I’ve spent many years of my life working in bookstores. To my horror, I recently found out there are places all over the country where you can get books for free. They’re called “libraries” and they’re like Blockbuster but for renting reading material.
If you’d like to know more about these strange institutions where you’re not required to actually buy the books you read, you’ve come to the right place. An anonymous librarian on Twitter is revealing the hilarious trends associated with libraries and their patrons.
The account is called @FakeLibStats and it’s both a send-up of librarian stereotypes and a feed that dispels said stereotypes. I had the pleasure of interviewing the creator of the Twitter account, and I was shocked to find librarians are “normal,” “kind,” and “fun.”
I know from bookselling that literary people love to party, but I was not sure if librarians played by the same rules. The author made sure to set the record straight: “The worst stereotype is that librarians are quiet. The craziest events I’ve been to as an adult have been with other librarians! The only thing that comes close was parties in college with the crew team.”
I’ll get to more of the interview below. For now, let’s enjoy these hilarious fake statistics about libraries.
Here are the funniest posts from @FakeLibStats:
2. You’re telling me libraries don’t want to look cool instead of being convenient?
3. Most jobs are like this, I think.
4. Weird but true.
I asked how the idea for such a niche comedic concept came about. Our anonymous librarian replied: “I started about ten years ago when I was in a job that was not a great fit and I needed something to lighten my mood. I started with jokes about that job specifically, then more generally about libraries, librarians, and other bookish things.”
And how is it going now at the job that’s a better fit? “At this point, jokes are probably half about work and half about other library-adjacent things.”
5. Please behave yourselves in the library.
6. No one in my generation will retire.
7. Now we’re talking…
By 3 o'clock on Friday afternoon there's only a 29% chance that it's tea in the librarian's mug
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) November 19, 2021
8. Top-tier fashion.
Why Librarians Wear Cardigans pic.twitter.com/ldHIbK4xhv
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) November 23, 2021
Google 100% nails every type of librarian in one set of suggestions pic.twitter.com/exINNmeT2i
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) May 23, 2020
A lot of the posts are about dealing with the odd patrons of the library. When I asked what the most annoying part of the job is, there was a specific and important response: “The most annoying thing to me isn’t a single question but having to regularly explain to people how libraries are funded.”
“I wish we could give cards to anyone and everyone but most people don’t seem to think about the cost of the items they check out.”
10. Better than a murder.
A group of librarians in the break room is known as a "Complaint"
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) November 16, 2021
11. Where to look.
Instead of a flask at their desk 34% of librarians hide a box of wine in an unused magazine box
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) November 6, 2021
A librarian's obsession with keeping the reference desk clean is inversely related to how clean they keep their own desk
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) November 3, 2021
13. Grudges run deep when you can’t talk it out at work.
42% of librarians have a been giving a colleague the silent treatment so long they can't remember why
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) November 2, 2021
14. Me every year.
45% of librarians Halloween costume is such an obscure literary character that they also create a bibliography for people who don't get it
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) October 30, 2021
15. They know what needs to change!
Library staff write 90% of the submissions found in the library’s suggestion box
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) October 26, 2021
I worry about libraries and any other public space in the post-pandemic world. Thankfully, there’s hope! “I’ve been working in public libraries since 2007 and in the library world more generally since January 2003, so almost 19 years now. It feels to me that libraries changed temporarily but are starting to get back to where they were before the pandemic.”
Great news! They’re safe and that means more library jokes are coming!
16. Sir, this is not a trash can.
A not insignificant number of librarians have considered pressing illegal dumping charges on patrons who keep donating unusable books
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) October 23, 2021
17. Do not disturb.
25% of librarians aren’t reading the book in their hands, they’re hoping it will keep you from talking to them
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) October 8, 2021
18. Overachievers, really.
39% of librarians were the only kid in class the teacher trusted to properly advance the slide projector after the beep
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) October 8, 2021
19. Play it close to the cardigan.
90% of librarians have a favorite book they'll tell you and a real favorite book they won't tell you
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) September 30, 2021
20. This is why I don’t tell people I’m a comedian.
36% of librarians have lied about being a librarian just to avoid the incoming Dewey decimal jokes
— Fake Library Statistics (@FakeLibStats) September 25, 2021
21. Tell us how you really feel.
22. Good one.
23. I never thought about it that way but now I can’t unsee it.
When I asked what the last good book they’ve read was, I didn’t realize this question was a no-no!
“I can’t answer that!” they said, “I’ve said many times that you don’t ask a librarian about their favorite book. If you really want to know something ask them about the books they dislike the most.”