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For the last year, I’ve had an extracurricular activity that, while professionally-related, won’t ever go on my curriculum vitae, workload, or activity report: I coordinate Anchorage’s “Interlibrary Lush,” a monthly happy hour for LAM (libraries, archives, and museums) workers and friends.

It’s been fun getting to know more of the Anchorage library and archives community (I don’t think any museum folks have showed up), and I’ve made some pretty great friends because of ILL. I think it has helped, at least indirectly, to convince some people to step up for open offices in our local library chapter—although I should point out, our library chapter and the larger association are not tied to ILL in any official way. (I’m always worried I’ll get in trouble, if people think ILL belongs to the association and get mad about it. Alcohol is weird, right?) There’s no question that the 5-15 minutes a month, on average, I put into organizing it are worthwhile.

When we first started, we didn’t have a regular meeting time or place. Actually, we still don’t have a regular place. We meet at 7:30pm on the second Saturday of the month (except this month, when we moved it up a week for the PNLA Conference). It’s always been drinking-optional, but has really morphed, over time, into something more like a dinner-with-drinks event than a drinks-with-maybe-appetizers one. I think if we met later in the evening, it might be more happy hour-like, but we meet right after the public library branch librarians get out of work (so they need to eat), often at places with tasty food (so the rest of us want to eat with them).

Anyway, I’m posting about this here for two reasons: 1) to try to convince anyone who lives in a sufficiently population-dense town/city* that a monthly library happy hour is something you might want to try, and 2) to capture the titles of the events we’ve hosted so far. I’ve noticed them disappearing off of our Facebook page, and I want to collect them for … I don’t know what for, beyond trying not to reuse any of them.

  • Interlibrary Lush – Anchorage
  • Interlibrary Lush 2 – LUSH HARDER
  • Interlibrary Lush 3 – Return of the Lush
  • Interlibrary Lush 4 – Lush With a Vengeance
  • Interlibrary Lush 5 – A Good Day to Lush!
  • Interlibrary Lush 6 – A New Lush
  • Interlibrary Lush 7 – The Lush Strikes Back
  • Interlibrary Lush 8 – Attack of the Lush
  • Interlibrary Lush 9 – The Lush Wars
  • Interlibrary Lush 10 – Everybody Lush Now!
  • Interlibrary Lush 11 – Forever Lush
  • Interlibrary Lush 12 – Making Lush Out of Nothing At All

I’ve sort of converted from movie names to song names, I guess. Everything’s fair game, as long as I find it amusing. ;)

Our next few are

  • Interlibrary Lush 13 – The Right Lush
  • Interlibrary Lush 14 – Chronicles of Lush
  • Interlibrary Lush 15 – Stop in the Name of Lush
  • Interlibrary Lush 16 – Total Eclipse of the Lush

I think you could have a successful monthly librarian happy hour without cute names and stupid pictures (seriously, go look at our page; I put up a different stupid picture for every event; although most are more thematically appropriate, my favorite was probably Robocop on a unicorn, for LUSH HARDER). But cute names and stupid pictures are fun, so I do them.

If you do try it, let me know! I mean, I have no claim on the name “Interlibrary Lush.” I stole it from Portland, who always sent invites out to the NextGenLibrarian mailing list. (Is that even still functional? I admit, I eventually unsubscribed…) But it would be cool to know others are doing this.

*For comparison, we have 300,000 people in the Anchorage metro area, with only one university library, an underfunded public library, underfunded school libraries, and very few special libraries.

Published inalaskalibrarianshipnew librarianPNLA

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