Magpie Librarian’s Frequently Asked Questions: For all your reference needs

I work in a busy, massive library in NYC. I mostly work with kids, teens, parents, and teachers. New York is diverse as hay-ell as you may have heard, so I get all kinds of questions. From the typical homework questions and book recommendations to “Can I borrow the Krazy Glue?” (as if we have a tube of public use super glue in the kid’s library)  to “Can I have a list of photo-realistic didactic picture books from the 1970s?” to “I need a 2nd grade non-fiction time travel chapter book” to “Are you single?” to “Can you ask that baby to stop crying?” to “Can I be like this in here?” (said by a very sweaty man without a shirt on), we get it all in New York. However, there are certain questions I get over and over again. You probably do too. So, I’m here to help. Let’s get started.

Q: How do you get your hair that color?

A: What a relevant and wonderful question.

Well, people. It takes an ass-load of bleach, which hurts like hell. It stings my scalp so bad that I scratch my head through the plastic cap like I’ve got lice that have crabs. Sometimes I just open up the freezer and stick my sizzling-like-bacon head inside. Then I wash that out. Then I marvel that my hair looks like dehydrated albino straw. THEN, I mix a delightful cocktail of really cheap conditioner (think like a VO5 or a Suave) and a tiny bit of Manic Panic’s Cotton Candy Pink. I super-saturate every stupid strand of my dead, beaten, and busted hair. I wrap a babushka/schmatta around my head. I watch Real Housewives (preferably of Atlanta or New York) or maybe some Adventure Time. In a couple of hours, I wash the whole mess out. Tada. I’m a 34 year old librarian with severe arrested development and Pepto-Bismol-colored hair. Aren’t you glad you asked?

Q: You know who you look like? 

Unfortunately, no one ever says I look like Enid.
Unfortunately, no one ever says I look like Enid.

A: Yeah. That chick from that show.

If you’re a patron of a certain age, you love to tell me that I look like this chica from a show I’ve never watched called Criminal Minds. I never watch it because Criminal Minds seems like SVU and I only like SVU and Ice-T is my favorite actor. Anyway, her name is Kirsten Vangsness and all of Brooklyn is atwitter that she’s my long lost twin. This is her:

Damn. I actually would wear that sweater.


I am strangely in need of this outfit.
I am strangely in need of this outfit.

So, yes, yes. We’re both nerdy, glasses-wearing, quirky-dressing chicks with round faces and big knockers. Whatever. It used to bug me when people made the comparison, but now it’s just part of my week. If anyone thinks I can make some money off looking like Kirsten Vangsness, please let me know. Mama needs a new pair of shoes. Hire me for your next party.

Q: Where’s the bathroom?


to the left

You’re welcome, everyone.


6 thoughts on “Magpie Librarian’s Frequently Asked Questions: For all your reference needs

  1. Tess

    HAHAHA! That’s so true! I get all those questions! (Except the answer to “You know who you look like? That girl from that show?” is Zooey Deschanel. Really the only resemblance I bear is we both have bangs. But she’s pretty cute, so I’ll take it. Once someone told me I look like Katy Perry. I think they were high.)

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