Monday, December 27, 2010

I Got My MLIS from Oxford, Suck on That!

So it is official, I am halfway through my MLIS degree.  As long as my plan goes accordingly, this time next year I will have a paper that says I am fully accredited in aiding patrons Facebook stalk and solving printer jams.  But a lot can happen in a year so I'm keeping my expectations low.

Last week, I received this generic spam letter in the mail.  My mom got all excited, still is, at the prospect of the so called "bragging rights" of an Oxford bound son.  What sounds better than paying for 9 credits at an 18 credit premium, and better yet, credits that do not even apply to my degree.

Maybe if I had a million sitting in the bank, but then again why would I be getting an MLIS.  It just does not appeal to me.  I want to get in and get out, I have a two year plan for this degree and no stuffy resume filler will deter me from it!  I can get decent fish and chips here anyways.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do You Have to Love Reading to be a Librarian?

It's well known in the branch that I don't read books often.  I do read (webpages, emails), I know how to, it's just that I am surrounded by too many things to be distracted by.  Granted if the power went out, and my cell phone and laptop were both dead, and I didn't have any gas in the car to go anywhere, I might, just *might* pick up something to read.  The most recent book I've read would have to be the Basher series, the cartoons are bad ass.

I will read if I have to, usually for school or food preparation.  It seems as though all of my MLIS professors love to read and they just shove article after article down your throat.  I honestly would read them if they weren't saying the same thing each semester.  It has become extremely redundant to be given the umpteenth article about how important libraries and librarians really are, blah blah blah.

Don't even get me started on the textbooks!  They have to be the least interesting thing since I took a social class in undergrad.  Suffice it to say, the textbooks I buy at the beginning of the semester are pretty much in the exact same condition at the end.  Except for my final exam for one of my recent classes.  The professor wanted us to cite page numbers in our responses.  I'm glad that I even bought the damn thing to begin with.  I'm pretty sure that I could go through this whole program without buying or reading a textbook.

If being a non-avid reader will affect my prospective career in whatever librarianship route I choose, who knows?  I don't see myself going the public route so reader advising wouldn't be in my future.

The main thing I learned from that class is that indexes are a life saver.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nor Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Snow, Nor Plague...

Yesterday's door count was a spine-breaking 381. Get it!? Spine-breaking.... Oh nevermind.  That astounding figure is probably off by a lot too, because out of the few patrons we had, several have small bladders so every time they would walk past the counter to use the restroom the numbers went up.  I've seen the Branch Manager walk back and forth between the counter several times a day for no apparent reason. Cookin' the books the way I see it.

The weather wasn't all too bad yesterday, but it wasn't exactly sunny skies and clear roads.

I was manning the desk alone, fighting off the endless hordes who wanted to check out The Girl Who Boxed a Beehive or was it The Girl Who Attacked an Anthill.  I can never keep up with what those crazy patrons are into.

My coworker who was working later in the day, covering a different branch, IMed my phone asking why the library was still open in this kind of weather. Granted it wasn't blizzard-like conditions, but the schools were closing early, damn you school system! I replied, "Because people need to update their Facebook statuses."

Until people get Facebook chips implanted into their brains, the library will always be open.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This Semester's Final-Final Finally...

 Last night I did my presentation on Federal Depository libraries.  Taking a Government Information class sounded so like a great idea, but was I wrong... Apparently you can get all you want from Wikileaks... Should have taken Cataloging.

So that's one down, I have a take home exam due this Thursday which would round out my final school work for this Fall semester.  Organization of Information... What did I learn from that class?  That adjunct professors are to be avoided at all costs.

So was I busy working on it today? -- No, I was in a casino stuffing my face at the buffet.

I had to post this video because it is epic in its winness = Lego + Guns + Explosions

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Office Parties....

This is my Holiday office decoration.  My friend named him, "Code-E" because he likes reading barcodes--harharhar.  I ended up cannibalizing a Mr. Potato Head I found in one of my cubicle drawers, I have no idea how it ever got there.  I also found the Christmas ornament in my cubicle when I first moved in, its dated from 1998.

This past weekend I attended my girlfriend's Holiday office party, screw being P.C., let's keep it real - it was a Christmas party, with Christmas trees and Christmas songs.  It had an open bar, need I say more?

For some reason this year's party is being held at the Assistant Branch Manager's house.  Egads man, are you serious!??!  You're supposed to keep the worlds in your life separated for your personal well-being.  Work stuff stays at work, and home stuff stays at home.  The only reasons why I have had co-workers come over to mine, is because we're friends.  I don't want to "hang out" at my manager's house.  I have no idea why the big meeting room isn't good enough.

There's around 40 of us in the branch, so I'm not quite sure how we are going to fit together in any room at one given time.  I'm contemplating calling out, or I should say I have violent allergic reactions to felines, OF COURSE SHE HAS A CAT.  I would be more surprised if she didn't have one.

It's a potluck and I opted to bring in some sort of baked goods, I haven't had a chance to visit the bakery at the grocery yet.  I can't cook and I won't subject anyone to it.  I'm the dependable drinks / chips / cups / utensils / plates / napkins kind of guy, but of course the sign up sheet explicitly said that those will supplied.... Cup-Blockers!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Library Management

From the people I know in the library system, the vast majority do not want to assume any managerial positions.  Unfortunately those that do, lack any of the necessary skills to be a successful one.  It seems as though the more lazier and incompetent you are, the higher they move you up on the already short library totem pole.

There's good reason why no one wants to be the PIC.  Who wants to do want they do for the pay they get??  The only way I would consider a managerial position in the public library system would be if it was any above branch manager.

