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April Fools Day in the Library

The Library has a tradition of sending out April Fools Day jokes via email.  Here is a collection of our jokes over the years.  

2015: Shelving Books by Color

2016: Animal-assisted Therapy

2017: Library Kitchen Collection

2018: New Stress Relief Collection in the Library

2019: Library Study Room Lease Deal

2020: April Fools Day was not observed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. There wasn't much to laugh at in April of 2020.

2021: Library Staffing Update

2022: Last-minute Library Closure 

2015: Shelving Books by Color

Greetings from the Library!
In order to continue to adapt our services to respond to user needs, we've recently made a change to our book shelving locations. 

Although the Dewey Decimal system has been in use since 1876 and is the most widely used library classification scheme in the world, many still find it difficult to use.  (As an aside, Melville Dewey, founder of the Dewey Decimal System, was an advocate for spelling reform and would probably prefer that we refer to him as Melvil Dui).
Therefore, we are in the process of reorganizing the book collection to shelve books based on the color of their covers (see photo below).

Picture of book shelf with books arranged by color

Those of you who have a hard time remembering the exact author or title of a book but know what the cover looks like should have an easier time locating books.
When you are looking for a book in the online catalog, you'll find the new shelving locations have been updated.  See screenshot from the catalog below.

screen shot of library catalog record
Anyone who reads home design blogs or frequents Pinterest for inspiration will appreciate this change from an aesthetic perspective.  We have a beautiful library and now we have what we think is a really beautiful way to display the books.  We also think it gives the research process a little something extra

2016: Animal-assisted Therapy

As the semester’s end approaches, library staff have noticed an increase in stress levels from students, staff, and even faculty.

To help ameliorate these issues, library staff have been brainstorming how we could help.  While this is an ongoing effort, we have a few announcements to share with you:

  1. To help students studying for comps and working on their research projects, we’ve declared that next week is Treat Week!  Students should definitely stop by the library at 3pm Monday-Thursday, April 4-7 for some snacks.  We plan to offer a variety of sweet and savory snacks.  Coffee will be available, but please BYO mug.
  1. We’ve just acquired a new Pet collection to bring the benefits of Animal-assisted therapy to you!

Photo of goldfish and puppies on library shelves

According to the Mayo Clinic, Animal-assisted therapy can significantly reduce pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue in people with a range of health problems.

Pet therapy is also being used in nonmedical settings, such as universities and community programs, to help people deal with anxiety and stress.  See:

To read more about the benefits of animal-assisted programs, we’ve selected a few relevant articles for you, because Science!

>Friesen, L. (2010). Exploring Animal-Assisted Programs with Children in School and Therapeutic Contexts. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37(4), 261-267.

Link to article on EbscoHost

Zilcha-Mano, S., Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2011). Pet in the therapy room: An attachment perspective on Animal-Assisted Therapy. Attachment & Human Development, 13(6), 541-561. doi:10.1080/14616734.2011.608987

Link to article on EbscoHost

O'Haire, M. (2013). Animal-Assisted Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Literature Review. Journal Of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 43(7), 1606-1622. doi:10.1007/s10803-012-1707-5

Link to article on EbscoHost

WALSH, F. (2009). Human-Animal Bonds II: The Role of Pets in Family Systems and Family Therapy. Family Process, 48(4), 481-499. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.2009.01297.x

Link to article on EbscoHost


To see therapy dogs in action, and interviews with Child Life Specialists,  grab some Kleenex and head on over to YouTube:

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital:

2017: Library Kitchen Collection

This one was a joke but not can still check out a set of silverware in the library!

Have you ever found yourself staring into an empty silverware drawer in one of Erikson’s kitchens, wondering how you are ever going to eat your lunch with a single knife? 

We feel your pain, and we have a solution:    the Library’s Kitchen Collection!  (see below)

photo of small zipper bags containing sets of silverware

The library is proud to inform you that as of today, available for checkout are 4 sets of flatware (fork, knife, AND spoon), 2 sharp(ish) knives, and even an orange peeler!  Because who likes getting orange peel bits stuck under their fingernails?  Not us!

The details:

1.       The sets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.   To check on availability before leaving the comfort of your office chair, search the library catalog for ‘flatware’ ‘kitchen knife’ or ‘orange peeler’ 
See also:

2.       Your staff ID is your library card, so bring it down and ask for a flatware set/knife/orange peeler at the library help desk.

