Happy Holidays From Brash Librarian

Hey Friends!

I hope everyone had a good Turkey Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, post-Cyber Monday, post-post-Cyber Monday, and all the other things related to the holidays. Sorry retailers, but you can’t expect us to take you seriously if you’re telling me “the Cyber Mondays are still here!” on Thursday or Friday. (I’m looking at you, Groupon.)

It’s been awhile since my last post, but the sands have been shifting. This past month, our director announced his retirement, and there has been a fair amount of uncertainty: what will happen next? Who will be the next director? What will happen on next week’s episode???


This week, I thought it would be nice to slow down, smell the gravy & leftovers, and take a moment to appreciate the great things in life. So, what am I thankful for this holiday?

A Great Job

As much as my job might be filled with angry patrons who want to rip my face off or a DVD machine that requires the job skills of Tony Stark, I still work with talented people who make it enjoyable to work there. On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, my evening shift people had a small Thanksgiving dinner together. While I was not slated for the evening shift that night, they were kind enough to invite me to join them.


Shopping Deals

This year, I didn’t do much shopping but I enjoyed what I got. A stylish polo shirt, a nice blue fleece sweater, a three-pack of kitchen knives, a new electric razor…By the end of the evening, I had to ask myself the hard questions: Am I really 90 years old, or am I just that frugal a shopper?

“You’re a frugal shopper, Justin! You don’t get out of bed anything less than 40% off!”

You’re right, talking wallet! I’m not boring, I just have highly effective spending habits and know when/where the best deals are.

Public service announcement: Don’t buy TVs during Black Friday, wait until the first 20 days of January! It’s when stores start clearing out their stuff to make room for the newest TVs right in time for Superbowl Sunday.


Another semester, another step closer to getting my MBA. I’m not thrilled to be in school, but I’m thrilled about the doors it can open up and thankful for that. I’ll be honest, I was rather surprised by how laser-focused I was this semester. To give you an idea, I could have skipped the final exam and still get a B. Obviously, I didn’t and got a 95! Well, 95.549% but who’s counting?

supersonic punch

Loved Ones

Family, friends, and those we hold dear are the most important part of the year. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am – or more importantly, who I am – for better or worse. My family, Dylan, Ashley, Nigel, Caitlin, Suzie, Yaika, and about 800 other people who make my life better.

I loves you all.

Readers Like YOU!

Yes, you! The fact that you’re here reading my stuff means I didn’t write it in vain! I’ll admit, it’s gotten tough there a few times. I’ve even considered once or twice closing my doors because I feel like I don’t provide enough content. I look at someone like my best friend over at Joker on The Sofa who’s cranking out stuff constantly and feel like I can’t keep up. Sure, he’s got a little more free time than me, but STILL – even if we had the same amount of free time, he’d still out-write me any day of the week. Nevertheless, he still tells me how much he enjoys my work and I continue on! BTW, go check out his site – he binges on shows movies so you don’t have to!

Coming up in the future: Either thinking of leaning more into the Brash Jobs or reviews for library products/services. Let me your thoughts about which one I should do in the future!


Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian


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Post-Class Update

Hi Friends!

Boy, am I glad summer finally closed up. Summer reading is finally done, kids are back in school, and I completed my Social Media Networking/Marketing class. Whooo-WHEE! That was the longest but shortest 5 weeks of my life. Paper after paper, quiz after quiz, a group presentation, and all that jazz.

Come hang out with us, Justin!

Sorry guys, I have two papers, a quiz, an assignment and I have to work on my group project.

Whaaaat? I thought you were only taking one class.


What’s that? You want a free weekend? *Free time goes KABOOM*

I learned quite a bit about the world of social media. Some nuggets of wisdom I can pass along:

  • Never host a contest on Twitter – use Facebook, it’s way easier to control and contain damage if things start getting out of control
  • Sometimes, things go viral for the craziest reasons. Sometimes, for no reason at all (or at least it feels that way)
  • No social media presence is better than a lame/infrequently updated/etc presence (a habit I am occasionally guilty of)
  • When bad stuff happens, confront it head on before the problem gets any bigger.
  • It’s not just about the Likes or follows. Follows and likes that don’t convert to sales are not worth very much.
  • It’s not just about the Shares, Retweets and replies, either.
  • It’s amazing how much content is simply people sharing/retweeting/reposting other people’s stuff. I need to stop trying to make so much content and just rely on the hard work of others every now and then!
  • The balance between quality and quantity is tough to accomplish.
  • As always, group projects are a joy. Especially when group members are in different time zones…or continents, for that matter.

