As I’ve written about before, We’ve been naming our staplers now for 4 1/2 years as a way to encourage our students to handle our staplers just a little bit more gently, and to encourage them to leave them at the library rather than taking them home. It’s been pretty successful, and kind of a fun. We’ve had 19 staplers in our reference since our first one, Alice. But one of my favorites has to be Gigi, who holds the record for longest-lived stapler by a long shot.
Gigi was first set out on the reference table by the printers on October 16, 2013 (coincidentally, that’s one day after my youngest daughter’s birthday). Gigi hung around and stapled papers together all through that fall term, all through our winter break, our winter term, spring break and spring term. She’d go missing every once in a while over summer, and another stapler would help fill in, but she’d always turn up. And so this fall, we realized we might actually get to celebrate a stapler’s birthday.
Let me tell you that the weeks leading up to Oct. 16, 2014 were kind of stressful. Every time Gigi would run out of staplers, or would get moved to a different location, my heart would lurch that maybe this would be it for her. But she was a tough old stapler, and so as the weeks went by, we realized that if we wanted to celebrate her birthday, we’d have to plan it.
This is where my comment about my daughter’s birthday comes in. Actually both of my daughters have October birthdays, so I should have been planning their parties. Instead, I found myself working on a party hat and cake for a stapler. It is not easy making a birthday hat for a stapler. There are no Pinterest boards for stapler birthday parties. I think perhaps there should be. Gigi’s cake is cut out from a birthday card. She stapled in to it a couple of times.
We ended up decorating our table where our staplers live with their unnamed tape and 3 hole punch friends (those never seem to go missing). We made a birthday card for Gigi and encouraged students to sign it.
Unfortunately, Gigi’s cooperativeness declined rapidly after her party. She started jamming a lot more. She spit staples at me, and bit another librarian, so we retired her in November. After Gigi came Hugo, who was really not even a little bit up to the job. He’d fake being out of staples, and basically wouldn’t work at all. He was fired shortly after he started. Our current stapler is Izzy, who’s been with us since December. Perhaps we’ll get to have another birthday party in 10 months.