Sunday, January 31, 2010

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.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2010

    Rules of Circ #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.

    I remember when I was working at one branch, I had a patron come up to check out some books.  I scanned her card and told her about some overdue fees she had on her account.  She asked what they were for, I clicked a few buttons and told her they were for Toxic In Laws and Mother In Law Hell.  She smiled and said, "Oh yeah, I remember those, completely worth it!  In fact, after that week, I can write my own book."

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    Your Books are Due back on 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.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    New American TV Spin off?

    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.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Ban Me!

    I just completed pulling books with holds and looky-look. The back cover of 2000's 'Sunset Complete Home Wiring:' "reliable and safe" my butt.

    Hot Books! They'll Burn Your House Down (literally)

    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.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    You Know You Work at a Library...

    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.

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    Rules of Circ #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. 

    Shoot First-Ask Questions Later, are also the Pro-Con people.  They'll make their decision, but then feel a twinge of buyer's remorse and then verbally justify their doubts away.  "Oh, I'll just stick with the keychain card, I always have my keys with me anyways."  "I'll stick with the wallet, the keychain one probably falls off easier."  To which I assuage their fears, "The keychain one is always convenient," or "The keychain ones do fall off quite easily."

    Lastly, there's the Flip-Flopper, they tend to take longer to make their decision.  You can actually see the gears turning in their head as they squint at the cards as if they are trying to read a fortune ball which will give them the answer to the biggest dilemma they have encountered.  Once they have decided on one, they state their decision with such excitement, only to doubt their decision by the end of me entering their information into the database that they ask if it's too late if they can get the other kind of card.  I smile and tell them it's not, and ask them if that's their final answer (sorry for the second game show reference in one post).

    So the real question is: do you want to see how deep the rabbit-hole goes at the Circulation desk?

    This Week's Winner is...

    Patron #......2996. Congratulations, the collections agency will be contacting you shortly.
    What better way to start off the New Year than with a 4 figure library fine balance!