We haven’t featured a librarian gift guide since 2013, so I figured it was high time to give some updated ideas for great gifts for your friends, coworkers, and of course, yourself. Feel free to pass this list on to any gift givers in your life who might need a few hints.
For the librarian who needs more decoration in their office/cubicle:
I could go on forever about all of the great library-themed art prints available online. This beautiful typographic masterpiece is a great way to keep Jorge Luis Borge’s famous quotation about libraries at hand. If your giftee is a punk-ass book jockey AND a shushy spinster, you might consider this print.
For the librarian who can never have too many bags:
…which is basically all of us, amirite? I have more library-themed tote bags than any one person could ever use, but even I would add this charmer to my collection. NYPL also has a great selection of tote bags in their online store – the quotation on this one definitely stands out. If your recipient would get better use of a wallet than a tote bag, then a book look-alike might be just the thing.
For the librarian who likes to wear their profession on their sleeve(?):
This skirt comes personally recommended – it is the prime item in my increasingly library-centric wardrobe. The recipient is sure to get compliments wherever the go. On the other hand, if they’re sewing-inclined, a similar fabric is available that your giftee can transform into whatever sartorial treasure they have in mind. If they’re into books and less into birds and cats, there is also a books-only dress.
For the #critlib librarian:
If they don’t already have copies, consider putting together copies of the LIS Microagressions Zine for them to keep at their desk or share with coworkers. With free pdf downloads, they’ll only run you the cost of printing. This year, #CharlestonSyllabus brought our attention to how libraries can improve collections on race relations, so consider purchasing a book from this list that they’ve been hoping to get to.
For the archivist:
Etsy pulls through once again, connecting us with tech cases with illuminations from the Lindisfarne Gospels for iPad, iPhone 4, 4s, 5, and 6, and Galaxy S3. It also comes as a mug if your giftee is more of a low tech coffee drinker. Also, chances are the archives are cold, pretty much all year round. If the archivist in your life is always complaining of having cold hands, consider a pair of fingerless gloves. They’re easily customized to fit any style, personality, or budget – from simple to colorful, from cute to elaborate.
For the librarian who loves (or could benefit from more) organization:
Planners and calendars are a classic, practical gift and librarians have plenty to organize. My favorite planners on Etsy are by Ninj and Ninj – they have really great designs and a lot of useful features. This notepad stands out to me as a fun alternative to a traditional planner – when you’re done with a week you can tear off its page, throw it away, and leave it behind you.
For the librarian who defies categorization:
If you’ve gotten this far and still haven’t found the perfect gift, here’s a few wild cards. If they’re literary minded, Paddywax Candles has author-themed scents, with Oscar Wilde being the clear standout. If your recipient is skeptical of awards, is willing to embrace mediocrity, and/or has a sense of humor, this World’s Okayest Librarian shirt might be the way to go. This Library Punk sticker might be a great addition to their car. If they’re into vintage, kitsch, or history, this cool vintage librarian pin is available on Etsy. You might have to fight me for it though.
For the advocate or the librarian who truly has everything:
When all else fails or it’s too last minute for shipping, think about showing your support for the librarian in your life by showing support for what they do. If they are passionate about literacy, consider donating to Little Free Library or Reading is Fundamental in their name. ALA or EveryLibrary are also good options for supporting libraries on a national level. And if you wanna get real personal and sappy, consider a donation to the library system where they work.
Do you have any awesome library-related stuff on your wish list? Have you bought the perfect gift for a colleague or friend? Let us know in the comments.