Personally, there have only been a handful of decent managers out of the 20+ I have worked with/for.  My current circ managers are fun-suckers.  They have pointless monthly meetings in which they huddle together in a closed office and discuss ways to make work less fun and more boring.

Case in point, the page manager is a control freak who wants every single cart to be organized HER way.  Anything less and you find her stalking you in your cubicle asking if you saw her umpteenth revision of her sign on cart order.  Really??  Eff that, our pages aren't that dumb and can figure this out on their own.  It's not the end of the world if the Nancy Drew series was sorted before the American Girl series, they can both suck it.

Their latest concoction  was the banning of putting empty book carts in peoples cubicles.  Really??  This was what you took 2 hours out of the day to do?  How about if the four of you actually DID WORK instead of sitting around pooping out this?  There are only four sub-30 year old's in the branch and we enjoy annoying each other.  I actually started this trend of jamming carts into each others cubicles.  The best method is "ghost-carting" or "stealth-carting" which is to place carts in someone's cubicle while they're in them without them knowing.  This is usually feasible while said person is preoccupied with G-chat or online shopping, then you call them over to look at something you found on ICanHasCheezburger (they're suckers for LOLcats) and they swivel in their chair and get startled by the mass of carts which have snuck up on them.  Juvenile - yes, trivial - yes, amusing - yes, worthy of branch banning - HELL NO!

Oh yeah, try to use the carts with brakes.  They add to the amusement of when your coworker with the upper body strength of a kitten, can't for the life of them push the carts out of their way.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Best Library Video E-V-E-R... 'Study Like a Scholar'

This semester is quickly coming to a close.  In fact, I have a presentation on open source software use in the library due tomorrow... I have three slides, one has pictures while the other two are blank.  Go figure that I get distracted and come across the best library video ever.  Ever you say, YES - EVER.
The crew at BYU's Harold B. Lee Library earns the Bibliotecher Approved stamp of LOLness.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The P.A.T.R.O.N. Award

Patron A-hole That Ruin Others' Niceness.

To the patron who sneakily walked out with these issues of Rolling Stone and returned them months later in the book drop, you forgot to pick up your P.A.T.R.O.N. award! 

Needless to say, I did not check the pages for damage or bodily fluids.  I'm assuming you're either a teenage boy or a skeevy old guy.  Whoever you are, you have forced my hand, the next issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition will be under armed guard.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Damn You Black Friday!

I HATE Black Friday.  My whole goal this, and every, holiday season is to avoid any shopping mall at all costs until mid-January.

I worked a couple of Black Fridays at Worst Buy and I was a business undergrad, I know how it goes down: a few hot items in stock and A LOT of yelling/fighting between shoppers.  So call me a sucker for spending over $500 last week.  I just got a notice from PayPal that I've moved over 5g's through them alone this past year. I feel like I'm trying to resuscitate this economy on my own.

During a staff meeting, we had a group exercise to get to know all of the new coworkers and I was supposed to say my favorite activity.  The nerd in me was going to say, "playing video games," but my friend/coworker called me out and said, "shopping," to which I could only reply, "Hell yeah!"  It's just that I can't say no to a good deal, especially if there's a chance to make some money. 

My Black Ops deal was the perfect storm for making money AND getting something you want.  It was B2G1 (Buy 2 Get 1 for you newbs), plus there was a discount code, free shipping, and cash back through a referral site.  The two other copies have already sold on Amazon Marketplace, for a profit of course and my only regret is that I didn't get more to sell.

If only my hustling skills could be recognized and used in the library.  They should put me in charge; I would find a way to save the library A TON of money.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crazy Ish My Older Workers Say Part 2...

Two of my coworkers were working on the daily delivery together and were talking about the usual random stuff: what they're sewing/knitting, what new recipe they tried out, how their cats are doing, etc...  When the topic turned towards the TSA and the new pat-downs/feel-ups, whatever you want to call them.

I was surprised when one of them mentioned that she saw "that Jon Stewart guy" making fun of the whole situation and that he referred to that particular body region as "junk."

Coworker 1:  "Junk?  Is that right?"
Coworker 2: "Uhm, I don't know, why would you call it that?"
Coworker 1: "I don't know.  But I'm pretty sure they called it 'their junk,' I mean we wouldn't know because we don't have that."

I was in my cubicle next door laughing at the whole conversation.  Thank goodness they didn't know I was there pretending to do work, because I know that they would have yelled over to me to clarify that they used the term "junk" properly.

Ah yes, "Don't touch my junk" is now added to my repertoire of pop culture phrases such as "Don't tase me bro" and "Punk ass book jockeys."

Monday, November 22, 2010

This is What You Do in "Library School"...

My coworker and I were extremely bored in tonight's lecture (shocker). Luckily we came across this guy. She named him Jacques, I couldn't think of anything better than "Stinky," so her name won. He kept us awake and amused for the rest of the night. Less than a month til this semester is over, woooooooot!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Top Gear Review: Stuck in Neutral...

I am grateful for all things British: fish and chips, The Office, and Aston Martins to name a few.

But the American-ized 'Top Gear' is pure rubbish. I am not even halfway through watching the premier episode and I am utterly ashamed. I love the o'g BBC Top Gear and this one is a disgrace.

The scenes and editing are just not as slick as the BBC version. Bring on the fish eye lenses.

The hosts have no personality. The show could use some attitude a la Anthony Bourdain, some balls like Andrew Zimmerman, and some humor like Mike Rowe (sorry for the Travel Channel references but its the best I could do).

And for a character that doesn't say anything, I feel like they've ruined The Stig. Don't ask me how, but the U.S. Stig sucks.