So I’m back in class, this time taking regular marketing. Why? Kinda like how I took Finance 101 and Finance 9000 back to back, I might as well take it while it’s still retained in my brain (as opposed to learning all over again). Signing up for this semester was kinda mind blowing. The super nice registration lady asked me what I’d be taking next. I had no idea, so of course I waved my arms in the air and screamed for help.


Like, is that a trick question?

“Well, you can take one of these three classes.”

As in, those are my choices for next semester?

“No, those are your last three classes before you take your Capstone class and graduate.”

wait what


So, we’ll see how that goes. In the meantime, this semester already is giving me a run for my money. Papers, case analyses, narrated marketing videos…I’ll admit, I’m actually rather excited to be narrating a power point. What tone do I use? Friendly and earnest? Smooth jazz station DJ? Tony Stark-ish? Stay tuned.

tony stark question

As always, check in on my FacebookTwitter and Instagram for fun photos, videos and update between posts. Have a great Monday out there!

Brash Librarian, Justin Brasher

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Amazon Replacing Libraries? Not On Our Watch.

Hi, Friends.

This week, I was hoping to talk about Prime Day or my social media class. However, something a bit more urgent came up: some guy who thinks Amazon should replace libraries.

For those of you who hadn’t heard over the weekend, an economics professor named Panos Mourdoukoutas wrote an article on Forbes welcoming the idea of Amazon replacing libraries. Needless to say, the article started a gigantic backlash from pretty much anyone on Earth who isn’t named Panos Mourdoukoutas.

The backfire was so bad, Forbes took it down.

forbes 401

Don’t worry, Panos ole buddy! I’ve got a copy here but I’ll also post it in its entirety to save everyone the trouble. We librarians like to provide information like that.

“Amazon should open their own bookstores in all local communities. They can replace local libraries and save taxpayers lots of money, while enhancing the value of their stock.
There was a time local libraries offered the local community lots of services in exchange for their tax money. They would bring books, magazines, and journals to the masses through a borrowing system. Residents could borrow any book they wanted, read it, and return it for someone else to read.

They also provided residents with a comfortable place they could enjoy their books. They provided people with a place they could do their research in peace with the help of friendly librarians. Libraries served as a place where residents could hold their community events, but this was a function they shared with school auditoriums. There’s no shortage of places to hold community events.

Libraries slowly began to service the local community more. Libraries introduced video rentals and free internet access. The modern local library still provides these services, but they aren’t for free. Homeowners have to be financed by taxpayers in form of a “library tax.” It is usually added to school taxes, which in some communities are already high.

Meanwhile, they don’t have the same value they used to. The reasons why are obvious.
One such reason is the rise of “third places” such as Starbucks. They provide residents with a comfortable place to read, surf the web, meet their friends and associates, and enjoy a great drink. This is why some people have started using their loyalty card at Starbucks more than they use their library card.

On top of this, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have replaced video rentals. They provide TV and movie content to the masses at an affordable rate. Actual video rental services like Blockbuster have gone completely out of business.

Then there’s the rise of digital technology. Technology has turned physical books into collector’s items, effectively eliminating the need for library borrowing services.

Of course, there’s Amazon Books to consider. Amazon have created their own online library that has made it easy for the masses to access both physical and digital copies of books. Amazon Books is a chain of bookstores that does what Amazon originally intended to do; replace the local bookstore. It improves on the bookstore model by adding online searches and coffee shops. Amazon Go basically combines a library with a Starbucks. And expanding into the local library space will be an opportunity for the technology giant. At the core, Amazon has provided something better than a local library without the tax fees. This is why Amazon should replace local libraries. The move would save taxpayers money and enhance the stockholder value of Amazon all in one fell swoop.”

angry eyes

Shortly before Forbes took this dumpster fire of an article down, he added the following:

“To be fair, library surveys do not seem to confirm the idea that public libraries don’t have the value they used to.  A Pew Research Center survey finds that Millennials are the most likely generations to use public libraries. Though it isn’t clear whether “public libraries” are community libraries or school libraries. And what the trend is among this group.
The survey also finds that “In-person library use in the US remains fairly stable” for the period 2012-16. At least that’s the title of one of their charts. But a reading of the chart is different: Library usage dropped from 53% to 46% over the same period.

Apparently, more data are needed to confirm a trend. But the opportunity for Amazon to enhance shareholder value remains.”
Oh, hey! I wasn’t the only one who noticed while he tried to use bogus numbers.

