Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rex Libris: Bibliotecher Remix Part 2

Don't let the fact that I like watching improvement shows on HGTV fool you, I am not a real handy-man.  I never took woodshop in HS and the only power tool that I personally own is a Dremel, and that's because I modded my computer case, screams sexy AND geeky at the same time huh?  I know your curious about my modded PC case, I won't leave you hanging, I used the Dremel to make a stealth drive.  Now, ladies, ladies, please, BOTH of you can hold my laser pointer anytime. 
So I was pretty damn proud of myself when I was still in full possession of all my fingers.

For the sculpting medium I used Super Sulpey Firm, mostly based on reviews and the fact that I am a complete procrastinator and this stuff does not air dry.  So I could leave it for a few days and come back to it and it would still be pliable, which happened quite often.  I also bought a Michaels' branded clay kit, thank GOD for Michaels' weekly 50% off coupons.  I was in there more times in two weeks than the combined total visits of the previous decade.

I'm also new to this whole "being artistic" thing too, the last time I touched any form of clay it was Play-Doh and I was still wetting the bed.  It took awhile to get used to this medium and every time I would find myself getting frustrated I would just remind myself that this was my first one.  I bought about 5 of these statues in the hopes that I could sell them for at least $500 a pop.... So yeah.....  I just trudged through it until the clay formed a somewhat recognizable shape and called it a day lest I destroy it with my fumbling fingers.

See the fine detail in the pages of the book????  I can hear the collective oooohhhh's and aaaaaahhhh's of the whole interwebz right now, it's quite deafening, almost silencing... Okay, mostly silence.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rex Libris: Kick-Ass Librarian the Bibliotecher Remix part 1

I first came across Rex Libris a few months ago at the circ desk.  The cover caught my eye and when I flipped through it, I interrogated my coworkers if they knew about the series and if they said 'yes' I would berate them for not telling me about it.  C'mon now, a comic book collector and an MLIS student, you didn't think I would be interested in it, some friend you are!

I broke out my internet stalking skills and looked for more information about Rex Libris.  I came across the SLG Publishing website and I hit the store up for all the Rex Libris comics they had, I also bought a Rex statue, what comic book character isn't complete without a figure.

Later I found myself talking to the only other under 30 male coworker about it and I showed him a picture of the statue.  He had the same geek reaction as I did and he asked if I was going to put it in my cubicle, I said that branch management would probably have a hissy fit because he's holding a gun.  He concurred and we looked at the hand-held scanners in front of us and we both had the same thought, "How bad-ass would it be if it was a barcode scanner instead?!" 

Thus the seed was planted and I started researching what I would need to make this happen.  I have been known to doodle during staff meetings but I do not consider myself artistic at all.  Creative-yes, artistic-hells no.  I figured if I was going to reshape the gun into a barcode scanner, I might as well do other things.

The first thing I did was cut the top of the gun off, while I was at it I figured that I might as well cut the alien hand off.  What kind of barcode scanner could cut an alien hand off anyways right???  hmmmmm ::Googles "Barcode Scanner AND Industrial Strength Laser AND A-hole Patron Control":: ....

I decided I was going to shape that area into another book instead, yay--more work.  If I'm putting all this effort into one simple mod, why can't I do more?  That's one of my problems, when I get into something, I get into it.  There's no half-assing, it's all or nothing.  One most recent example would be getting back into comics after I came across my old collection.  It amounted to one short box with room to spare, weak I know but I spent a lot of money at the arcade when I was younger okay.  Now they've procreated in the past few months and are now taking up 12 FULL short boxes...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

From the 'Forever Alone' Book Series...

 What's that you say, you just have a plan ol' piece of igneous rock? 

Pimp your Peridote!

This takes the whole pet rock thing to a whole new literal level --- wait a minute, a pet on a pet... it's P-E-T-C-E-P-T-I-O-N...

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Don't Always Want to Punch Patrons in the Face...

I don't always want to punch patrons in the face, but when I do, they deserve it.

Last Saturday an older gentleman (complete misnomer) came up to me and put a completed library application and his wife's military ID on the circ desk and said he wanted to get her a library card.  I asked if she was with him and he looked across both of his shoulders sarcastically and back at me with a "do you see her here with me?" look on his face.  It was at this moment I had a P.A.T.R.O.N. on my hands.  I told him that I would not be able to register her for a card since she isn't present.  He goes from 1 to a full 10 on the douche scale and loudly replies, "Why the hell not?  I have her application and her ID here, I want it NOW."  Okay, first of all, his "wife" was not present, second, her ID did not have a home address listed, nor did he have anything with that, so it was wrong on all counts.

