Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Welcome to the Public Library, Where No One is EVER HAPPY...

I remember doing this in 2nd grade, I wrote a letter to my Mom...
Last week, the library received a letter in the mail from a local elementary school child. I remember doing this project in second grade, measuring the placement of the stamp with a ruler thinking that if it wasn't in the proper place, parallel to the edges in the front right corner of the envelope it wouldn't be sent.

I actually just had a short conversation with a regular patron this afternoon.  He asked if anyone ever thought about putting a wall between the children's area and the rest of the library.  This library was just remodeled last year so I highly doubt there will be any new construction on the horizon.  I really think there is a strong disconnect between architects when it comes to library function and form.  When was the last time they were actually in the to see how "things work."  Nice airy spaces look and feel nice, but how about you throw up some sound-deadening here and there.

Anyways, sorry Little Miss Patron, but I refuse to "Shhh" anyone or make references to it.  It's bad enough I'm rocking the stereotypical cardigans at work.

Friday, May 25, 2012

L.E.V. Parking Spots are the Worst...

My branch is newly remodeled, it's all fancy with its LEED - certification and green roof.  Unfortunately, the parking lot needed a certain amount of L.E.V. (that stands for Low Emission Vehicle you anti-green, polluters) spots and they happened to place them all together in the front row.  I'm sure this move makes for great P.R. for the district supervisor, but it has been nothing but hell for library staff.

We get so many curmudgeons coming in to complain about them, it's become an almost daily event.  Last Wednesday was the worst for me.  3 different patrons during the whole day took the time to bitch to me at the info desk.  The first two were funny, the last was just a pain in the ass.

The first patron to approach me asked in a Seinfeldian way, "What's the deal with the LEV parking?"  I gave her the spiel about the LEED certification and that the library had no input or control in the matter.  I gave her the district supervisor's number, since it's pointless to bitch to me thinking I can just put on a hard-hat and redo the parking lot myself.  Then she went on a tirade about "all these damn Leftists, controlling how the majority lives."  "You know what, if something isn't healthy for you then don't eat it, but don't take that option away from me."  Amen to that sister, eeerrr ma'am, you can take my parking spot but you'll have to pry this Krispy Kreme from my cold, frost-covered fingers.

The second patron came up to the desk and asked me what constitutes an "LEV."  He doesn't drive a hybrid but gets 28 mpg.  I gave him the same spiel, blah blah not the library's decision blah blah supervisor blah blah.  When I asked if he wanted to district supervisor's number, he said that he would look it up.  Before he turned around, he asked the name for the supervisor.  After I told him he replies, "Oh, THAT guy??  He's an idiot!"  I couldn't help but laugh at that.

Lastly, came the worst.  She came up to the info desk and pointed at the lady who had just walked up to the circ desk and told me, "That lady right there just parked her Lexus SUV in one of the LEV spots."  My eyes just glazed over and I stared blankly in her general direction.
Oh, you think I can/will do something about that?
She pretty much tattle-tailed on that woman to me, who knows maybe it was RX - Hybrid, which isn't just a plain old regular LEV, it's a SUPER-LEV, ooooh-aaaaah!  I knew from the tone in this patron's voice that there was not going to be an amicable ending to this interaction.  So I figured, eff it, I'm going in, no attempt to try to appease her.  I told her that those spots are not enforced.  I got the reaction I was expecting, "What?! Why not?"  Because no one cares, park there, it's not that serious.  She kept repeating over and over, "But that lady parked her SUV in one of those spots."

