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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Rules of the Library #10: Donating Bootlegs and Counterfeit items.

42 Examples of Copyright Piracy
Rules of the Library #10: Please do not donate counterfeit or bootleg copies to the library.

Last week, some thoughtful patron donated these bootleg Chinese/Hong-Kong movies.  One of the librarians wanted to put it in the book sale but had an inkling that these might be fakes so they put them on my desk to look at first.  The explanation process was akin to when I explain to my parents why that email about asking for their PayPal account information is phishing for the fifth time (spoiler alert: they have never had a PayPal account nor do they know what it is).

I chose a movie at random, took it out of its cheap paper sleeve, and popped it in my PC.  I do admit that the print quality of the DVD holders is pretty high, but the print on the DVD's themselves looked pretty bad, that and they were in cheap plastic sleeves.  When I was skimming through the movie, I pointed out the extremely poor quality of the video, it was like watching a 3D movie but without the glasses.  If that wasn't enough for a dead give-away, the watermark of the Chinese pirate site embedded in the movie was.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Library Comic Episode 2: The Library aka Public Tech Support.


With Christmas, excuse me -- the holidays, around the corner, I am bracing myself for the onslaught of newly acquired e-reader induced questions at the info desk.  Last year, the Kindle won the question competition, it wasn't even a fair fight.  My bet this season, the questions will be more varied among tablet/e-reader manufacturers.

The download process has not changed since last year, but I do know that some of my info coworkers are not the most tech savvy and still struggle when it comes to these reference queries.  They also like to hit my extension and call me out from the backroom to help them out so I have to mentally prepare myself.  If you thought some older librarians were hardcore Luddites, some of these patrons that come in make them look like Steve Wozniak.

There are certain times when fielding particular tech questions from patrons can be difficult.  Patrons have asked me for my personal recommendation on everything from doctors, printers, tablets, cell-phones, and automotive body shops.  Don't worry, I stick to "The Librarian Code" and remain unbiased.  Although some patrons don't get the hint when I tell that even though that "e-reader/tablet" they found at their local pharmacy bargain bin while waiting for their prescription fill, might seem like a great deal.  They'll end up paying more in the long run when their tablet fails in a couple of months.  I always tell them to go to a store and play around with all of the tablets to see which one they like best.

The library system I work at also has a no touching policy, which means hands off the patron's electronics you dirty, dirty minded people.  The system doesn't want to be in any way liable for any damage to patron's stuff.  It can get pretty frustrating when patrons can't quite maneuver their touch-pads and you're standing right next to them telling what to click on in order to log in to the library's WiFi or walk them through the whole e-book download process.  If it is this hard assisting patrons who are physically in the library, imagine what it's like trying to help patrons over the phone.  Remote desktop access must relieve stress in IT departments, they can see and control what the end-user sees instead of running down the script of questions, "Is it turned on? Is it plugged in?  Is the power on?  Did you try turning it off and on?"

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Death of Gangam Style... Libraries take note.



Yeah, Gangam Style was the ish when it first came out, but now it has died a quick death to overexposure.  Just look at how many "parody" videos are out there.  This video is perfect symbolism of its death rattle.

So to all you libraries and librarians out there, from here on out, you are NOT ALLOWED to make any video parodies using anything related to Gangam Style: dancing, music, etc.

Monday, December 3, 2012

TIL: the subject heading for Bridge.

The subject heading for the card game Bridge is "Contract bridge."
The patron also wanted a first hand recommendation on bridge book for beginners, but unfortunately none of my coworkers could personally vouch for the two books we had on the shelves.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thank you for your donation of "Erotic Art of India"...

Well, that escalated pretty quickly --- they get busy on the cover, spoiler alert.

Some kind patron donated this book this week.  Unfortunately, I do not think we will be adding to our collection nor will we be placing it in our book sale.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Damn English, Why You So Quirky?

I have had my second successful Literacy Council tutoring.  I almost half expected my student to walk out calling me a horrible teacher.

During our first tutoring session, I was extremely nervous because I felt like I had no idea what to do.  Sure they supplied me with a book, but I was not sure how well the book would fit in with my tutee's literacy level.  So I was completely open and honest about my confidence in teaching at the beginning of the first session and I told them, "This is my first time teaching anything, so I am not exactly sure on how to go about this, but I promise that I will try my best to help you reach your literacy goals."  Despite what my online persona might come across as, I really do want to and like helping people.

The Literacy Council held training sessions for new tutors, but there was a lot to cover and only so much time.  Teaching someone to read and write at any level or age is not an easy task; it also takes a lot for these adults to take on the role of student and face this challenge head on.  It is not like these adults have low intelligence, the Literacy Council trainers mentioned this over and over.  The majority of students are non-native English speakers, and a lot have received formal, higher education back in their home countries.  I can understand why people say that English is the hardest language to learn.  During our readings, my tutee asks specific questions about who and why certain phrases make sense: "for a stretch," "wind down," etc.  It is really hard to explain how or why they make sense, I've taken their understandings for granted having grown up with them.  My already profound amount of respect and gratitude for all of the teachers I have had in my life has grown exponentially these past two tutoring sessions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Good News: Library Job Growth Exploding!" ... et tu Library of Congress?

According to this blog post on the Library of Congress website, library job growth is exploding.  Exploding?  Really?  I'm not quite sure the blog author is using the right term.

This is an example of something exploding:
This would mean the contents were expanding so quickly and/or vastly, that this poor lemon could not contain it.

I personally would describe the "growth" of library jobs as imploding:
The internal structure was weakened to the point where the whole structure and everything attached to it crumbles unto itself.

The reasoning behind that blog post is that there are other jobs titles that share the same characteristics as librarian positions.  Using this thought process, librarians would make great "Computer and Information Systems Managers."  Let's see what tools and technology are related according to the same source that links the top 4 tasks between the professions.