Mr. Mourdoukoutas just kept digging himself a bigger and bigger hole.

Aww, come on, just a few more tweets? I know y’all are enjoying this.

mj popcorn

Me scrolling through Twitter the other day.

You know it’s bad when even actual libraries step in.

Or, you know…The American Library Association.

Who is Panos Mourdoukoutas?

According to his bio on Forbes, he is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at Long Island University Post in New York while also teaching at Columbia University. Apparently, he’s been published in Barron’s, The New York Times, Japan Times, European Management Review, Management International Review, and Journal of Risk and Insurance, and a couple of others that have nothing to do with libraries.

He also claims he’s published several books, including:

  • Collective Entrepreneurship
  • The Ten Golden Rules
  • WOM and Buzz Marketing
  • Business Strategy in a Semiglobal Economy
  • China’s Challenge: Imitation or Innovation in International Business
  • New Emerging Japanese Economy: Opportunity and Strategy for World Business

Correct me if I’m wrong, but none of those sound like library-related books. Mourdoukoutas also writes “I’ve traveled extensively throughout the world giving lectures and seminars for private and government organizations, including Beijing Academy of Social Science, Nagoya University, Tokyo Science University” and half a dozen other colleges. Did you tell these schools that they could save their students tuition if they replaced their academic libraries with Amazon?

homer hiding1

I’m guessing that’s a no?

Should we work for Amazon?

Maybe you don’t see the problems just yet with letting a corporation run a library, but that’s why you’re here today. Let’s look at Amazon’s track record, shall we?

    • Amazon keeps most of their employees on food stamps. The Intercept submitted public records requests to five states for a list of their top employers of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients, “Amazon cracked the top 20 in four”. For a company that makes so much money, why can’t they pay living wages?Do they pay too many taxes to do that? (Spoiler: nope)
    • Amazon paid ZERO taxes in 2017. Not only did Amazon avoid all taxes in 2017, but the new Trump tax laws will put an extra $789 million dollars in their pocket. So…they have the money to pay their people, but don’t do it? Maybe they have a really awesome work environment like Google does. FYI, Google will pick you up for work on a bus, has a cafeteria and gym on site, and they’ll even do your laundry.
    • The working conditions are so bad at Amazon, they won’t even let them use the bathroom. I’m going to say that again, because it sounds vaguely important: Amazon employees cannot go to the bathroom. An undercover investigation in April showed that employees feared being punished for being sick, pregnant, or even taking bathroom breaks. The investigation politely calls it a “bottle system”, but euphemisms do not make it any more humane. Amazon denies this, but come on – if I’m rated on speed and the nearest bathroom is down four flights of stairs, how am I supposed to use it?
  • Amazon really doesn’t like it when people try to fight back, especially unions. Amazon has hired law firms that specialize in “fighting off organized labor” so they can pay less to get away with more.

Eddie Bucket

Who would lose?

The Homeless and Underprivileged

Those who can’t afford computers, internet, or books would be helpless. The homeless who have nowhere else to go certainly wouldn’t be welcome. If Amazon is willing to make their own people urinate in bottles to keep their jobs, what makes you think they’re going to care about the community?

Home Schools

Many parents home school their children these days. More often than not, these families are part of cooperatives where the kids come together and learn in a classroom setting. Where do you think these families get the books they use for projects and homework? Where do you think they get their e-books and movies? Surely, you don’t think they buy every single book and movie. Replacing a library with Amazon will destroy home schooling – as a professor, how can you support destroying education systems?


While I would really like to not be replaced by Amazon, this part isn’t just about self preservation. It’s about the quality of information. The minimum wage worker isn’t going to provide you the same quality of information that an actual librarian will. I know you believe that Google can replace librarians, but who’s going to tell them which search results are accurate and not just an ad? As the famed author Neil Gaiman says, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a librarian can bring you back the right one.” With the amount of misinformation out there, we’re pretty much the only chance you have.  My friend Yaika Sabat’s recent article used an analogy of using WebMD to replace doctors that seemed fairly apropos.


When hurricane Harvey hit Houston, our library was packed with people. Every computer was being used to file with FEMA, dealing with insurance companies, arranging places to stay until they return home (if they had a home to go back to), we were a digital disaster relief station. We even had FEMA workers come in and help people file. On a more day-to-day basis, I’ve helped countless people find the paperwork to divorce their abusive spouse, get custody of their kids again, report their crooked boss or unfair apartment complex…who is going to help them if we are not there? Chuck gets it.

