Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sad, But True

If you leave your unlocked bike in front of the library and use the IntarWebz for a few hours it just might get stolen.

Coming Up Next: salt is salty.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hippy Rules of Conduct

Says right there on Page 73:

"In lieu of bathing, Patchouli oil may be liberally applied."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ick Factor 10, Captain

"Here," said the young woman, handing me a dollar bill. I thought she wanted to pay for her prints or something. I took the bill.
"It was on the floor in the Women's Room," she said, her civic duty done.
I carefully placed the bill on the floor under the desk. After applying the Purell, I pondered what to do with the bill. Any thoughts?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Today's Innovative Parenting Award Goes To...

(rips open envelope)
The young woman using the Internet who responded with great alacrity to the disturbance caused by her child’s cries by putting headphones on! Congratulations, young lady!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Today's Uncharitable Thought

I placed a hold for a particularly unloved patron. The book? How to Live to Be 100 by Sula Benet. It pained me to think that the damn book might work.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

That guy with the face tattoos

The guy with the face tattoos using the Entreweb computer reminded me of a line by Dana Gould.

“You rarely see a guy with a lot of face tattoos hired in the planning department.”

Gould is a comedian who twitters a zinger nearly every day. More at http://twitter.com/danajgould.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

And How Did I Know it Was September 15th?

Because that's the day that people who got tax extensions had until the final reckoning was due. I had many inquiries today about tax forms. I had to disappoint them all, having recycled the lot months before. The late-filers seemed much more fatalistic than the people who clamor for forms in April.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Do You Work Here? Part 4

It's never a good sign when you're sitting at the Deskslave Desk with the large Information sign in plain view, wearing a nametag that identifies you by name and informs even the most casual passerby as a member of the Library staff to have someone ask you if you work here.

It's also not a good sign when the questioner has gigantic cockeyed glasses and a fanny pack, but those are just personal prejudices.

After flinching and recoiling, I gave her my stock answer.* I was summoned over to a wall display of old photos of our area. I was informed that several of the pictures were not hung evenly, which struck me as odd, given the condition of her eyewear. She also claimed that one of the captions was incorrect. I quickly deployed my Rhodia No. 11 pad

and trusty Pilot G2 .07 gel pen

(which are, incidentally, the official little pad and retractable pen of the DeskSlave Multiverse)

I selected a fresh page, where I dutifully jotted down her comments. I can't imagine who I'd give them to, though. So back into my shirt pocket they go.

* Which is "yes," not "only when I have to."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dear Genealogist

I'm glad that you have traced your ancestry back to Alexander the Great, Carrie Nation and the guy who scalped Custer. But I don't want to hear about it. Here's our stuff for persuing your hobby, but leave me out of the rest. No, seriously, I'm tickled that you found great grandad's name on the 1880 census that showed his exact address in Missoula. But please don't tell me about it. I don't even care about my own family tree, so imagine what I think of yours. I look at it this way: a variety of (I'm assuming here) humans did the whole mate/spawn/die process (I myself have accomplished two of these lofty imperatives, BTW). One result was you. One result was me. THAT'S IT. At some point, I'm not going to be here and I don't particularly care if anybody ever digs up anything about me. It depresses me to think that someday somebody will bore some poor librarian someplace with details about my life.
"My great great grandfather was a librarian, too! He wrote this stupid thing nearly every day called a 'blog.' Do you have any information about what these blog things were? Were they a form of religion or something?"

Monday, September 6, 2010

That's Jumping th Gun a Wee Bit There, Dude

A guy just asked if we had "Walking Dead." Not the graphic novel series, either. He wanted the TV show. You know, the TV show that doesn't go on the air until next month.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Not that this is a book review blog

But you must read Jennifer Egan's new book A Visit from the Goon Squad. It is an extremely well-written novel that I read in about three sittings. Each of its dozen or so chapters could probably function as its own short story. Each is told from a different character's perspective and someone who is the main character in one chapter may well reappear as a minor character in another. This gives us the opportunity to see what is going on in the internal world of a character and then gives us a chance to see how that character is perceived in a way that I found very arresting. The author changes up the voice in each chapter, so one may be first person and the next third, or even, in one case--that I thought would be horrible but turned out to be very interesting--a character's Powerpoint presentation. The changes make for a read that is never dull and I found myself wishing for a novel that had each chapter's protagonist.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Those Crafty, Evil Hackers! What Will They Do Next?

The woman who rushed up to the desk was out of breath and a little panicky. "I think somebody is trying to hack my email account!"
I typically don't get too worried about this sort of thing since it's never a hacker and only very rarely a virus. But I don't want people to feel bad, so I take it seriously, at least on the outside. So I went over to her compyootor to see what was up.
"Look," she pointed. "Somebody named 'free2rhyme' is trying to hack into my email. I looked. She was trying to get her yahoo mail. This is what I saw:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010


"STEVEN! DO YOU LIKE PATRICIA CORNWELL!?" shouted the woman at the New Books to her spouse who was 20 feet away looking at movies.

Don't mind us. They were so loud, I practically couldn't hear the babies crying.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not that I Expect Gratitude or Anything...

One of my duties here at deskslave central is buying the Large Print books. It's an interesting challenge, especially since my budget is about eleven cents a year (cut from last year's two bits, I'm afraid). A patron was just in, complaining that she had ordered the two books that she dropped on the desk before me in Large Print, but we had sent her the "little print" versions. Fair enough, I thought, that's the sort of mistake we make, so let's get you the LP. Upon looking them up, I saw that we did not own them in LP, just LP. (For those of you not following this carefully, the first two "LPs" were for "Large Print," and the final one for "Little Print.") I told her this, wondering to myself who had placed the holds: us or her? I checked WorldCat and saw that, though some libraries owned them, they were both published within the last year, and thus would not be Interlibrary Loan-able. I had been ordering books right before she came to the desk and had my Evil Bookselling Empire page up in a different window, so I looked up the books she wanted. They were still in stock, even though they were not new books, which is almost a miracle since my car trunk probably has more stuff in it than the Evil Bookselling Empire's warehouse. Always--OK, occasionally--wanting to be helpful, I told her that I would order the two books (out of my scant budget) and put her name on the order so that when the books came in, the nice people in Technical Services would place a hold on them for her as soon as they created the records in the catalog. Like I said, I don't expect a lot of gratitude, but was unprepared for her angry outburst. She practically shouted, "Well how long is THAT going to take!?" Seriously, she was loud enough that the woman who plays Farmville all damn day on the same Intarwebz computer 15 feet away actually looked up.