Librarians:
Tools used in this occupation:
Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners
Film projectors
Microfiche or microfilm viewers — Microfiche readers; Microfilm readers
Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
Scanners
CIS Managers:
Tools used in this occupation:
Computer servers — File servers; Mid-range computers; Netware servers; Web servers
Facsimile machines — Fax Machines
Floppy drives
High end computer servers — Workstations
Network analyzers

Librarians:
Technology used in this occupation:
Data base user interface and query software — Ex Libris Group Aleph; Microsoft Access; Saora Keepoint; Thomson Scientific Dialog
Information retrieval or search software — Classification Web; LexisNexis software; Westlaw
Library software — Online Computer Library Center OCLC; RCL Software Media Library Manager; Surpass software; WorldCat *
Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Really Simple Syndication RSS; Wiki software; Yahoo Flickr
Web platform development software — Cascading Style Sheets CSS; Extensible HyperText Markup Language XHTML; Hypertext markup language HTML; PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor *

CIS Managers:
Technology used in this occupation:
Customer relationship management CRM software — ACT! software; Microsoft Dynamics CRM; Oracle Siebel Server Sync; Performance Solutions Technology ManagePro
Development environment software — C; K2 Business Process Automation; Microsoft Visual Basic; Progress OpenEdge ABL
Enterprise resource planning ERP software — Infor ERP Baan; Microsoft Dynamics AX; Microsoft Dynamics NAV; Oracle E-Business Suite
Object or component oriented development software — Borland Paradox; C++; Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services SSRS; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
Web platform development software — Hypertext markup language HTML; JavaScript; Progress WebSpeed Workshop; Ruby on Rails

O*Net Sources: Librarians, CIS Managers.

The blog author mentions that that they personally know more librarians who match the CIS Manager description more so than the Librarian one.  You don't say, you work at the LOC.  You're not going to see the regular, run of the mill librarians.  Let's face it, the public library sector employs more librarians than any other flavor of libraries.  Also, a lot of my core MLIS courses were also public-library centric as well. 

Oh, and yes, even though the position description may seem "parochial" and outdated, but librarians still use "cash registers, microfilm readers, photocopiers and public address systems and technologies such as email, spreadsheets and desktop publishing software."  I'll say it again, "Librarianship" is so damn broad that you cannot try to define it efficiently and succinctly without alienating one facet or the other.  I would also question the currency of the CIS position, "floppy disks"?  Are you serious?

On a related note, I think it is a double edge sword when librarians try to sidle their way into core IT positions.  There is just no way librarians can compete with academically disciplined computer science grads.  Library schools that offer these so-called "tech classes" are a joke.  I took some of these classes and what they taught was basic 101 undergrad material.  Leave the IT/Comp Sci stuff to those graduates.

With that kind of article title and overstatement of facts, I would expect this sort of erroneous and out of touch library propaganda to come from the likes of ALA but not the LOC --- for shame.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Public Library, the Public's Personal Whipping Boy

Yeah, I get it, the public pays our wages, unfortunately that gives the public a sense of overreaching entitlement when they come to the library.  After awhile your skin gets thicker and you don't take it personally.  I have also witnessed these type of interactions take place at the Post Office and I'm sure the DMV employees go through this as well.

They don't teach you this in library school.  My problem is, is that when I find myself being berated by a patron over something trivial and/or something completely out of my hands my natural reaction is to laugh, so I try not to make the situation worse and I try to suppress it but it just turns into a ish-eating grin.  I can't help but laugh at the fact that someone has gotten so angry at something I am not to blame for.

Most recently, it was a busy Saturday at the info desk and there was a steady line of patrons and I was efficiently helping each one.  A couple comes up inquiring about absentee voting, I give her a handout with the in-person option and her husband asks about the mail in.  I refer him to the lobby where our handouts reside, he thanks me and goes his way.  A minute or so later he comes back to the desk all red-faced and angry, he shakes a piece of paper and says, "This is an application for the absentee ballot NOT the ballot itself."  I was currently helping a little boy find some sports books and he continued to lecture me that I should learn the difference and explain it because "someone might take you at your word and think its the ballot."  Oh really?  First of all, congratulations on your reading comprehension, second, are you familiar with the electoral process?  The young boy I was helping looked like he was the one getting lectured, and I tried my best not to laugh.  Looking back, I should have told him that I was currently in the middle of helping a patron but he was more than welcome to wait to lecture me.  Damn you hindsight!  When I told my supervisor, his first reaction was, "Did he really think that absentee ballots are just laying around?" 

Speaking of absentee voting, I was at the desk with our new info desk volunteer when a lady came up to the desk and asked when absentee voting started.  Now we've been keeping a tally of voting questions we get at the desk, on average there's at least 40 questions a day probably more if we remembered to mark it down each and every time.  So it is knee-jerk reaction to say, "It starts at 2 pm."  She obviously didn't like this answer because she bristled and replied, "Your website says 8 am."  Yes, MY website.  I asked her if it was the library website that said that, because if it did I would have to get that fixed, she just said, "I don't remember, I had my husband check this morning."  She even said that there was a sign outside that mentioned 8am.  I told her that it was probably for a different location, so she goes back out to prove me wrong.  She comes back and makes no mention of said-sign.  There wasn't really anything else to say, so I just said, "Well, I'm not sure what site said that, but it starts at 2."  She of course tells me that she is a very busy person and that she couldn't come back in an hour.  Lady, I really don't know what you want me to do.  Before she stalks away, she tells me that she'll "print the website and prove me wrong."  The info volunteer had a look in her eye like, do I really want to do this?  I'm still waiting for her to come back with that print-out.


I had another patron who threw a full on grown-up hissy fit when our public printer wouldn't take more than $5.  When he tried to put in $1 over the limit, the machine just started spitting out coins.  He threw his other dollar on the table and complained, "What the hell!?  Why won't it just take the money and print my papers!??"  Our children's librarian was talking to me at the desk and she is completely allergic to any sort of confrontation so she just froze.  I ended up showing the patron the sign that showed the $5 at a time maximum and ended up doing it for him.

I had an elderly patron who walked straight up to the desk and said that she needed "help on the internet."  I have learned to decipher this phrase as meaning, "I am completely computer illiterate."  So I called for back up to cover the info desk for me and I walked her over to the public computers.  I usually have the patron sit down and I sit next to them, she told me that she doesn't know how to "do it," and told me to.  So I logged in for her and asked her what she needed to do.  "I need to get a travel visa to Brazil."....  okay, what have you done so far?  - Nothing.  Do you know what you need? - No.  So basically she as well as I learned all about the requirements to obtain a travel visa to Brazil.  Apparently, she's going on a group tour to South America and no one wanted to help her, and I figured out why.  She kept huffing and puffing after each and every question on the visa questionnaire.  "Why do I have to give them that?"  "Why do they need my parents' names?"  "I just want to travel there, why is this so difficult?"  Oh geez, no wonder your travel agent is suddenly, "unavailable" each time you called and the person at the Brazilian embassy kept telling you to do it online.  This person has gone through 70+ years of their life and still has not learned that you attract more flies with honey.  I seriously feel bad for her travel group, she's going to be the sour-puss that will try to ruin their vacation.

