5 cents per day or 3 strokes with a rattan cane -- your choice!

5. Forgetting to whisper: 3 strokes with a rattan cane -- no choice!.

4. If you find a dead guy, your tuition's free!!!

3. Photocopying of body parts is strictly prohibited unless accompanied by a spotter.

2. Until further notice, all golf magazines will be forwarded directly to Mr. Simpson c/o the L.A. County Jail.

and the #1 Obscure Campus Library Rule...

1. Time spent sleeping at your carrel actually earns you academic credit.

Announcing the New Built-in Orderly Organized Knowledge Device, Otherwise Known as the BOOK!

It's a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use even a child can operate it. Just lift its cover. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere--even sitting in an armchair by the fire--yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM.

Here's how it works: each BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. These pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. By using both sides of each sheet, manufacturers are able to cut costs in half.

Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. The book may be taken up at any time and used by merely opening it. The "browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward and backward as you wish. Most come with an "index" feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional "BOOKmark" accessory allows you to open the BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session--even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers.

Portable, durable and affordable, the BOOK is the entertainment wave of the future, an many new titles are expected soon, due to the surge in popularity of its programming tool, the Portable Erasable-Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus...

Library Principles for Students, from the Old Testament

by Jim Farrington, based on "Lamentations of the father" by Ian Frazier

Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the Library.

Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the Library.

Of the cloven-hoofed animal, plain or with cheese, you may eat, but not in the Library.

Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the Library.

Of the round pies of baked dough, topped variously and wondrously with goodness of the Earth, especially with extra garlic and double cheese, you may eat, but not in the Library, neither may you carry such therein.

Of quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats you may eat, but not in the Library.

Of the juices and other beverages, you may drink, but not in the Library, unless it is that drink of two parts hydrogen and one of oxygen and only then should the mixture be held in a container of the prescribed shape and nature that miraculously do not spill even when uprighted.

Indeed, when you reach the place where the Library carpet begins, of any food or beverage there you may not eat, neither may you drink.

Laws When at Table, in Carrel, or in Wingback

And if you are seated in your comfy chair, keep your legs and feet below you as they were. Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me. Yes, even though this might be something you would do in confines of your own domicile, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke.

Draw not with your pens or pencils or other implements of writing upon the table or the books before you, even in pretend, for we do not do that; that is why. Yours shall not be the last eyes to gaze understandably upon the words so written, and they should be as fresh for your followers as for you and your antecedents.

On Vocal Discourse

Do not speak loudly with thy neighbor or study mate within the Library; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you find a troubling idea foisted upon your eyes between the bindings of a book, your voice rises up even to the ceiling, while you point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say to you, scream not; only remonstrate gently with a knowing nod, that you may correct the fault of the author in your own essay.

Likewise, if you find your mind wandering from the soulfulness of your studies, again I say, refrain from conversing with whoever be at hand so that others might not be so distracted.

Play not the electronic gadgets fitted to your ears at such a volume as to cause others to march to your drum machine.

Though the need will eventually arise that you must give in to your ignorance of a matter bibliographic and throw yourself prostrate to the all knowing ones behind the Great Oaken Desk in the Campbell Reference Center, wail not dispairingly nor gnash the teeth loudly, for the sound carries great and far in that part of the Library, and then many of your peers will know of your misfortune; behold, I whisper myself, yet do not die.

Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances

Attempt not to repair broken word carriers with your own tape, for these are matters better left to our specialists.

Forget not that to steal is one of the original sins, and you will be punished woefully, if not now then in the fullness of time.

Although the Library's computers are capable of seeing many wondrous sites in the World, look not upon the lascivious or unscholarly among them, nor print endless reams of things of which those who pay your bills would not approve.

(source: posted on MLA-L by the author, music librarian at Wesleyan)

Legion of Decency

Index Liberis Prohibitorum - Index of Forbidden Books for Children

The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables
Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence
Daddy Drinks Because You Cry
Dad's New Wife Robert
Eggs, Toilet Paper, and Your School
Fun Four-letter Words to Know and Share
The Kids' Guide to Hitchhiking
The Little Sissy Who Snitched
The Magic World Inside the Abandoned Refrigerator
The Man in the Moon Is Actually Satan
Places Where Mommy and Daddy Hide Neat Things
Pop! Goes The Hamster...And Other Great Microwave Games
The Pop-Up Book of Human Anatomy
Some Kittens Can Fly
Strangers Have the Best Candy
Things Rich Kids Have, But You Never Will
Whining, Kicking, and Crying to Get Your Way
Why Can't Mr. Fork and Ms. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?
You Were an Accident
Your Nightmares Are Real
You're Different, and That's Bad

(source: Steven Olderr, Webmaster, Anglican Library Society)

Chickens in Libraries? and other miscellaneous humour

A chicken walks into the library. It goes up to the circulation desk and says: "book, bok, bok, boook".

The librarian hands the chicken a book. It tucks it under his wing and runs out. A while later, the chicken runs back in, throws the first book into the return bin and goes back to the librarian saying: "book, bok, bok, bok, boook". Again the librarian gives it a book, and the chicken runs out. The librarian shakes her head.

Within a few minutes, the chicken is back, returns the book and starts all over again: "boook, book, bok bok boook". The librarian gives him yet a third book, but this time as the chicken is running out the door, she follows it.

The chicken runs down the street, through the park and down to the riverbank. There, sitting on a lily pad is a big, green frog. The chicken holds up the book and shows it to the frog, saying: "Book, bok, bok, boook". The frog blinks, and croaks: "read-it, read-it, read-it".

Q: What happens when you cross a librarian and a lawyer?
A: You get all the information you want, but you can't understand it.

There was a young couple from Delhi
Who went around belly to belly,
Because, in their haste,
They used library paste
Instead of petroleum jelly.

(source: unknown. Submitted by Ivar Dorum.)

Scottish library joke
A man walks into a Glasgow library and says to the librarian, "Excuse me Miss, do ye huvany books on suicide?" The librarian looks up and says, "Get lost! Ye'll no bring it back!"

(submitted by Abigail Skinner)