Motion to make bar service mandatory at meetings

How to Run a Meeting - coverThe First Book of
How to Run a Meeting

I am not kidding.  Oh, where do I start with this one? Physically, the book is in perfect shape.  That’s probably because no one ever checked it out. (There’s a big surprise.) The illustrations are just awful and so dated.  I am quite certain the information is probably okay (has the world of Robert’s Rules changed very much?), but the text is pretty dense and I can’t remember ever attending a meeting (especially as a kid) that embraced committees, sub-committees, by-laws, etc as in-depth as this book suggests.  In fact if any club in my school had operated as fanatically as this book , I would have immediately dropped the club and moved on to something else.

One of the truisms about library service is that one has to attend a LOT of bad meetings. (Is “Bad Meetings” redundant?) Both Holly and I have stories that would curl your hair or make you cringe for the library profession as I am sure all of you do as well. I also have a working theory that the greater number of librarians involved, the more awful the meeting. By all means share your stories in the comments.  I would love to hear that I am not alone.

In a meeting,


How to Run a Meeting - Germane or Not

How to Run a Meeting - committees


  1. Evidently, you cannot hold a meeting if your are in Canada.

    And I know single colors are much cheaper to publish, but what a hideous choice of… brown?

  2. I love those 50/60s/70 with that tri-color theme in the illustrations. However, yes, Lurker, this choice of brown is a hideous one indeed.

  3. I love the comment on page 36 to ask your librarian for help in planning a program — followed by a picture that makes it look as if the program is, well, a librarian doing a strip-tease.

  4. @Dinah – Maybe they went to the wrong Library. (WARNING! NOT SAFE FOR WORK!)

    Man, I hate meetings. It seems like most of the time it’s information we’ve already gotten via e-mail. And no matter what type of meeting I go to, be it work related or something outside of work, there’s always one person who can drag the meeting on for an extra hour by harping on one question they’ve already gotten the answer for. They just don’t like the answer they were given.

  5. Bubbles, you are promoted to Secretary if you just…

    (a) know how to mix a decent Martini

    (b) know how to smoke

    (c) sleep with Don Draper

    (Typing and shorthand are optional. That cocktail dress will be just fine for work).

  6. So are they suggesting there should be a stripper named “Bubbles” present at every meeting, or is the illustrator desperately trying to hold the readers’ attention because the text is so dull?

  7. I have to say, that book looks pretty fantastic as a time capsule of how to inject casual sexism even into something as boring as how to run a meeting. It looks like she is supposed to be nude under that dot.

  8. This book might have been helpful for the facilitator of a focus group meeting that I recently attended regarding a particular library service. Have you ever tried to get 8 librarians to focus on ANYTHING? The gavel on the cover would have gotten a workout that day…

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