Friday, March 30, 2012

Technology is Our Friend, Phone Clash Edition

I had been on the phone with a patron on a fairly routine sort of reference question when a tinny chime started on her end. “That’s my cell phone,” she said, “hang on a sec.”

The phone clattered to the table. I hung on and on (and on) while she discussed her husband’s health with somebody. (Full disclosure: it looks like he’s going to be OK, or at least that’s what the doctor said. The tests don’t indicate anything bad.) Since I am basically spineless, I listened for way too long before I hung up. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring is in the Air, Part 1

...must mean spring break.

A dad came in with his two sons (9 & 11, I'd guess) and went over to the computers. It was 11:30 on the first day of Spring Break. All of the computers were taken and had been since about 11 seconds after we opened. His face fell as his plans to maroon his progeny at the library for a few hours while he did something more fun, i.e. something that didn't involve the progeny, evaporated.

"Do you have any more computers?" he asked/demanded.

"All the computers are right here." He looked over at them again, checking to see if any had become available in the last 3 seconds.

"You should have more computers for Spring Break," he opined before dragging the boys back out of the building.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

PLA Notes: An Ongoing Series

It used to be that when you saw librarians waiting for a program to start, you'd see a lot of them knitting. Now they're all using phones, tablets and e-readers.

Friday, March 16, 2012

PLA and Gender Discrimination

I haven't seen another guy in any of the restrooms I have visited. Between sessions, there are always lines for the women's room. See? Even in a female-dominated profession, the men still get everything.

Philadelphia - Some Preliminary Observations

  • If the tobacco companies go broke, it won't be due to the valiant efforts of the people of Philadelphia.
  • Philadelphia pizza is the best thing since New York pizza.
  • Philadelphia coffee is the worst thing since New York coffee.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

PLA Rule #6

In the main aisle of each presentation, we provide microphones. They have been finely calibrated for a specific purpose, and should be used only for their official purpose. If you currently do not have serious allergies, SARS, an acute upper respiratory infection or bronchitis, please sit at least seven seats from the microphone.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Meet Me at PLA!

OMG, deskslave, you're going to be at PLA? 


What, are you giving a presentation on the role of cynicism in today's library? 


What are you going to do, then? 

Sit in the back of the room at a few things. 

Then how will we know it's you? 

 I'll be the one avoiding eye contact.

Friday, March 9, 2012

LC: Keeping it Old School

The young man wanted a DVD, not a book, on how to rap. He was probably a freshman in college, fresh-faced, well-groomed and handsome in a way that suggested that most things were given to or done for him. The word insouciant came to mind. In short, just the sort of person we think of when we think "rapper." Sadly, we didn't have any videos like that at all. We did have two books, believe it or not, on the subject, but that both books were checked out. Evidently, the poor lad has been the target of many confidence tricksters in the past and has finally learned his lesson because he asked me three times if I was kidding him. The first time I told him that I was not kidding him. The second time, I said "nope." The third time I told him that asking me would not make any videos appear. I offered him the books, but the look of distaste he shot me before stalking off said it all. But my main point has to do with the subject headings for these books. I still look at subject headings and still find them occasionally useful. They can be annoying, like the subject heading for longshoremen. (That's your LC test for today: what's the subject heading for longshormen? Hint: it's not longshorepersons, but it's equally dumb.) They are also occasionally hilarious, as it was with this one:
Not silly enough for you? Then take this little quiz. What item do the following subject headings describe?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Finally Thought of the Comeback

We've all had it happen: somebody does something and you're all tongue-tied and 20 minutes later you think of the thing you wish you'd said. For me, this particular one happens every year or two for years and I never know what to say. Until now. Has this ever happened to you? Of course it has: somebody tells you, usually while you're trying to help them with something difficult, "Must be nice to be a librarian--you get to sit around and read books all day." 

I usually splutter out something lame and unconvincing and feel icky about just how much I resent (OK, hate) the person. But today I resolved to say: 

 That's like saying "Must be nice to be a pharmacist--you get to sit around and take drugs all day."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

After So Long an Absence

Blogging tradition dictates that after a long absence from posting, the blogger must apologize and offer a reason for the absence. So: sorry. But why? That's tougher. A few months ago, I saw a homeless guy, a regular, somebody I say "hi" to each morning, sitting on one of the not-exactly-comfy comfy chairs reading. He was reading Napoleon Hill's great contribution to society Think and Grow Rich. I wanted to write something about seeing that, something about the irony that wasn't at all funny and couldn't. So I won't write about that, but will start writing about the rest of the quotidian nonsense again soon.