The Ballad of the Earl of Sandwich


Quick note: This is not library related, but it is literary and has to do with food. I’m sure you’ll be able to stomach it.

A few years back I was wondering about where the name “sandwich” came from and happened upon an interesting tale for how the term came into being. It was such a fun story that I decided to flesh it out a bit more and put it into verse. Even though the history behind it is somewhat dubious, it’s still a good yarn. Here it is in it’s entirety:

The Earl of Sandwich took his pleasures
In food and drink quite far from bland,
But also took quite drastic measures
In cards to never miss a hand.

One evening in a game engrossed,
That seemed was never wont to cease
The Earl, he dined on cheese and toast
And meat that filled his hands with grease.

“This bloody food, these bloody cards,
The deck is soiled,” the Earl thus spoke.
“One must invent a remedy!
I’m just the clever bloke!”

“Waiter,” he cried, “bring me some bread,
Two slices should suffice.
And with it bring some meat and cheese…
An onion would be nice.”

Then gathered he these fixin’s three
Upon a single slice of bread.
He topped it with another slice.
The crowd, though, all went dead.

Uproarious laughter did ensue!
He had them in a stitch.
One gent remarked, “I’d like one too!
Bring me out a Sandwich!”

Invented not by cook, nor chef,
Nor floozy serving girl,
The sandwich hero we all know
Is our clever gambling Earl.

© Copyright 2009 Andy Burkhardt


Library Social Media Posts That Get Responses

image from mars_discovery_district on Flickr

image from mars_discovery_district on Flickr

Looking back on your social media use of your library or organization is important. Whether your blogging or using tools like Facebook and Twitter we need to be scientists. We need to conduct experiments. Social media is great for this because you get rapid, measurable feedback. You can see what sorts of posts get shared, liked, retweeted, or commented on. Once you understand what people are responding to you can then try to replicate it, thus improving your posts. Below are three types of posts that get responses from our library’s social media following:

  • Questions – Want a response? Ask a question. It’s one of the most natural exchanges in conversation. People are much more willing to reply to a question than to a statement. If you can phrase your informational post as a question or add a question to it you have a better chance of a response. Example: “Who loves chili? Chili cookoff today at 2:00pm in the library.”
  • Fun – Posts that are lighthearted and fun often get responses, at least from our students. You don’t have to only post about library news or events and not everything has to be informational. Social media is about being social so you need a balance of business and pleasure. Here’s an example of having fun with the Kanye meme that swept the web.
  • Talking about others – Only talking about yourself is boring in real life. The same is true in the virtual world. Blogger Chris Brogan is an evangelist for talking about others and I find that he’s right. When I retweet people’s content from our library account it gets shared again. When I post on the library Facebook about a student group organizing a Quidditch team the organizers appreciate it. Talk about others and you’ll be rewarded.

These types of posts got the most responses at our library. It may not be exactly the same for yours. Remember to experiment. Try some unorthodox posts sometimes. Try different posts and see what works and what doesn’t, but make sure you learn from your mistakes.

What sorts of social media posts have been working for your library?