For being the country that brought automobiles to the masses, this show is the Model-T version compared to the BBC's DB9.

To the wardrobe department, enough with the plaid, good grief, the rest of the world will think Americans dress like the Brawny guy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Public Libraries = Bathroom for Homeless People.

 My mind is a receptacle for useless movie and television quotes.
And thanks to 'Modern Family' I have another one to add to my library folder.

Claire:  What do you think the public library is for?
Haley:  I thought that was a bathroom for homeless people.

I wish 'Parks and Recreation' would come back on, they were always good for a library bashing.  Instead we have that stupid 'Outsourced' show.  No lie, I really did enjoy the movie, but the television show is just horrible.

I also like the Australian television series, 'The Librarians,' but I wouldn't want to see it become a mainstream show in the States for various reasons.  Most librarians I know do not have a, let's say open sense of humor and they take offense to anything that makes fun of the profession.  Have some humility people!  More importantly, anything that goes mainstream tends to "sell out" so to speak, and faces backlash.  Let's keep this library bashing on the down-low. 

Oh, unless your IP address is in Australia you can't stream the videos.  But you people are librarians with librarian research skills, let's just say that there are ways to watch the series.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Can't Knock the Hustle Part II.

While I was "doing MLIS work" aka eBay hustling, I came across this auction for a "professional" librarian offering her, *sorry*, their special librarian research skillset for one special child in America for the low price of $29.99.  If you don't want to be sniped(that would be having someone outbid you at the last second), you can BIN for $40(that's "Buy It Now" for all you non-eBayers) .

Like the saying goes, "Can't Knock the Hustle," but this just reeks of desperation and failness.  Seriously though, a lot of libraries offer this service for free, online and in-branch, so what dumb-dumb would fork over the dough for this?

Who pays for researching (wikipedia-ing) their elementary paper on the history of Thanksgiving?  Maybe, *maybe*, this service would be "worth it" if you just did the schoolwork for the kid in MLA format of course.

If anyone seriously bids on this, then I have an MLIS in progress I'd like to sell you at an unbelievable low price.  Sure, you won't get the expensive piece of paper until a year from now, but think of it as a CD reaching its maturity date.

Monday, November 8, 2010

This Week's Winner Is...

Patron # .....3265. Congratulations, you have luckily decided to check AND lose one of the most expensive books in the system!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sucker Punch Me!

The latest trailer for "Sucker Punch," still have a couple of months to wait with bated breath.
But damn, I haven't been this excited for a movie in awhile now!
This movie seems completely bad ass.  I just hope the hype doesn't let me down.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Semester of Suck...

I really should be working on my midterm projects that are due next week but I can't bring myself to it.

Isn't the semester over yet??  One class is utterly boring but has an enthusiastic professor, while my other class is an important required class taught by someone who puts more effort into making jokes than lesson plans.  I've registered for Spring semester: Cataloging and User Interfaces.  Should be a better semester, I hope.

I've done everything else but schoolwork.  I've been browsing pictures of posters from last Saturday's Rally to Restore Sanity and or Fear.  When I came across this one:


Monday, November 1, 2010

Good Cop, Bad Librarian...

(pic unrelated, just felt like posting my other carving)

A young mother and child came up to the circ desk this weekend with a library card application filled out.  The mom wanted to get a card for her daughter and they just moved to the area so she did not have a proof of local residency, so they wouldn't be able to check anything out.

The mom looks down at her daughter who is clutching a 'Dora the Explorer' picture book with both hands then looks at me, leans towards me and whispers, "Can you tell her she can't take that book home?"

This was the first time I was ever asked to break some little kid's heart like that so I guess my facial expression and lack of reply gave away my surprise at her request.  So after an awkward moment of silence the mom looks down at her daughter and tells her, "You can't take that book home, it's HIS book."  Seeing as how she already put me out there like that, I leaned over the desk and tried to tell her that she could come back tomorrow and pick it up.  The girl instantly teared up and the mom looks at me and says, "She always cries."  I'm thinking, then why the hell didn't you just tell her 'No' to begin with!?!?  Why involve me in your scheme??

As they're walking off with the little girl still crying, the assistant branch manager commented about someone being unhappy and I told her what happened.  She patted me on the shoulder and told me that, "it's okay, we all know you're not that mean."

Friday, October 29, 2010

No Shame in My Game...

I'm a dork, a nerd, whatever you want to call it.

I will be the first to admit that I am a kid at heart, and I plan to keep it that way. Its what the stale library environment needs any way.

I won't hide it, in fact, I'll flaunt it -- or carve it on a pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This book epitomizes the ultimate Halloween Fail, and I challenge you to find one that can trump this Royal Flush down the drain.  Do you see how bad this book is??  Just by posting this, it's failness is seeping into my system.

Really??  You're going to suggest someone carry a ladder around?

Ugh... I think I actually enjoyed reading Catch-22 back in the day.  This is version 2.0 of this costume, the first one suggested a plastic bag, but uhm, yeah, that didn't work out, so a mesh net was recommended instead.

Yes, wear a bunch of ladies undergarments on the front of your shirt and enjoy the tons of stares you'll get as the Halloween party-perv.

That or you can be the crazy guy stabbing cereal boxes, pick you poison.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Can't Knock the Hustle...

It is that time of the year again... Time for the famous Friends Biannual Book Sale.  If you don't know already, it's kind of a big deal.  The Friends always make bank no matter how bad the economy is.

