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.