Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lost in Translation

I had a patron bring up a book to the Circ Desk and handed me their passport. So I used it to search for their account and when I showed them the screen query that their name was not coming up they said in broken English, that they have to be in there. I then asked if they even had a library card and lo and behold they never did. So I gave them application form and when I was done entering their info, they asked how much. I told them that most services are free and told them the few occasions were fines may occur. They asked me how much for the book, I tried my best to explain that it was free to borrow and we went back and forth for a few minutes. I'm not sure if there's a universal hand sign for "due back in 3 weeks," but I don't think the library will be seeing that book again...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bookdrop Danger #76

Candy Jelly Fish and Precalculus don't play well.
I was the fortunate one who was working the bookdrop when this item came through. I got so mad because I touched this foul thing that I wanted to charge the patron for the damaged fee because the "fish" were literally fused with the book. But a circ manager said not to and to just discard it. That's management for you...

Go figure...

It's almost 3 AM and I'm wide awake. Why is it, that during midterms and finals I drank Red-Bull in the hopes of staying awake to "study" til the early morning hours, only to go to bed around my usual bedtime. But now I have 1 can of Diet Mountain Dew at 10 PM and it keeps me up this late... At least I have an afternoon shift tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"District 9" movie review.

You know when someone tries to tweak a tried and true recipe to make it "their own" and it just isn't the same and you end up disappointed. They ask you to try it and they eagerly watch you eat it and ask you, "How is it?" Before you can even swallow, all you can really truthfully describe it as is - "It's different."

That's exactly how I feel about Peter Jackson's "District 9." The previews made this seem like it would be a pretty good movie but don't judge a movie by its preview. There have been many successful movies involving aliens coming to Earth: "Independence Day," "Men in Black."

One aspect I didn't like was that it switched between too many camera perspectives. It started out as a 1st-person "documentary" style movie a la "Cloverfield," which made that movie "different" too but in a good way. It later alternates between surveillance/security camera angles to regular 3rd person perspective.

I didn't like the whole "humans are heartless and prejudice and aliens have feelings too" sentiment. Like I'm supposed to leave this movie feeling like I need to change the way I see things in this world. It really made the movie all too predictable. I felt like this movie tried to be a thought provoking movie about racial bias like "Crash."

I wasn't surprised when the couple sitting next to me walked out after an hour or so. I walked out asking myself what happened to this cool movie I expected to see.

It could be entertaining if you're looking for something mindless to zone out through. The graphics were good, even though they spent most of it blowing people into a million pieces.

I look to the ratings on RottenTomatoes to determine if a movie is worth paying for, but this was one of those few occasions I disagree. Everyone claiming its fresh are touting that this is a different kind of sci-fi flick, and yes it is but I don't like the sour aftertaste it leave behind.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Your Books are Due Back...

Last Friday was an 'odd' day for a lack of a better word. Regular, 3-week, material checked out that day is due back on September 11. Just hearing that date brings back memories. I just told patrons that they "are due back next month on the 11th." I didn't want to link the date with 'September' or '9.' I remember working at (uuggghhh) Best Buy during 2001, and an elderly shopper became completely distraught when she saw a display for "Die Hard" which depicts an explosion on top of two skyscrapers.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You can't attract librarians with vinegar

I got into two separate arguments with a patron today. It would have just been one, but fortunately for me she's hard headed AND hard of hearing. She kept mentioning about how her "regular" branch said its ok to renew this particular book or use one of my favorite loopholes, check it in and check it right back out. But these particular materials are only on loan for 2 weeks without renewal because they are in high demand and patrons don't like being #258 in the holds queue for the latest James Patterson. The second time she came up to me and I told her we can't, she had the nerve to tell me, "we went through this before, I told you (blank) said its ok." This is where I leaned forward and I told her that I already told her that we do not do that. She snatched the book and said that she would take it to her "other branch" and get it done there. Unfortunately I didn't grab her name so I wasn't able to send an email to that branch. In all honesty, if she wasn't such a b!+*# and played the sweet, naïve, innocent patron approach I just *might* have looked out for her. Guess we'll never know...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

With August comes preseason football. With preseason football comes the end of a 7 month drought. Here's to a good season.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Gotta Suck It Up...

T-minus 40 days and counting til I take my GRE, or as I have come to call it the "G - R - Eazzzy." I have no qualms with the verbal part, it's the math that I'm stressing over. I have not taken a math course in over 2 years. Which I am sure is more recent than some other test takers, but I am not those other people. So here's to finally sitting down and studying. Wish me luck : \

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

That Time of the Month...