This was a long post, but then again this is my therapy.  Are the elections over with yet!??  If you're going to bitch and blame me for the rising gas prices, I can't promise I won't laugh in your face but I'll try.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My first comic, presenting 'The Library'

Since no one has read this blog in its entirety, its okay -- I couldn't finish 50 Shades of Grey, let me say that I go through these creative phases.  From using discarded library books as a medium to clay sculpting (as minor as it was), I get into these moods and I can't shake them until I actually go through the process.

Late one night a few weeks ago, I'm just about to go to sleep when I say, "Hey, I want to do a comic strip about the library."  Yeah, I know there's already one and it's pretty damn funny: Unshelved.  But who is to say that the current state of library-related comics is already saturated that and I'll do as I damn please thank you very much.   I mean, what's Coke without Pepsi, what's McDonald's without Burger King, what's OverDrive without... exactly!  Now may I present to you the first, of who knows how many, "The Library" comic strip.

Please excuse any grievous formatting issues, this is a first for me.

Yes, we did have someone call in to see if they could bring their cat with them to vote.  My supervisor didn't even hazard any form of response.  I guess he wasn't up for getting into an inane argument with a stranger so he just gave them the number to the elections board.  Mr. Huffle-Puff deserves to have his voice heard!  I mean, how else is our caller supposed to make the right decision on the ballot if their cat isn't there to lend a paw.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thanks Sandy!

Hey Hurricane Sandy,

Thanks for the paid day off today, now if you could keep the power on that would be great...

Monday, October 15, 2012

I had to become a Librarian to enjoy reading again...

Shawshank Redemption Andy Dufrense - "I had to come to prison to be a crook."

When I was in grade school, I used to love reading.  I was going through Hardy Boys like nobody's business.  It all came to a halt when teachers gave us reading and forced all of the "author's" analogies down our throats.  It completely ruined the enjoyment of reading for me and it became a chore to me.  I think it's also a personal issue with me, I hate when people tell me what I should think and feel without letting me analyze it for myself.  "This is what this story is about," "This is what the author really means," "This is a symbolism for this and this only."  Damn, can't someone think on their own!??  

I'm not going to lie, all through my undergrad and grad school I didn't read any of the material unless it was directly related for a group project and/or grade.  At my last branch, my coworkers always used to call me out on it: "You're going to school to be a librarian but you don't even read!"  But that all changed when I got my first tablet.  As you can see in the sidebar of the main page of this blog, my reading has exponentially gone up.  

Even the few titles that I did read outside of school were school-related.  I was one of those snobby, non-fiction readers, "I only read non-fiction; if I'm going to read, I want to learn something."  I have come across some of the patrons in the library too, always complaining about the collection: "Why are there so many fiction books?  You guys should buy more nonfiction."  The things I did read were all books recommended by my business school professors: The World is Flat, Good to Great, etc.  But that also changed when I got my first tablet.  Now, the vast majority of my reading is fiction, and it's pretty damn good too!

So that leads me up to the present, it has been almost a full year since graduating with my MLIS (December 2011) and I have not been able to find a full time librarian job.  I have looked at other non-library related jobs, but damn it, I didn't get this degree to NOT work in a library.  I really enjoy working at my branch, I love the patrons and my coworkers, so I can ride it out for a little bit longer.  Due to all of these factors, I have decided to add "Literacy Council volunteer" to my resume.  

Honestly, I should have signed up to do this when I graduated.  I have not yet started tutoring just yet, I will in a few weeks, but I am excited.  When I filled out the application to become a literacy council volunteer tutor, I realized one of my favorite things about being a public librarian is seeing people get excited about reading.  From little kids to adults, when they see that long-awaited book sitting on the holds shelf for them the excitement is contagious .

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Publishers' Most Wanted: The Public Library...

Money Talks, BS Walks... Time to ante up...
First off, <^>(-_-)<^> middle finger salute to all you stingy-ass, stubborn, myopic publishers.  You all are acting like a bunch of jackasses.  What the hell has the public library ever done to you, except give you money and support?

You get all pissy in the digital age just because you think you'll lose millions of dollars in revenue if you sell an ebook to a library.  The publishing world is evolving and you're trying to fight the change.  So print is slowly losing ground to digital format, it's all new to you, but take a note from the music industry.  They've made the physical to digital transition and they haven't gone bust.  I remember when CD's used to sell for over $19.99 and singles used to cost $4.99.  Now single songs cost .99, let's be honest, CD-buyers were screwed over because most of the songs on a full-length CD were crap anyways.

So you think a fair compromise would be to give libraries copies limited to 26 loan periods.  I have seen copies of books that have checked out over 125 times that are in still excellent condition.  The other option is to pay over 100% the physical book price for the ebook one.  Who was the genius who made that decision?

I find it hard to believe that digital editions carry the same manufacturing costs as print.  If they really do, then you're doing something wrong. You know libraries across the country have been battling budget cuts for several years now, but yet you insist on strangling every dollar out of them.  Have you ever considered that libraries would purchase MORE digital copies if prices were reasonable?  And selling more copies at a lower price could help the bottom line better than selling a lot fewer at a hyper-inflated price.

I'm just saying, you can't keep doing this forever.  Something's gotta give and you act like you don't really need or care for libraries' business.  I can't wait til more authors and independent publishers step up.  See what happens when the paradigm shift comes and libraries turn their backs on you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Welcome to the Library Circle-Jerk: Banned Books Week

From one librarian to another --- You're awesome,
now spread the word outside of The Library...

 
If there is one thing I have learned about librarians, it is that they are pro-fresh-shun-owls when it comes to talking about how great libraries are and how undervalued librarians are... TO EACH OTHER. The library's intranet blog is full of stories submitted by library staff on articles about the "greatness" of the public library which happened to be posted on a library-specific website which only reaches a specific group of readers: library staff.

This week is the high point of library circle-jerking: Banned Books Week. 
"Libraries the defenders of everyone's right to read, unless it's 50 Shades of Grey."  Of course everyone who is usually all rah-rah about Banned Books Week were no where to be found or heard from when a public library said that they weren't going to carry that horrid book.  Of course the library system  caved when media picked the story up. --- yay, public library ridiculousness! 

Now, if only The Library was as good as getting the word out to the general public, maybe we wouldn't be in this annual tooth and nail fight for every single budget dollar.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Librarian Passive Aggressiveness Threat Level 1: Signage.

Don't make me use size 72 font!


This new school year has brought in a new bunch of regular patrons: newly licensed teens.  They come in around 4 or 5 and end up staying til we close at 9.  They study for the most part, socialize for the rest.  I mean, why wouldn't they?  The library has free wi-fi, plenty of seating, and it is a safe place to hang out.

