Stuck on what present to buy for the Academic Librarian in your life?
You only need to type #Staplergate into Twitter to find out that missing or broken staplers are a BIG problem in the modern Academic Library.
It seems that in a place widely thought of as an area to study in peace, there’s an underground world of theft and destruction. Who knew that on a regular basis, library staff have to spend hours of their time either looking for missing staplers, trying to fix broken staplers, asking other librarians for advice on dealing with staplers or researching and buying new staplers?
#Staplergate a vicious circle for staff and students with no winners. Students need to use staplers for their work, and understandably get frustrated when they can’t access resources easily at a time when they’re perhaps under a lot of stress and pressure. As always, the small number of clumsy and thoughtless students ruin it for their more conscientious peers.
But at the same time, it’s equally frustrating for academic librarians who have to continually deal with complaints and queries about broken, missing or inaccessible staplers. This isn’t something that was included in their job description! You would think the only step needed for stapler provision would be buying a stapler, any stapler, and putting it somewhere for users to access. Instead, many librarians complain of having to think of theft (or misplacement) prevention strategies, sourcing the best stapler (a pricier one that can withstand overeager use? A cheaper one that won’t dent the budget if it gets lost?), and of course, the securest place to house the staplers. Academic librarians want to provide the best service they can, but this doesn’t include endless stapler-related admin duties.
Even with the kindest, most thoughtful users, staplers that get a lot of mileage are going to experience wear-and-tear. Perhaps because of their moving parts (and the fact we all occasionally try to staple way too many sheets together at once), staplers seem to be particularly susceptible to breaking compared to other stationery.
We’ve seen tips and advice ranging from buying staplers from Poundland or Asda, to using cable ties or security chains, to naming staplers, to locking them away, and to not providing any at all. Has your library found a solution? Let us know in the comments below!
So instead of buying an iPad or something designer for the librarian in your life, why not splash out on this iconic stapler to help them make a statement at work?