People ask about it months in advance.  Not only that but people line up for it hours before it even starts.  I took this pic soon after we opened and there were 12 spots already saved.  The sale didn't officially start until 7 hours from then.  On my way out to class, there were another 12 markers that wrapped around the side of the library.  There is always a line wrapping around the library on opening day.  There are nearly 200 parking spots at the library, and parking is at such a premium that the staff parking lot is roped off and cars parked there without a designated staff sign are ticketed or, even worse, towed

I love working the book sale.  It's crazy busy, not for me at the circ desk, but for the Friends.  I love to people watch and check out the odd titles that are for sale.  Lucky me gets to work all but one day of the book sale this time around.  Last year, I missed out on it because I was whored out to another branch that was short staffed.  I missed the most recent one because I was on vacation.  It also seems like every time a book sale goes on, we have new staff and they're always 'shocked and awed' by the whole event.  I liken it to working my first Black Friday at Worst Buy -- a unique but useless experience.

Apparently, our Friends' sale is one of the only ones that is book dealer friendly.  Other libraries ban the use of barcode scanners (haters).  Our Friends do an excellent job of spotting the expensive books and separating those from the rest.  The book dealers have an unspoken agreement to honor each others spot in line.

I personally can't knock the hustle.  Ever since I started working for the library as a page, I've always eBay hustled to supplement my income (if you can even call it that).  I really enjoy it too.  As you can see from my latest hustle, I buy my deals by the crate.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On Being a Team Player...

There are times at work when you just have to suck it up and do the dirty work no one else will do.

It is commonplace in the public library setting.

I was confronted with such a situation when the returns bin for romance novels was filled to the brim.

I faced this challenge head on and dug elbows deep and survived...  Afterward, I used a whole bottle of hand sanitizer to cleanse myself from that retched pile of smut.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rules of Circulation #2 (RoC)

"My Library's Stacks are Bigger than Yours."

Library envy, at first I never understood it but after putting in more time for the library has made me pay more attention to other libraries.

I also just worked at a newly renovated branch to cover for their staff meeting, and the whole place was pristine -- nice and shiny.  It was my first time ever visiting/working that branch pre- or post-renovation so everything about it was new to me.  I was not the only first timer that day either, for the two hours I worked the desk there were 6 patrons who came up and commented on how great the new branch is.  To be honest, anything new is nice, but I would take my 12 year old branch any day.

It is only more annoying when patrons come up to the circ desk either to get a new card, check materials out, or just walk up to tell me that "Their Library System/Branch" is much better because:
  1. They have a bigger/better/newer building.
  2. They have more books.
  3. They lend video games.
  4. They lend sheet music.
  5. They don't have late fees.
  6. Their public internet stations are better (aka no pr0n filters).
  7. They're BFF's with all of the staff.
  8. They have better Wi-Fi.
  9. They have a cafe.
  10. They have more electrical outlets.
To be honest, I could really care less but I can't show that because that would only turn the situation into more of  a nuisance.

How am I supposed to respond when you tell me that the branch I am working at "sucks" because no one smiles and no one is your friend like your old hometown library which is across the country.

Well, to be honest, I didn't take offense to that lady because after I checked out her materials, she thanked me for smiling.  Apparently I am the only one working at that branch who does.  I can completely understand why too (I am only enslaved there on Sundays).  I try to remember to smile (even fake ones) because they release endorphins which makes working at such a hell hole a little bit more sufferable.

So that lady gets a Bibliotecher pass, but I swear, the next patron who complains about how our DVD selection is lacking compared to a different library they frequent, will be buried under a pile of smelly, snot-encrusted, bacteria-infested, half-chewed on boardbooks.

You've been warned.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Staff Meetings... WHY!??!

Every month it's the same BS.  All 30 of my coworkers and I are herded into the big meeting room and we are stuck for the next 2 hours talking about nothing.

If anything, it is always speculation about the upcoming budget and what it will mean for the library.  And each statement comes with the warning, "This is not finalized yet, but I just wanted you guys to know."  I get most of my library-related information from my coworkers OUTSIDE of the meetings.

This time around we had a member of the Library Foundation come in to give us a "pep-talk."  You know the usual - "Public libraries are important!"  His speech turned into a scare talk when he mentioned the privatization of public library systems around the country.  Of course my older coworkers have never heard of this before and this threw them all into a fit --- "Oh nooez! What about my retirement!?!"  The Foundation guy even said that the higher up's have not even mentioned or considered this option, so why did he even bring it up???

You know what, if the library is ever run by a private company, I can tell you a couple of people who should be let go. 

If time is money, then why is every branch wasting EVERYONE'S time, tomorrow, I have to cover the desk for another branch while they have to go through the same thing.  SAME ISH, DIFFERENT LIBRARY.

Friday, October 8, 2010

When You Don't Read a Book, the Ghost of the Librarian...

I fit the librarian stereotype as much as my older coworkers belong on my Facebook friend list.  Does that make sense?  Well it does to me, so whatever.

I am a dog person.  I do not like cats, there I said it. (I think all cats should be named Tigger.)

But I will admit that when this bookmark found it's way to my desk, I found it really cool.  Probably because I will never visit Yemen in my life to buy any souvenirs, nor do I have a stamp collection, but now I have a little of both.  Definitely in my Top 5 for its uniqueness.

Now for my number one favorite bookmark of all time:

I've had this for some time actually but I lost it in my bookmark collection.  Yes, I said "bookmark collection."  By default my cubicle has become the depository of any stray bookmark that enters the library.

 Calvin writes: "When You Don't Read a Book, the Gho - Ghost of the Librain..."

Unfortunately we will never know the rest of this important message because the ghost already got to Calvin before he could read the correct spelling of 'Librarian' in the dictionary.  The touch of blood on the knife is also a nice touch.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Crazy Ish My Older Coworker(s) Say...

