As this is the season of giving, we must remember one important fact: The office secret Santa swap is fast approaching.
Here are a few gender neutral tips for buying in different departments of the library.
The circulation department sees thousands of books a day, often cherry picking the best new and old items as they move through the building. The best place to shop for them is the book sale. This hive of scum and villainy is the only place to find an item that these vultures have not seen before.
One would first think about many things for reference: a new phone cradle, a hand-decorated post-it dispenser, or a box of mints for Steve's raging halitosis. Nope, these are horrible gifts as they remind them of their patrons. Find something randomly from the lost and found, cover it in newspaper, and leave it in their locker. They will thank you for not questioning them.
This department is much like circulation, except they are much more on a grander scale. There is nothing they desire that they cannot receive, nothing possible they cannot track down. Therefore, your gift is a simple one: look away. When that box of new Harry Potters comes in already open; look away. When the Twilight book catches fire in a freak laminating accident; look away. When the Internet histories begin reporting searches for "questionable" ordering sites; Just. Look. Away.
If your admin is anything like mine, they live on grants and that weird green tea. They can afford way cooler stuff than you, so give them what they really need to thrive: tears of a broken para professional and the blood of the innocent MLIS student.
More glitter, construction paper, or other craft stuff. It is like crack for them. Alternative gifts are more of the same, just make it shiny or colorful. Go nuts with the craft materials, but do not make anything for them. These are the professional crap makers, just give them the supplies and stay away.
Just tell them it is the holidays and that they can go home. This is sad, but they will appreciate someone telling them anything other than problems for once.