The public in general

People in general use the library for more than just books. Need to use a computer but can’t afford one? Library computer. Got a laptop but can’t afford internet? Library wi-fi.  Want to print something out, but can’t afford a printer? Library printer. Faxing? Scanning? It’s hard to see at first, but there’s an oh-so-subtle pattern. How about DVDs and Blu-Rays? I pay pennies on the dollar to watch the new Avengers movie, or any other film. We could even have a movie night with those big public spaces we have…or some of our programming.

What would we lose?


Let’s think of just some of the programs offered at libraries:

  • Children’s programs (Story Time, Baby & Me, all that fun stuff that exposes children to books, other kids and cultures)
  • Classes (art, coding, film, GED, 3D printing, computers, knitting, quilting, baking, acting, hair braiding, this one could go forever)
  • After school programs for children and teens
  • Adult programs
  • Senior programs
  • Outside presentations (like if a professor wanted to give a lecture, for example)

Just this past week, we lunar scientists bring their mobile planetarium over. Where else are you going that kind of stuff besides going to a planetarium?

Meeting Space

People like using the library as a “third place”.


Exposure to technology

Computers, books, e-books, tablets, there’s so much techie goodness I can pull from a library! What about more advanced or niche stuff? Virtual reality, coding, Raspberry Pi computers, robotics, 3D printing – you ain’t going to find this stuff at Office Depot.



If dolla bills is your language, then I will speak your language. First, we got those handy computers people use to apply for jobs. Where else you can walk in without a job and walk out an employed (and tax paying) citizen? Aside from a few select places, we’re the only game in town. What about the return on your investment (ROI) with a library? Back in Florida, one of the library systems I worked with calculated their library system produced $8.32 in value for every dollar they received. How much is your stock portfolio’s ROI, Mr. Mourdoukoutas? 3% on average, maybe? How about an investment with an 832% return? Amazon can’t promise you that.

Companies that privatize libraries exist on a simply formula:

  • Fire everyone in the library
  • Hire back only the few you want to keep
  • Pay them much less than before you fired them.

Often times, they’ll hire them on as an independent contractor so they don’t have to pay benefits. How would you like it if LIU Post fired you, rehired you at 40% lower than what you were making, and give you zero benefits?

Mark Ritson, “If you really want to support your community, pay your f**king taxes.”

Closing notes?

I only have one. In the event that Mr. Mourdoukoutas himself is reading this, you’ve probably established that we’re really good at finding information. You know what else we can find?

The guy who lives in Long Island with over a million dollars in assets can’t be bothered to pay $495? You don’t know where that $495 is going. Most of it probably isn’t going to books, more likely to the salaries of people trying to keep communities literate. I’m trying to find the right word to suit this. Out of touch? Tone deaf? Snobbish? Elite? Inhuman? Sociopath? Entitled? Misinformed? Maybe I’ll just stick with “dangerous”, because ideas like this threaten everyone. You probably dropped $495 on dinner last Saturday night, don’t pretend like this is a giant chunk of money for you.

My overall note would be to take a good, hard look in the mirror and understand that the public needs libraries more than you want Amazon.

Alright, I’m done for now. Comments? Questions? Share all and let me know your thoughts.

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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Amazon Prime Day(s?) Today!

Hey Friends!

It’s that time of the year again where Amazon celebrates its anniversary and tries to get everyone shopping: Prime Day! I first covered it when they started Prime Day back in 2015. Ah, it nearly felt like yesterday. Several other companies are having sales right now to counter it (Cyber Monday in July, etc) and it’s kind of fun watching them all fight for our dollars. Given that Amazon’s site has already crashed a couple of times in the last few hours, I’m going to take a wild guess who is winning.

Given that it was the first time, there were a few problems that made it a bit of a flop – mostly related to the deals and giveaways, but Amazon has mostly recovered and figured out what people want (and don’t want) out of Prime Day. However, I noticed a few things that seem a little different this year:

  • Prime Day is now 36 hours. I noticed that a few deals and offers stretch over into tomorrow, July 17th. Maybe this is something they did last year that I just didn’t notice.
  • The actual Prime Day deals don’t start until 3 p.m. Eastern time. Again, I don’t recall them waiting until 3 but maybe I just didn’t notice. In previous years, Prime Day started at midnight and ran for 24 hours.
  • There’s way more prizes being given away this year. Multiple big screen TVs, video game systems, super expensive cameras and tech gadgets. I’m still waiting to see an Instant Pot on there, but hey.
  • There’s also A LOT more furniture giveaways this time around. Living room sets? Sofas and love seats? Dining room table/chair sets? I’m not sure who asked for this, but wish granted!
  • Also, lots of designer shades and purses. Gucci bags, Fendi bags, Prada bags, Tom Ford sunglasses. I don’t know who asked for those either, but I’m cool with it. I entered to win all of them because a $1200 purse should really impress a girl! (Just kidding, I’m selling it on eBay.)