There are only minor issues when it comes to them, they can get a little too loud, but they will quiet down if you talk to them.  They also sneak in food.  All you have to do is tell the teens to eat it outside and they will.  I find it funny how upset/freaked out some of my older coworkers get, I think they've become coddled by working at this branch for so long.  They've made such a big deal out of it in staff meetings and emails. 

These signs are the latest product of such staff discussions.  I say, if these are the worst offenses these teens commit: sneaking in french fries, then I welcome it.  At least they aren't procreating in the stacks, dealing drugs in the bathroom, graffiti-ing the walls, fighting in the study room... etc.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Good Guy Library Patron and their Donations.


Every weekend I work, I find myself inundated with donations dropped off during the day.  It seems that my branch's local community treats every weekend like "Spring Cleaning" season.  Some patrons don't even bother parking properly, they just pull up to the front of the library, ignoring the yellow curb and numerous signs saying not to "Park or Stand."  They block part of the sidewalk and entrance road while they bring in their boxes and bags of donations.

Bad Patron, Bad..

Some don't even bother bringing them in to the library, they just drop them off in front of the branch and leave.  I guess it is our fault because our sign only says not to drop off donations IN the book drop, it says nothing about dropping stuff off OUTSIDE of the book drop...

I was surprised when a patron came in with a stack of National Geographic books and first asked me if the library would have any use for them.  I checked the ILS and told him that we could actually add them to the branch's collection.  He seemed very grateful that they would serve a purpose and then asked if the library would want or need his 15 year collection of National Geographic Magazines.  I know how sentimental some people can be with their collections, so I tried to put it nicely that the library didn't need it.  He replied, "Do you know who would want them then?  I've asked local schools, Goodwill, other libraries."  I didn't want to be that guy who had to break it to him that his meticulous collecting was all for naught, I could only tell him, "Hmmm, yeah, I'm not sure who would want them then."

But seriously though, some donations are pure crap, either completely outdated items.  Or literal crap, people treat book slots like their personal garbage bin.  Sometimes you will find gold, a newly released book with hundreds of holds in mint condition.  We'll take what we can get with these nonstop budget cuts, the collections budget has really taken a hit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

You know it's been a long, busy day at the Library when...

You know it's been a long, busy day at the Library when a patron comes up to the info desk asking for a specific book. I found it listed as being on the 'Shelves' in the ILS, so I walk the patron back to the stacks.  As soon as I get halfway through stacks, I stop and turn to the patron and say, "I'm sorry, what were you looking for again?" (=_=)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Old Librarians vs. New Librarians, What about the Middle?

I only thought that a few select readers visited my blog, because quite frankly, this blog is generally all over the place.  My personal thoughts and views mostly come off as negative and snarky, and the majority of librarians/library workers disagree, sometimes vehemently, with me.  So it was a nice surprise to see a reply from Miss Gina Milsap about a post I made about her comments when she was running for ALA Presidency this past year.  I really do believe there needs to be more open discussion and debate within the profession if it is to make any progress in the digital world.

I wanted to make my reply a post instead of a comment to bring this to "The Front-page" so to speak.  Seeing as how comments on this blog are open to the public, I'm going to repost the comment here [edited to insert line breaks]:

"Sorry to be so late to the party. I just found your post. With respect, you've misinterpreted what I meant. That's the problem with not having a real conversation and not seeking clarification. In my library, we've created a cohort of librarian leaders. None of them are in formal leadership at this time, but we are investing in them with training and assignments to be leaders and to demonstrate the value of librarians within the institution and in the community. I had wonderful mentors as a new librarian and I'm paying that forward with less colleaguesin my own library and around the country.

 Here's what I meant with my statement about new graduates moving into management. Look at the data --- we are graduating more entry level librarians than there are positions available. So, what does a new graduate do? He or she either seeks a job out of the profession or seeks a position for which they may not have all the qualifications, specifically experience. My point was that we need to look to library education to help prepare newly graduated librarians for the reality of the workplace they're coming into. If the only job available is supervisory, how do we help them improve their chance to stay in the profession?

That is what I'm seeing as a library administrator with 35 years of experience in the profession and 16 years as a public library director. Not all librarians will make good managers, regardless of their tenure in the profession. The goal should be to identify those folks whether they're already in libraries or in library school and make sure they're prepared to lead and manage effectively. Thanks for the opportunity to comment."

First off, thank you for the reply!  Better late then never and thanks for the dialog.

Okay, I wish I had more library mentors.  I have latched on to my supervisors and more experienced librarians and I constantly pester them with questions and bug them for their opinions about the library and the profession as a whole.  I love that they all have completely different backgrounds; ie, not an English or History major, worked outside of the public library realm, etc.  

I still have to disagree with the idea of hiring newly minted MLIS grads with library management positions, and this is coming from a recent MLIS grad (Dec 2011)!  Even if there were drastic changes made to MLIS curriculums, which I doubt would ever happen, it would be foolish to do this.  I know this isn't a direct comparison, but you don't see recent MBA grads stepping into CEO positions.  Book smarts =/= Branch smarts.  I never believed that a MLIS grad could go from the classroom straight to the info desk successfully and efficiently.

Personally, I believe there are many issues with the current state of MLIS schools; letting everyone in and graduating everyone.  There are A LOT of MLIS students who have no experience working in library, I am not saying that they don't belong in MLIS school.  It is just that they have no idea how the library day-to-day goes.  Okay, so we both agree that there is a deluge of MLIS holders and a drought of entry-level jobs.  Even if there are only supervisory positions open, what about those who aren't technically "old librarians" nor "new librarians."  There is black and white, but there's also a lot of gray in between.  It's not like MLIS schools haven't been continually pumping out MLIS's.  There has always been a steady stream of graduating librarians every year.  There are a lot of librarians with between 5 and 10 years of solid working experience in the library.  I am sure that some of them would be excellent for these supervisory positions.  It would be a huge disservice to this select group of qualified librarians to not promote them.  Especially after all the crap they've gone through with the recent and on-going budget cuts, changing hours and procedures, trudging through this "new normal" and "doing more with less."  I was with the library before it all hit, I have seen staff morale take a nose-dive.  How much more damage will be done when you bring in a new graduate to supervise older, more experienced librarians?  Or does library management not even care about its greatest asset --- the employees, not the branches or collection.

