Monday, January 25, 2010

So Not My List

(found on the floor near the items in question)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ostensibly Informational

A woman called to ask a few basic questions about Haiti, since it was in the news. She wanted to know when it gained independence. After I found the exact date for her (using a print source in the Ready Reference section, I’ll have you know), she said that she thought France never should have let it go. I told her that they didn’t have much choice, since it was a successful revolution. She said that France should have taken it over again, since the people there were obviously incapable of ruling themselves. I let it go. I did not want to engage. I hate simple reasons for complicated situations. I think she took my silence as disagreement, because she kind of backed off, saying that what she meant was that the country was just too small and could not support industry. I was silent again, not wishing to engage on this one by telling her that they DID have a garment industry, and that was part of the problem. And also that if size was important, Singapore and Hong Kong should have folded long ago. Oh ick. I just hope she doesn’t vote. Or reproduce. Or ever call the library ever again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A New Game that You Can Play at Home

When conducting research over the phone while talking to the reference librarian, please, go ahead and eat your breakfast. Extra points for talking with your mouth full. Double extra points for clanking your spoon against the bowl. Feel free to shout out “Yahtzee!” if, while attempting to talk with your mouth full, some food/milk begins to dribble out of your mouth and you suck it back in loudly.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Oh, Great, a Whole New Way to Get Grossed Out at the Library

It wasn't his crappy attitude that bothered me. There is a kind of person who has real entitlement issues, and they come into the library a lot, so I'm pretty used to them. So I let his long speech about what a lousy library we were because we didn't have all 8 zillion seasons of That One Show that I've Never Heard Of wash right over me. I smiled and nodded in what may have appeared like agreement but was actually lack of interest when my institution was excoriated because we won't let him have 4,000 Interlibrary Loans so he could watch all of the aforesaid seasons of the aforesaid show. I didn't cringe at the sight of the long, white chest hair billowing out of the top of his shirt that had the top two buttons undone. But he did get to me when, in the middle of his speech, he took out his nail clippers and began trimming his dirty nails over the desk. (He was actually miffed when I asked him to do that over a, you know, wastebasket.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ummm...Hi? Hello? Excuse me?

Loud-talking woman with the cell phone who is wandering around the library? Yes, hi. Yeah, there are some people way over there who haven’t heard about the plans you’re making. Yeah…way over by the…no, no, you’ve already been in the children’s section…over to the right by that sign that says Quiet Area…There you go…thanks

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What I Have Learned About Scottish History

What I have learned about the history of the great nation and people of Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries from looking at the covers of romance novels.

1. Scottish men had plenty of time to work out and, most likely, put stuff like Creatine and whey powder in their oatmeal.
2. Scottish men had plenty of time to shave their chests.
3. The weather in Scotland used to be way nicer back in the old days, since the kilties felt no need to wear shirts.

Next Up: What I learned about werewolves (hint: they're REALLY SEXY if you can overlook the fleas and occasional mange).

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thought Beams...Must...Resist...Thought Beams...

Every morning before we open, a crowd of people gathers at the front door, mostly waiting for their daily ration of Teh IntarWebs. I am seated directly across from this door and can feel a powerful wave of psychic energy emanating from those on the other side. (The other side of the door, I mean. Not the other side of this vale of tears. I’m not spiritually or psychically advanced, you see, so I’m sruprised I get the waves of impatience from the other side of the thin pane of glass at all, forget about other worlds. In fact, I used to work at this college that apparently had a LOT of ghosts on campus and certain rooms were said to be haunted to the point that people did not want to stay in them. I’ll admit that the place was a little creepy at night—it was situated on a bluff overlooking the ocean. It was often foggy and not terribly well lit at night, so spooky atmospherics were the order of the day. Or night. I lived on campus and would ask to be put in the spookiest/most haunted places. No matter how many nights I spent in places that were guaranteed to have been occupied by unhappy spirits, I never saw any apparitions or had any of the bizarrly vivid and horrible dreams people were said to have. Slept like the dead, if you will, but in a more positive way.) I try to avoid looking up when I’m logging on to the computer and checking emails and doing all of the little quotidian things one must do to get ready for the day, since it will only get me a dozen or so pairs of eyes drilling into me, willing me to GETUP and OPENTHEDOOR.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Little Editorializing in the Bookmarks

Aside from the Prophet, Who is This Guy?

