Cat Fans!

Before last year’s Kitty Cafe I had an idea. You see, it tends to get pretty hot in our small meeting room during this event, even if we pump up the A/C beforehand. So it’d be nice to have fans to give to people. And, in the way my mind works, I came up with “cat fan” fans.

The biggest regret that I have about my original design was putting the year on the back side. We had a handful of these fans left afterwards, and we wouldn’t be able to re-use them.

They’re very easy to put together, with the cutting-time being the longest aspect. I used larger craft sticks, and printed the images on cardstock. I’d cut out the back side and glue it to the stick. Then I’d cut out the cat face, cover its back side with glue, and staple it onto the stick. After pressing the front and back side together, then I’d make any cutting adjustments to the back side. Et voilà! It’s a cat fan.

Now you can make your very own! Click on the image below to download a pdf featuring my original designs. I’m pretty sure that there’s artifacts and random splotches around the outside of the cat faces – don’t worry about any of those since they’ll be cut out in the end.

And while putting this post together, I realized that many people post-Tiger King are now bigger big cat fans, and I made a new set of fans just for fun. Again, click on the image below to get three big cats and a backside template.

If you’d like to learn more about our Kitty Cafes, then check out both this post and this other one.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or issues with these. I’ll get back with you ASAP.

Until then, happy cat fanning!

Community Masks for You & EveryLibrary


I am so very very very thrilled to announce that RAYGUN and I partnered up to bring my library My Mask Protects My Community design (that’s based on their design), to actual RAYGUN masks!!!!!

Not only that, but RAYGUN is donating 10% of proceeds from this mask’s sales to EveryLibrary!!!!!

My heart is Kermie arm-flailing.

What are you waiting for?! Click on the above image to go and get a mask (or 20) while they last! Plus you can feel great that you’re supporting both a wonderful business and a fabulous organization.

Masked Social Media Images

Crystal, a librarian in Montana, reached out to see if I would make a Facebook Cover of the My Masks Protect My Community design. Of course I could totally do that, and I did, and now I’m sharing several versions of it for y’all to use. Yay!

Mi Máscara

Claudia Depkin from Haverstraw King’s Daughters Public Library contacted me with a request: might I create a Spanish version of my My Mask Protects My Community designs? Why yes, yes I might. And did.

In case you were wondering, I chose the mask colors based on South American countries’ flags.

And I’m grateful for my friends who debated the best translation for this – you know who you are. Hopefully in the end, I made a good call to balance what sounds right and what works right for a bold statement.

Also, I want to thank RAYGUN again, for allowing me to base these images on their original work.

Finally, my offer that I shared at the end of my original English post, is also good here. Reach out to me with your color requests, and I’ll do my best to perfectly customize the mask’s colors for your needs.

What’s In a Name?

It’s been years (!) since I wrote about Punk Rock Book Jockeys, and I still love that title and the movement that it began. The only down side to it is that it really hasn’t done anything to change the public’s understanding of what a librarian is or should be. To the majority of people, it’s still “if you work in a library, then you’re a librarian.”

For decades, our profession has been working hard to educate the public about librarianship, and from what I’ve seen, it hasn’t been effective. Furthermore, it has left out the thoughts and feelings of the thousands of library workers who work alone in their small community’s libraries. They are, and will forever be, librarians to everyone in their towns.

One of the most persistent arguments that I’ve heard throughout the years from librarians goes something like this: “You wouldn’t go to a hospital to have a nurse perform a complicated surgery on you – and that’s how it should be in libraries. You wouldn’t want a paraprofessional handling information for you.” I bring this up in order to return to it in just a bit, since this argument helped me get to the entire point of this post.

I think that it’s safe to say that most of us know that there should be a change. But what I’m trying to say is that we could be going about it in a much more compelling way. It’s hard to make people change something ingrained in them by arguing that a large segment of workers they have known, and who have touched their lives, are unqualified.

So, here’s my proposal: change the name of what a librarian with a master’s degree is called. After all, to go back to the hospital analogy, there have always been different terms for hospital employees (doctors, nurses, etc.) – those workers have never been called “hospitalarians.” The medical field has differentiated the job titles since hospitals came into existence – so the analogy doesn’t quite hold, but it sure got me to thinking.

And while working on a presentation about paraprofessionals and librarians working together, I had a lightning bolt realization of what I thought we should consider calling librarians with MILSes. Are you ready? Here it is:

Master Librarians.

Boom. It says what it is, and is what it says. It would be a conversation-starter with anyone who hears it. Libraries everywhere have librarians, but not all libraries have Master Librarians. I think that many people would be incredibly proud to be called a Master Librarian after putting in all the blood, sweat, tears, and money (oh so much money) that it takes to earn a master’s degree.

Really take a moment to consider what could happen.

What if, in a sweeping motion, the American Library Association declared that “all who work in libraries are librarians.” To those outside of our profession, it may seem like they’re stating the obvious, but to us insiders? It would be epic. I believe that the ALA would seem more welcoming and worth the investment to all the library workers who were made to feel less-than.

And if the ALA took it a step further and gave a new name to librarians with master’s degrees? That would both honor and elevate those who have dedicated a great deal of their lives to our profession. Plus, people might begin to truly grasp the importance of librarianship. I know that my community would be incredibly proud that their library has two Master Librarians serving them.

Think about it, and then share – with me, with coworkers, with mentors – with anyone who will listen. These conversations could potentially lead to a healthy revolution within our profession, and that’s an exciting possibility.

Side note: you can click on this post’s lone image to get a super-big high-res version of it to use however you’d like! Enjoy!