I told him that the most I could do was give her a limited card which would not be allowed to check anything out until she comes in and proves who she is and where she lives, this was already against policy but I was trying to look out for the guy.  He flips his sh*t and says, "What the eff?? It's just a g-damn library card, do you need her fingerprints????"  This was a Saturday afternoon, there were a lot of families and young children present.  I obviously do not possess enough hands to have ear-muffed all of them, and he was practically yelling so I instantly got pissed off at rudeness and inconsideration and told him I would get the circ manager.  He continues to curse while I walk back and give my circ manager a head's up on the sh*t-fest he's about to encounter.  My manager tries to tell him that we cannot do that but that they can apply for a card online and the card would be mailed to them, apparently this was not enough, and he kept saying, "B-S, B-S, B-S," without listening to a word we were telling him.  Before he stomped off to the stacks he ends his tirade with, "Well, good for you, I'm glad you follow the policy, it's g-damn discriminating against the disabled (his first and only mention that his wife is disabled), thanks a lot A-HOLE!"  My supervisor hit his limit right there and told him that that was not necessary and to have a good day.

I ended up walking back to my supervisors office and tried to run down what the hell just happened and if it could have been handled differently.  When I walked back out to the desk, this guy was talking to my other coworker who was working the desk with me and he was all nice and sweet to her and he freaking apologized to HER for his curse filled tirade.  He never cursed at her or had any interaction with her, this mfer!  I just gave him the stank eye as he walked out the door.  Yup, this guy made my patron sh*t list.

I should pair him up with #2 on my list: the previous P.A.T.R.O.N. award winner, and produce a remake of 'Grumpy Old Men.'   Better yet, I should throw these two in a balcony, but instead of witty retorts and comments, they only swear and display their complete idiocy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Childhood Child Stars are Better than Yours...

Just another picture I came across from my old phone's memory card.

Helllllllooooooo Winnie!  I'll admit that I was too young to fully appreciate the humor of "The Wonder Years" (thank goodness for reruns) but I still watched it because my older sister did.  I also used to think "The New Kids on the Block" were the ish (thanks sis!)...

Okay, so Danica here did do a spread for 'Stuff Magazine' but current child stars do not compare; I'd like to see any of them attempt to explain the quadratic equation now or in the future after their 15 minutes of fame passes.  The mainstream media seems to thrive on these current attention whores.  Oh you want your own TV show huh?  Well then, you should have some nude pics or a sex tape released.

Still wasn't able to sway your position?  Enter Doogie Howser FTW

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Office --- 80's Sitcom style...

Looking for Love in the Library...

I am the library man-whore.

Librarians love to find and share information, it's their job.  So it should come as no surprise that they love to gossip.  A former coworker who transferred to Tech Ops stopped by the branch last week and told me that she heard that me and coworker/friend #2 were dating.  She doesn't remember who told her, but she said it wasn't anyone from my branch.  WTH, other branches are talking about me and my love life!??  This isn't the first time, I've been associated with a coworker/friend.  My former coworker/friend #1 was also romantically linked to me and everyone secretly thought "it was cute."  This went on unknown to me for a few months before I burst their bubble.

This hasn't happened at just this particular library system either, when I was working Sundays for the City my coworkers and supervisor thought I was dating another coworker/friend because we would take breaks together and hang out outside of work.  Okay, I can kind of understand her because she was/is kind of flirty, but irregardless!  And every time I visit my first branch, the first thing the ladies ask is, "are you still dating the same girl?"  They've never met any of my past girlfriends, but yet it's always the first thing they say to me.  Guess they've heard through the library grapevine that I get around.  Thankfully, I've dodged any and all of their matchmaking attempts.  It's actually pretty easy to do, I just change the subject to either 3 topics: grandchildren, cats, or sewing, or if I'm up for a challenge I ask about them sewing for their grandchildren.

I'm worried about what they say when they see me talking to my info BFF who's married.  Actually, I'm worried about any female coworker who is seen talking to me, it's the whole guilty by association thing.  My friends at work are taking bets on who my latest library conquest will be.  I guess I shouldn't really complain, when I first started at this branch, a few coworkers later told me they thought I was gay because the way I dressed.  Thanks for the compliment, I guess???

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Slowest Hustle Ever....

A total of 1 year, 7 months, and 8 days, and shipments to 28 different states later.

