Bibliotecher's blog

My First Library Meme....

Rules of Circ #27 (RoC)

"Rocks, Paper, Scissors."

Guess which item of the aforementioned list I would be more than glad to hand out to every patron who asks for it?

It is so annoying during science fair season, when the library is swarmed by students who only bring blank poster-boards with them and expect to walk out with a finalized project. They will usually draw straws to determine which sucker has to sheepishly walk up to the Circ desk and ask for every single supply needed. It is not only reserved to young students, I have encountered many older patrons who were upset that I would not give them any paper for their book/movie/play/manifesto/complaint which they are currently working on.

It seems like every tax paying citizen feels like it is their given right to use the library as if it was some rogue Staples that just gives ish away. I'm sure with your tax returns, and a calculator we can figure out exactly how much you "contributed" to the library. Here's a clue to save you some long division, it probably is not much more than $50. Sure that sounds reasonable enough for you to pillage the supply closet a time or two, but that money also goes towards the collection which includes countless copies of classic American literature aka the Harlequin series (yes, I do enjoy taking as many jabs at "romance novels" as possible).

So in actuality, the amount of your taxes spent on supplies is extremely low. I'll do you all a favor and break it down in a simple list.

Each patron's taxes affords them to:
- 25 scissor swipes -- Read More

The Library: We Ruin Your Mother's Day.

We were fully staffed yesterday, the first time in months. Even though half of the staff is new, its better than nothing and its great to blame things on the "new guy" [new GAL(s)].

It being Mother's Day also relieved the patron rush, still had a 1000+ door count though.

Only one "bad" patron interaction out of a hundred or so, not too bad. -- Read More

Passive Aggressive Librarians with Printers on the Rampage

The secret's out. There is another stereotype for librarians out right now, passive aggressiveness.

To celebrate National Library week, Buzzfeed collected 20 Passive Aggressive Library Signs. If I knew they were looking for contributions, I could have added another 20 to that.

Here's to National Library Week!

Ewe get a car! Ewe get a car! EWE GET A CAR!

So I am watching the new BBC/Discovery episode of 'Life,' and don't get me wrong, I love nature shows. I am a self professed Shark Week Geek, yeah, I know that sharks don't evolve each year but I still watch it every year.
But I cannot get into this series like I did with its predecessor, 'Planet Earth.' It's not the visuals that I am disappointed with, I have 52 inches of 1080i HD real-estate.

It's the audio. Why is the States' version devoid of Sir David Attenborough --- again!??!
You know, I let the fact that 'Planet Earth' was commented by the Alien movies lady slip by, most likely because of all the eye candy this ground breaking series had to offer. But the second time around, it is going to take more than that for me to believe all the hype. Not only is the US version "dumbed down" but Oprah's narration is unimpressive and does the series no justice. Score one for the Brits.

As the saying goes, the sequel is never better than the original.

Patrons Behaving Badly

Last week it was the patron who came in well beyond the point of intoxication. We had to call the cops and later an ambulance to get rid of him and his alcoholic vapor breath.

The week before that it was a recurring problem with the Quiet Study room. The first incident involved a patron turning the carrel desk into their private bar. They downed some beer and left the bottles for us to pick up.

A few days later, a patron decided that he wanted to eat his steak dinner in the Quiet Study. He pretty much had a picnic spread with him, replete with all the necessary accoutrement: a dinner plate, fork, steak knife, bib a la napkin, and sauce. When he was told that food was not allowed in the library, he was completely indignant.

Where do these people come from?

What's the Deal with Librarians...

In my best Jerry Seinfeld impression: "What's the deal with librarians and their holiday themed sweaters?" I swear, it seems that at every branch I have been to, it seems like it's a requirement to have a closet full of festive sweaters for the whole year.
Are they the "in gifts" to give to that newly graduated MLS student?? If that's the case so be it, I wear a size S or M, and don't forget the gift receipt!

I Spy: Library Edition

Yesterday was incredibly busy. There was a children's program in the morning and it was raining book returns from the sky. The door count just eked over the 1500 threshold.

But it was a good Saturday because certain managers were not working which can just make your day.

With the masses of people coming through the doors, it was a great opportunity to people watch, if you weren't too busy trying to explain to patrons why they have late fees. I had one lady get so upset over a .75 (7-5 CENTS, 3 quarters) late fee, that she didn't want to borrow the items she brought to the Circ desk and stormed out of the library.