Found in a book, of course.

I Think I Spoke to You

Ewww…I hate hearing that one when I get the phone. Somebody calls and says something like, “Yeah, I called and put a hold on the movie Blah Blah Blah* last Tuesday—I think I spoke to you, in fact—and (fill in the text of some problem).” It means that something went wrong, and I am to blame. It doesn’t help that I am one of the few y-chomosome-bearers in the building.

*Not the actual name of the movie. This is a composite title derived from the main plot points of several of the most popular films of the last three years.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Today's Meditation Topic, Students

Dearest Acolytes and Adepts,
As you begin this day, reflect upon the following:
Having reached the age of at least 7, should anyone be surprised that a copier or other vending-type machine does not take pennies?
Grace on your Journey,
Guru deskslave

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So Cute

A boy of maybe 9 came up to the desk. There was this movie he wanted, but he couldn't quite remember the title. "I wish I could read my own mind," he said, "but I can't."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Not Entirely My Fault

that they haven't made a movie out of your favorite Ann Rule book, sir.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Colleague Just Observed

that the only people who show interest in our print reference collection are people who are in MLS programs and are working on an assignment. I reminded him that the Chilton's manuals still get used. It was also strange that there were two guys at the desk. Really strange. I'm not sure that's ever happened.We kinda almost talked about guy stuff when the Chilton's came up until we both realized that the most impressive thing we've ever done with a car is changed windshield wipers.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Put in My Place Parts 13,491 & 13,492

Usually it’s patrons who do this, today it was a fellow employee. I’m a reference person. I’d like to think that all us library folk are on the same team, but not everyone wishes to bridge the divide between reference and circulation. A circ person came to the desk, patron in tow.
“You speak Spanish, don’t you?” she asked.
“Not really.” *
“Well I do,” she said.
It sounded like the beginning of a sentence to me, so I sat there, a model of patience, waiting for something like, "and he would like to know how to do heart surgery on a hamster," or something. But there was nothing, so eventually, I sprang into action with this sparkling conversational gambit: “Cool.” I mean, I didn’t want her to think that her accomplishment was underappreciated.
My word hung in the air for a moment, as though the movie had been paused. Eventually, she told me what the patron, who appeared to be as monolingual in his tongue as I am in mine, wanted.

Then, a little later, a woman came to the desk wielding a book. I was informed in firm and somewhat derisory language that she found the book. My blank expression begged for more information. She, however, thought it begged for a restatement: she herself had just found that very book. I asked a few tentative questions. It turned out that the day before, she had been in looking for the book and, after two of my esteemed colleagues had searched both the catalog and the shelves, she had been assured that the book was not in our collection. But, determined, she returned today, and, by golly, found it. Her confidence in finding the item came from the fact that she had rented it from us before. I wanted to tell her that it must have been at a different library, since this one did not rent things, and while we were at it, what was I supposed to do about her successful search. But I didn’t have time, because at the conclusion of her diatribe, She scoffed, “You people don’t even know what you have.” I actually felt a little bad for her; she had obviously come in hoping to rub the book in a few people's faces, and I had spoiled her fun by not being one of the people who had failed her yesterday.

*I can say such important-to-the-library things as "la copiadora está allí," although it may be es and not está. I never can't tell. That and when to use por and when to use para. If you want to know when to use por and when to use para, here is an easy system: ask me, then use the other one.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Forgotten Post from New Years Eve

Oops. I wrote this and then forgot to push the "Publish" button.

With New year’s eve upon us, people are cleaning off the video shelves. As closing time approached, people were getting less and less picky. A couple just had a debate about whether to get Robin William’s timeless masterpiece Moscow on the Hudson or just the Rockford Files. Happy, uh, new year

Friday, January 1, 2010

So He Was Talking, and Other Lessons in Irony

He walked into the library. He had the cell pressed to his head, and he was talking loudly. His interlocutor was somebody with a name that probably betrayed the person who had it, like Miracle, or Destiny, or Karma. I don't remember. He was pissed, and did not care who knew. He loudly berated her at great length and in great detail. Her crime? Calling him from a land line. You see, as I myself learned, THAT COSTS HIM MONEY. I'm sure that drilling this lesson into her head cost him plenty. Cue irony theme. Fade to black.