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Tuesday, March 7

Murphy's librarian laws

  • Six books on a topic + five classes = 2 to 1 odds on teachers assigning the same topic at the same time.
  • Budget statements from the District Office are always inversely proportional to budget.
  • If the system has been made foolproof, everybody will suddenly become a genius.
  • When 60% of a book order is back-ordered, 90% of the back-orders will be out of print.
  • A "missing" encyclopaedia will remain missing until its replacement arrives.
  • Books will remain upright on the shelf until another book is placed beside them.
  • Complete card catalogue or catalogue programme revisions will come out the month after the existing version is updated.
  • The student who has the most overdue books reads the least.
  • The only copy of a library book recommended by a teacher to a student has already been checked out by that teacher, who has loaned it to a friend in Peru.
  • Students always require a 400 word article for a 500 word essay.
  • Changing librarians frequently allows blame to be placed upon the predecessor.
  • If 17 subject headings are made for a book, it will require 18.
  • If a teacher discusses a specific unit with the librarian in advance, the teacher will be absent on the days scheduled, the substitute cannot administer the unit, and the teacher will not be able to do the unit upon their return because of the need to make up for lost time.
  • The one time of the month that the librarian takes five minutes to read MAD magazine is when the superintendent will walk in.
  • Year-end reports should be prepared in September, before everything gets screwed up.
  • If it is a good book, it is out of stock. If it is an excellent book, it is out of print.
  • No matter how many books you have on a subject, the student will always think they are 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 the system works, someone somewhere is doing something wrong.
  • When half the library budget is spent on a specific request by a teacher for a course, the teacher will quit or be transferred and the course dropped or changed.
  • No matter how long an article or piece of information is kept, it will never be needed until it is thrown away.
  • If one volume of a journal is lost, it will be the specific volume everyone requires.
  • No books are ever lost except those most needed and most difficult to replace.
  • The books needed most always come from the least reliable supplier.
  • When re-cataloguing a book to correct an error, seven new problems are automatically created.
  • The thinnest books have the longest catalogue numbers.
  • If everything is fine, you are probably in the wrong library.

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