Saturday, October 31, 2009

What's the Deal...

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!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

You Belong To The City

You belong to the night... Okay, enough Glenn Frey. 

I now have my old position out at the City library, so now I will have more stories about the library to blog about HUZZAH!

I went in today to fill out all of the paperwork and today was also the first day they switched their program over to an older version of what I work with at the County.  Boy, was there a LOT of problems with that upgrade.  It's like going from Win 95 to Vista.  With me being the only one with "extensive" working knowledge of the program, I was put to work, as one of my newly regained coworkers put it --- "before the ink even dried."

Don't Leave Home Without It

I charged a patron a $2 internet guest pass despite her having a library card, which she left at home, per the new fee changes which were put in place during the summer.

After she used the internet she came back to the desk to check out some books.  The lady working with me on the desk told her it was a $1 charge for her to check out books because she didn't bring her library card.  The patron showed my coworker the receipt that she already paid for an internet pass, but my coworker said that it was the rule.  The patron nearly broke down into tears and said, "I lost my job, I'm unemployed, I just filed for bankruptcy and $3 means a lot right now."  My coworker said she would go talk to the manager and she got up and walked to the backroom.

My coworker came back and told the patron that the manager said that was the rule but she was personally going to not charge her and said that she could get in trouble for it.  In all honesty, my coworker was playing good cop, bad cop.  Nearly anyone would have checked the lady's materials out free of charge without her having to open up about her financial straits. 

After the patron left, my coworker said to me that she only did it because she was unemployed.  She then commented about the books she checked out; asking why they weren't about job hunting or resume building.  She stared out the front windows and commented that she hoped the patron wasn't just lying to avoid the fee, she has been in the library system a lot longer than I have which might have be the reason for her degree of jadedness.  Hope that doesn't happen to me.

Libraries CAN be Exciting...

During my last hour on the desk today, I noticed a police car with its lights on pull into the parking lot. I figured he probably caught someone speeding. Next thing I see is him pulling up to the front entrance and going up to a lady that was sitting on a bench near the doors. He handcuffs her and another squad car pulls up and they start searching her.

A patron walked in with her young son and made a comment about how libraries used to be a safe place. The lady I was working with on the desk whispered to me to not make any comments. She's also on loan from a different branch as well.

I don't know what's wrong with this particular branch, its not in an unsafe location. This lady also told me about the time she asked this couple if they needed help. The woman said in Spanish that she needed to hide the guy. This caught her by surprise and she didn't have time to respond before the couple ran out of the door. Shortly after a police car pulled up and a cop searched the library for them.

All I have to say is that I really miss my "problem patrons" at my branch.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Riddle Me This...

There are 4 Circ side managers scheduled today, but only 4 hours of circ desk scheduled between them all -- wth...

Waste of Shelf space...

Yeah, so knowing President Garfield's dog was named Veto might, *MIGHT*, be helpful during Double Jeopardy; this book needs to be weeded, ASAP.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm the Lifeguard Who Doesn't Like to Swim...

It's well known at my branch that I don't read much, if at all, unless its for school. So when I was asked at my temporary branch if I read a lot (I assume that it's widely assumed that all people working in a library like to read), I simply told her, "Not at all, I'm the lifeguard who doesn't like to swim."

But I am trying to change all of that with my semester off. I recently finished, "Gang Leader for a Day," yes, I know you're supposed to underline titles, but I can't on my Crackberry. I stopped by my home branch to pick up some holds. I have yet to finish "The World is Flat" before one of my other holds comes in, "Hot, Flat and Crowded." My coworkers confronted me about the second book I had come to pick up, McKenzie Phillips' "High on Arrival." First, they were shocked I was reading (haha-funny one guys), then they were startled I was reading this title (it's for my mom!), finally they were dismayed when I didn't recognize any of The Mamas and the Papas' tunes they were, uhm, how should I describe it..."singing"?

Week in Review

So I've been at my temporary branch for a week now and have a pretty good feel for the place.

Overall, it's an "okay" branch.  I wouldn't be willing to stay here permanently. 

