What's the Best Pick-Up Line to Use on a Librarian?
What's the Best Pick-Up Line to Use on a Librarian?
Added: 7 months ago
From: Jaimin Patel
Originally posted on February 21 2003, this hiliarous collection of librarian pickup lines remains one of our most popular features ever.
The List was originally compiled, (but not tested) by Blake, Aaron and Steven. Many others have contributed to the list since.
Feel free to use them at work, conferences, out at your favorite pub, or anywhere you may find the librarian of your dreams. Note: use at your own risk, may result in slapping, or having a drink thrown in your face.
"Are you on interlibrary loan? Because, baby, you're outta this library!"
What's your cutter number baby?
I bet you have quite a nice book worm!
You must work at a busy library, cuz baby you just increased my
Are you a librarian? Well I really need to be shushed!
Damn... you have more hardcovers than my private stash
Are you a librarian, because when you walked in the room I knew I was
I couldn't help noticing what a great book bag you have
Have you heard the one about the librarian with more stacks than she
You look like a real challenge!
No one believes I am a librarian, maybe you should try to check me out.
You have the tightest hair bun in the place.
I'm like Google, more results than you can deal with.
Did I mention I write for LISNews?
Let's play search engine: enter your terms and see if you get
Soooooo, people tell me that I look like Chris Sherman.
I'd catalog you under "Desirable!"
You have some back-end architecture.
Either my sight's fading fast, or you're the hottest guy I've checked
out all week.
So, you're a librarian? Do you mind if I work on your desk?
So... they say Dewey had a harem, care to help me start mine?
So they say you're like a public library, anyone with a card can check
Mind if I check you out?
I may not be a cataloger, but I bet I can find a place to fit you in.
You'd find me in the RC560.S43's!
Let's play shelf reading, you be the shelf and I'll jump in.
So is it true academic librarians only let scholars in?
My mom was a librarian, she taught me every should have access to my
Do you sleep on your books? Can I?
What's you cutter number baby?
Forget that! Playing doctor is for kids! Let's play librarian.
So do you mind if I use my Dewey Decimal on you?
My budget just got cut, buy me a drink
damn... you're stacked better than the LOC
Hey baby, let's play library, you can be the door and I'll slam you!
Do you know the difference between sex and The LC Subject Headings?
(No.) Do you want to go up to my room?
So is it true public librarians let anyone in?
Didn't I see you on the cover of American Libraries?
Are you a librarian? So then you can belive in open access to your
You're a librarian?? You've got to refer me to your plastic surgeon.
I'd luuuuuv to check you out
So when's the last time you were "on the desk"
Care to do a little shelf reading?
Want to come back to my room and play cataloger? I brought my own Dewey.
Hey baby, wanna go knit?
Let's go get Dewey.
I can do the neatest thing with a full set of the OED.
I do collection development for 613.96
As a librarian, I've learned to work very well with women.
My library or yours? Better make it mine, we don't have filters.
I'll make you scream LC subject headings.
My fingers are quite strong from typing all day.
You've never seen a LAN like mine.
Could you do me a favor and check out my new interface?
Hey, baby, what's your call number?
What's HQ stand for? That's my headquarters in the stacks, honey.
LC already rearranged the alphabet for us, hot stuff--they put H and Q together.
Mm-mm! How I'd like to cutter number!
When lovin' you, baby, I'm all about hiiiiiiigh specificity.
How I'd love to be a page in your section, sugar.
Well, stamp me received! You are checked out and I am cheeeeck'd in!
My eyebrows have never been heirarchy than when I look at you.
Please hold on a minute, ma'am; I'd like to do a shelf check.
Cutter?! I barely know her!
I'm currently offering a free trial of my new interface
I'll be the best you've ever had. I've got great authority control!
I'm rated AA. I C that you R2!
Your spouse will never know. Under the Patriot Act, I can't tell anyone you've been here!
Great bun. Does the carpet match the drapes?
Tell me about your Fantasy collection. I've got one of my own ...
Damn! You're so hot, I can't even imagine how fine you'd look in shoes that weren't sensible!
Wanna go back to my place and flout my FOI?
Just call me "Bookmobile," 'cause I deliver.
I'd sure like to get you under a Mylar cover!
So, ever see "Tomcats"?
You're someone I could really blog about.
When I'm through, you're gonna need to get your books rebound.
I'm into military uniforms, I guess that's why I'm so into U.
Are you on interlibrary loan? Because, baby, you're outta this library!
Librarians do it in stacks.
I'm totally out of bibliographic control!
You're a Librarian? If my library lady looked like you growing up, I would have been an avid reader!
I bet that you would be a CINCH!
Dear Book Nerd: "What's the Best Pick-Up Line to Use on a Librarian?"
Posted by Rita Meade
November 22, 2013
Hey, Book Nerders. I get up on my soapbox a bit in response to this week's question, so please bear with me. It's with (what I think is) good reason.
Dear Book Nerd:
What's the best pick-up line to use on a book-nerd or librarian?
My initial response, without having any additional information from you, is this: NO. No, no, no. Don't do it, Bruce. Don't be that guy who uses a pick-up line. Especially don't be that guy who uses a pick-up line on someone in her* place of work. MOST especially don't be that guy who uses a pick-up line in a LIBRARIAN'S place of work. I might be showing some heavy bias with that last one, but the point remains: NO.