If someone can get a TV show based on all of the crazy thing their dad has said, why can't I follow suit and become an uber-millionaire based on my crazy coworker(s).  For my show, I would like Betty White to play the role of my coworker.

At the last circ meeting, I was able to get her to say that she thought that one of the library branches in our system loans out prom dresses (as long as you dry clean them before you return them). 

 Like every circ meeting, the first 30 minutes or so is spent playing, "My Patron Story is Better Than Yours."  The conversation turned to parents who let their children run loose around the branch when my coworker chimed in with her advise:

"I scare the sh*t out of them.  I tell them that they shouldn't let their children run around unless they want to see some dirty old man penis being flashed at them."

Other notable patron interactions that were shared during the meeting: 
- the guy who completely refused to fill out the information on the application for a library card.  He swore that once we put that information in our ILS, the data will be beamed via satellite to the CIA and they will have his social security number.  Yeah, like they don't have access to that already.

- the lady who held her cellphone up like a police badge at the circ desk, demanding to know, "Who is your legal counsel??"

- the guy who swore at the library system because we wouldn't refund him for a lost item he paid for which was found weeks later.  He claimed it was some big conspiracy and that the library was the reason for the Tea Party.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yet Another Reason Why Public Librarianship is Not for Me...

So the assistant branch manager walked into the backroom and turned to me and a coworker and exclaimed, "I love this job," while rolling her eyes.

A patron was sitting at a public computer reserved for another patron and she walked up to the guy and told him that the computer is being reserved for someone else and that he would have to sit somewhere else.  He responds by cussing her out and turning off the computer.  The patron who was waiting for the computer told her that she should ban that patron.  She said, "Unfortunately, he just exercising his First Amendment Rights."

Yeah, sure, but I didn't know that being a complete a-hole was also a clause.  If I was in her shoes, I'm not so sure I would have responded like that.  I probably would have punched him in the face and asked, "Why the eff did you just do that??"  If I had the authority to single-handedly ban patrons whom I deemed fit, let's just say I would have a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bookdrop Hazards #12

If being outdoors is so great, then what are  these insects doing indoors?

A couple days ago, I opened up the book drop door to find this intruder sitting on top of the pile like he/she was playing King of the Bookdrop Hill.

I swear this guy/girl must have trained under Master Mantis from Kung Fu Panda, because:
1.) this bug has insanely supernatural strength for being able to open the bookdrop slot and slide in.

2.) it managed to stay on top of the pile directly above the shoot without being crushed from the return deluge of Naruto or Tsubasa or whatever those crazy teens are reading these days.

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia...

"One Whiz With".

Three words to live by, oh, and don't forget the cheese fries too.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Library Videos Done Right

I admit that there has been a lot of ragging on whack librarian videos and I'm not taking anything back about what I've said about them.

But with the bad there is some good. Okay, well good to me at least, if that's even worth anything.

Here's a video I can watch over and over and laugh each time, ain't that right Sparky:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rules of Circulation #27a (RoC)

"Improper Use of County Property"

This is an amendment to a previous entry: "Rocks, Papers, Scissors."

If the stars are aligned perfectly and the moon is in the proper lunar phase, and most importantly, the patrons have their politeness degree, I will let them borrow the scissors or use the stapler.

The only stipulation is that the patron has to use said items at the circ desk.  The majority of patrons are cool with that and bring their materials to the desk, others cop an attitude and grumble, "Nevermind," and stomp backto the stacks never to be heard from again.  Seriously though, you CANNOT cut up the 'Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition.'

I had a lady come up to me one morning asking to borrow the scissors.  English wasn't her main language so hand gestures was the main form of communication.  I told her she could use them but had to use them here.  She pointed to the ladies' room, I shook my head disapprovingly and she kept asking for them.  I asked why she needed to take them to the bathroom, I'm thinking maybe she has a valid reason (giving to much credit to patrons, I know I know).  She takes her hands and with one she opens up one of her nostrils and with her other hand she uses her two fingers in a cutting motion towards her nose hairs.... It was at this point I couldn't stifle a laugh and tell her, "Sorry."

Other patrons are more brazen in their endeavors.  I had a lady come up and ask to use some tape, scissors, and stapler; "the Trifecta."  She was very polite and I agreed but told her she had to use them at the circ desk and she complied.  She had an Eastern European accent and she also had a foreign passport and a couple of her pictures.  It seemed like some weak sauce counterfeiting to me, but who am I to judge really?  Maybe she had a bad hair day and wanted to change her picture?

So the lesson of today, no body grooming with the scissors and wipe all of your fingerprints from the stapler if you are running a fake ID hustle from the library.

Monday, September 20, 2010

This Book is the LOL: 'Tough Cookie'

I am not a fan of working the book drop, especially after the weekend.

But I do tend to come across some interesting books.  This one caught my eye this morning and I thought this one would have to fit under my 'Clever Covers' category but once I opened it up, it took me by surprise and made me laugh (a couple of times).

It is funny that it is labeled as a Juvenile Picture book, but the story does not fit this classification at all.  I liken it to a children version of The Wire... except with baked goods lol.  After I scanned it and read it during my break, I left it on the desk of my Info Friend with a suggestion that she use this for her next Children Program.  I blame her for getting me hooked on The Wire. 

Who'da thunk that a Children's Librarian would be the biggest fan of the show at the branch, let alone the president of the Omar fan club.  ::whistles 'The Farmer in the Dell'::

Thursday, September 16, 2010

For Shame... Damn You Stereotypical Librarians...