3.       Failure to clean the flatware before return will result in a revocation of library privileges, a cleaning fee, and public shaming.   

4.       If you fail to return the items from the Kitchen Collection, you will be billed for replacement. 

5.       All Kitchen Collection items are available for a 2-hour checkout.  Renewals on a case-by-case basis.

If you would like to suggest additional items for our Library of Things,  please let us know.


Karen,  Brittany, & Diana

2018: New Stress Relief Collection in the Library

Stressing about Comps?  Politics keeping you up at night?   Haven't started your taxes?  Cloudy weather and not-really-warm-yet temps got you down?  Existential crisis? 

Your body is hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators and other aggressors. But when stressors are always present and you constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

Anxiety, Depression, Digestive problems, Headaches, Heart disease, Sleep problems, Weight gain, Memory and concentration impairment 

That's why it's so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life.  And the Edward Neisser Library is here to help.

 Announcing our Stress Relief Collection!  Items are available on a first come, first served basis.  Most circulate for 7 days. 

 Motivational Stress Ball Assortment, 3 Pack

Mandala coloring book for Grown Folks (BYO coloring implements)

Book: The Stress-Proof Brain by Melanie Greenburg, PhD

The Stress-Proof Brain offers powerful, comprehensive tools based in mindfulness, neuroscience, and positive psychology to help you put a stop to unhealthy responses to stress—such as avoidance, tunnel vision, negative thinking, self-criticism, fixed mindset, and fear. Instead, you’ll discover unique exercises that provide a recipe for resilience, empowering you to master your emotional responses, overcome negative thinking, and create a more tolerant, stress-proof brain.  Contact the library to place a hold on this book.

Because you are the serenest: 
Health and Fitness Yoga Set 6-Piece- Includes 1/2" Ultra Thick NBR Exercise Mat, 2 Yoga Blocks, 1 Yoga Mat Towel, 1 Yoga Hand Towel and a Yoga Strap. 

MetroNaps EnergyPod ™: the world’s first chair designed specifically for napping in the workplace.

The EnergyPod is powered by firmware developed around a simple principle: a 20 minute nap is beneficial for well-being and productivity.  The zero gravity position, specially composed sleep music, gentle wake sequence of programmed lights and vibrations are all features of the EnergyPod designed to help you relax.  And because a napping facility should not only be functional, but also aesthetically fit in your workspace, the design is stylish and timeless. We are still awaiting delivery of our EnergyPod decked out in Erikson Blue, but this Pod in use at Fresno State gives you an idea of what to look forward to:


This cozy cocoon fits snugly over your head and neck while leaving a large opening for the nose and mouth. The pillow helps users to tune out their surroundings, creating a dark, quiet microenvironment ideal for achieving a deep, restful sleep whether stranded in a crowded airport or recharging between meetings at work. Pockets over the ears muffle ambient sound and serve as a place to tuck hands while leaning forward over a tray table or desk.

Carry-on Cocktail Kits.  Approved by TSA.  Not necessarily approved by HR.

Right now we only have the Moscow Mule and the Old Fashioned kits but will consider adding the Bloody Mary, Gin & Tonic, and Hot Toddy kit if demand warrants.  Note:  alcohol not included.

Moscow Mule kit includes Spoon/Muddler, 1/2oz Jigger, Recipe Card, Bottle Bold Spicy Small-Batch Ginger Syrup, Linen Coaster

Old Fashioned kit includes Recipe Card, Spoon/Muddler, Bottle Old Fashioned Small Batch Aromatic Bitters, 2x packets Old Fashioned Cane Sugar, Linen Coaster

Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

Starter set of Lavender, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Eucalyptus, and Clary Sage oils.

Excellent for uplifting the mood, aromatherapy helps to ease feelings of anxiety by calming the mind, while boosting self-esteem and confidence.

Also: it’s science:

Office Zen Garden -- Enjoy your own private Zen garden, even if you're short on space.

Use this table top Buddha Zen Garden to aide in meditation sessions and to create a peaceful energy. It can be placed in a “serenity room” or peaceful corner in your home or office. The Kanji on the rock shape candles are "和" and "平". It means peace, safe and peaceful.

36 oz bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs

For when you need to eat your feelings!

Laughter is the best medicine

It’s hard to be stressed out when you are watching a funny movie, so come on down and grab a DVD!

2019: Library Study Room Lease Deal

Happy Monday!  As many are aware, the library has 3 study rooms available for private or group study.  The demand is increasing, and many have expressed a desire for additional rooms to be made available.

