Bernie and his mittens

The Cleveland Heights – University Heights Public Library posted this image to their Facebook page with the caption “Waiting for your hold when it’s cold out.”

Thanks, Simona Mkrtschjan!

Thanks, Pam!

January 21, 2021 at 2:22 pm 1 comment

Boris Johnson and the revenge of the school librarian

boris johnson books

Apparently, one of the books behind him is Roald Dahl’s The Twits, though we can’t see it.

Thanks, Janey Street Thornton!

August 27, 2020 at 9:27 am Leave a comment

Illusion of nudity

Or maybe real nudity. The crazy kids in at Thornton Community College in Harvey, Illinois included this photograph in their yearbook for 1970. A nude or scantily-clad young lady protects her modesty by posing behind library shelves with carefully-placed books. I certainly hope you put all the books back where they were supposed to be, yearbook people!


Thanks, Craig Conley!

July 28, 2020 at 9:24 am Leave a comment

Bodley and the Bookworms – Scan and Deliver

And then you’ll want to see how faithful it was to the original (pretty faithful!)

Thanks, David Kay!

July 21, 2020 at 10:43 am 1 comment

1974 Craigdarroch Streaking

Library Shenanigans has long prided itself on bringing you information about streaking in libraries. Herewith, two articles from the University of Victoria student paper, March 14, 1974, about streaking in the Craigdarroch College Library and elsewhere on campus:


part 2


The newspaper is available at the Internet Archive.

Thanks, Craig Conley / Professor Oddfellow!

June 8, 2020 at 10:50 am 1 comment

CC students build the library in Minecraft!

Colorado College students, sent home at Spring Break to help stop the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), are recreating the whole campus virtually in Minecraft! Yes! They are! And Tutt Library is already built!

Eliza Merrall, Katie Wang, Arity Sherwood, Patrick McGinnis, and Daniel Turevski are the freaking AWESOME ARTIST-GENIUSES who started up the project:


They soon learned that incoming first year students, members of the class of 2024, had a similar idea:

thumbnail_Minecraft 1

The Merrall et. al. version of Tutt Library is amazingly detailed and accurate. Here’s the south entrance, with the statue of Chas, in real life:


and in Minecraft:


Even the interiors are detailed and accurate. At least one librarian — we’re not saying who — has made sure his office has correct signage.


Thank you, CC minecrafters, for brightening up all of our quarantines and making us miss each other even more than before!


ADDITION, April 6: two draft images from the project:


(Papercut is the unfortunately-named print service the CC library uses)

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 6.30.21 PM


a torch! and a bat!

Screen Shot 2020-04-03 at 6.28.31 PM

April 3, 2020 at 11:11 am Leave a comment

raccoons in the library

Oy vey. Raccoons at the Arkansas State University Library.

This is not the first time raccoons have perpetrated library shenanigans.

Thanks, David Kay!

November 6, 2019 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

library bathrooms as sites of intellectual communication and community

I visited the women’s room in the basement of the library at Grinnell College last month. It was full of literary and feminist graffiti, conversations among strangers over time about art and politics and life and school. There were quotes from books, like this poem by Raymond Carver with (possibly sarcastic? or possibly unrelated? or maybe it’s about the cut-off text in the green heart?) commentary:


And this fragment from Sappho, which I read in college in a different translation and was delighted to have returned to me at age 49 in my son’s college’s library’s bathroom:


Someone tweeted a photo of the part of the wall with this quote from Roxanne Gay’s book Bad Feminist, and the tweeter then reported on the result:

For me, this quote from the Grinnell bathroom applies to almost all the walls in the Colorado College library and definitely to the bathroom stalls:


For me, bare walls don’t belong in academic libraries. I could probably be talked into bare walls if the white space felt deliberate, as in a museum or gallery, but in our library, it doesn’t feel that way, at least not to me. Our walls look unfinished, as if we just moved in, even though we’ve been here for over two years.

IMNSHO, walls in academic libraries should be filled with shelves of books and other materials, or hung with art, or scrawled with students’ thoughts on white boards, or tacked with posters on bulletin boards. Bare, blank walls evoke, for me, sterile places: airports, hospitals, eerie futuristic spaces like the lobby of the Hilton Hotel on Space Station Five in 2001: A Space Odyssey:

or this, from Tron:


Though actually, I must confess, those appeal to me too, with their exaggerated, over-the-top style. But let’s go back to the subject of the bathrooms in particular. After the 2016 renovation of Tutt Library at Colorado College, our bathrooms stopped being sites of conversation. Before 2016, the stalls regularly contained:

  • newsletters like the Monthly Rag (Feminist and Gender Studies) and the Toilet Paper (Career Center)
  • permanent stickers with important information from the office of the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), including emergency numbers
  • posters, some of them very home-made, advertising events on campus, encouraging people to vote in elections, etc.
  • library instructions and promotions: tips for using the catalog, a spotlight on the graphic novels collection, etc.
  • sometimes, graffiti (not a lot)

We now have strict rules: nothing is supposed to hang in the stalls. They’re supposed to be clean and perfect. We’re not supposed to talk to each other there, about anything. There are bulletin boards in designated places in the library where we can have official information sharing, publicly. If you want to look carefully at those posters you have to do it in full view of all.

I think this is a mistake. Bathroom stalls are where we get underground information. Information in bathroom stalls can foment resistance! Bathrooms are a place where we — women, especially — can talk and vent and warn and help each other anonymously without fear of backlash. The anonymity that allows for ugly stuff in internet comments sections seems to work differently in academic bathrooms, or maybe I should say the women’s and gender neutral bathrooms. (I haven’t spent much time in men’s bathrooms in academia, and from a quick poll I just did, I suspect my argument doesn’t hold for those spaces.)

So, next time you’re in the bathroom in an academic library, I encourage you to reach out to other nerds and geeks and dorks with your favorite poem or literary quote or whatever. Because I think it’s a good place for that.

For additional takes on the subject, see:

Beck, Julie. “Behind the Writing on the Stalls.” Atlantic, November 21, 2014.

Molloy, Cathryn. 2013. “‘Curiosity Won’t Kill Your Cat’: A Meditation on Bathroom Graffiti as Underlife Public Writing.” Writing on the Edge 24 (1): 17–24.

Schreer, George E., and Jeremy M. Strichartz. 1997. “Private Restroom Graffiti: An Analysis of Controversial Social Issues on Two College Campuses.” Psychological Reports 81 (3, Pt 1): 1067–74. doi:10.2466/pr0.1997.81.3.1067.

Wikipedia entry on Latrinalia.

September 12, 2019 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

what’s going on here?


Craig Conley / Professor Oddfellow believes this young lady is recycling cans through the library’s return slot, but I believe there are at least two other possible interpretations:

  1. She receives beer from the slot.
  2. She uses the slot to open her beer.

Source: Queens College (Charlotte, NC) 1973 yearbook.

August 16, 2019 at 10:05 am Leave a comment

shark week at the Cranston Public Library

Cranston Public Library in Rhode Island FTW!

Thanks, Facebook Librarian Memes Group.

August 2, 2019 at 4:51 pm Leave a comment

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