After I took the above photo for the ABC-Along, I realized that I also have a couple pairs of armadillo earrings plus an "armadillo crossing" sign in my office.
My armadillo collection does have a purpose, though. The majority of the armadillo pins above (all except the two in the top left) were bought to support the SCC/MLA scholarship fund.
SCC/MLA (the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association) was my regional medical library group for 21 years. MLA is a national group, with regional chapters. SCC consists of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Now, since I've moved to Iowa, my official regional group is the Midwest Chapter. I remain, though, a member of SCC -- they'll take my dues no matter where I live! I just can't hold office or anything like that (although, since I was president a couple years ago, that's really not such a big deal).
Through SCC, I've met some of the best people I know. It's a great organization, full of bright, funny, caring people, most of whom are health sciences librarians. The idea of leaving SCC when I moved was painful. All of the MLA regional chapters are great, I'm sure, but I think SCC is maybe a little closer-knit than most of the rest. We like each other and have a lot of fun together. At the annual national meeting, SCC sponsors the Armadillo Ball. People from other chapters work to get invited to it! (okay, okay -- there's an open bar....)
You might ask -- what does the armadillo have to do with a bunch of health sciences librarians from five states west of the Mississippi? The story goes that, back in the 1980s, when there was discussion of what the party being planned for MLA should be called, it was suggested that, although our five states were pretty different, we all had the armadillo in common. With that, the party became the Armadillo Ball and the armadillo became our "chapter critter." We have encouraged other chapters to adopt critters, but so far none have. Personally, it seems to me that that indicates a lack of whimsy/light-heartedness/levity on their part. I'm thinking that maybe, now that I'm a member of another chapter, too, I'll try to influence Midwest Chapter to adopt a critter.....