Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hot Commodity

I've come to the conclusion that the most important thing in our library is the stapler.

There is no other item I spend more time instructing students on how to use or fixing after they misuse.

Yes, using the staplers is complicated.

We have a heavy duty stapler (first pictured on right) that jams if there are too many staples, too few staples, if the user whacks it instead of gripping and pressing down firmly or if they don't press down firmly enough.

We are now on our second heavy duty stapler. The students killed the first one. We now keep the second one behind the desk and give mini tutorials to anyone on how to use it before taking the replacement out of hiding.

The students have killed five normal staplers like the second pictured to the right. Two of them have been my personal desk staplers. No, I am not the one who keeps volunteering my stapler. My boss does. I don't know why he keeps doing that. I LIKE having a stapler, but I'm the only one foolish enough to leave her stapler out in the open. After tonight, I'm gonna start putting mine in a locked drawer. The students killed my latest stapler. They did it in four hours.

They like to whack the stapler. I think it's some sort of stress relieving ritual for them. They've finished the paper BAM! in goes the staple. I get the appeal but think of the poor staplers. They're innocent office supplies.

Of course, there are no staplers in the supply closet. The last I heard, we don't have anymore supply money for this year. The last couple of staplers we bought were bought with lost and found money.

While I've been writing this post I've had to hop up five times to deal with the stapler. We have gone back to the previous circ desk stapler, since mine was KIA.

The other stapler cannot staple twice in a row without being opened and closed. So most of my night has been spent telling students this. It gets boring and annoying after about the 134th time.



Blogger Happy Villain said...

We hide our stapler and hand out paperclips. Of course, being a public library, the demand is much less for staples.

If I were you, I'd charge for staples and use the money to purchase new staplers. Or I'd hold the stapler and do the stapling myself. Since I have threatened violence with the stapler, I think people avoid staple issues with me. That might work for you too!

12:52 AM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger Katie K said...

The heavy duty stapler is also a constant source of confusion for the undergrads at my library. At one point, a student was trying to un-jam said stapler by repeatedly whacking it without any paper. I actually had to pry the thing open and get out the pliers to remove the 15 extra long staples smashed on the inside. So yes, there should be a tutorial. :)

p.s love the blog! i work the 5:30-11 shift at my library and my co-workers rarely believe me when i tell them the horror stories... i totally feel your pain.

1:25 AM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger MadameBoffin said...

The end of April and the library has reached the end of it's supply money? *shudder* I fear it's going to be a long year for you VL!

5:02 AM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger Julie said...

Hey, the end of Library X's fiscal year could be any time. I remember when I was working at my undergrad library, our fiscal year started in July, and come May and June, I would be stealing rubber bands and paper clips from my parents.

It's true, though - students do kill staplers. They just killed the one we had for them last week, so I surrendered mine and am now making do with a mini-stapler that I found lying around.

Students also mangle copiers - one will come to complain about it, and they've somehow changed every configuration beyond recognition and gotten paper jammed in every possible location. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time babysitting students than being a librarian - and I work at a grad school!!!

6:55 AM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger The Cackling Hens said...

We also have gone through several staplers: heavy duty, large volume, generic run-of-the-mill, etc. For this reason, we no longer have staplers for use within our library (although we have a secret one in our office for library staff).

Like Happy Villain says, we also hand out paper clips and we're an academic library. I always hear rumblings from students and faculty about "how can a library not have a stapler?"

It makes me smirk but we would spend our entire budget on buying staplers if we kept replacing them all the time.

8:03 AM, April 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are way too nice. 30 years in public libraries has taught me the usefulness of telling a bold face lie with a sweet smile. "Oh no, somebody must have walked off with it! I'm sooooo sorry..." And ...hide your very own stapler from your boss!

11:42 AM, April 26, 2006  
Anonymous Formerly a Vampiric Circ Clerk said...

Oh the staplers! The Office supplies! The neverending whining - I pay $**,*** in tuition and you won't even give me endless free staplers/paperclips/whiteout/highlighers
/pens/hole punchers, nor even write my papers for me. Yeah, you pay $**,*** a year & never learned how to use a stapler. Even though the stack of papers is thicker than the opening of the stapler, the power of *mind* and youthful collegiate arm strength Will. Make. It. Happen!


My library used to CHAIN the scissors to the desk. We often hid the stapler too.

But after all that, as long as they manage a please and the occasional thank you, it's all good.

3:25 PM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger Librarian Girl said...

There's a reason that Milton Waddams was so obsessed with his stapler. He knew the value. He who controls the stapler controls the world!

3:52 PM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said...

Must. Obtain. Powerful. Stapler.

Actually, if they're made long enough, I could ride a stapler instead of a broom. I'm sure it'd hold a large enough thaumic charge...

4:26 PM, April 26, 2006  
Blogger Spike said...

I liked the auto-stapler in the copy room at my uni. As long as you never stuck more than 30 pages in it went BANG in a very satisfying manner and woke up all the commerce students.

1:02 AM, April 27, 2006  
Blogger MadameBoffin said...

Spike, I'm beginning to suspect that you're Machiavellianly evil ;)

9:08 AM, April 27, 2006  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Gosh, I didn't know a post about staplers would go over so big.

Maybe next I'll write on the elusive golf pencil.

5:58 PM, April 27, 2006  
Blogger Spike said...

We want to hear about the elusive golf pencil.

Boff, you only suspect? Mwha!

Device dear, sounds like a plan. You rain a rain of staples upon your emenies. Or your enemies.

11:27 PM, April 27, 2006  
Blogger Romana1 said...

I also want to hear about the elusive golf pencil! ;)

What is it about college students these? Aren't they supposed to be smart-or does common sense just fly out the window when you get your acceptance letter? I've discovered they don't know how to use hole punchers either.

8:44 AM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger Romana1 said...

oops-I meant 'college students these days'-aaah! ;)

8:45 AM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger Katya said...

VL: We do want to hear about the elusive golf pencil. My department head used to spend her own money on these really nice pencils for the library, but people went through them like water so now we use golf pencils. I don't want to jinx our library, but so far we haven't had problems that are this bad with staplers -- pencils and copy machines, yes, but not staplers.

10:15 AM, April 28, 2006  
Blogger song said...

from now on I will make sure I caress lovingly every stapler I come into contactr with.
you've made me feel so damn sorry for the poor little things.

8:20 PM, April 29, 2006  
Blogger Angel, librarian and educator said...

They are hot commodities indeed. In MPOW, we had one of those heavy duty staplers. It actually "walked out." We replaced it, but the replacement turned into a pain in the rear-end that kept jamming, thus becoming pretty much useless. We just don't have one now. As for the regular staplers, it's a matter of seeing how soon they walk away before they return. And by the way, we do keep them at eyesight, and they still walk. Maybe a cinder block and a chain?

Best, and keep on blogging.

9:08 PM, April 29, 2006  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice said...

I've put my order in for a giant stapler. Victory will soon be mine!

Mwah hah hah ha!

6:12 AM, May 01, 2006  

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