I have also seen several of these "middle librarians," for a lack of a better term, jump ship to other places because library management is doing nothing to retain and nurture them for their positions.  I am extremely worried that libraries do not seem to have a solid succession plan in place for when this "greying" takes place, nor do they care to seriously consider it.  They seem to be more obsessed with the right now and not about the near future.
Now, I'm not saying that just because someone has worked in the library for x amount of years that they should automatically become a manager.  I'm saying that the odds of finding library management material already within the library ranks is astronomically higher than someone sitting in the classroom right now or in the future.  I also believe that current library management is to blame for the lack of entry-level librarian jobs because they are the ones who have begun hiring paraprofessionals instead of librarians.  Is this the future plan for libraries now?  MLIS holders for management only positions and paraprofessionals for the info desk.  But that is another blog post for me to rant in.

I admit that I'm only a lowly info desk worker who doesn't know what upper management does during the day.  But I see first-hand how their decisions affect the bottom-line.  Again, I really am grateful that you responded, it is nice to hear from upper management, I doubt that my library director would have been so open to discussion. Thanks again Miss Gina!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back To School: Summer Slacker Edition.


This is the epitome of the "Back to School" season.  I hated this commercial when I was younger because it was a reminder of what was in store: early mornings, trudging heavy backpacks home, HOMEWORK.  But now, this is my all time favorite commercial, "Back to school suckers!"

My favorite library reminder for Back to School, is the last minute rush of student slackers.  Some will walk up reluctantly to the info desk with their summer reading list, they might need prodding from their parents, who  give them a shove towards me saying, "You go ask the gentleman."  I can't help but smile because that was me, I can't even lie and say I never slacked from school-work during the summer when I was their age.  I have nothing but sympathy for the parents who come rushing in right after work asking for a book for their child's project that is due in a few days.  Sorry Mom & Dad, that was me...

As I start from the top of the list and run my way through looking at the catalog: "All checked out, all checked out, all checked out... Do you want to place a hold?"  Young student slacker: "Uhm, no, that's okay, what do you have here now that I can check out."  When I do happen to find a book on the shelf, the next inevitable question from them is, "Is it long?"  Me: "It's 256 pages."  Young student slacker: ::gasp:: ... "Do you have anything that's less than 100 pages?"

I also love the students who come in with their volunteer sheet in the hopes that they could volunteer right then and there for 5 hours or so.  Most libraries I have worked at, have a minimum amount of hours, mostly because of the training involved.  Yeah, it really doesn't take much to train someone to shelve picture books properly, but the library is so short-staffed that we actually cannot spare someone to keep an eye on these young ones.  Fortunately, our childrens librarian came up with a book report form that students can complete for some hours.  We are the only library in the system that offers this and you'd be surprised how quickly word spreads from student to student, and school to school.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Best Google Nexus 7 Case Isn't Actually a Google Nexus 7 Case...

Yeah, went all philosophical on your asses with the title but it is true, the one and only case I would only recommend for Nexus 7 tablets is actually a case I used with one of my past tablets.

Poetic Nexus 7 Case

The first style case design is by Poetic.  It holds the tablet by sliding it in and securing it shut with the flap and velcro.  This makes it too bulky for my personal taste.  I also don't like the bezel being covered in this ugly pleather.  It also isn't very snug so the edges rise up a little, hopefully later variations of this case have fixed that issue.

Another reason I bought this case was it's rotating feature.  Landscape mode is great and all, but sometimes you need to put it in portrait mode to crush your friends in 'Words with Friends.'
 The way the case rests when in portrait mode isn't the most stable, you have to make sure you don't press on the tablet too hard or it will dislodge from the cases ridges and your tablet will do a trust-fall on your desk.  

This particular case doesn't have the auto sleep/awake feature, which isn't a deal breaker for me.  It also has holes for the speakers.  Unfortunately, the one main feature I was looking for, rotating view, is also one of it's biggest downfalls.  The case uses a thick metal swivel for the rotation feature and it bulges out.  It swivels very easily too, if you have the case wide open, laying flat on a table, you can spin the tablet like a spinner, like a Twister selector.  This kind of sucks when you're laying down in bed reading, and you loosen your grip for one instant and the tablet swings into your face

Clamp Style Case
 
Here's a real first-world dilemma, if I want a rotating Nexus case, I have to use a quite fugly, bulky looking case.  The other option is to forgo the rotating feature in place of a clamp style case.  It has a sturdy hand strap, but a really thin strap to secure the case when it is closed.
The clamps do a good job of keeping the case secure, but in order to use the tablet in landscape mode, you have to disengage the bottom two clamps.  I can't see these two clamps maintaining their grip when you're constantly moving the tablet in and out of these two clamps.
The case is thin and clean looking.  It has holes for the speakers and the auto awake/sleep mode. 

Rotating HTC Flyer/View 4G Case

Thankfully, I had an extra rotating case from one of my last tablets, the HTC View (Flyer).  The HTC View is actually thicker than the Nexus 7, but otherwise it has the same dimensions. 

The tablet fits snugly and is very secure. Quite frankly, it looks much cleaner than the previous clamp style.

It doesn't wobble when you use your tablet in portrait or landscape mode.
The case has a perfect cut out for the micro-USB slot, even the slot for the Nexus 7 power button and volume rocker is in the same spot as the HTC View's volume buttons.  Unfortunately, you do have to cut the case to get better access to the Nexus' volume button and I did not have much finesse when I did this, but it works and the case isn't falling apart.  There aren't any holes in the case for the Nexus' speaker, and I didn't want to ruin the structural integrity of the case by doing so.  You can still hear the speaker pretty well and it's not like you're using this tablet because it has a "rocking sound system," so this isn't really a big deal.


The swivel motion is fluid but there is enough friction in the movement, that the tablet won't swing on its on. Sorry if the pictures and text show up all wonky, multiple picture and Blogger don't get along. So in the end, the best case for the Google Nexus 7 tablet is actually a case made for the HTC View/Flyer. With a little modification for the volume buttons, this case delivers.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day to all the Library Workers out there...

Happy Labor Day to all the underpaid, under-appreciated, hard-working library workers out there.

To every library worker out there who has to deal with this BS of the "new-normal" of "doing more with less."

You are not alone in your struggle.  We are all in this together, so let's raise a full glass of top-shelf alcohol and enjoy this day off, you damn well deserve it!

Friday, August 31, 2012

My Library is so broke... --How broke is it?

Maybe patrons would feel bad for us and give the library more money...

We use counterfeit copies of Microsoft Windows.

