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On the heels of last night’s post, I saw this older article come across Twitter entitled “100 Things You Should Know About People: #8 — Dopamine Makes You Addicted To Seeking Information”. Apparently, it would appear that librarians are not simply the kind, educated information philanthropists that society and culture has caricatured us. No, we are users and pushers for the dopamine system.
[…] the latest research shows that dopamine causes seeking behavior. Dopamine causes us to want, desire, seek out, and search. It increases our general level of arousal and our goal-directed behavior. (From an evolutionary stand-point this is critical. The dopamine seeking system keeps us motivated to move through our world, learn, and survive). It’s not just about physical needs such as food, or sex, but also about abstract concepts. Dopamine makes us curious about ideas and fuels our searching for information. The latest research shows that it is the opoid system (separate from dopamine) that makes us feel pleasure. -- Read More
10 Best Songs About Libraries and Librarians
"So you’re laid up in bed with the flu like everyone else, with nothing to do but chug Emergen-C, ride the NyQuil train, and gaze glassy-eyed at hours of DVRed shows that you’d usually let languish. It’s time for a new playlist! When even keeping your eyes open starts to hurt, queue up this nerdy mixtape and zonk out to the best in library-inspired jams. Thanks to @flavorpill follower Lauren for the smart (and challenging!) idea."
From what we've been able to piece together, the book "lending" takes place in "libraries". On entering one of these dens, patrons may view a dazzling array of books, periodicals, even CDs and DVDs, all available to anyone willing to disclose valuable personal information in exchange for a "card". But there is an ominous silence pervading these ersatz sanctuaries, enforced by the stern demeanor of staff and the glares of other patrons. Although there's no admission charge and it doesn't cost anything to borrow a book, there's always the threat of an onerous overdue bill for the hapless borrower who forgets to continue the cycle of not paying for copyrighted material.
I don't understand trademarks. From what I know, a trademark is applied to product or service with some exclusivity and can't be used by a different product or service which conflicts with the original trademark. Conversely, if I own the trademark for Bean Shoes, "the shoe made entirely from beans," I can't keep you from selling Bean Caps, "the cap to cover your bean." Or at least, that how it seems to me.
So it seems odd that the American Reading Company sent a cease and desist letter to LibraryThing because they proposed a 100 Book Challenge for 2010 whereby everyone would strive to read 100 books. Apparently the American Reading Company sells products under the brand, "100 Book Challenge" and they don't want to share their ownership of those three (or four; does "100" count as one word or two words hyphenated?) words.
My only response is that the American Reading Company misread the LibraryThing name. It's not the 100 Book Challenge, but the lOO Book Challenge.
Forgive the spelling, but the word is "loo" as in the slang term for lavatory in Britain. The real LibraryThing challenge for 2010 is for everyone to read books in the loo.
I understand that the American Reading Company is concerned about their trademark, but really, these are two entirely different things. I realize that lOO looks similar to 100 to the naked eye, but a computer can see the difference. -- Read More
In Victoria (AU), "Maura the clairvoyant librarian will check your aura, look deep into your eyes and see if you’re more Dan Brown than Salman Rushdie."
Her powers tell her that a good sniff of her customers reveals lots: for instance travel readers often wear "... no deodorant, so in many ways you can tell."
So sniffing our patrons makes me psychic? Wow. Because I do this every day in out library. "Sniff, You go in the area with the plastic covered seats. Or, Sniff, you can go sit on the nice chairs."
"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
"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.