To help achieve that goal, the library has entered in to a 75-year lease on the current study rooms with a private equity firm.  The private equity firm will maintain and manage the existing study rooms, and in return the library will receive $1.15 million up front to help fund current budget year shortfalls and allow us to invest in the library’s collections and facilities for years to come.   Our immediate plans are to install more study rooms as well as a door to separate the library from the Commons to prevent noise pollution.  Construction will begin the day after Graduation and we hope to have things wrapped up by early August. 

That’s the good news.  The down side is that access to the study rooms is now being managed by LAZ Parking.  Over the weekend they installed a payment kiosk on the wall near the study rooms (see photo).  The current price is $4/hour and we’ve received their assurance that this will not change for the next 18 months (at the soonest).  

Study rooms are still first come, first served, but in order for the door to be unlocked and power to flow to the study room, you must enter payment at the kiosk.  All major credit cards are accepted, even Discover!  You can also pay with $1 Sacagawea coins.   

If you have any questions, please direct them to me.  

2021: Library Staffing Update

Greetings from the Library!

It’s chilly out there today but it’s Opening Day for Baseball (with an audience!), the daffodils are blooming, and vaccination rates continue to rise.   So much to be excited about!  Plans are being made for an in-person fall semester, and so the Library is also making plans for the new normal.

One exciting component of our services will be our new “staff member”: 

photo of Erikson's library with a large robot next to the help desk.

We are excited to join the ranks of libraries from Pretoria, South Africa to Longmont, Colorado to Guelph, Ontario, Canada who have incorporated Artificial Intelligence and Robotics to enhance the services they can offer their communities.

We hope the library’s new robot will be able to help with routine inquiries, such as how to print, where the bathroom can be found, how to reset an email password, and assistance locating books.  Because robots can’t catch the Coronavirus and transmission by surface contact is very low, we hope this will help keep both librarians and library users safe.  The robot will be able to answer 2,500 questions, and we’ll be able to program it to answer even more as software enhancements become available. 

Better yet, the robot will allow us to offer extended hours on the weekend.  Details to come.


We were able to use funding from the American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden last month for this purchase, so the impact on our budget is very minor. 

Part of the work we have to complete before our Robot Underling can take their place alongside sentient beings is to give it a name!  For that we need your help! 

Submit your name suggestion to our email:  and the winning entry will receive unlimited use of the staff side door, which is the shortest path to the bathrooms from the library.  


To learn how other libraries are using their Robot friends, check out some news stories:





Stay safe,

Brittany, Lindsey, and Karen

2021: Last-minute Library Closure due to Librarians' Metal Band Tour

Dear Erikson! 

We are sorry for the short notice but we need to adjust our hours for next week.  We will be closed to the public and only available via email/chat. 

As many have experienced, now that the pandemic is “over,” musical groups have resumed touring to the delight of their fans who can once again see live music (with other people!). 

Many of you might not realize but in their spare time, the librarians are one of these groups!  Our metal band, Overdüe, has been booked on a last-minute tour of the Midwest and after work we are going to fire up the touring van and hit the road!  Here is our tour schedule:

2 April: Indianapolis, Radio Radio, 10pm
3 April: St. Louis, The Pageant, 9pm
4 April: Iowa City, Gabe’s, 8pm
5 April: Minneapolis, Turf Club, 9pm
6 April: Eau Claire, WI, Pablo Center, 8pm
7 April: Madison, WI, High Noon Saloon, 9pm
8 April: CHICAGO!!!.  Come out and see us at the Double Door, 9pm

Our latest band photo L-R: Shelby on bass, Karen on vocals/lead guitar, Allie on drums, Diana on guitar and accordion, which is an unusual instrument for a heavy metal band, but it helps create our unique sound. Not pictured:  Schuyler, who is our tour manager and makes it all happen!


We’ll be back in person on Monday, April 11th.  Please reach out via email and we’ll respond within 24 hours.  

We anticipate another closure in mid-August, our tour booking agent is working on scheduling us for our first tour of the Netherlands!  


P.S. We wouldn’t be librarians if we didn’t note that the 1950 U.S. Census was released today, no foolin’!

For many, this is the first time their parents or grandparents appear in the census.  It will help if you know where your ancestor lived, searching the whole country by name is not yet possible. Did your family immigrate after 1950?  Look up who lived at your current address way back then. Check it out!