Thursday, June 28, 2012

The 817s in American Libraries & ALA Direct!

Thanks to the American Library Association & George Eberhart at American Libraries magazine for their support and coverage of the 817s performance at ALA Anaheim.  The following is reprinted with their permission:

Girl Gone Wild @ ALA

Submitted by George Eberhart on Tue, 06/26/2012 - 10:26
One highlight at the ALA PopTop Stage on Monday was the debut performance of the 817’s (for you Dewey-challenged folk, that’s “American humor and satire”), a comedy troupe consisting of Stand-Up Librarian Meredith Myers, MLIS of Fortune (and singer) Danica Sheridan, and RUSA’s own Mr. Reference, Dave Tyckoson.
In addition to the finale song, a karaoke version of Madonna’s “Girl Gone Wild” (be sure to watch the amazing video, 4:54), the 817’s performed stand-up, improv, an “Occupy ALA” skit, “Guess the Celebrity Authors,” and a “Librarians in the Movies” skit. They also showed videos: “Library Avengers,” which featured some scenes from the exhibit floor, and a hilarious Dos Equis spoof, “The Most Interesting Librarian in the World,” featuring none other than formerALA President Michael Gorman, produced by Tyckoson.

The 817s perform "CHILDREN'S LIBRARIAN Gone Wild" at ALA:

The 817s are..."The LIBRARY Avengers":

Danica Sheridan, MLIS of Fortune, on the PopTop Stage.
Meredith Myers, the Stand-Up Librarian, on the PopTop Stage.
Dave Tyckoson, RUSA's own Mr. Reference, on the PopTop Stage.
The 817s.
Direct link to George's coverage:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yorba Linda Public Library Performance!

Boy, am I going places! It’s like that John Candy movie “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” only with libraries.  On Friday, June 8th, I had a long flight to Ontario, CA after a delay due to thunderstorms in FL, then a bumpy train ride to Los Angeles after a weekend spent in Riverside for my show at the Yorba Linda Public Library, and finally yesterday I rented a car to drive to San Diego before heading up to Anaheim for the library conference on Friday! 

I feel exhausted but also on top of the world.  Did I mention I finally got a library job offer as well?  What a great trip this is turning out to be!  Gosh, it has been a dream of mine since 2006 to do a comedy show at the library…and it finally came true…and I was paid to do it!  I was booked for the performance after meeting Ozgun Turner of the Yorba Linda Public Library back in November at the California Library Association’s annual conference.  He was quick to support me when everyone else was not.  I was still dealing with the after-math of being in the LA Times where most librarians still weren’t sure what to think of me…so they avoided me entirely.

I was nervous about returning to California so soon after just moving away in January, plus putting together a show seemed like a huge task in what was supposed to be time spent looking for a work & not spending money on trips.  Besides, I was booked to perform for two hours!!!!  I hadn’t done a two-hour show since 2003 with my off-off Broadway show “Like a Publicist.”  I knew I could do it but I also knew how much energy and effort it took.

I was also writing material for another show with my comedy troupe ‘The 817’s,’ another blessing that came out of me and that LA Times article.  Two other creative and kind librarians had reached out to me and wanted to do a comedy show at the American Library Association’s national conference in Anaheim.  I had trained at The Second City and loved performing both scripted and improvised comedy, so I was thrilled to partner with them.  I just knew our diversity would also make the show that much better.

When it came time for my show at Yorba Linda Public Library, I decided to do what I do best – everything.  I incorporated my literary stand-up with improv games, audience interactions, video & images, my favorite songs, parody musical performances, and lots of my literary fashions!  Unlike my show in 2003 where I just had the idea for the costumes and someone else made them, this time I designed and sewed all of my outfits myself.  Everything from the skirt to the hat, to the bracelets and purses - what a moment to celebrate how nothing you ever work on is a waste of time!

I was also so happy that my fellow 817’s (Danica and Dave) would also join me at the show.  The day leading up to the performance was full of funny rehearsals and sharing in the laughter that I knew was possible when working with people who also understand how fun and comical libraries can be.

In the end, the show was probably my proudest artistic moment yet.  I had created something that was positive and promoted the thing I loved the most – libraries and literacy, and as a result, I wasn’t nervous or aggressive in my delivery of the material.  I was 100% myself – a first in my ten-year comedy career because the real me isn’t ‘cool’ or confident all the time, she is actually really goofy!

In celebrating two years of the other week, it was wonderful to see that if you truly believe in something and work very hard at it, eventually the right people will come into your life and assist you in realizing your dreams.  I cannot thank Ozgun Turner, Danica Sheridan, and Dave Tykoson enough for standing-up for this Stand-Up Librarian with their never-ending support and encouragement.  I also want to thank the audience for their energy and excitement before, during, and after the show.  Never have I had such an interactive show with an audience feeling the fun I feel on stage.  This is why I like performing in libraries – people who love libraries and love books really get excited about them and can’t contain it.  The performer I am now does not get offended or upset when the show goes off script or out of order. I have learned to enjoy the journey wherever it takes me, and usually it goes in a more comical direction anyway.

