Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Well, Exccccuuuussssseeee Me...

This afternoon I noticed a little girl who seemed like she was looking for her parent, I think she's around 5 or 6 --I'm really bad with gauging kids' ages.  When she walked by the info desk I asked if she needed help finding someone.  She nodded and followed me as I walked around the info desk to walk with her.  I try to remember patrons' faces when they walk in, but the school's were out and all of the kids were at the library so I had no idea who I was looking for.  So I asked her, "Are you looking for your mom or dad?"  She pauses to look at me like I asked her if she prefers Transformers Generation 1 or Beast Wars and replies (very snobbishly for a wee one mind you), "I'm looking for my au pair."

Damn, Google Ads, why are you so on point??

Google never ceases to amaze me.

The browsers on all of the PC's at the info desk have a tab with the branch location on Google Maps.  It's been pretty helpful for me to help those directionally challenged patrons who call me lost on the road.  I'm still getting acquainted with the area my damn self.

This Google Ad popped up for the library's location and it couldn't have been any more on point.  It has been discussed with my friends who work for other branches, that I have ended up working at the richest one out of all of them.  When I emailed this pic to them, they replied thinking that I was signed in under my account, so Google was just basing the ad on me and not the library's location.  I'm not bloody a chav!

To those that say that only the poor use the public library have no idea what they are talking about.  Look out at the parking lot any day and you'll spot the latest luxury cars, and these patrons aren't in the library just to use the internet to update their Facebook statuses either, they, you know, read books and stuff.

I also found out last week that the local Giant has valet... really Giant!!?
Welcome to my bougie branch!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mo' Library, Mo' Problems...

My branch is newly remodeled, just re-opened last summer.  It is twice as large as the old building, from 3 internet PC's to 20.  We are still getting the oooh and aaah compliments from patrons who only visit when their internet is down.

Now that the building has had time to settle and put through its paces, the flaws are starting to come through.  A few of the hanging signs have decided to break free and swing dangerously above patrons' heads.  Good job to the person who thought of having sharp cornered metal signs hanging above!  Whenever the front doors open a blast of cold air hits the circ and info desk unabated, that and it seems that leaves tend to prefer the lobby than the outdoors.

Now the phones are on the fritz.  "Can I hear you now?"  --Actually no, I couldn't because your calls won't go through.  I never realized how much slower the day goes by on the desk without getting any incoming calls from patrons.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Facebook is the Devil.

I would be the first to admit that I'm no marketing-guru, but when I saw that the library marketing department sent these out to all the branches I had a "WTH" look on my face.  I feel their efforts and resources would have been better spent on creating handouts for e-readers.  This happened after my supervisor tells me that my home-brewed, in-branch Kindle handouts are verboten because they did not go through the proper channels of upper management to get their golden seal of approval.  The library marketing department will FINALLY work on updating the e-book/e-reader handouts but only after the "handout committee" (yes, there's now a committee for that!) decides what they should say.

Thankfully, I've saved the handout on my computer and can print them whenever I feel like it.  Who knows how long it will take the committee to actually do something.  I'll just keep a couple under my sweater and whisper to patrons, "Pssst, hey, I heard you got a new Kindle.  I've got something for you."

Hate to sound like a hipster (which I am completely not), but I was the few who were on FB when they only allowed those with .EDU email addresses to sign up.  Remember those good old days??  Then they let the Myspace riff raff in and it all went to hell.  I deleted my real account awhile ago, I still have one because now it is the only way to get coupons for some deals. 

I have despised FB for quite some time now; I was always anti-social on it.  Now it's "Like Us" this and "Like Us" that.  I just do not trust them with any information.  Librarians get all up in arms about the OverDrive and Amazon connection, but who cares if Amazon knows what you're reading?  Undoubtedly, most Kindle readers already buy from Amazon so it isn't some big conspiracy about what they know about users.  What about all the information FB has on its users and sells on the regular?  But the library doesn't want to warn patrons about that because patrons wouldn't have any reason to come into the library and use the internet PC's, gotta keep those usage stats high!

I remember seeing a flow chart in regards to Web 2.0 commenting and library websites.  I wish I saved it because it was pretty amusing.  It seems that a lot of libraries jumped on the bandwagon just because it is the in thing.  Just having a Facebook account for the sake of having one is worse than not having one at all.  All I can say is, is that if you need an explanation of what a "troll" is then maybe you shouldn't be the one to run your library's blog or moderate the comment sections.  Personally, I think it is a waste of time and resources for the library to moderate it's own website, several blogs, Flickr account, YouTube account, Twitter account, and FB account.  Maybe I wouldn't have such a problem with the library's attempts at FB  if this was more of a secondary source of patron interaction.  The library has a website of it's own that most patrons visit regularly, what happened to using it fully?  The library needs to be more independent and not rely on a FOR-PROFIT(ahem, Evil OverDrive) for patron interactions.  If only the library would stop being such a needy stat-whore/online popularity contestant and stop worrying about the amount of "Likes" and "Followers" it has.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Year of the Tablet...

This time last year I had never owned a tablet.  Then it started with HP's firesale and I bought a Touchpad.  Around November the Christmas deals started to roll out and within 2 weeks I ended up buying an HTC Flyer, Nook Color, and a Samsung Tab 7, a week after that I bought an HTC View, and then finally another Touchpad.  So I started out 2012 with 6 tablets.

I originally bought them to practice downloading e-books from the library's OverDrive site.  I wanted to gain enough experience to give a detailed review and comparison but I was hooked on the HTC Flyer because of HTC Sense it felt just like a bigger version of my old phone: the HTC Inspire 4G, great phone with a horrible battery, don't buy it! --- I know have a Samsung Galaxy S2 and it really does live up to the hype.  In the end I kept the HTC View (a 32gb, black version of the Flyer) for my personal use.  I gave the Flyer to my sister and a Touchpad to my dad for Christmas, and sold the rest.