I received a link to this video today from management.  I really am unsure if I should even post it because it would only encourage more horribleness.  *sigh*  I really do not want to be an enabler of librarian lameness but this has got to stop.  Don't these people have books to weed or something?  These videos are so damn cheesy it makes my stomach turn.

You know what else makes my stomach turn --- bookcart drill teams.  The first one I only witnessed in person was at this summer's past ALA Convention and it made me want to run out and ask for the last 10 minutes of my life back.  I solely blame it on the generation gap between the soon-to-be outgoing librarians and all of the young-in's just getting their feet wet.

This leads me no choice but to lead a Librarian Revolution and bring drastic sweeping changes to the entire profession, and whack videos like this will be the first to go.

Don't get me wrong, I love (most of) my (older) coworkers, but I in no way approve of this hot mess.

By the way, what the hell is library management doing sharing YouTube videos during work, oh that's right, you only move up the more inept you are and bonus points for not actually doing any real work.

The Weirdos Come Out at Night...

I rarely work the evening shift, but whenever I do it the branch seems so different.

I step out from the backroom to the circ desk and its like I walked into the Twilight Zone. The patrons are all different too.

This middle aged woman walks up to me at the desk and writes down her last name on a piece of paper and tells me she wants to pay down her fees. I say her last name out loud to make sure I read her chicken scratch correctly and she shoots me a glare. She then proceeds to write down her first name, and I say it out loud as I am bringing her account up. She gives me a nasty look and tells me, "You don't have to say my name, you SHOULDN'T say my name out loud." Good grief woman, if I say your name three times does Beetlejuice pop out of the stacks?? She ends up paying 46 cents towards her fees and walks away.

15 minutes later she comes back up to me and pays a quarter. I asked for her name and this time I didn't speak her name. 5 minutes later she comes back and decides to pay more of her fees, this time a whole freaking penny.

Other than her, I was bored out of my mind so I decided to do some Mythbusting, library style. I kind of feel bad about wasting two stacks of Post-It's but I couldn't find any romance novels in the discard bin to use. Of course the phone book myth worked with the Post-It's, now I need to figure out how to run more Mythbusters experiments at the branch.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Patron Giveth and the Patron Taketh Away...

My coworker handed me what would have been a nice bookdrop find, an Entertainment Book with most of the coupons intact.
Too bad that right when we opened the public phone line started ringing and it happened to be the patron who dropped it by mistake. They said that they would be on their way to pick it up today.
Seriously people, do we not respect the Law of Finder's Keepers nowadays!?! Next thing you know the Rules of Calling Fives or Shotgun will be moot. It's going to be total anarchy I tell ya!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

'Deadly Kingdom'

One man's 21st ranked deadliest animal is another's floppy, fluffy, hopping friend.

If Bunnicula was real, then I would agree with this book, but this is just one harmless lop eared bunny.

Yea, I've Been Reading...

Finally got my hold for 'Sh*t My Dad Says;' was a quick and funny read. I cannot remember the last time I actually laughed out loud reading a book.
The second half of my weekly readings consisted of product manuals and forums for building your own PC. I have no idea what's taken the inner-geek in me so long to do this, I guess buying a Dell or HP has been more convenient. If only I knew how much fun it is to DIY. I am still awaiting my GPU's and I need to pick up a PWM extension cable. I have rearranged and velcroed the cables at least once a day during this past week.
I can now understand why people get all geeked out about their PC's and add plexiglass siding, UV cooling tubes, and have crazy LED setups. It all reminds me of my import days when my friends and I would tool around with our cars and talk about car mods all day long. No one wants the exact same setup as the next, always striving to be unique.
Once a geek, always a geek.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Where it all Falls Down...

So this week marked the first week of Fall semester... SIGH...  It was just last week I was enjoying the ocean breeze.

I am taking one class with my friend/coworker, this is her last semester and she reminds me every single time I see her (punk).  Exactly half of the class is male, not only was this one of the first observations my friend made, but also the professor.  And yes, I have spotted the one annoying classmate.  The one whose comments/questions make class longer than necessary and are completely irrelevant.

They also tend to be socially awkward and do not notice that the whole class is irked at them.  To make matters worse is that she is the female version of Napoleon Dynamite.

Statistically speaking these people suck the life out of any class:
Only 1/8th of their comments contain some sort of relevance to lecture or add something to class and 1/10th of their questions make any sense.  That's makes them 7/8ths a waste of seat space and 9/10ths certified stupid.

My other class is much more entertaining, and not so much the fact that it is dominated by "younger" females, but the professor seems to have a sense of humor I can relate quite well with and I don't think she owns any cats.

So here's to the start of another semester.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Older Coworkers Say the Darndest Things...

I was near the circ desk when one of my coworkers was explaining the library basics to a newly knighted patron.  She was telling her about the special collections each library has and she said, "Yeah, (so and so branch) even loans out prom dresses.  After you wear them, you take them to the dry cleaners to get cleaned and bring them back."

I stopped what I was doing and had to think about that one, did I miss that meeting or was I just not paying attention as usual??

I really believe that some of my coworkers have worked way too long at the library and need to retire.  After spending more than a decade dealing with the public, I can understand how and why my coworkers say and act the way they do.

When I got back to my cubicle, I sent out a text to everyone library related and they all texted back asking if I was be facetious.  I replied that 1. Why would I joke about that and 2. What kind of crazy person would make that scenario up!?

There is a circ staff meeting tomorrow and I plan to ask what special collections the other branches have in their system in the hopes that she says some more crazy ish.  She's already given up on the customer service aspect, she cusses more at work during the week than I do during a given month.

