Well, the belt seems to be getting a little tighter for libraries, huh? Each year, budgets are reduced little by little until soon not much will be left. So how do you cope? What can get you through?
1. Look around at what you can take. Just how moral are you? Do you remember taking an oath as a librarian? Just remember that whole "serve the partrons" thing. So you have to do whatever you have to do, right? So look for your personal limits as a librarian. An easy way is to ask for donations in the form of gift cards, especially from copy centers. Then buy one copy of a popular book instead of thirty and just go nuts at the copy machine.
Go for broke in bulk, that way you get a cheaper rate. When was the last time the copyright police raided a place, am I right? If anyone asks any questions, you are a librarian. Tell those pansies you looked it up somewhere.
2. Check out your fellow government workers. Those punks in the city planning office seem to get all the pens and paperclips they want, don't they? And that library system across the river with entire Stephen King collection, who do they think they are? Well, instead of just sitting there all jealous, go out and take what you want. Make a friend in other departments, visit them for lunch, then swipe stuff off their desk.
Walk into that other library and just start stuffing books into a shopping bag, or throw them out the window to an accomplice. We are all in this together, you know. And that other library's stuff should be yours.
3. Food for fines. Let us talk programs. How about open up an illegal food service in your library's basement? The gentle smell of grilled hotdogs wafting up the isles will surely bring the patrons back for more.
Alternatively, to pay/feed your employees, start a food for fines program. If the patron brings in some food, any food, a portion of his or her fines are waved. Then the staff can fight over the scraps. Talk about customer service then.
4. Spice the place up. You know why Hooters is famous? It is not because of the decor. Get your staff to go the saucier route. Low cut tops and short shorts can really drive in the patrons. And for the ladies, maybe show a little ankle or even calf muscle.
Do not be afraid to let down the librarian bun and show them what you are working with. You would be suprised by the response. Also, a "back room" for more risque materials can also be popular. People always want what they think they should not have.
5. Know your library is the best. What is wrong in taking a little pride in what you have done? Showing strength that for years you used the money you had to the best of your ability is awesome. The patrons should be thanking you day in and day out over the detail you put into that library. They should start paying for each checkout, hell, each experience they have inside your hallowed shelves. They should have to get down on their knees and pray to the god of patrons that they get to wipe their feet on your "I like books" door mat.
6. Punishment is its own reward. Begin to tighten the noose on those lazy, ungrateful patrons. If punishments fit the crime, then fines should be paid in blood. Those too far in debt will not only be unable to check out, but be banished from the kingdom. The loud will be deafened. The late will be stricken down. Cell phones will mean certain death. Those who break these bounds will be thrown into the weekly book pire of sin to prepare their way to hell's flames. Charles Cutter would have wanted it this way.
7. Forget about it. There is nothing really that you can do. Just continue doing what you always did, maybe less. Install a television at the circ desk and just veg out. Let the patrons take what they want, who needs records? It is all meaningless anyway. Take a nap or something. You deserve it.