I asked if she wanted the number for the district supervisor, she said she was just trying to be in and out, so I told her she could go get her books and I'll find her.  It really only took 10 seconds, and she also failed to mention that her "in and out" also meant spending another couple minutes bitching to me about the lack of materials.  I told her that we, at the branch level, do not make any of the decisions.  There's a whole department called Acquisitions, that, shocker---acquires ish.  She said, "Well, have you made any suggestions or advice?"  I said no because it's not in my job title, then she says, why don't you take the initiative, I quickly got bored of her inane arguing and asked if she wanted the number for the library director.  She could only reply, "I'm so sick of this bureaucratic nonsense, 'it's not our fault, blame this or that.'"  Well, lady, I don't know what to tell you, blame the system.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pillowtown vs Blanketsburg the Book...

6 Seasons and a Movie
I came across this donation last Saturday.  The connection to Community's 'Pillows and Blankets' episode is uncanny, which happened to be my favorite episode of the season until last week's 8-bit took its place.

With all the drama going on with Community, it looks like the battle-cry of "6 Seasons and  a Movie" might be futile.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Brace Yourselves, Summer Reading is Coming...

Yesterday's staff meeting was the last one before SRP starts, so the Info meeting was all about it: book lists, book talks, signing up, youth volunteers, etc.  It was the first time we ever used the whole allotted time talking about Info related stuff, I mean, there never really is anything "new or radical" in the public library world.

It was also talked about during the all staff meeting.  I just want to take the time out to say thanks to my coworkers who volunteered me to take the meeting notes... punks.  "That's what you get for coming prepared," said my coworker sitting next to me as she was playing Angry Birds on her phone.  I'll just botch the notes when I type them up so they won't choose me again.

It was agreed that the teen poster looked like an ad for Apple and the theme: "We Own the Night," seems completely unrelated to SRP so they will not be posted.  And it appears that I'm the only one who finds the guitar playing bats NOT cute.  Yet another example of horrible library marketing.

Tangent Warning:  Theon, wtf!?!??  You quickly have tied Joffrey as the #1 person I love to hate.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Catty Librarians...

With my supervisor having left the library completely last week and the youth services manager on annual leave this week, my branch had to ask for outside help. We ended up getting 6 different librarians from 3 other branches to cover some shifts.  I've been around the system so I was only unfamiliar with just 2 of them.  Yeah, I get around.

Two of the librarians covering shifts applied for my supervisor's job and were turned down, they probably didn't know that I knew.  They both wanted the job pretty badly because they talked to me about how much they like the new building and would really like to work here.  They both asked me what I knew about the guy who got the job.  I really didn't have anything to tell them, I don't know the guy.  They would just get this sad look on their face.  Awkkkwwaaaarrrddd.
When I told my friend from another branch who would be the PIC on Saturday she warned me that "she's a complete b."  Whenever my friend has run into her, she only gets attitude or completely ignored by this other librarian.  My friend described her as young, well-dressed, and stuck up.  So my impression about her from my friend is that she doesn't get along with other females.

I am sure that this happens with female coworkers in other work environments but if you haven't noticed by now, this is a blog by a public librarian.  The library is a woman's world, if anything, this might be happening more often than not.  This is not the first time I have seen this happen.  When I was working Sundays for the city library, my supervisor did not get along with one of her regular weekly coworkers.  That's pretty much an understatement, they HATED each other and everyone knew about it.  The few times it was brought up in conversation, I never really understood how it started, it just happened.  Then again, I was the only male staff member on Sundays and the other female coworkers would bitch to me about our supervisor, who is also young, well-dressed, but I can't personally say she was stuck up, she put up with my stupid antics.

My first desk shift was scheduled with my friend's nemesis.  Since it was my first time ever meeting her, I asked her the usual questions I ask every librarian: How long have you been in the system?  What other branches have you worked at?  Do you like your branch? etc.  She seemed friendly enough and talkative.  I worked the whole day with her and talked to her quite a bit.  Since it was her first time working my branch and she was the PIC, she kept asking me questions about the branch since I was the only Info person who works there.  I did notice something from the other librarian covering that day.  Near the end of the day when we were working the desk together, she noticed the PIC walking around the branch and she turned to me and said, "What do you know about her?"  There was a little something in the tone of her voice.  I mean, both of them were working the whole day together before I started my shift and had yet to talk to each other... weird.  It just confirmed that she gives other female coworkers signals that she isn't friendly.