Why do you care about Prime Day, and why are you telling us?

Because I’m a kind and caring guy, that’s why! Like any savvy shopper, I want to check it out for any good deals on stuff I’ve been needing or wanting. Nothing has really been jumping out at me, so I’ll probably sit this one out…but that doesn’t mean you have to. Though if you see an Instant Pot for like 50% off, let me know.

That’s all for today! Let me know if you guys buy anything, and I’ll do the same!


Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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Summer Updates

Hey Friends!

Just taking a few minutes to let you all know that our Summer Reading Program (SRP) is going very well. As usual, I got to do my renowned magic show at our branches and had record attendance. This year’s theme for summer reading is Libraries Rock!, which is pretty cool!

It’s not as cool as the year we had superheroes in my opinion, but most of you know I’m a little obsessed biased when it comes to superhero stuff. Right?

If you haven’t seen it, Thor: Ragnarok is fantastic.

However, we do have some super-charged prizes for summer reading. Sure, there’s cool things like guitars and stuff, but an Asus Chromebook? A Mini Super Nintendo? Samsung tablet? Go Pro? We got the good stuff this year!


Summer reading aside, I’ve had my hands full with school. I was looking at what class to take during the summer and a class on Social Media Marketing and Networking popped up that caught my attention. Well, it isn’t offered in the Fall or Spring, so I’d have to take it now…I do my own social media, so it wouldn’t hurt to learn things and up my social media…

So good news! I’m learning alot.

Bad news! ALL THE ASSIGNMENTS ALL THE TIME. You kinda forget how compressed a 5 week class is until you’re approaching week 5.

I wouldn’t call myself a social media guru yet, but I’m feeling like I know a great deal more than I did a few weeks ago.

Me learning the social media secret formula for success.

Alright, time to get back into my finals/papers/group projects. I’ll be finishing up next week, so I’ll have a post-class update to follow! In the meantime, I’ll be working to keep my FacebookTwitter and Instagram updated with stuff when I have a free moment here and there.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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Obligatory Happy Birthday Post!

Hey friends!

Happy Birthday from the Brash Librarian!

Wait…I’m writing a post, so it’s technically from me…but it’s my birthday, so shouldn’t it technically be “Happy Birthday to me”?…I don’t know, I’m getting lost. Eh, I’ll do it both ways.


Happy Birthday to/from the Brash Librarian!

While Monday birthdays aren’t always the greatest thing, the past two weeks were incredibly stressful and didn’t help either.

Yeah, my birthday was on May 21st. I feel like I’ve been writing this post for like three weeks, but everyone and their grandma has had an issue. So far:

  • People were out sick, including the delivery driver. Guess who delivers the books to branch when he’s out?
  • People were on vacation – hey, better now than during summer when we’re slammed.
  • Crazy people causing all kinds of commotions, cops getting involved, and lots of paperwork.
  • Our internet went down here and there, and our computer management software has been dodgy since installing new payment stations for printing.
  • One of the payment stations fell off the truck and severely damaged the unit. JOY.
  • Our DVD machine broke. Guess who has to repair that when it goes down, too?

Basically, I’m 11 days into being 32 and I’m ready to be 33. If there was one shining good thing from the work, my team bought pizza and a birthday card for two of us having birthdays this week.

Also, I won two trophies in the local parade and accepted it in front of 100-something people on Friday, so that was pretty cool!

Also another fun thing I’ve been trying is a new wi-fi hotspot from T-Mobile. I got a hold of it a few weeks ago and have been testing it for library use. We’ll see how it goes!


Of course, I’ve been getting lots of people asking, “So how old are you?” these days. I recently watched a great video featuring Bryan Cranston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne making parodies of 80’s dating videos, and I love Benedict’s answer: “I am…somewhere over 30”. If you haven’t seen it, watch this slice of fried gold below!


Okay, I’m gonna send this out before another crazy event pull me away from my desk. Don’t forget, you can always follow the action on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay informed on all my adventures between posts!