Finally, my favorite moment of the show was doing “Librarian Gone Wild” live on stage at the library.  I had previously shared the video I created and edited on You Tube, which is a parody of Madonna’s controversial “Girl Gone Wild.”  That video was a sexier version since I was replicating her dance moves and outfits in the video with live footage from a night club, but it wasn’t what I really envisioned for the song.  I wanted to save that idea for my 817s…and we nailed it!  I cannot wait to perform it again at ALA on the 25th.

Please join us!

Thanks again to: Ozgun Turner & Yorba Linda Public Library, Danica Sheridan and Dave Tyckoson.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The 817s Inaugural Performance at ALA Anaheim!

The theme for the American Library Association’s 2012 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Anaheim is “Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves.”  So it seems fitting that my new library comedy group – THE 817s – are making our inaugural performance at ALA Anaheim on the Pop Top stage Monday, June 25th from 10 – 11am.  

Besides, if you really want to transform anything, isn’t humor a great way to start?

Seriously, this performance is going to be the must-see library event of the year.  Literary stand-up comedy, library-themed improv and sketches, musical parodies, videos, plus, the 817’s are doing the only book cart drill at the entire conference and it is going to be hilarious!  Not to knock the other talent attending the conference, but nobody is going to dance with books but the 817s and do you really want to miss that?

No you don’t...I also give out free bookmarks.  Yes, FREE BOOKMARKS!  See you there…

The 817’s are:
Stand-Up Librarian Meredith Myers
Danica Sheridan, MLS of Fortune
RUSA's own Mr. Reference, Dave Tyckoson

***Here's a sneak peek at the show:

For more information on ALA Anaheim, please visit:

For the Pop Top stage schedule, visit:

To book Stand-Up Meredith Myers and The 817s, write an email to: or visit:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Today I celebrate 2 years of  A lot has happened since my first post on June 1st, 2010 (read that here:, where my only intention after graduating with my Masters degree was to be an advocate for libraries while looking for a job to hopefully work in one.  My mission was simply to show how fun & educational they are – for all ages, for all types of people.  I thought a blog would keep me busy while filling out those job applications and would show those I was interviewing with that I was not sitting by the phone but an active member of the library field with numerous talents and skills to offer my employers. 

On a personal note, I was trying to distract myself from a broken heart and hoping to overcome writer’s block.  In committing to this blog, I was ultimately putting myself first again and trying to find my voice as a writer.  I was forcing myself to write on a weekly basis while showing my strength and vulnerability during life’s crazy experiences.  I hoped to entertain people with my sense of humor but my focus was less on being funny and more on just being myself…a person that does the best she can but never gives up.

It’s odd to me that now 2 years later with endless hours of filming & editing videos, interviewing & interacting with a variety of experts in the field, writing passionate blog posts and jokes that promoted the library (not made fun of it), that I am still unemployed!  How could a person work so hard and not get the one thing she did all of it for?     

Because if there is one person who understands & identifies with the patrons at a library, it is me!  How to file for unemployment?  Done. Start a new business? Done. Living with a crazy roommate and need a quiet place to go?  Done.  I could go on and on with scenarios here but I have to wonder if any of it was worth it.  Or if all that I created was just a huge mistake and actually hurt my chances at getting a job due to the conservative folks out there that just didn’t understand me at all.  My parents are some of those people constantly worried that I am offending someone in HR.

Then I look at what I have experienced over the last 2 years.  What I have learned.  Where I have been.  Who I have met.  I look at the person I was when I began this journey and then at the one in the mirror today.  In actuality she probably accomplished far more than she set out to.  Does it always make sense?  No. Does she ever make mistakes? Yes. Does she have more fun at the library than most people?  Probably.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?

If anybody goes to the library because of something I said or did, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  It doesn’t matter to me if you think I am hilarious or talented or smart or qualified.  What matters to me is that you USE THE LIBRARY!  And if you have fun while you are there, well then I’m really doing something special.  Oh and the words “Stand-Up” in Stand-Up Librarian may have hinted at stand-up comedy, but it actually refers to standing up for libraries and for yourself.  In my opinion, you cannot have one without the other. If you utilize the vast knowledge available to you at the library, you will always have the means to stand up to any curve balls life throws at you.  Think of me as the catcher.  I’m behind you the whole way…if only to remind you that your butt looks great in those pants!  OK, maybe I should turn off the baseball game while I am writing this.  Anyway, thanks for joining me in what has been the greatest adventure of my life.  Support your libraries but have fun doing it!

*In honor of my 2-year anniversary, I have created a special video that incorporates my love for libraries & Madonna.  Like a lot of girls growing up in the 80’s, I have been influenced by her artistry in more ways than even I realized.  While some are quick to judge her often-controversial choices, I have always respected her work ethic and passion.  Madonna has dedicated her life to the art of performance and how it can influence people, making them think and question things.  I don’t always agree with all of her decisions but I will always respect her for being fearless and an incredible entertainer.

I would suggest watching Madonna’s very erotic “Girl Gone Wild” video before watching my "Librarian Gone Wild" so you can understand the parody where I incorporate her books (I feature her Sex book from 1992 and her line of children's books.)  I have posted both videos below for your convenience.  Enjoy!