Today will be the first staff meeting in the past 2 months. Because of the budget crunch, the higher ups realized that monthly meetings: staff, info, circ, was too much. Instead of 3 meetings a month, each section meets every other month (which is still one too many from my perspective). They're trying to bribe and butter everyone up with pizza from the Friends of the Library. Nice try, have an Open Bar and I'll be there.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Funny People" Movie Review

I have watched more movies than I have read books the past couple of years, so I don't think I could suggest any good books to read, does the "Where's Waldo?" Trilogy count?
First off, let me say how much I enjoy Judd Apatow's movies. I am a huge fan and I like the clique that his movies bring along: Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, Aziz Ansari, etc. I really do, I would marry Leslie Mann in a heartbeat.
But just because Adam Sandler's career has been going downhill (remember "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," I wish I didn't) does not mean he needs to drag down these talented people with him. I used to like Adam Sandler's movies; even the immature Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison. I feel like his latest flicks have been last ditch efforts to get screen time and some extra paychecks before he calls it quits. Like the majority of people who have reviewed this movie, I agree that this movie is much too long. I don't know if this is a spoiler alert, but Adam Sandler's character has a deadly disease he is battling with, and to be honest I wish his character died. I really do, because with each passing minute of being put through this, I was dying. I have watched a lot of movies and have only witnessed people leaving during 3 of them: "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" an elderly couple walked right out after, I believe, the third scene of Jason Segel's privates, "Dave Chappelle's Block Party" I assume the people thought it would have been more of his stand up instead of a concert, and this horrible, horrible movie.
I just feel like Adam Sandler was a main contributing factor as to why this movie didn't flow as well as other Apatow works. He does not belong in this "group of friends."I can see what Apatow was aiming for: a serious, real life situation that is supposed to be naturally filled with comedy when you have comedians hanging out with each other. But this attempt fell flat on its face. The amount of penis and testicle jokes is ridiculous. I am not saying I have never laughed at those kind of jokes, but seriously, after the 10th comment about that certain region you quickly tire of it. How can you have a serious issue mixed in with simple and idiotic penis jokes?I am unsure why people thought it was so funny, maybe I just expected a comedic blockbuster like "40 Year Old Virgin" or "Knocked Up." Those movies contained real life situations where the comedy flowed naturally and didn't feel forced or faked.
The comedy was highly lacking and I think this movie labeling this movie as a Comedy is highly misleading and should be changed to Drama. While they are at it, the title should also be changed to "Funny People in an Unfunny Movie," or at least add a question mark to it: "Funny People?" For shame Judd...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hard to Argue...

with a 3 mile, 8 minute commute. It makes it hard to consider other branches to work at. Sure as hell beats the last library I worked at. The fastest way there involved a tollroad and it took up to 45 minutes to get home on a Friday. I feel like my branch has gotten stale. The youngest one in management has officially turned to the darkside and gotten the management disease that seems to plague anyone with "manager" in their title.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

P.A.T.R.O.N. Act

Providing Access To Reserved Objects Neatly

Things rarely ever change at most libraries. This includes procedures and shelving locations. That's just the way it is; if something works, why bother forming a committee to look into the matter and develop a new system.
So when our branch manager mentioned switching to self pick up of holds 8 months ago, I can admit I had my reservations. At the time the holds were behind the Circ desk and patrons would have to wait for us to find or not find their reserved materials.
I remember when I was working at another library when I brought a hold for patron and she stated that at her hometown library their holds are self pick up. I said something to the effect of privacy issues and I was completely unbiased when I stated it. She instantly got all worked up and said that at her work, she's a nurse, that when you're dying it doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, black or white, female or male, you're dying the same way and that people are too uptight about it. Well, how am I supposed to reply to that???
I have also heard that the library was threatened with a lawsuit because apparently one woman's husband said he was picking up her holds for her and the books turned out to be about 'Divorce' and it turned into a big mess.

Self Pick Up took some getting used to and there are still some kinks to it. Sometimes you will see some patrons browsing the holds shelf and you have to walk around the Circ desk and tell them that these are being held for someone. And for some reason people assume the books are already checked out to their account, I can only guess because they see a slip of paper with their name on it and they think its their check out print out. We've had to chase after a few people who have walked in, grabbed their holds, and walk right out. And those are the few we've been attentive enough to catch.

We have only had one problem with patron's holds, apparently she's tried to pick up a hold a couple of times but each time her holds aren't there. Yeah, it could be an error on our side but we've had volunteers who work on the holds say that they remember placing this lady's holds on the shelf. Someone has a grudge against her apparently and that's bound to happen when you can't keep an eye on the holds the whole time.

Overall, it is a blessing since the number of people working the Circ desk at any given moment is reduced.
The Circ desk is quickly becoming more automated. With all the problems of patrons returns not being checked in properly, I'm just waiting for the day when patrons will be able to check in their own returns. Heck, why stop there, might as well let them reshelve it too