Have a great Friday!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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Book Returns and TLA and Weddings – Oh My!

Hey Friends!

Every time I think I’m starting to think I’ve caught my breath from the last rollercoaster, it starts up all over again. While I wish this would happen at Disney and Universal more often, I’d prefer it to not happen during my daily routine as much.

That’s right, Universal. I’m calling you out. The Hulk rollercoaster is way too short.

I wasn’t the only one who’s been out of sorts. Even my colleague Yaika over at Glasses Attached has been backlogged as well – but more on her later!

We installed a new book return at one of our libraries!

Last year, we purchased an automated book return/book sorter from Lyngsoe Systems. We liked it so much, we installed another one at our other branch! (Review coming soon)


Since this was my second time helping install one of these, I had a much better idea of what I was doing. Last time, most of the programming was already completed in advance; while most of the programming was completed, there were a few things that needed to be changed. Since this was a 3-bin sorter and the sorter we have at our central branch is a 5-bin sorter, we had to reconfigure a few rules to make sure books were going in the right places. After we started re-configuring the rules in the sorter programming, I got the hang of it very quickly. What would have taken 2 or 3 hours for our installation tech to do by himself, we finished together in about 45 minutes! Not gonna lie, I kinda felt like Tony Stark for the library.

Yeah, that feels about right.

If you are interested in getting a sorter for your library, please feel free to ask me any questions you might have. As I said, I’ll be doing a review of their sorter in the not-so-distant future. After everything was in place and fully operational, I was ready to pack my bags for a week of fun at the Texas Library Association (TLA) conference! (or TXLA if you want to be picky).

As always, TLA is a great place to learn, teach, make new friends and see old ones. This time, I had the pleasure to hang out with my good friend Yaika and catch up. I’ll also take this moment to congratulate Yaika on her new job as a circulation manager! Like me, she now shares in the joys of helping patrons and endures the occasional angry person who insists they returned their book last week.

Like many of my previous posts involving conferences, this one starts out with food!

Rolls, salads, sandwiches, wraps, chips…even the occasional drink if you’re lucky. Keep in mind this was just one table. Elsewhere, there are cakes, truffles, and desserts to be had. Places like the American Library Association (ALA) conference even have liquid nitrogen frozen popcorn!

While I had a few programs, panels and sessions that interested me, I probably had the most fun at a graphic novel panel – and not just because my friend Yaika was on the panel, but because the group was excited and nerding out over comic books. It’s also where I met John Shableski from Udon Entertainment, a company that does amazing work bringing graphic novels and anime into libraries and the hearts of people everywhere. One area that held great interest to me was their Manga Classics series, wherein they adapt classic literature into modern manga books.

Same classic books, slick new presentation.

That’s right – perfect for kids who like anime and manga, but don’t want to read what they consider the old boring stuff. Dracula, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Scarlet Letter, lots to choose from.

Oh, did I mention they even have lesson plans? That’s right, teachers – they give you customized lesson plans.

After a great time at TLA, it was time to drive 5 hours back home in the library Prius, followed by Ubering back to my apartment…so I could pack again, sleep, get another Uber to the airport, and fly to Florida!!!

Once again, I’m back in Florida for another wedding and to visit family. I flew in just in time to be picked up by a concierge car – courtesy of Chateau Du Mom. Staying with moms is invaluable. Especially when they have your favorites waiting!

After that, it was time for some rest, relaxation, and a hair of shopping. THEY EVEN HAD HAMMOCKS!

There was a little bit of shopping, a little bit of relaxing, there was this seafood dinner when I shucked, like, 30-something oysters…yeah, it was good to relax a bit. It was great to see friends, family, and to attend the wedding of a family member. Congratulations, Chris and Rabya!

Oh gosh! I almost forgot…Happy Star Wars Day!

That’s all I have this week, stay tuned and May the 4th be with you!


Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian











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If there’s only one thing I’ve learned while working at the library, it’s…

Hey Friends!

This week, I thought I’d dive back into the bottomless pit of, “did you learn that in library school?”. If you’ve missed any previous posts on the series, be sure to check them out:
Only this time around, I’d shake things up and asked YOU the librarians for input. I reached out on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to ask: What’s the one thing you’ve learned working in a library you didn’t think you’d learn?


Boy, did y’alls answer range. You did not disappoint! Let’s get right into it, shall we?



Forged in the fires of the front desk

Some of you went for the more technical route:

Don’t be afraid to use the Delete button.


