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.


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...