Tuesday, July 31, 2007

bookmobile free

i don't have to go to the bookmobile tomorrow!
i don't have to go to the bookmobile tomorrow!
i don't have to go to the bookmobile tomorrow!
i don't have to go to the bookmobile tomorrow!
i don't have to go to the bookmobile tomorrow!
i don't have to go to the bookmobile tomorrow!
i don't have to go to the bookmobile tomorrow!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

it's all relative

i'm out in LI spending the weekend with the fam ... allow me to introduce my very charming mother (see the family resemblance?) she is modeling with a basketball i purchased for her recently celebrated birthday. so today we went to best buy and i helped her enter the 21st century and she bought a digital camera! and we used it to take pictures for her jdate profile! she's the director of a large public library in long island, enjoys movies, music, travel, and the beach. if you are a gainfully employed gentleman between the ages of 55-65 feel free to contact me and i will be happy to interview you and see if you are worthy of my beloved mother.

Jem VS Le Tigre - Deceptacon

for your viewing and listening pleasure ... truly truly truly outrageous

Saturday, July 28, 2007

more tales from a bookmobile

the bookmobile lady is very nice but she seems a little out of touch. so we're talking about harry potter and she exclaims how odd it was that she saw a grown woman reading harry potter. and that she didn't realize that adults read harry potter as well. does she live in a cave? or worse yet, a bookmobile? how can you not know adults are in on this craze? it's all over tv and newspapers and magazines and the internets. i was kind of taken aback. i mean, this has been going on for several years now. but then i tried to take pity on her and started rationalizing that i, being a librarian, have an unfair advantage since keeping abreast of book trends is my job (and my passion). and then, i remembered that she IS a librarian. so how can she not know that grownups are reading harry potter?! that's her job! do you see the irony here?

p.s. if anyone would like to start a discussion about mr. potter i would be glad to put in my proverbial two cents

tales from a bookmobile: part one

so on wednesday they made me go in the bookmobile. yes, we actually have a bookmobile. when i worked at albany public we once had a presentation on a "cyber mobile" that we were going to purchase. the cybermobile would be a bookmobile but it would have wifi access and it could be taken into low income areas where they didn't have a library nearby and we could set up shop and it seemed very progressive. you know, giving people necessary resources to improve their lots in life. good stuff. very good stuff. so i was a little surprised when the bookmobile lady announced proudly, "oh no, we don't have computers here. if we did i wouldn't want to work on it. we'd be swamped with people just wanting to use the computers." yeah, that would really suck. imagine having a bookmobile and being the librarian on it and actually having patrons wanting to use said bookmobile. that would be a real drag. i think its way better to keep it the way it is and only have about 5-10 customers in an 8 hour time span. that's helpful.
we are public librarians ... the public wants to use computers, you know because this is the 21st century and everything. now, i get annoyed signing people up for the computers and teaching them stuff like how to double click. but that doesn't mean we should just get rid of computers. and even though most people are just checking their email and looking at porn, a lot of people are doing job searches and writing resumes and downloading citizenship applications and buying stuff on ebay. and that is a fine thing.

the dewey vs loc smackdown

it has come to my attention that someone out there thinks LoC (library of congress) classification is better than dewey decimal. well, i think you are sadly mistaken mr. i heart l-o-c. LoC, while preferable for large collections like university libraries, really doesn't make much sense in the average public library. and i am a public librarian, so i spit on your LoC. who doesn't love a classification system based on hundreds and decimal places ... its kind of like the metric system ... but different. so here is the breakdown, for those of you who don't know
000s - Generalities (this is also all books on computers and technology)
100s - Philosophy and Psychology
200s - Religion
300s - Sociology
400s - Languages
500s - Natural Sciences
600s - Applied Sciences (this means stuff like engineering and technology but not computer software)
700s - Arts and Recreation (sports and hobbies and artsy stuff)
800s - Literature and Rhetoric (how i love rhetoric)
900s - History and Geography
see? isn't that easy? i'm sure you'll never have any trouble finding a book again. and if something is invented or a new topic is created we just find a way to make it fit into these ten existed categories. because you can always add more decimal places. it's almost too easy. thank you melvil dewey!

Monday, July 23, 2007

this blog is a horcrux (i promise not to give away the ending)

so this morning i put out our 15 copies of the new harry potter, displaying them all pretty in various parts of the library. then a rush of children ran in grabbing them, shouting to their slower-paced friends, "i got one! i got one!" it was terribly exciting for about two minutes but now all our copies are spoken for and the excitement is over.
my special edition harry potter was delivered to my doorstep at 11 am saturday morning. i spent the entire day sitting in a park reading it. i took a break for a sushi date and then went back to reading it and found myself staying up until 5 am until i had completed the book.
it was awesome. i'm sad it's over and i can't read it for the first time again.

