Tuesday, May 31, 2011

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

Last Friday morning, I was on the desk the first hour open with my friend/coworker.

During that hour a certain patron was having a hard time scanning a book barcode at one of the "Express" self check out's.  It literally looked like he was "stirring the pot" dance move with the book under the red scanner beam.  We at the circ desk are pretty quick to come over and assist patrons before the machine times out and they have to rescan their library card.  My friend quickly steps over and suggests that it might be easier if he just tilted the book under the scanner instead.  His response was to put the book down look at her all pissy and say, "Have you ever thought that maybe it would better if you just asked if I wanted your help at all in the first place instead of ASSUMING I wanted it?"

My patron a-hole spidey sense was going all sorts of crazy.  My coworker just bit her tongue and walked away from him.  After he had to rescan his library card because the checkout process timed out due to his diatribe, he said, "Hope the rest of your day is better done."

I swear, one of these days Alice, I'm going to punch one of these patrons in the face.  In general I am not one to swear, unless I've been drinking, and I never swear at work but I was effing pissed.  I guess my uber-rage had a calming affect on my friend and she was surprised at how mad I was.  Apparently this guy is a pissy regular and has yelled at several of my other coworkers when they tried to help him.

 I contemplated pulling up his email address and SPAMMING THE SH*T out if it...  Seriously eff this guy...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Memo to all Patrons: Please Be Kind, Rewind...

Most of the VHS and cassette tapes in the branch's collection have been weeded down to a measly 2 shelves.  It's amazing how some of those materials have lasted this long, I've looked at their circ numbers and they're always higher than I was expecting.  I'm sure some of those materials were revived by some menders in the past but still, you've got to respect the numbers when you consider the fragility of the thin magnetic tape.

I was not working for the library system when CD's were introduced into the collection, but I was there for the inclusion of DVD's and everyone felt that it was the heaven sent solution to busted tapes.  It didn't take long before these hopes were dashed.  The majority of the blame can solely fall on a few select patrons, they handle CD's and DVD's like toddlers handle board-books. 

They bitch that they couldn't finish listening to "Eat, Pray, Love" because the last CD looks like it got into a fight with their cat.  Not surprisingly, these are the same exact patrons who were too lazy to put the CD's back into the sleeves before they dropped them off in the bookdrop and all of the CD's ended up scattered among the rest of the returns.

My proposal is to brand these patrons library cards with an "A" for uhm, "Arse(?)"and limit their borrowing privileges to the VHS and cassette tapes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Rules of Circulation #12 (The RoC)

"YMMV at Your Library"

I first learned about 'YMMV' from the deal sites I check out.  It stands for 'Your Mileage Might Vary' aka Your Results Might Vary.

This phrase certainly holds true from the patron perspective.  Yes, my branch may be a part of the same system but there are 15+ branches and each branch is run the same but yet differently.  Hell, even within my branch your interaction with one coworker could be completely different if someone else had helped you.

A patron came up to the circ desk and I could tell she was pissed but not directly at me, so I didn't take offense to her huffing and slamming her books on the desk.  She told me that she had called to renew her overdue items, but those items pushed her fees over the borrowing threshold so her current overdues were barring her from renewing them herself.  Whoever was covering phones that hour pretty much told her, tough ish and the materials continued to accrue overdue fees.  I don't always follow the rules to a T and I ended up renewing her materials and forgiving the associated late fees.  The patron was in a much better mood after this and my coworker asked her what branch she called.  After she told us which branch and walked off into the stack, we both started guessing which person she had to deal with.  Staff talk to other branch staff a lot, so you tend to get a feel for the branch and the people that work there even if you have never been there.

The same principle can be applied to patron interactions.  The poor circ manager at the first branch I worked for had 2 hit and run incidents in the parking lot.  Both happened in less than 6 months.  Needless to say she would always take a look at her car from the backroom window whenever she got a chance.  With so many branches covering the county, each branch has completely different demographics from the next.  At the second branch I worked at, I had a patron leave a note on my windshield after their young daughter opened their car door too hard and dented my door.  I probably would have not noticed the dent for awhile since it was on the passenger side.  The patron was completely apologetic and paid for the repairs and the rental car.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two Can Play That Game...

Every single week you can find some form of pure crack sugar in the breakroom, usually in the form of a pie or cookies.  I didn't think it was fair that everyone but me was contributing to the diabetes outbreak in our library so I brought in my M&M Transformers dispenser (dork much? Yes that's me).

My efforts were quickly outdone when my coworker showed up later in the day with homemade blueberry-lemon bars.  My baking illiterate self accepted my defeat while stuffing my face with lemon bars in my cubicle.

Monday, May 16, 2011

No Rest for the Weary...

Last week was my only break between spring and summer semester.

I will be taking Tech Services along with Cataloging and Classification.  Sounds exciting, no?

I spent my last school-free weekend hanging out with coworkers at an uber-kitschy mini-golf course and I wouldn't have preferred it any other way.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fool Me Once ALA, Shame on You. Fool Me Twice... damn it!

Wow, it's already been a year since I forked over my 30-some dollars.  Stupid me also joined an ALA sub-committee because it had a mentoring program, something which I have always been interested in (note to self: jaded Children's Librarians do NOT make the best mentors).  I guess that's the second time I was fooled-- shame on me.

I was hoping to get paired with someone in the local area who understands the region and it's unique opportunities.  Nope, I get someone from Canada, eh.  No offense to our Northern brethren, but the person does not even work in the library field which I marked as my primary interest (nor secondary for that matter) on the application form.  Here's how my mentoring has gone: I sent an email to my mentor, giving them my background in education and experience in libraries and what I was planning to do after I graduate.  I was at least expecting a reply with their basic history as well, but NNNOOOOPPPPPEEEEEE, all I get is a one sentence reply that they are available to answer any questions I have.  If I wanted/needed virtual reference I would have gone somewhere else, I wanted a mentor.

My opinion on ALA isn't much better.  Every other month it seems like they publish the same regurgitated articles in their magazine: "Why Libraries Matter."  Really?  It's like constantly hearing someone bragging about how humble they are.  Who said that libraries never mattered in the first place?  The conspiracy theorist in me suspects the ALA is behind that.  Of course when it comes to budget cuts, people will choose public safety over libraries, who wouldn't?  Until they make a book that can put out fires on its own then my opinion will stay the same.

ALA - it's been a great year, thanks for all the junk mail, I really loved getting those catalogs for bar code scanners and those creepy bronze statues of children reading on benches.

ALA Student Membership - $35
ALA Committee Membership - $10
Receiving unlimited shredder fodder on library equipment which I will never buy/use - Priceless

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Library Shout Out...

to the Navajo Nation Library System.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Punk Ass possible-Patron

A few weeks back we had a hit and run incident in the staff parking lot.  One of my info friend's rear tail-lights was shattered and her bumper scratched.  Of course the idiot who did this did NOT leave a note.

Then last Wednesday, in the middle of the day, in the middle of the general parking lot, one of our patrons had her car window smashed out and her bag taken. 

Two days after the incident, I noticed all of the shattered glass when I was taking the weekly unclaimed Lost and Found clothing to the donation bin.  When I walked back into the branch I grabbed the janitor's closet key and picked up a trash pan and broom and got to work.

It really pisses me off when I think about it.  Some people's reactions to the story were, "Well, she shouldn't have left her bag sitting in the open."  Really?  We're going to blame the victim here?  What about the douche-bag that did this?

I fully believe in karma and whoever did this will end up paying for this.  I have sent the broken glass to Tech Ops for DNA analysis and Detective Bookman is on the case.