It was only a reimaging issue with this catalog computer, but I think it would be interesting to have these messages pop-up on our public PC's more often.  Maybe some patrons would finally realize how little of their tax payer money actually goes to the library that they would be willing to give more funding.  The library literally makes up less than 2% of the entire County budget, but is used by almost half of the population.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Maybe You Touched your Genitals in the Library...

Well, maybe I did... maybe I did.

During closing one night, I was making my rounds giving the usually ಠ_ಠ face to patrons who weren't packing up their ish after the 2-minute warning.  I happened to glance in one of the trash cans and this caught my eye: "Maybe You Touched Your Genitals" hand sanitizer.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Celeste and Jesse Forever: a good movie that probably isn't playing at a theater near you...

I finally got my library friends together to watch "Celeste and Jesse Forever." It opened on August 5th, but only started showing at a local theater last week.   I was also a little apprehensive recommending this movie, because the previous movie we watched, "Ruby Sparks," also labelled as a "romantic-comedy" (a point I could argue about), was a let-down, we all agreed and should have been skipped. I should have followed my instinct, when I saw the trailers, it didn't click with me.  It didn't seem interesting at all, but I did give it a chance and $12.50 ಠ_ಠ

Needless to say I went in the theater with low expectations, I mean this only opened on 4 screens.  And it's not like this is a home-brewed movie with unrecognizable names: Rashida Jones (I LOVE HER), Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood, Emma Roberts.  But I had to send out a YouTube link of the trailer because most of my friends never heard of it.

We were all laughing within the first 5 minutes and thankfully it didn't fall off from there unlike other movies: when I started watching "Friends with Kids," I kept thinking to myself, "Why the hell didn't anyone tell me how funny this movie is/was!?!"  After about 30 minutes I realized why, it fell flat on its face and ultimately let me down.  Rashida and Andy play their parts well --- the funny and serious.

You know how these romantic-comedies always have their funny and bright moments but inevitably end up in that dark and serious place, some movies take a deep nosedive and some stay there too long and can never dig themselves out.  "Celeste and Jesse Forever" has its serious moments in spurts and it quickly comes back to normal so you don't end up feeling all bummed out for the characters and what they're going through.  Let me be honest, some of the humor is immature and crude, but you don't feel like it's out of character, so it's natural.  Hell, the older lady sitting in front of me with her adult son was laughing the loudest.

Walking out of the theater we all turned to each and unanimously agreed that it was a good movie.  Which was such a relief for me, because if it was another crap-fest, I would have been ridiculed until the next movie outing.  Later in the day, I ended up watching "The Five-Year Engagement," boy, am I glad that I didn't recommend watching that movie...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What a Difference a Branch can make...

My branch had our dreaded monthly staff meeting this week. Our new branch manager stopped by to sit in and meet every one before she officially starts which I thought was really nice. She's been with the library for awhile so I was bound to know someone who has worked with her. I got all the "dirt" on her before when I just found out she was a candidate. Good thing is, is that there is not "dirt," she's good peoples. She's coming from a bigger branch to our smaller one, a move I also made. After the general staff meeting, we broke up into departments and one of her first questions was, "Any problem patrons?" I couldn't hold back a laugh, I've seen the incident reports from her branch, it is in a sketchy area of the county. As a general comparison the median income difference is about $40,000: the median income for her branch's zip code is $25,000; our branch's is at $65,000. Our childrens librarian answered her question by going on about how some of the little children can be loud and tend to run around, but hey, there little kids. My supervisor chimed in and mentioned that it isn't the children but the parents and nannies faults. My laugh made my info coworkers look at me, and I told them upfront, "This is a nice easy branch, this is a great place to start out in or to retire from." It is a library branch with training wheels. You will get those atypical disgruntled patrons, but you will not get the extreme crazies. If the biggest patron issue of the branch is noisy little kids, you've got it pretty easy. That's my new nickname for the branch, "The Big Easy"!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gangnam Style... like a bossssss.

I for one welcome the K-Pop takeover. The original, if you haven't heard or seen this yet.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Love/Hate Experience with Overdrive and Kindle...

Two weeks ago I had a patron call asking for help getting his library ebook to his Kindle.  I could tell over the phone that he was not tech-savvy at all, so I took my time explaining what to click and all.  After 15 minutes of unsuccessfully getting the ebook to his Kindle, I told him to try Overdrive support or Amazon Kindle online help.  He called back later and talked to a coworker who also tried to help him.  It didn't work, so he gave the patron the number for the closest library that has volunteer one-on-one sessions for e-readers.

Well, our patron here was very determined to get his ebook that same day, he came in the branch and lucky me was on the info desk again.  So I called someone to watch the desk for me as I walked him over to public PC to attempt to download.  I went through the steps with him, but for some reason when we tried to download it from the Amazon site it said it already was, but when I looked at the Manage my Kindle section, the book wasn't listed.... Apparently when you try to get Kindle books through Overdrive, there is the slight chance your ebook might get lost in the ether.  The only way to resolve this is by contacting Amazon support directly, so OverDrive got let off the hook--- this time.

A lady brought in her iPad and wanted to download some ebooks.  She already had the OverDrive app installed, so I showed her the process of finding the library, searching through the collection and we were able to set up an Adobe account for her and download an ebook in 10 minutes flat and the patron left with a smile.  A couple hours later, a dad came up with his 8 year old boy and the young boy's iPad, they wanted me to show them the same thing.  Sure thing, easy-peasy right?  Well, for some reason the OverDrive app would not let us select the library.  If you can't select a library, well, you can't access any of the ebooks.

Last Friday, I had a patron call who was trying to download BossyPants the audio book to her iPod.  I am not an Apple person at all, I have never owned any of their products, but that hasn't stopped me from helping patrons with their Apple devices.  She wasn't able to download the file to her Mac even though the OverDrive site says that it works for iPod.  Oh yeah, one small minor detail they don't tell you upfront, you want that audio book for your iPod huh?  The only available format is WMA, but wait, OverDrive shows that it will work for the iPod!  Oh wait, if you hover the mouse over the iPod image, it says that you can only get it to work if you use a PC.  So you can download and listen to WMA files, a PC format, on your Apple iPod, but only if you transfer it using a PC... Thanks a lot OverDrive.