I spotted this one patron and he really stood out, I asked one of my coworkers, "Hey, did you see that guy in the zebra print button up?" I mean, how could you miss something like that? She said she didn't and asked where he went, I pointed her in the direction of the study desks in the corner of the library.
On her way back to the Circ desk, she stopped by the Info desk to ask another coworker if she saw him as well, to which our Info coworker said, "No but did you see the homeless guy with a tampon stuck up his nose?"

It was at this point that I could only concede that that trumped my find and I lost this round of 'I Spy' but I'll be back (shakes fist towards the Info desk).

Dog Earred Pages

Ah, dog earred pages, the traceable cookies of the pre-HTML era.
When I came across this book in the bookdrop today, I saw two pieces of paper sticking out and I was hoping they were the $100 bookmarks the previous patron forgot to take out. But alas, they were just dog-earred pages. Funny thing about them was that the first one was on the chapter about "Body Odors" and the second one was on "Fertility."
Methinks, one could definitely be an inhibitor of the other.

MLIS v1.0

This will be my 3rd week into my first semester for my MLIS.

Here are some of my preconceived notions before the semester started:

1. I would be one of the few males in the class.
2. There would be a lot of younger classmates compared to other advanced degrees.
3. I could find a full time job and handle the class work with ease.
4. My classmates would be considered my "competition" in the future job search.
5. Again, I thought there would be tons of young, attractive, bookish females in my classes

The reality:

1. Surprisingly, there are a lot more guys in my classes then expected.
2. A LOT of my classmates are older, like "coworker-older;" a few of them mentioned that they are in career transitions while other are forced retirees.
3. Even though my classes are blended courses (online and face to face), the amount of work for projects and papers is pretty hefty. One of my project's requirements is almost a part time job in itself.
4. I never realized the spectrum of careers an MLIS can be used for; quite a few of my classmates are planning to work in law libraries.
5. Yeah, I'm fairly disappointed so far with the guy-girl ratio.

Rules of Circulation #09 (RoC)

"There is No Such thing as Patron - Circ Desk Confidentiality."

I don't know what it is about the circ desk, but it seems like patrons seem to frequently throw the general sense of self disclosure out the window. It's quite similar to someone telling their whole life story to a bartender at the bar.

Tonight I was part of one of the most awkward discussions I have had at the circ desk.

A mother came up to me at the circ desk and told me that her two children had been out of the country for the past year and that they needed new cards. Sure thing, easy transaction.
When I was looking up her children's accounts by searching with her last name, she saw the PC screen and said to her children, "Wow there are a lot of people with our last name, I mean, my ex-husband's last name." Her son looked up at her and asked, "You and dad got a divorce???" She quickly changed the subject by having him sign his name on his new card. I tried not to react at all, but I may have winced when he asked. -- Read More

Your Books are Due back on Hallmark Day.

Hallmark Day

Work yesterday was rough, I don't know what brought all the patrons out but they came out in droves. I didn't have any time to check the Jets/Colts game on my phone at all, but I digress.

When I told the patrons their due date, surprisingly, only one patron out of the near 100 patrons I interacted with actually said, "Oh, Valentine's Day." I never referred to their due dates as that Hallmark Holiday, but I would just say the 14th of next month. It was funny to watch the reaction of the couples that I helped. The females would nudge their husbands/boyfriends in the side and give them a look, while the guys would just roll their eyes. A couple of the guys would just mouth back, "I know."

The most awkward was a preface to a fight on the car ride home: she asked where he made reservations, he seemed to not care and shrugged it off, she gave him "the look," which continued on their way out to the parking lot.

Gotta love those unique patron interactions.

'The Librarians' US version

The Librarians

The US definitely needs to import the Australian TV series 'The Librarians' here.

It worked for 'The Office.'

I made this picture for one of my MLIS class presentations, we'll see how it goes this Tuesday night.

Book recall, ban these Books! They'll Burn Your House Down (literally)

Book Recall
Well now I've seen it all. There's a recall on SEVERAL DIY (do it yourself) books. (reminds me of 'The 40 Year Old Virgin' Steve Carell-"Do you like to do it yourself?")