I personally LOVE the HTC Flyer/View.  The 7" form factor is perfect to carry around and has enough screen space to read/browse/email comfortably.  Personally, I couldn't spend that much money on a Kindle Fire or Nook Color when I could have a fully loaded tablet.  It's the same size and weight, why not get one that can take notes via a stylus or has front and rear facing cameras?  Then again not many people shop as diligently as I do for the good deals.

Every report from last week's CES says that 2012 is the "Year of the Ultralight" but I tend to disagree.  2012 is the year of the tablet.  With the amount of Kindle questions I am getting at the desk since Christmas, I am in no way shocked to hear that it is estimated that Amazon sold a million Kindles a week during December (one source).  On a side note, Hey ALA, is it now time to pay attention to Amazon or are we just going to chalk it up again as, "Amazon can't beat the library"?  I've never believed that tablets could/would ever replace laptops or desktops now or anytime in the near future; they are just another "must-have" electronic addiction we add to our ever expanding collection.

Today during our monthly meeting, we were told that e-books and a working knowledge of e-readers are now our top priority.  Circ and Info are now supposed to be able to explain to patrons the basics of downloading from OverDrive.  Just a couple months ago, we were supposed to redirect any e-book related questions to OverDrive.  So the library is not the quickest when it comes to adapting to current trends, hopefully they'll act much quicker to unite and defeat the evil empire that is OverDrive.

Monday, January 16, 2012

X-Men + Community = My Geek Heaven...

I think the next Halloween episode should feature these characters.  Chang does fit perfectly as a creepy Nightcrawler.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Latest Favorite Bookcover...

Came across this while going through our overflowing donation bin.  It was hidden by a pretty boring dust jacket.  I'm really digging this cover though, it's so meta.

Friday, January 13, 2012

You want your tax forms, here's your stinkin' tax forms!

Right when I make my last post about the day being uneventful I answer the delivery door to this.
Looks like someone went order-happy when it came to tax forms this year.  What a waste of paper...

TGIFriday the 13th...

All of the "stuperstitious" patrons tend to stay at home on this day, so it should be pretty drama free in every library today.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Can Haz SOPA Blackout...

Seems like librarians are finally starting to blog about about the evil that SOPA/PIPA is.  It only took... a couple of months, better late than never?  I don't know, it's all very similar to how libraries started tooting their own horn about how "important and vital" they are to the community when budgets across the nation hit the fan.  Why wasn't this being done before hand?

Well, it's good to know that ALA is fighting SOPA/PIPA head on by stating that they "Strongly Oppose" it.
It is all about the bottom line about saying you're against it but actually not doing anything about it...

A couple of sites will be staging a blackout next week on Wednesday the 18th.  I plan to respond to every patron inquiry at the desk by telling them that "The system is down."  The I Can Haz Cheezeburger network has now joined the list: Mashable News Link.  So this will probably mean a lot of librarians will have nothing to do at work.  Might as well get busy with that weeding list you've put off for months, just sayin'...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Milwaukee Public Library Marketing...

Not sure how effective this campaign will be, but you have to give them an A+ for currency and effort.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New year, same old Library bullsh*t...

People will still claim that this year will be the demise of the public library as we know it... Much like they did last year and the year before.

People will also say that this is the year that physical books will apparently cease to exist all of a sudden, think of dinosaurs and a metaphorical "digital" meteor.

Librarians will still try to change the profession's "image" and the definition of the "library" with a dizzying, and futile deluge of marketing spin.  Are you familiar with the phrase "You can't polish a turd"?  I'm not saying either is a so-called "turd," but these attempts at re-branding are complete BS.

ALA will still push their propaganda about the "graying of the profession" without understanding how supply and demand works, or without any concern about the facts of the current and future job market.  They will also make big deals about trivial matters while ignoring any real threats to their proclaimed "Key Action Areas: Advocacy, Diversity, Education and Lifelong Learning, Equitable Access, Intellectual Freedom, Literacy, Organizational Excellence, and Transforming Libraries."

Hopefully, the Mayans are right so we won't have to deal with this same old crap next year.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Library Fallacy #1: "There is no such thing as a stupid question at the Info Desk"

My friend got a call last week from a patron asking about her branch's storytime schedule.
The patron wanted to know if it was 10:30 AM or 10:30 PM...
Yes, the library has late night, after-hours storytimes. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I am the Library 1%

These past two years have flown by, I am now officially a "librarian."  Yes, even though I do not look like one, it is true and I have an expensive piece of paper that says so.  I really, really, really hate to bust the beloved stereotype.  If it's any consolation my friend who also graduated at the same time gets, "Oh, you really do look like a librarian!"  I, myself, get "You don't look like a librarian."  So my oddness is evened out and the balance is restored in the library.
It even happens at the info desk during the rare times there are two of us staffing it.  Patrons tend to line up on her end of the desk and when I ask them if they need help, they quickly eye her to make sure I'm not some nut who wanted to play librarian for the day.

Let's see how I stack up against the stats:

So I am not your stereotypical librarian.  This will either help me or hurt me when I apply for jobs.  It really depends on the organization and what they are looking for.  Maybe I should try to conduct my own study with my stereotypical looking librarian friend.  We both graduated at the same time, unfortunately, our undergrad degrees aren't the same (she's an English major---shocker right?).

If the title threw you off, I apologize.  I am not making re-dick amounts of money from the library.
Damn, I wish I was the "Library 1%" making that J.K. Rowling money.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Better return your overdue books or we're kicking down your door...

Ish is getting real in the library, you can get a visit from the police if you don't return your overdue books in Charlton, MA. 

Story here.

Go libraries! = \