Today, as I was trying to make my escape to the backroom an elderly patron came up with her Kindle Fire asking me to show her how to download ebooks.  Okay, honestly, she didn't want me to show her anything, she just wanted me to do it for her.  Hey, that's cool, she wasn't rude, she was very polite, so I browsed the catalog with her until we found an available ebook that looked interesting to her.  So I began the checkout/download progress and when I asked her to enter in her Amazon account and password, she was worried she would break the keyboard with her bad luck.  So she gave me her email account and password, I worry about these type of patrons, she's on the same level as those who get excited when those internet pop-ups tell them "They're today's lucky winner!"  And they nonchalantly enter in all their personal information for nothing.  Anyways, so after I download her Jo Nesbo book, she tells me that her 7 year old grand-daughter is visiting her soon and that she would like to download some games as well.  So I show her how to find the free game section and we ended up trying out, "Where's my Water?" (don't hate, I enjoyed the game).  She seemed to follow and remember the steps I showed her and I had her repeat it in front of me, her grand-daughter will be one happy tablet camper.

The public library ebook download experience SHOULD be as easy as the last example, if not easier.  You choose the item you want and "check out," and then you sync your device over Wi-Fi and poof --- there's your item on your device.  These numbskull publishers need to realize that pirates are not using the public library as a base for their "industry ruining" operations.  Oh, and don't get it twisted, I have still don't have any love for OverDrive, I still hate their monopolistic-[un-innovative]-greedy-lazy-antilibrary-broken-search-function-ass.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Public Libraries for Learning or Entertainment...

Now I'm in the Mood for some Tacos...
The library branch that I work at, was recently remodeled.  Besides all the, "Wow, it looks so much better," comments, I have also received several comments about the current state of the collection compared to the previous branch's.

Some comments echo one of the biggest arguments about public library collections: "What happened to all of the nonfiction books?  The older library used to have a lot of good reference and research items, now it's all this best seller fiction crap."  "Why aren't there more copies of (so-and-so  title of the latest NYT fiction best seller)?" or "Why doesn't the library have more blockbuster movies on DVD?"

I am a "gamer,"  I have an Xbox 360 and a Wii, I built a custom PC which could handle modern games but I doubt that I even use 1/10th of its potential.  I say gamer in quotes because I don't play everyday nor do I spend hours gaming when I do.  And I will be one of the first people to question whether public libraries should carry video games.  Video games are damn expensive and what are the main motives for libraries to carry them?  Fluff up the door count and circ stats, so that when it comes time to hammer out next year's budget the library can plead its case about how many people plodded their way into the libraries and how many times the latest abomination of 'Modern Warfare' was checked out.

On the flip side, patrons who come in expecting the library to have 'The North American Council of Professional Development for Sub-Saharan Lawn Mower Manufacturers' and getting upset that we don't have it are asking just a bit too much.  The public library does have a good coverage of nonfiction and scholarly materials and subject matter, but constrained budgets be damned, they cannot obtain everything on everything.  There's nothing more the public library wants than to get more people coming in by carrying items people want.  Sometimes patrons will pull the tax-payer card: "my money pays for these books, it should carry the books I want."  Yeah, yeah, play that fiddle -- I technically pay part of my own paycheck.

The Library isn't perfect, and they do try their best, but when you're dealing with the public, you cannot please everyone.  And despite all the patron bitching about the library's collection, the current collection is the same as before the renovation, if not there being a little more materials in every genre with all the new shelving.  I guess it really all depends on if you view the shelves as half full or half empty.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ruby Sparks Minus the Spark... "This is not a love story."

Last night after work, I met up with my library friends to watch "Ruby Sparks."  To be honest, I only ended up watching it because of peer pressure.  The trailers for it did not catch my interest at all.

Looking at all of the reviews popping up, a lot of them mentioned "500 Days of Summer," a movie I really enjoyed.  So I figured, what the hell, you never know, I might actually enjoy it.  Yeah, whoever mentions the two films in the same regard should never be trusted when it comes to movie reviews or anything at all.

I was so disappointed with the movie, that I had to watch "500 Days of Summer" today.  I can see why people could mention the two.  Ruby is a wannabe of Zooey's character Summer.  They share so many similar physical qualities.  I liked Ruby a lot more than Paul Dano's main character, Calvin.  I wanted to reach out and punch Calvin through the screen so many times.  Within the first few minutes into the movie, I knew I hated him.  He doesn't come off as a likeable guy, something you kind of need in a so-called "romantic" movie.  Other small similarities: both main characters drive an old BMW and the use of French music in the soundtrack.

My second regret of last night, after wasting money on this movie, was not having a third Long Island Ice Tea before watching it.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

'50 Shades of Grey' and the Elderly

While I was jogging at a local HS track with my friend (yeah, I know, me exercising --- funny, no?), she was telling me about an elderly gentleman, 87 years old, who came up to her at the info desk asking for a copy of  50 Shades.  He made no pretenses that it was "for my wife," like other male patrons have done in the past when it comes to borrowing romance-smut.  He told her about another book in his younger days that also caused a stir: Lady Chatterley's Lover.  Neither of us have ever heard of it so we had to look it up like an other good librarian would do.  After she placed the hold for him, and told him his place in the queue, #1,000+, he joked that he might not be around when his place comes  : \

I had a similar exchange when an 82 year old patron came up to me at the info desk and pulled out a wrinkled piece of paper from her purse and asked to place a hold on some nonfiction book she heard about on NPR.  After I place her hold, she says, "Well, as long as no one else is here."  She took a furtive glance over both of her shoulders to only spot a young boy who snuck up behind her with his completed summer reading log in hand.  She blushed a little and quietly said, "Can you also place a hold on that 50-book?"  It clicked instantly what she meant, so I just smiled and gave a slight nod of the head.  I told her her place in the holds list and she just replied, "Oh my!  Is it that good?"  To which I could only reply, "No, no it isn't"...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

That's UNCLE Bibliotecher to you...

Baby Hannah
So my sister FINALLY gave birth to a healthy baby girl.  I rushed to the hospital right after work, hopefully baby and mother will be able to go home tomorrow.

I am definitely going to make sure that she gets all the books her little heart desires.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Olympics in the Library.

Great game Ladies!
There was no way I was going to miss the US Women's Soccer game against France today.  I know I could watch the replay after work but why wait when you can watch it live.  My desk schedule was on, off, on, off, etc, so I was able to watch the first half.  When I came out to the desk, it was 1 - 1, at the end of the first half, and I told my supervisor that this was going to be a great game and it really was. 

My supervisor came to the backroom and peeked over my cubicle wall to take a look at it, and I mentioned that it was the beginning of the third extra period.  He replied, "Oh, I guess your feed is on a delay then."  The moment that slipped, his expression changed to, "Oops!" and he quickly went back to the info desk.  He said that right when France seemed to have a good possession too so I was extra tense.  A few minutes after, I walk back on to the desk grinning, and he said that he hoped he didn't ruin the game for me.  I told him no biggie, in fact, I was really worried that we wound up losing the game.