Here's the official government link:

The Hot Books are:
Title ISBN Publication Date
AmeriSpec Home Repair Handbook 978-0-376-00180-1 January 2006
Lowe's Complete Home Improvement and Repair 978-0-376-00922-7
978-0-376-01098-8 September 2005
December 1999
Lowe's Complete Home Wiring 978-0-376-00928-9 May 2008
Sunset Basic Home Repairs 978-0-376-01581-5
978-0-376-01025-4 February 1995
January 1975
Sunset Complete Home Wiring 978-0-376-01594-5 December 1999
Sunset Complete Patio Book 978-0-376-01411-5
978-0-376-01399-6 January 2006
January 1998
April 1990
Sunset Home Repair Handbook 978-0-376-01258-6
978-0-376-01256-2 October 1998
February 1985
Sunset Water Gardens 978-0-376-03849-4 January 2004
Sunset You Can Build - Wiring 978-0-376-01596-9 January 2009

Sucks for anyone who has used these for instructions.

You Know You Work in a Library when...

What's the deal with librarians and cats?

You know you work at a library when your coworkers gather into a group and go "awww" over the latest kitten calendar for over 5 minutes.

Rules of Circ #05 (RoC)

Rules of Circulation #05 (RoC)

"Red or Blue Pill"

When a patron signs up for a new card or needs a replacement, I always ask them, "wallet sized or keychain sized card?"

I try not to speak so quickly, but the patron just stares at me quizzically. It is at this point that I pull out each card and hold one in each hand and ask the patron again. I feel like I'm Morpheus asking Neo, whether or not he wants the story to end or stay in Wonderland.

Is it just me, or is this a fairly easy question to answer in under 10 seconds, I could hum the Final Jeopardy theme song and they still couldn't make a choice. But alas, not all patrons are the same, when it comes to this decision you can pretty much categorize them: Straight Forward, Bank Robber, Shoot First-Ask Questions Later, and the Flip-Flopper.

The Straight Forward patron is the easiest to handle, they will give you their answer right then and there, crisis avoided.

I label the second type the Bank Robber, because much like someone at the teller line, they don't care just as long as you hand it over. These are the type that are in a hurry to get in, get their card, and jump on the public computers to update their Facebook status or Tweet to the whole world that they got their first library card. -- Read More

Rules of Circulation #14 (RoC)

Rules of Circulation #14 (RoC)

"I Can Name That Patron in Two Adjectives"

My coworkers and I encounter a lot of people during our time on the desk and while covering the phones. Unless you are a frequent patron, exceptional nice (or attractive), troublesome, or for a lack of a better word, down right "quirky," we do remember your name. And if you are really special, we even may have a nickname for you. Not that it means it's a bad thing. Several of my female coworkers have dubbed one guy the "hot dad."

Also, if you have a unique name, we will most likely point it out to each other. Seriously, what else are we supposed to talk about at work: cats? recipes? sewing/crocheting? I'd fail on all three topics.

We don't make fun of patrons, okay, so *some* of my coworkers do, but when you deal with hundreds of people during the week it can be hard to recall certain patrons unless you describe them like "Porn Dude," you know, that creepy guy that always looks at porn on the public internet stations without regard for those around him.

I know it would be pointless of me to say not to take it personally but really, it is personal.

What's In a Name Part I.

What's In a Name Part I.

My PICAW (Partner In Crime At Work) and myself found ourselves bored at work when we were covering the phones.
I randomly searched for unique names in our patron database and was quite surprised what names (first and middle) popped up. So what started out as a way to pass the time turned into a competitive game.

Our list became quite extensive and we have tried to keep it organized, somewhat...



We found out that our library system has its own "United Nations" of patrons' names when it came to countries along with some other cities.

Countries and Cities: -- Read More


Rules of Circulation #23 (RoC)

RoC #23

"Do Not Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth"

I had a gentleman approach me at the desk yesterday asking if there was a manager on duty. I've learned from past experience that my lack of authority > manager's ineptitude.
So I told him that I could look in the back for one to which he replied, "Well, maybe you can help me."

He had overdue fees on his card in excess of $50. All for the same 4 books, he apparently failed to comprehend the "Renewal" process. He was playing his violin and was talking about how he needed it to study and before he knew it, his fees procreated into the amount it was today.

He asked if there "was anything that could be done about it." Like he was expecting me to wave a magic wand and *poof* make it entirely disappear, which in all reason I could. But I used my "Win/Win Tactic," I told him that if he paid half of it today, I could forgive the rest. Apparently that wasn't good enough for him because didn't jump at this 'once in a lifetime opportunity' that I just presented him. I even told him that any manager would not even offer to forgive this much, he still didn't accept it.

I know times are rough and I am more than willing to help out patrons but offer them an inch and some of them expect a mile.

Bless the Swedes

Bless the Swedes

If it was not for them we would not have meatballs, easy to assemble furniture, and apparently to this children's series cover: square beef patties from Wendy's.

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