I realize that you were probably trying to be lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek, Bruce, so I'm sorry if my response seems harsh or lacks humor. But because I've been reading SO much lately (as in, forever) about problems women are having with unwanted attention/sexual harassment in professional contexts (not to mention the fact that I have experienced this myself), I'd like to use your question as a springboard to discuss these issues because 1) they illustrate a bigger societal problem, and 2) they don't seem to be going away anytime soon.
*(Note: for the purposes of this column, I've made a lot of assumptions – for example, I've assumed that you, Bruce, requested a pick-up line for a librarian because you intend to try to pick him/her up IN the library. This may or may not be the case, but just go with me here. Also, in the interest of simplicity, I'm going to be using "her" instead of "him/her" where both can apply. Please keep in mind, though, readers, that these issues can and do apply to ALL gender identifications, and harassment happens in contexts other than just males harassing females.)
So, why am I getting all worked up over the idea of someone using a pick-up line in a library? It's just a little harmless flirting, right? There is, of course, an appropriate time and a place for flirting, and it's not that I think that men should NEVER EVER TALK TO WOMEN, EVER. But, first of all, there's something about pick-up lines that is inherently creepy and off-putting. Can you seriously expect a librarian lady to start swooning after you approach her at the reference desk and say a line like this?
"Giiirrl, I'm glad I brought my library card, 'cause I'm checking you out!"
No, sir. No you cannot.
(And if you want to read some really bad librarian pick-up lines, LIS News made a compilation a few years ago: "20 Sure Fire Lines To Pickup A Librarian." Just DON'T USE THEM ON REAL PEOPLE, WHATEVER YOU DO.)
Aside from the fact that it's just really annoying to be hit on in your place of work (we're professionals, dammit), it also has the potential to create an extremely uncomfortable situation for the person being hit on. It's true that these would-be "Ref Desk Romeos," as I like to call them, can provide good story fodder. This conversation took place between me and a rather rudely aggressive male patron sometime last year:
Man: "You married?"
Me: "I have a boyfriend."
Man: "You cheat on him?"
Man: "Well if you ever break up, keep me in mind."
Romantic, right? SO ROMANTIC. It's also kind of funny in retrospect, and it's definitely not the most serious form of harassment I or other women have experienced, whether within their place of work or not. In the moment, though, I was honestly a little freaked out. Worse, every time the guy returned to the library after that, I would feel vulnerable and on edge. Because the problem was, I didn't know what might happen next. I didn't know this guy's personality (aside from the rude aggressiveness), I didn't know how he might respond to anything I'd say, I didn't know his capacity for violence or stalking, and I certainly didn't feel like giving him any personal information about myself. Plus, the interaction interfered with my ability to properly do my job, and that's not cool.
So, this is my general problem with pick-up lines and hitting on women and creepin' on ladies at work (or on the street or wherever, really). The line between innocent flirting and predatory harassment is very thin and very easy to cross. And the worst part? At some point, women have just learned to expect it and tolerate it. We're told we're not being a good sport if we don't play along. This is not okay. This is wrong.
Let me give you a few examples of this happening to other awesome book nerd gals around town (because a good librarian always provides further resources). In her post "The Creepy Librarian Stalker Hypothesis," Sarah Houghton (a.k.a. The Librarian in Black), blogged about some harrowing sexual harassment she experienced at professional conferences and what to do if it happens to you. Writer Delilah S. Dawson's post "On Sexism in Publishing" details her experiences as a female author and talks about how women should not be silent in the face of harassment. Aaaand here's a post about harassment happening at fantasy conventions. Aaaand here's a post about it happening at comic book conventions. (Don't forget the twitter account Everyday Sexism, which is dedicated to documenting the ridiculous misogyny that people encounter on a daily basis. It's disturbing, important stuff.) This discussion doesn't even include street harassment, domestic abuse, rape culture. But it's all connected, and it's happening errrrverywhere. Women are getting harassed from all sides and it NEEDS. TO. STOP.
Whew. My soapbox is hurting.
Of course, poor Bruce, the burden is not entirely on your shoulders. We're not going to solve the overarching issues of sexism and harassment in a single day, and the world won't end if you use a cheesy pick-up line. However, if we as individuals make small changes in our lives and small changes in the way we treat other people and talk to each other, perhaps we can slowly chip away at the larger societal problems or, at the very least, make life more enjoyable and comfortable for those around us.
And if you seriously think that this book-nerd/librarian is your potential soul mate, don't set out to be a pick-up artist. Take cues from that other person. Treat her/him like a human being. Get to know her/him at a distance. Don't ask too many personal questions, don't push, don't assume or expect anything. Be friendly, be witty, be polite, be genuine, but above all, be respectful. In my experience, things have a funny way of working out if they are supposed to (but not if they are forced to). And you certainly don't want to be banned from the library for being a creeper, right? Think of all the FREE BOOKS you'd miss out on!
Thank you for being my scapegoat today, Bruce. I'm sure you are a perfectly nice, non-creepy person and I appreciate you taking all of this in stride. And thank you for allowing me to use your question in a way that I hope maybe helps both prospective pick-up artists and their pickees. Because, hey, love makes the world go 'round, right? But healthy, happy love isn't borne out of discomfort, unease, or pressure. We deserve better, and we can DO better.