The patrons are more patient, I guess they've been trained to be that way with 3 self check out machines and only 1 full service computer.  Lines can get pretty long in a short amount of time, but I have never seen or heard any complaints about the wait.  That is completely different than my home branch.  If a person has to wait for 30 seconds for assistance, they go into full ballistic mode. 

The branch is set up like a big square with the stacks on opposites sides, so there really isn't any where to hide.  I'm not saying I hide all the time, but it is a good distraction to disappear into the stacks for a few.

The backroom set up is wide open, it's not the cubicle farm I've come to like.  Info and Circ staff are interspersed among each other but there isn't much interaction between the two camps.  At least we joke around and talk to each other at my branch.

Even though I already have a maternal coworker at this branch, I'm counting down the days to go back to my original ones...

Monday, October 5, 2009


Just got my scores in the mail: Analytical 4.5 Verbal 510 Quantitative 640.
Needless to say I am much relieved and happy with my scores(don't have to pay another buck-fifty to retake it!).

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Should Be Transferred More Often...

So I can get more going away presents. Can't wait to see what I get when I come back.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

You Don't Trade Your Best Player

Yesterday before I started my shift, I stood in the doorway of my Circ manager to let him know that I needed to talk to him sometime about him messing up my schedule.... Again.
And then he stood up and told me that HE needed to talk to ME about MY scheduling.  He told me to take a seat and I was completely taken aback by this because "fixing my schedule" just involved me standing next to him while he moved my hours around on the spreadsheet. 
I seriously thought he was going to fire me by the way he was speaking.  He then told me that a decision was made and that I would be transferred to another branch to help cover under-staffing.
I was relieved I still had a job, and it's only 6 weeks.  The County is going to hire a handful of the 2000+ applicants who applied for the 14 positions open.  This branch I am transferring to isn't all too far from where I live and I haven't worked there before so I'm open to the experience.
Some things I don't understand about this decision, is that my current branch is much more busier and we are already understaffed.  So my departure will be rough on my coworkers.  I also found out that someone from my first branch is also going to be transferred with me, so why me as well?
I think my P.I.C.A.W. (Partner In Crime At Work) is more affected by this decision than I am.  She looked at the daily schedules to see if we were working the desk together and if we weren't, who either one of us could switch with.  For some reason, management hasn't rarely been scheduling us to work the desk together.  I don't know why, nothing bad has happened, we do our work, we don't mess around---ageism I tell ya.
One of my coworkers compared this situation to when she was in school and a student was being sent to a different class.  The teacher would pick the brightest, smartest, best dressed student on their way, telling them to, "make a good impression."  Well, hell yea I'm the brightest and smartest.  But I think it's mostly because I am not taking any classes this semester and my availability is wide open, whatever, I'm still the best dressed.  I know I will be sorely missed not just because of my greatness but because I actually work hard and pull my own weight.
Apparently the Assistant Circ Manager felt the need to email the WHOLE branch about it, so several Info staff have talked to me about it.  Miss L first found out about it when Miss S told me that she'd miss me and Miss L turned to me and said, "You're leaving??"  Miss S pointed out that there was an email from the Assistant Circ Manager, to which Miss L replied, "Oh, I saw it was from him SO I didn't read it."  Her first question for me was if they asked me, no, they didn't ask they just did.  This instantly sent her on a rant about the mismanagement of our branch.  Too bad they didn't ask because one of my coworkers has been itching to transfer to that branch PERMANENTLY.  And I am sure she would have jumped at the chance to work there even if its for 6 weeks.  The branch manager came up to me TWICE during my shift to talk about it.  She kept going on and on about how much I will enjoy it there and they are a bunch of great people, and that the branch manager there is her friend, and that I am a great worker and I am going to make a great impression on them.  I felt like she was being facetious and in reality I am going to hate it and she knows it.  She also kept thanking me and in my head I was thinking that I didn't really have a choice in the matter.
I will be missing Halloween and the bi-annual booksale which is always fun to work, but it'll be a good distraction.  More importantly, I'll be back, they can't get rid of me that easily