The next day my friend emailed me asking for my opinion on her nemesis.  I know she was looking for validation for her not liking her, but I honestly did not get that feeling from her.  So I told her that she was nice to me, and that she probably doesn't get along with other females.  My friend pretty much said my opinion ended up not counting because "you're a young, cute, well-dressed male."  Well then, we'll just have to rerun the experiment with a female.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Aristocrats...

There's a dirty joke around here somewhere...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Farewell Maurice...

The Digital Quicksand, the new Digital Divide...

From the Bibliotecher Dictionary:

Digital Quicksand: the false belief that just because an item (book, journal, article, audio) is available in electronic format, then it must be available instantaneously and free of cost to the user.

If it wasn't bad enough people are trying to close the Digital Divide, there is now a new technology-borne problem on the horizon.  Yeah, it isn't that serious but it still exists.  Unfortunately, in this world of "need it now," people have the tendency to get upset when they cannot get what they what right then and there.

Countless patrons came strolling in after Christmas with their newly unwrapped e-readers wanting to download all those books they wanted to read but never had the time, to only walk away dejected and sometimes pretty upset.  "What do you mean there's a wait list for an ebook??"

Yes, there are holds lists for ebooks.  And yes, the library did not do a good job about letting the public know about how e-book borrowing works.  Well, that might be because libraries, themselves, did not know and still do not since they pathetically take whatever Evil Overdrive gives them, which is just a puppet of publishers.

I try to explain that the library has no real control or say in the matter, well, they do have a say, they could say, "Eff this," and not deal with e-books at all.  But librarians are way to passive-aggressive to do anything about it, so they'd just probably vent about it on their blogs.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

ALA Presidential Campaign Adviser for Hire...

I don't like to take credit when I know I don't deserve it, but, is it just a simple coincidence that I happened to called out Millsap and she ends up losing the ALA Presidential race --- Yeah, probably but whatever. 

It is just not mathematically possible that the 5 readers of my blog could have accounted for the 1,786 difference in votes.  But I'm just saying, if any of you 5 readers plans to run for ALA President in the future, it would be sage of you to consider hiring me as a Presidential Campaign Adviser. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Have we learned nothing from Jurassic Park?

I have a big head and little arms...
Despite how bad ass it would be to have my own pterodactyl to ride to work everyday, I don't think I would want any velociraptors running around my backyard.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What the hell is so great about '50 Shades of Grey'

More like 50 Shades of Ish
So the library has finally placed orders for 50 Shades of Grey.  It's only been requested by patrons every day I've worked for the past three weeks.  Last week, I finally decided to see what the buzz was all about.  Patrons always come up to the desk and tell me what I should read, I've followed through on a few recommendations and have not been disappointed.

One thing about me, I don't like to NOT finish a book once I've started reading it.  But 50 Shades of Grey is only going to be the second book I've stopped reading, the first was The Elegance of the Hedgehog, came off as really pretentious to me.  50 Shades of Grey is just a story with terrible writing with a terrible characters and plot.  Put simply it's literary smut, just because there isn't some Flabio on the cover, don't be fooled.

**Spoiler Alert**  Take one young, inexperienced female with low self-esteem who does not think she looks good, add one extremely rich, wunderkind, who looks like a male supermodel with a permanent Photoshop filter turned on, who gets whatever he wants and somehow only wants said-female and blammo, you end up with a bunch of ish.

All I know is that the people behind the marketing of this book series are pure marketing geniuses who could convince a slug to invest in salt.   Here's a great drinking game for this horrid, horrid book: you take a shot every time a character "murmurs."  You will undoubtedly end up in an alcohol-induced coma only a quarter into the book and you can thank me later when you wake up in hospital without any memory of the book.