Stupid NBC Olympics App, what's the deal with the delay???  It's not like it is just a 30 second delay either, but over a minute or so.  "Live stream" my ass...
So it looks like Thursday will be another great day for women's Olympic soccer --- USA! USA!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

What Not to Wear...

I'm not going to lie, I'm a fan of TLC's "What Not to Wear."  I used to watch it on the regular back in the day.  My favorite part of the show is when they have that one person who swears up and down that they dress perfectly fine, but when they step into that 360 mirror, you see them begin to question their own judgement.   My librarian friends and I have been conspiring for awhile now about putting  a coworker, (or two, okay, a couple) up for the show.  It seems like the best way to meet Stacy London or Clinton Kelly.

IMPOSTERS!

So when I came across this title during my weeding report, I was more than disappointed to not see that Stacy nor Clinton were on the cover.  Let's take a look at what these charlatans have to offer.











Yes, this does say you "don't want to fuss too much with my clothes," which is why you just wear a jacket and nothing under it. 
These two have nothing on my Stacy and Clinton.


My Milkshake brings all the boys to the yard

Like a Boss.. a bra-less boss.

So in conclusion, the number #1 style tip from  What Not To Wear for Every Occasion: Le Brassiere...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Parking Lot Pimpin': Library Edition...

MSRP $116,670
2012 Aston Martin Vantage V8 Coupe.  Not surprising that a patron at my branch would drive a six-figure car.  As a car enthusiast, I am always spotting nice rides on my commute to and from work.

I remember a comment my supervisor made to me when he started at my branch.  He just had his first baby and during storytime he came up to me and said, "Add up all those strollers in the lobby and you could buy a car"  I thought he was exaggerating until I went to the local baby store with my sister, who is due any minute now, but he wasn't joking...

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Rules of the Library #4: Fans, Fans Everywhere.


Rules of the Library #4: Fans, Fans Everywhere.

They don't call it the "Greying of the profession" for nothing.  With older coworkers in every branch, a lot of them experience hot flashes on the daily.  Usually being the lone male in the library, I have heard way too many jokes and references to menopause from my coworkers.  That usually isn't the worst of it, it's the jokes about Viagra and their husbands which I usually cringe at.

Right at your hoo-ha
It is not uncommon to hear the whirring of fans at the info desk, circ desk, and the backroom.  This is all year round too.  The circ manager stopped asking my opinion if "the branch is too hot" during the winter months --- "Wait, your opinion doesn't count!"  I'm sitting at the info desk, all layered up, and she's across the way at the circ desk with a fan blowing at hurricane speed.  I don't know if fan salespeople exist, but if you do, hit up your local library and you can send your children to college from all the sales.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Library doesn't need/want your crusty, used '50 Shades of Grey' donation...

ewww....
While going through donations to see if they could be added to our collections, I came across this filthy mcnasty copy of 50 Shades.  The first half of the book is "water" damaged.  I say "water" because I have no idea what fluid touched this book nor do I want to know.  The thing is, patrons usually drop off books by the bag or box load. 

If a patron dropped this book by itself, I'm fairly certain my coworkers working the circ desk would have thrown this damaged book in the trash.  All of the other books in the lot were nice and dry... except for this one.  I really should not be surprised that a patron actually thought that the condition of this book was "good enough" for the library's shelves.  Silly patrons, damaged books are for the trash-can, not the library.

Needless to say I burned this book as well as my desk... and the cart this book was sitting on.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

To the patron who said they would give me half a million dollars...

To the patron who said that they would give me half a million dollars --- I won't forget.

I had a patron come up to the info desk with a color photograph of a painting that his old landlady gave him over 40 years ago.  This was an elder patron and he admitted that he wanted to "get his ducks in a row" while he could still "get around."

He had no idea who the painter was, but he was hoping that we, The Library, had the right resources.  The best I could do was find a couple of online resources that might have been the right artist or not, depending on how you interpreted the signature.  He seemed pleased with what I had found and said that he was going to visit one of his friends who works at an art museum.  Seems like the first place I would have gone, but it was nice he thought of the library.  He said, "Who knows?  Maybe it's worth a million dollars, I'll give you half of it!"

With a couple hundred grand on the line and a couple of hours after he left, I continued to do some more research into that particular artist and found a website that listed their recently ended auctions.  The highest auction ended at $15,000.  So Generous-Patron, your estimate of $500,000 was pretty far off, but I would more than gladly take a couple grand, you know where to drop off the check.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Google Nexus 7 Tablet: First Impression...

Bibliotecher Tablet Count: #6 & #7...
This morning I was able to find the Nexus 7, N7, available at a local store.  Needless to say, it took me all of 10 seconds before I had two in my cart for in-store pick up.  The hustler in me wanted to buy more but I restrained myself, funny thing, because when I went to the counter to pick mine up, I saw 6 tablets reserved for one person.  With such a high demand, I'm surprised the store didn't have a "1 per customer" limitation.

The packaging is clean and it comes with a quick start guide, a wall charger, and a ridiculously short USB cable.  From tip to top the USB cable measures ~38.5 inches.  That just good enough to plug into the surge protector on my floor and reach my bedside table, unfortunately, it won't extend to where I can use it in bed.  Also, I have a multiport USB charger that has worked with both of my phones, HTC Inspire 4G and Samsung S2, as well 3 different tablets: HTC Flyer, HTC View, HP Touchpad.  For some reason the Nexus will not charge at all.  The multiport charger is rated at 2.1A while the bundled Asus one at 2.0A. I'm going to have to do more research on other multiport USB chargers.

The N7 is a little over 4 grams lighter than my HTC Evo View 4G, it may not sound like much but when it comes to this tablet size, you can feel the difference.  I like the 7" tablet size for bedside reading.  It's thinner than my HTC Evo View, but then again, the HTC has a rear facing camera.  But then again, I only have used it once, same with the front facing camera.

I am a little disappointed that there is not MicroSD card support with the N7.  Seems that everyone is using "the cloud" for their files.  The screen resolution is worlds better than the HTC.  Everything is so much crisper.  Playing videos through the YouTube app is nice and clear, the speaker is decent, it's not going to rock the house but you have to keep your expectations grounded. 

Everything about the N7 is quick and smooth, I cannot wait to use this daily.  I'm really digging it and I am getting ready to transfer all my games and files over from my HTC Evo View to sell it.  It took less than 12 hours to find a buyer and make a transaction for the other N7 I bought.  Maybe I should have bought more, now I just need to get my hands on an Asus Infinity TF700!