Avoid teen projects involving glitter if you want to stay on good terms with the custodial staff.


Old people: Don’t know how to print, but do know how to use a stapler. College students: vice versa.


How to pull paper out of a copier without getting covered in toner.


A few responses were a bit more library related:

Reading is hard. Particularly signage or directions.


We hate fines more than you do.


That even with a careful, precise system for keeping track of books, you will still have a surprising amount of books inexplicably go missing.


How to smile, nod, and say “I don’t think that’s an actual thing, but I’ll look.”


What the teacher ACTUALLY assigned and what you are TOLD that the teacher assigned, are rarely the same.


Some of you went straight into the gross stuff:

The bathroom will *always* smell.


If it looks like poop, it probably is!


If it’s wet and not yours, don’t touch it.


Do not reach into anything you can’t see into.


People can make a bathroom out of any piece of furniture.


Some of y’all were just random and made me wonder:

How to spell “Stiefvater.”


Toddlers are stronger than you think.


When you say “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”, and they proceed to tell you the three ways to skin a cat.


Don’t use powdered spill cleaner (the stuff that soaks up biohazards!), on carpets. Ever. Just use paper towels to soak up the liquid, and wipe with lots of cleaner.


How to type without a keyboard. Desperate times, man.


Learning which schools give you the best swag for showing up on Career Day.


A few responses were a bit more philosophical:

A little kindness goes a long way.


Most of the things I screw up, I can fix. But only if I remember to slow down for a minute, take a deep breath, and think.


ALWAYS ask. Doesn’t matter what it is.


Compassion and respect are the keys to authentic connection.


 And finally, my personal favorite:

The hidden first question in any patron interaction is, “Is this person’s need informational or emotional?” Knowing the answer will save you a ton of grief.


Which ones did you like? Which ones didn’t you like? Let me know in the comment below! If you’d like to have your name featured, be sure to follow on social media!


Until next time,

Justin Brash, Brash Librarian

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Need Help This Valentine’s Day?

Hey Friends!

It’s that time of year when flowers, chocolate, and anything red is triple the price. If you’ve been thinking about what to get the librarian or bookworm in your life, look no further! If you’ve got Amazon Prime and 2 day shipping, then I’ve got some last minute ideas for you!

love me6

Don’t let your S/O feel this way!


A Portable Massager

Whether your darling is a librarian, office assistant, construction worker or a human being in general, they will appreciate a heated massage pad that can work their neck, shoulders, back will help them forget this Valentines Day falls on a Wednesday. Grab one for them here, or grab one for yourself. (Judgment-free zone here.)


Librarian T-shirts

Let’s be honest – if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance your other half is a librarian or loves libraries. Why not give them a sweet shirt that indulges them and makes them feel that hardcore-nerdy-cool? Pick one up for them. Heck, even I might pick one up.


Chocolate Flowers

Valentine's Day Red Sweetheart Roses Solid Milk Chocolate Bouquet (12 Pcs)

That’s right. Chocolate AND flowers, combined into one awesome package! I think my favorite thing about this gift is that you get a dozen roses for less than $20. You can buy this one-stop shopping here before they sell out!


A Library Card Pouch


out of print

Guys! Does your lady love books and need something to help her purse stay organized? This little baby has a 4.5/5 average review! Reviewers have said it’s great for makeup, ID and credit cards, samples, phone/earbud cables, or maybe even…your library card? THAT’S SO META. Available in white and yellow, get yours here.


Himalayan Salt Candle Holders

Himalayan salt is all the rage right now, and for good reason. According to Buzzfeed, they’re anti-bacterial, purify the air, taste delicious (so say the Amazon reviewers), and just plain look cool. This set comes in a 2-pack, so you can give something to your loved one that says “Let’s be healthier, happier, and lick chunks of salt together!”


A Color-Changing Kitty Night Light

For the crazy cat person librarian in your life, look no further than this adorable rave kitty that will delight and entertain. Some reviewers take them to parties and sleepovers, because they put the “crazy” in “crazy cat person”


Marshmallow Cereal

Do you have someone that loves Lucky Charms and wishes it was just the charms? Then pick up a bag and surprise them! If nothing else, you’ll get an A for originality.


A Silver Rose

For the person in your life who’s ever complained, “I don’t want flowers, they always just die!”, try getting them a silver-plated rose that lasts forever. If you need the glass dome so you can get all Beauty & The Beast on them, you can get that here.

Now hurry up while there’s still time!

no love

Don’t let this happen you.

