Thursday, May 30, 2013

Terra (Terrestrials #1) Book Report.

Oh no, not another dystopian young adult novel you say.  Well, I think it's better than those other dark YA novels.  You know the ones with the monochromatic covers, if there is any color involved, it usually involves a rose or flower of sorts.

Although I am not the best source for YA novels, I have read the The Hunger Games and Divergent series.  And they all seem to be built upon the same premise.

Here's the ingredient list for non-vampire related YA novels:
1 - a post-apocalyptic world
1 - structured caste system
1 - a "typical" teenage female who belongs in the lower rung of society
1 - male character who becomes the love interest
1 - strange set of circumstances which leads said female to become the heroine

There are a lot of structural similarities between these three novels, fortunately, Terra is able to distance itself well enough to keep my interest.  

I did have some questions after finishing the book.  These are not technically spoilers since the Amazon book description includes these details, but whatever, you've been warned.

My first question is, how high in the atmosphere are the skydwellers living?  This leads me to my second question, if they are as high as I assume they are from reading, wouldn't all the scraps the scavengers look for burn up in the atmosphere?

Overall, Terra is a quick and entertaining read.  If you are a fan of The Hunger Games or Divergent, you would definitely appreciate the Gretchen Powell's take on a dystopian world.  Now I am on to my next book: The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Not your usual library staff meeting...

Have to make sure his baby is ready for the summer...
In lieu of our boring monthly staff meeting, my branch manager sent out an email saying that we are having a surprise baby shower for my supervisor.  His wife is due any day now, so my work schedule is up in the air since I may need to cover a shift or two.

On another note, my literacy council student passed his citizenship test and is officially an American!  I didn't realize how much I had forgotten about the government and civics until I was helping him prepare for the process.  "Name a power that belongs to the state" --- what now!??

Monday, May 20, 2013

Operation Creepy Carrots

The Abyss...

My supervisor made the wise decision to place a picture book on the ledge of his cubicle.  Needless to say the book fell into the abyss a few days later.  It was a slow night, as usual, so he and I spent the last hour looking for items in the branch to use to retrieve it.

The circ manager saw both of us on his desk with our heads against the wall and asked us "what the hell are you two up to now?"  She told us it was a lost cause because the gap between the wall and cubicle was too narrow and the only way to separate the cubicle wall would be to dismantle the whole row of cubicles, 6 in total.  The circ manager just rolled her eyes and told us that it was impossible to get it back and to just mark it missing --- oh yeah, challenge accepted.  We only had an hour before closing so we called it quits for the night.

After clopening (Clopening; noun: when you are scheduled to close the night and open the next morning), we returned to our mission to free Creepy Carrots from the cubicle crevasse.  We ended up using two yard sticks and "chop-sticking" the book free.  I sent this pic of the successful rescue and she just replied, "So how much cursing and band-aids did it take?"  No band-aids were needed --- thank you very much, a few curse words though...

There's a book in my boot!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Judging an Audio-book by its Cover.

We have a book display, one display in fact, which is in front of the info desk.  It is currently filled with titles that we have multiple copies of.  Last week, I saw the audio-book and physical book covers for The Help and I almost pulled them from the display thinking they were different titles altogether.

This is the regular US edition cover.  Not surprisingly, there is a different cover for the UK version.  As you can see, it is very simplistic, it has a calming affect.  The cover is completely passive and no one would be able to guess the plot based on it.

Now we here is the audio-book cover.  It is such a stark contrast to its tree-based counterpart.  This cover is very aggressive and does offer some hints at the overall plot.  It almost has an "American History X" feel to it.

If someone checks this out looking for a gritty, violent story based solely on the cover, well, they are going to be highly disappointed.  They say not to judge a book by its cover, but it's going to happen, just looking at these two covers, it seems like they are two completely different stories.

This is the first time that I have ever noticed such contrasting covers for the same book, but I will keep my eye out for more.  This kind of trivial stuff interests me, what can I say, I like to live my life one check out period at a time.

Speaking of book displays, patrons LOVE them just as much as librarians do.  Anything you put in a book display will get checked out, ANYTHING.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Library Lost and Found: First World Problems Edition

At other branches the lost and found collection tends to be filled with Razor scooters and skateboards.  At mine, it's lacrosse sticks and golf clubs.  Still waiting on that hundred dollar bookmark though...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Patron is a Patron, unless They're a Douche...

Not really what the Patron Note field was intended for but
some of my coworkers can't seem to suppress their rage.

When you work with the public, your chances of encountering those with the "holier than thou" mentality increase tenfold.  Self-centered would be the best way to group these people together.  They are the ones who feel like they are above everyone else and the same ground rules do not apply to them.  They are the ones who will argue every single time they incur a late fee under $1.  "It isn't my fault, something is wrong with your system," or "Well, I didn't get an email reminder about them so I didn't know they were due so I shouldn't have to pay the late fees."

Last week a patron came up to the desk to say that he had the conference room reserved.  Yes, yes he did, but he was also an hour late so I cancelled his reservation and placed another patron in the room.  The rules state that rooms are only held for 30 minutes before reservations are deemed null and void.  Luckily my supervisor happened to be at the desk with me because I do not think I would have been able to deal with him cordially.  The patron became very indignant, raising his voice because he felt that it would help his cause.

He told the patron, whom I shall refer to as D, that he is an hour late and that the room was given to someone else who asked for it.  D replied, "Look here, I told you last week when I called that I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it at that specified time."  D then said that he it was my supervisor he talked to last Friday to make the reservations.  Yeah, well, my supervisor and I both had that day off and we are the only males who work info.  D then said, "There's only a guy and two little girls in there, you need to make them leave the room so I can use it.  I need to conduct this interview NOW."  It was at this point I had to bite my tongue and restrain myself from telling him that I didn't give a damn about who he was or what he was doing.  My supervisor ended up sticking him in one of the larger meeting rooms which he technically didn't have to offer since they are only meant to be used for bigger groups.  I don't think I would have offered it to him, I would have told him about the park bench across the street.

I've encountered D before when I covered another branch for its staff meeting.  He was also using a meeting room but this time someone else was waiting on him because he didn't leave at the scheduled time.  I ended up telling him 3 times that someone else had the room reserved and they were waiting on him.  The first time he didn't even look up when I opened the room and said, "Excuse me," he just kept going on about his business.  The third time I was done, I opened the door and stood in the doorway until he got pissed off and packed up his things and finished his meeting outside of the library.

Thankfully, these people are far and few between.  If it wasn't this way, the term "going librarian" would be the common synonym for workplace violence.