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.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rules of Circ #27 (RoC)

"Rock, Paper, Scissors."

Guess which item I would be more than glad to hand out to every patron who asks for it?

It is so annoying during science fair season, when the library is swarmed by students who only bring blank poster-boards with them and expect to walk out with a finalized project.  They will usually draw straws to determine which sucker has to sheepishly walk up to the Circ desk and ask for every single supply needed.  It is not only reserved to young students, I have encountered many older patrons who were upset that I would not give them any paper for their book/movie/play/manifesto/complaint which they are currently working on.

It seems like every tax paying citizen feels like it is their given right to use the library as if it was some rogue Staples that just gives ish away.  I'm sure with your tax returns, and a calculator we can figure out exactly how much you "contributed" to the library.  Here's a clue to save you some long division, it probably is not much more than $50. 

Sure that sounds reasonable enough for you to pillage the supply closet a time or two, but that money also goes towards the collection which includes countless copies of classic American literature aka the Harlequin series (yes, I do enjoy taking as many jabs at "romance novels" as possible).

So in actuality, the amount of your taxes spent on supplies is extremely low.  I'll do you all a favor and break it down in a simple list.

Each patron's taxes affords them to:
- 25 scissor swipes
- 15 staples (or 3 if you require use of the actual stapler)
- 13" of the glue stick
- 10" of Scotch tape
-  8 golf-size pencils
-  6 faxes (legal size)
-  5 paper clips
-  2 sheets of white 8 1/2" by 11" paper
-  1 sheet of colored 8 1/2" by 11" paper

You can only choose one of the above options per fiscal year, so choose wisely. Oh, and that's only if you ask nicely.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rules of Circ #33 (RoC)

The Law of Finders Keepers

1. You leave something at the library.
2. There are no identifiable marks on it.
3. It is of little monetary value.
4. You do not claim it within a month from the 'Lost and Found.'
5. I find it interesting or it was left on my desk and I'm too lazy to find someone else to take it off my hand.
6. It joins my eclectic cubicle collection.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bookdrop Notice

To the dummy patron who disregarded the sign that said that book donations were suspended for the moment, but still dropped their "garbage" in the slot: 1.) Read the sign and 2.) Follow what it says.

The library does not need 1 copy, let alone 10, of 2012-bull-ish, much like it also does not need everyone's and their mom's "rare" collection of National Geographics.

The book slot is not your convenient trash/recycling center.