Do you have any special gifts you’d recommend? What are you getting your loved one this year? Let me know in the comments below or on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and I hope you have a great V-Day!

Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian





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The Brash Librarian Returns

Hello again, my friends.

This might be the longest hiatus I’ve ever taken, but for good reason. For most of you who have been following me, you know that I took a break from my usual posts here to focus on my finance class. Long story short, I took finance twice in undergrad, failed both times, and had to take two finance classes for my MBA program. The one thing that kept me from getting a minor in business came back nearly a decade later to haunt me. With hard work, dedication, literal blood, sweat and tears (especially tears), I conquered both classes. With an A.

That’s right, I exorcised those demons with two A’s.


But I didn’t do it alone. I had help, and lots of it. I had a professor who cared more than any professor I’ve seen at this college. This man would literally give up his nights for us. Study group from 8-9pm? He kept going until we ran out of questions around 11:45. By study group, I mean online web chat. Think Skype, but with 10 kids who were blundering in the dark and a professor who shared his screen and walked us through the methods to the madness. Needed help via email? He was quick on the draw, none of this “wait 3 business days to reply back” nonsense. Had a problem? He worked with us tirelessly. Banging your head on a problem? Don’t worry, he’s banged his head on it, too. If you’re an MBA student at A&M WT and you need to take finance, look no further than Dr. Ammerman. I have unparalleled respect for this man. If you’re reading this, thank you for all your help.

After gaining about 15 pounds, drinking enough coffee to fuel the Colombian economy, alienating family and friends, and giving up most social time, I was ready for a break. Some serious sleep, Netflix, laundry, working out, and general mental health was needed.

How I felt entering December.


I gave some serious thought to my resolutions for 2018. Sure, I could do the “I’m gonna work out more” or another “I’m gonna write more for Brash Librarian“, but this year feels a little different. Between work, school, family and friends, I’ve decided to do more for myself and for those around me. With that in mind, I came up with some fairly simple but powerful resolutions to try.

Resolution 1: Consult with Mr. Spock

I recently stumbled upon an interesting way of using Star Trek to keep oneself calm, as described below:

A nifty tip for dealing with invasive irrational thoughts.

Pretend Spock is standing by your shoulder telling you it’s “illogical” or something.

Getting invasive thoughts that everyone you know secretly hates you? Spock is there to be all, “That is statistically improbable, Captain. Several of your friends have told you many times that they enjoy your company.”

Paranoid that you’re going to hit by a car every time you walk by a road? Spock is walking beside you, calmly explaining that, “You are most likely not going to be hit by a car. You’re walking on the sidewalk, and there are no cars in sight.”

Is someone not messaging you back right away, and part of you is terrified that they’re dead in a ditch somewhere? Spock is there to be all, “Captain, your friend is currently at work. They are probably helping a customer, not dead.”

Seriously, I spend a lot of time now pretending that Spock is blandly telling me why all of my irrational, invasive, and paranoid thoughts probably aren’t true.

“Spock, someone is watching me.”

“Captain, you are alone in your apartment, Everything is fine.”

I thought it felt a little silly at first mentally asking for Mr. Spock’s opinion, but taking a moment to analyze a situation has been very effective – along with making me feel like a Captain. After trying it for the first few weeks of 2018, I have to say it’s very helpful, calming, and dare I say…


How most of my self convos end now.

Resolution 2: Replace “I’m sorry” with “Thank you”

Being in Texas, so far away from most of my friends and family in Florida, I sometimes find myself apologizing. I’m sorry I don’t text more, I’m sorry I didn’t answer your call the other night, I’m sorry we haven’t Skyped this week, I’m sorry we haven’t played games or had a Netflix binge together lately, I’m sorry for many things. Then I came across this on my Facebook the other day:

thank you

I’ve seen this posting before, but it didn’t resonate with me at the time like it does now. To all those I’m sorry I haven’t talked to as much as I should have – Mom, Dad, Bill, Alex, Dylan, Ashley, Nigel, Caitlin, freaking everyone – thank you for being such loving and amazing people.


Resolution 3: More Fun Stuff

More polls, more guest stars, more stuff from fans and collaborators. I started this site with a “me, me, me” mentality, and I know I need to share and partner up more. While I don’t like playing second banana to anyone, it’s not so much fun if you’re the only banana.


That’s all for today, guys. Hopefully, this semester won’t be as difficult…


I suppose we’ll see! In the meantime, make sure to follow me on on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to catch all the exclusive stuff as it comes out!


Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian


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