We asked for suggestions for gifts that would be suitable for librarians or archivists and the community responded! Thank you so much for all the wonderful and thoughtful gift ideas!
Here are the nominations: if you have other ideas please leave them in the comments below. To ensure that you get what you want, think about leaving this page on computers in your reading room or information commons — I’m sure that certain someone will get the hint.
Practical gifts: some information professionals are very focused on getting the job done. For these folks, a gift that helps them do the work at hand is just the thing. Gifts in this category include:
- A mobile scanner: Laura suggests that perhaps the Flip-Pal might be useful for those who are zipping around “scanning madly.”
- Of course it’s not all about shelving books or arranging collections. We also attend lots of meetings and conferences. How about a fountain pen? Nadia Nasr suggests the Cross Stratford as a nice looking model that’s affordable.
- For all that professional reading, what about a book shaped lamp? Lumio’s book lamp (although pricey) was suggested by Stephanie as being “pretty rad.” Comes in dark walnut and blonde maple to compliment any decor.
- What is more painful that losing your place in a book? Hunting around for a bookmark. Lynn Jones suggests the Albatros Bookmark — you never need to look for your bookmark because it’s in the book — it also places itself. Comes in packs of 6.
- What about a card catalog shaped flash drive? These will be available soon from Unshelved. Thanks to Carol Street for the suggestion.
Food and drink: everyone likes to eat and drink. Here are some suggestions vetted by librarians and archivists
- The chefs among us might appreciate cookbooks from historical societies. Melissa M. loves her cookbooks from the King’s Landing Historical Settlement in New Brunswick. I couldn’t find those online but you can find plenty of good ideas in Cookbook Finder. I noted that King’s Landing does have an historic inn that serves period food, so check with your local historical society!
- Beer for archivists: Although I normally hate to reinforce stereotypes about archivists that involve either attics or cellars, I was pleased to hear Jill Tatem’s nomination for Cellar Dweller, which is only available at the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland. Since this is the site of the 2015 Society of American Archivists annual meeting, I know many archivists will take a rain check on this brew.
- A toast to archivists! From Sonoma Estate Vintners, the Archivist. Pick your poison: cab, chardonnay, or pinot noir. The description includes the word “appraise” so you know you are in the right place.
Clothing and accessories: suggestions range from items that are practical to those that show your style.
- Melissa M. says, “every processing archivist could use steel-toed boots (required for the first archival job I ever had, and I actually managed to find quite a stylish pair).” Melissa was not able to find her boots, which fetched compliments outside the workplace, but perhaps something like these engineer boots would work.
- To go with your boots, perhaps some library card socks from NYPL? (Hat tip to Bruce Washburn.)
- You can wear your heart on your sleeve, and now you can wear your favorite book, as a t-shirt, or water-resistant tote. From Lithographs. Also available, posters and (temporary) tatoos. From Lorcan Dempsey and Pam Kruger.
- A favorite from last year was the microfiche jewelery from Oinx. Styles have been updated and now you and spread the “I’d rather be fiching” message via t-shirt and bumper sticker.
Little luxuries: sometimes it’s the little things
- Candles are a great seasonal gift. You can choose between The Archivist candles from Greenmarket (lots of choose from, particularly if you like the idea of “fragrance records accumulated to preserve moments, stories, and people they represent”) and Library candles from Paddywax (which feature scents that will conjure your favorite author). Thanks to Casey Davis and Carol Street for calling these to our attention!
- Hollinger boxes are a staple for archivists, and mini document boxes have long been a popular giveaway at conferences — so popular that Hollinger now sells them as a separate item. Jennifer suggests that in addition to being just plain adorable, they would be the perfect way to pop the question.
- Cream for hands, dried out from processing documents and handling other materials, was a popular item on last year’s list. This year, Melissa M. recommends Lush’s Charity Pot lotion.
Can’t buy happiness: of course, the things that everyone really wants can’t be purchased. At the top of almost every information professional’s wish list is space (to put anything, as our anonymous contributor put it). Another thing that we’d all like to see is reflected in this lovely blog post by Maarja Krusten:
…the greatest gift you can give archivists and librarians is the opportunity to share physically and virtually the knowledge found in their collections and holdings.
Now, that sentiment is something I think we can all get behind! Happy holidays to all of you!
Merrilee Proffitt is Senior Manager. She provides community development skills and expert support to institutions within the OCLC Research Library Partnership.