That is how long it took to sell these 98 DVI-D cables.  When I decided to buy them, I wasn't hedging against a massive shortage or speculating a sudden upsurge in demand.  I did see an opportunity to sell them at twice their price so I bit on the deal. 

 Now that I think about it, this was in between school: undergrad and graduate.  I tend to spend money if I'm not making it aka busy at work, so I figured that if I bought this much to flip it would keep me busy before grad school started. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Damn Cat Lovers, You Crazy!

I was cleaning out my old Blackberry microSD card and came across a bunch of pictures I took at work so I figured I might as well post them.

This whole book is filled with lunacy, I should find it on the shelves and take some more pics.  Until that happens, this creepy cover pic with have to suffice.

It is a spoof book but creepy nonetheless.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's Officially Summer at the Library.

Last Friday morning I registered my first Russian lifeguard of the summer.  She was by herself and they usually come in groups so I guess the timing of my shifts has something to do with it, irregardless --- summer is here.

We only have a few more weeks before S.R.P. starts up and all hell breaks loose. 
So here's to all public libraries, may you survive yet another summer reading program doing the most with less resources than before --- you are not alone!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cut-Throat Librarians.

Last night during my Tech Services class, the professor had us run through a process analysis activity as a group.  It's something I would have expected in my Operations Management class in undergrad, but I don't see how feasible that would have been with 40+ classmates, so it worked out well in this small class setting.  Without getting into a long drawn out explanation, it involves 6 people doing 6 different tasks while being timed.  It starts with one person and works its way down from person to person, it continues until the 20th completed item reaches the end of the line.

We did 6 different runs with different variations in the process to eke out the most efficient process before we hit the point of diminishing returns.  It took a little over an hour and after we were done the professor mentioned that the activity was created by one of her business professor coworkers.  They have run the activity through different academic disciplines and "the librarians" seem to do it differently.  This has been done numerous times with different majors so while this isn't scientific, its results can be taken as quite realistic.

Apparently, you librarians(in-training/ in-theory) want to do as much to help the person that comes before and after you.  Other schools tend to focus on what they, personally, or someone else could do to speed up the process instead of balancing out the workload among their peers.

I can say from my personal experiences as a business school undergrad student that this is true.  It was repeated in all of my classes: Finance, Marketing, Accounting, Economics, Management, and Operations Management that "we", business students, were the number one cheaters in school.  Not much of a shocker when you look at all of the business school predecessors involved in all of the corporate scandals this past decade alone.  It was because of them, that I was constantly drilled about this thing called ethics in every single class I took.  It became so mind numbing that I think the main message was entirely lost on most of my peers.  This was well apparent during finals.  While I love the subject of marketing, I did not see myself happy in that kind of setting.  This is one of the reasons why I chose to pursue my MLIS, I like working in a library environment.

Can one link the on-going debate of  the relevancy of librarianship to the unavoidable librarian stereotype found in libraries and library schools?  Personally I think so, you cannot expect much change within a field when it's filled with a bunch of yes-men.  I wonder what an all-about-business, cut-throat librarian would look like?  Out with the "shhh's" and in with the "STFU."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Rules of Circulation #07 (The RoC)

 "Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth, unless its Dead and Decaying"....

A patron came up and handed me a book saying that a while back he couldn't find this book.  He ended up paying for it but he just found it and wanted to give it back.  I told him that we wouldn't be able to give him a refund and he smirked and said that it was okay and that he wanted the library to add it back to its shelves.

I didn't fully comprehend the reason of his smugness until I took a better look at the book in the backroom and noticed the Hazmat like condition it was in.  Seriously, you could play connect the dots with all of the individual colonies.  All of the pages were warped with water damage and as you can see from the above picture, it turned into a petri dish.  I quickly bagged it and took it to the dumpster.

Did this patron return this book knowing it was rife with hazardous spores ---- probably.  Have patrons "donated" similar materials thinking the library/Friends would find good use for it, yes.  Some have good (but clearly void of any common sense) intentions while others rest on the nefarious end of the spectrum.

I cannot stress how much the library DOESN'T NEED your lifelong collection of 'National Geographic' or 'TV Guide.'  But it has such treasures, such as the first cover of "Alf" you say, thanks but no thanks.  Save that stuff for neighborhood yard sales.  The library's bookdrop is not your personal dumpster.  If I ever find anyone using it as such, I will send Detective Bookman after you and you will pay the consequences, which will involve volunteering your time to rat on any patrons who find any loopholes with the internet filters.