or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

About Swiss Army Librarian

About Me

As the sidebar says, I am a reference librarian at the Chelmsford Public Library in Chelmsford, MA*, and have been since 2005. I like being a librarian. I've also worked at the Scarborough Public Library in Scarborough, ME, and the Kent State University Library, in Kent, OH, which is where I earned my Masters in Library and Information Science. In addition to information science, I also enjoy reading, hiking, kayaking, knitting, biking, traveling, asking my friend Chris to do things for me, and popcorn. I do not enjoy trying new foods, reality television, drama, cell phones, ceremonies, or traffic. Read more about my activities under the My Activities section below.

*Swiss Army Librarian is not endorsed by the Chelmsford Library or the Town of Chelmsford. I speak for myself, of my own experiences.

To get in touch with me, please use the contact form.

About the Swiss Army Librarian Blog

From 10/2006 to 2/2008, this blog was known as "herzogbr.net/blog" which is a stupid name for a blog. But I was new to blogging, and didn't realize it would stick. In 2/2008, I redid everything, complete with a new name. Mostly, I talk about library-related stuff, but few non-library posts sneak in occasionally (usually knitting, traveling, or whatever else I find interesting).

Creative Commons License This work by Swiss Army Librarian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Site Made With Recycled Code logoThe current specs for this blog are:

Why "Swiss Army" Librarian?
There's actually two reasons for this:

  1. During my freshman year of college (1992-3), the guys on my floor got together and placed a huge order from the Smokey Mountain Knife Works catalog. I ordered a Swiss Army Knife, and I've carried it with me ever since. I use it all the time, too, to open boxes of tax forms, tightening loose screws (wherever I encounter them), cut away tree limbs from paths when I'm hiking, or let friends trim their split ends during long car rides. Most people who know me have become accustomed to me always having it, and claim it is a major defining feature of my personality.
  2. If I had to summarize the job responsibilities of a librarian, "swiss army knife" comes pretty close. We've got to be ready to handle any request that comes along, from directing someone to the restroom to researching the propulsion physics behind the space shuttle. Not to mention check books in and out, shovel the walks, design websites, change light bulbs, give presentations, tactfully interact with unruly kids (and adults), balance million dollar budgets, and ensure that everyone has unmonitored access to whatever information or resources they need. Like a Swiss Army knife, librarians need to be ready with whatever tool is needed for the job at hand.

Why the Squares on the Background?
When I was in library school, one class project was to design a website for something we found interesting. I chose to make a minesweeper website (about the computer game). The background is what the game board looks like, and I've just kept it because I like it. I think all the little boxes appeal to my compulsions to categorize and organize things (I am a librarian, after all).

My Activities

Professional Credentials

Writing (besides this website)

Committee Work & Special Projects

Honorable (and Questionable) Mentions

Books I've Read Recently
Here's what I've recently uploaded to my LibraryThing account:

Pictures I've Taken
Since getting a digital camera, I like taking and uploading photos to my flickr account:

Other Websites I Frequent