Heck, I'm sure it's all just a game to her now.  She probably pushes the envelope to see how far she can go before a patron will call her out.  Next thing you know, she will be selling tickets to the weekly rooster fights that happen in the staff break room.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The P.A.T.R.O.N. Award

Library patrons in general, no wait, regular library patrons, no that's not right either...

There are a few patrons who ruin every other patrons' image.  These bad apples are the reason why you become jaded and look questioningly at patrons who say that they returned those "Lost Materials"  they are being charged for, or that they should not have to pay for a damaged book because it was already damaged before they borrowed it.

With that, I introduce the P.A.T.R.O.N Award (Patron A-holes That Ruin Others' Niceness).

The fine specimen for this first award is the patron who walked out with the July issue of "Vogue," tore out 100+ pages, dropped the now unreadable magazine back in the book drop, and left a note that read, " Sorry to whomever reads.  I ripped out the pages : ) "

Just to let you know, the case has been passed on to the Library Detective, Mr. Bookman, and the magazine will be dusted for fingerprints and the handwriting analyzed.  

Once you are found and brought to justice, I have predetermined your punishment: you will have to conduct daily readings and discussions of Harlequin romance novels for the elderly women  that read them and that one elderly guy who says he borrows them for his wife, but every time his wife checks materials out herself, she only borrows mysteries.

Friday, August 20, 2010

That's a First...

Came across a library return covered in motor oil.
It wasn't even a Chilton's book, but a book on intermediate algebra. How algebra and changing your car's oil relate I don't know, but I do know that the patron will make a big stink about the $80+ in fees they have to pay.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

'This Book is Overdue ?'

Okay, so I got suckered into reading this book.  And like other books in the past that I don't like, I made myself suffer through it.

This was recommended by a few of my MLIS professors (shocker right?).  I always enjoyed reading books recommended by my business professors (The World is Flat, Superfreakonomics).  So I figured I might as well see what all this talk is about.

I placed myself on the somewhat long holds list, thinking that, okay, if there are this many holds, it must be a decent read right?

WRONG!  After I checked this awfully disappointing book back in, I took a look at the holds list.  EVERYONE on the list either was either a library employee, retiree, or a volunteer.

The whole thing read like some ALA-produced propaganda, "Libraries are great, Librarians are the best...etc."  I would have been okay with it, but there was a lack of support for these statements.  Not only that, but this was exclusively aimed at the public library, what about the rest of the "Superhero Librarians?"  No love for Academic Librarians, or any of the various Embedded Librarians?  She also has some strange fascination that there are librarians who cuss and have tattoos and who overall do not fit into the stereotype. 

My number one argument about why this book completely sucks is that there is one whole chapter on Second Life.  Seriously, I am sick of hearing about librarians on Second Life like it's the savior of the career.  Okay, so I understand from the few MLIS classes I have taken that librarians, in general, were not the quickest to jump onto the Google ship, which is now a huge regret they have, besides the fact that librarians should have created Google.  And for some reason, some librarians heard about Second Life and jumped on that bandwagon in the hopes that it would be the next biggest thing.  I'm sorry, but I personally only know one person who is one Second Life and she had to join because it was required for one of her MLIS classes.  She quickly deleted her account once the semester was over.

The only people saying that Second Life is the next future front for librarianship are LIBRARIANS.  You cannot justify that it is relevant because the only people Second Life librarians are helping are OTHER librarians on SL.

This book is utterly disappointing, thank goodness I didn't pay for it, LIBRARIES ROCK! : \

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

'My Recipes are for the Birds'

While you're clogging your arteries with fast food junk, the birds outside your window are dining on gourmet food courtesy of your next door neighbor.

What has this world come to???

Monday, August 16, 2010

'Tassels: The Fanciful Embellishment'

Honestly, the only time I can think of when tassels are paid any attention is when they are attached to.... you know, yeah, from what I've heard, not that I would know from personal experience, but a friend told me about it.  Yeah...

Friday, August 13, 2010

TGIF the 13th.

Time to bring out all of the freaks. Can't wait to see what problems will come out of the woodworks today.

I am hoping that the majority of patrons are stupidstitious and won't be visiting the library .

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Creepy Covers (Dude Looks Like a Lady)

There's a whole series with this lady and dude-lady, but I figured one picture pretty much sums up my point pretty succinctly.

Now, where's my Blog-Bonus-Points for making an Aerosmith reference!??!

Creepy Covers (Cat Whispering)

Exhibit 4b. of why we call people, "Crazy Cat Ladies."

Bet you won't see Cesar Millan posing like this.  That's not Pack Leader-ish!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Tech Toy.

I am a guy, therefore I am into technology; blame it on the Y - chromosome.
I was going to flip this item online to make up for my meager library income, but this is too cool to let go. That and my XM subscription expired and I don't think it's worth renewing.
This little gadget is a Logitech Squeezebox Radio. It streams my Pandora stations and the MP3's on my PC. I have a couple Logitech Touches coming my way and I might also hold onto one of those as well.
Since it's a WiFi radio, I'm bringing this little guy the next time I work a holiday bookdrop and run it off of the library's network. Nothing like slaving over a pile of books while listening to "99 Problems."

Creepy Covers --- Plant Smut

Yeah, that "garden" in your front yard is actually an orgy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Older Coworkers, Always There to Make Things Awkward...

It started before our staff meeting. I try to get to the conference room early so I can pick the best seat AKA the one farthest from any manager. My Info BFF came in and sat 6 seats down from me and announced to the few of us in the room that it was best she didn't sit next to me. I told everyone that that was messed up and she said I would get her in trouble by making her laugh. I mean, how else are you supposed to survive boring ass meetings if you don't make inappropriate side comments to the people sitting next to you.

During the last hour on the circ desk, a middle aged woman came up to the desk to register for a new card. It was a typical transaction, she didn't want to damage her fancy nails so she asked if I could attach her keychain card to her key holder. Afterwards she asked where the language section was and I told her to check the 428's. She came back to the desk with some items to check out and I let her know how to renew and all that good stuff. She was a little touchy feely, hands on the arms when she kept saying "thanks," and touching my hand when I handed her books or her card. When she walked out I turned around to see my coworker giving me a look. She was looking at me over her glasses, her look said, "better be careful with that one." I was like you don't have to say anything. This patron is the type who dresses 20 years younger than her age and she happens to be 20 years older than me.

Which reminds me of a time I helped a similar type patron and my coworker working the desk with me came up to me and said, "I don't care if I'm off the desk or on my lunch break, the next time she comes back to the desk, I'd be more than glad to help her." I had no idea how to respond to that considering he's my parents' age and he's married with two kids. I can't talk to him like that or about stuff like that, that's just awwkkwwaarrrdddd.

Can't Blame the Dog

A couple of minutes ago, I was working on a list and was in the nonfiction section when a guy quickly walked into the section and headed for the back.

Within a couple of seconds he unleashes a monster fart and sneaks out. Pretty much a drive-by gassing. Patrons sitting at the nearby tables heard it because when I walked out of the stacks they looked at me, ASSuming it was I.
Not cool, man, not cool... Effing patrons I tell ya.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bizzaro Patron

It happens every now and then. You encounter a patron who goes against the grain, someone who temporarily restores your faith that patrons, in general, are honest.
Hold on to that memory because it only lasts for a fleeting moment until you deal with a "regular" patron who claims that they returned all their materials on time and says that they will not pay any fees.
A young mother brought in a return she damaged and a new replacement book. She did this all on her own volition. When I looked at the damaged item I couldn't see anything that would warrant a replacement. She said that the bottom of the book got wet when she was at the beach, but all I could see was minor fading on the cover. I told her that it was still in good condition and that the replacement was unnecessary. She was very insistent and even asked if I should consult a manager. Now that was just insulting! She should know that library managers earned their position for being good at doing nothing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rules of Circ #11 (RoC)

"Circ Desk Small talk"

Most interactions with patrons at the desk last less than a minute, two at the most because it takes a long time to print up a due date slip listing all of the 50 items checked out.

I do not know if this is only for specific patrons who are "loose" when it comes to self-disclosure or if the circ desk is the equivalent of a bar. Patrons can be particularly gabby, and I'm not just talking about the lonely elderly ones either (it's worse when they call because I feel bad when I have to politely tell them I have to go back to work after helping them).

Popular topics of discussion are
1. The weather; from a blizzard to a heat wave, patrons will always mention the obvious. Although, I particularly hate it when patrons mention how great it is outdoors and I'm stuck indoors and I also just started my shift -- don't rub it in!
2. Changes in library policy; it's always fun to bond with patrons by complaining about "The Man," you know, the one guy in his executive suite, smoking his cigars in his expensive suit who is always increasing library fines and shortening hours.
3. Personal issues; most of the time I honestly do not need any more information other than your library card number, and sometimes your name or address. Everything volunteered varies so greatly on many levels. It can range from happy subjects like finally getting a job after using the library to find jobs, to the sad like a widow clearing up a recently passed away spouse's account.

No matter what the topic, I openly welcome anything over the awkward silence of waiting for the printer to finish. I love it when patrons get really excited when they see that I am willing to listen. I had an elderly patron go on and on about a play she was putting on and kept inviting me to go. I recently had a patron tell me all about her trip to Greece which occurred during the economic riots; her husband was pick-pocketed within 20 minutes of setting foot on land and she came in to pay for books they lost when they had to quickly leave their hotel due to the riots.

So bring some books and some stories to the check out desk and I'm always willing to lend the books and an ear.

Monday, July 26, 2010

You Know it's a Sunday When...

The picture is of the bookdrop shoot turned "Slip-n-Slide." For all of those less fortunate who have never experienced riding/sliding/falling down one, I can honestly say you're not missing much. Because any pebble or bump that was under the tarp hurt like hell!

I don't know what it is about working Sundays, but it’s very unique because it always comes along with its special set of patrons and problems.

It started off with a regular problem patron who thinks the whole staff is against her. She wanted my coworkers' names to report them to the higher ups. She then used the public phones to call the cops ON US, they never bothered showing up (shocker).

Later my coworker commented about how quickly it got dark and a patron responded by letting us know that there was a tornado watch (fun). I was about to go on break and I had one leg in the elevator when the whole place when dark. I was a couple seconds away from being trapped, not cool at all. The power never came on and we had to check people out by writing down their card numbers and item numbers. Damn, did I curse the 50 item maximum limit and the patrons who chose to exercise that right. Seriously though, you see us working with flashlights, or the illumination of our cell phones, and you get impatient because we have to use pen and paper --- dummies.

After a messy day like that, I ended up watching 'Inception' after some coworkers and friends talked it up. Man, the only way I can describe it is: "Mind-f@*k." Yeah, pardon the language, but it is a great movie! When I walked into work, another coworker found out I watched it last night and she quickly cornered me and we started analyzing and breaking it down.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Creepy Covers (first edition)

I believe the picture speaks for itself.  This is the first installment of the "Creepy Covers" series which I plan to continue as long as I keep finding treasures like this.  If I saw this when I was a kid, I would be completely creeped out.