Friday, July 20, 2007

everyone wins ... everyone must get prizes

when i left hell's library although there was much rejoicing on my part, i was a little concerned that if i moved to a normal library i may run out of material for this blog. what if i didn't encounter any escaped mental patients anymore? but today i will put those fears to rest. so read on ... if you dare.
at the new new library we have a children's summer program in place that runs like a well-oiled machine. there are programs four days a week. kids get prizes for the books they read each week. and if the kids complete one of the weekly puzzles they will be awarded a prize each friday. now, when i say "prizes" i am talking about utter crap: rubber bracelets, pencil erasers, temporary tattoos that say "read," etc. you know, things that are worth about 20 cents.
even though i just started at this library wednesday, i have already made a mortal enemy, and i shall hereby refer to her as crazy mother. crazy mother thinks here children should get prizes for everything. if they show up to the library, if they tie their shoes, if they are still breathing ... prizes prizes prizes. she is obsessed. her kids don't even care about the prizes as much as she does.
on fridays at 1pm we give out prizes for those who successfully completed the weekly puzzles, which this week were a word search and a connect-the-dots. so she strolls over at about 4:30 asking for her kids' prizes. i explain to her that she needs to get here at 1 pm for the prizes, but i give her kids the prizes anyway. then she tells me that she did the puzzles as well and she too deserves a prize. oh yeah lady. you're a 45 year old woman who can do a connect-the-dots. i am not impressed. so i try to explain that the prizes are for children only. but she keeps going on and on with a deranged grin on her face proudly telling me how she did the connect-the-dots and the other librarian said she would get a prize.
"i'm sure the librarian meant that your children would get prizes. this is the children's room."
so we go back and forth about this for a few minutes and then she switches gears and says "my children were in the program at 3 pm? the oragami?"
"ok," there were about 20 kids there, and i have no idea what this has to do with anything.
"they did not get the prizes."
"i just gave them prizes."
"no they were in the program and they did not get the prizes."
"they don't get prizes for going to the program." how many smiley face erasers does one child need? does anyone even use this junk?
so then she switches gears again and tells me that her children have read SO many books and they should get prizes. they read all the time. SO many books.
"didn't they get prizes yesterday for the books they've read? they only get prizes once a week for their reading log."
i remember her getting the prizes yesterday because she said that she too deserved prizes because she had read some books herself. this would be cute and endearing if she wasn't a complete psychopath.
"yes but they read so many books. they only got one prize yesterday."
"but they only get one prize for the books they read each week."
i think you can see where this is going. back and forth and back and forth. now, while this is happening, other children are hearing the word "prizes" being said over and over again so they are lining up trying to get in on the action. some of them even have legitimate questions about books and stuff.
"look," i tell her, "i need to help these other kids. your children have already gotten their prizes. that's it."
she then tells me that i am very rude and mean and that she wants to speak to a supervisor blah blah blah what a huge injustice.
by this point i'm just trying to get rid of her so i tell her she can come in monday (she comes in every day) and speak to the regular children's librarian. then she starts raising her voice, yelling that i don't know what i'm doing and that if i'm going to be here i should know how the prize distribution system works. but i DO know how the prize distribution system works, hence why i am not giving her anymore prizes.
so i just turn away and start helping the children who are waiting all patient and well-mannered. some of them are even a little scared of crazy mother and are slowly backing away from her. as i am distracted by helping the children, crazy mother turns to my teen volunteer. he is a very nice 14 year old boy who helps out every day. let's call him V. so she turns on V and starts interrogating him about the prizes and asking him why i won't give her any prizes.
now i let this go on for a minute while i help others, and then suddenly the two of them are screaming at each other. V is saying "there are no other prizes to give out! get over it!" not quite appropriate for a representative of the library, but he is only 14 and he is usually very helpful.
then she screams back at him, "you can't talk to me that way! i'll have you fired!"
"you can't fire me!" he's now both yelling and laughing, "I'm only a volunteer!""
so then i jump in and tell V to calm down and tell crazy mother that if she has a problem she must talk to a supervisor and no one else. they continue yelling at each other and, and V shouts "the prizes are crap anyway! what do you care!?"
i ponder if i am going to have to physically seperate them.
finally V shouts his piece de resistance, "learn to speak english, lady!" not a good thing to say. never say that.
i tell V that he has said enough and he needs to calm down or leave, then crazy mother goes and sits at a table and i overhear her loudly telling another mother how mean and rude i am.
eventually she leaves and i tell V that even though he was right and she was wrong he can NEVER speak to patrons that way. even if they are insane. i think he understood. he really is a good kid. then V and i talk about whether or not the two of us will be fired on monday.
i'm left in charge of the children's room one day, ONE DAY, and this is what happens. i tell you, crazy people follow me where ever i go.

in the future we will live in a desk-free society, thank god

so my new library has closed for renovations and i got to speak to the woman in charge of the new design. while i was asking her questions about what fabulous new things we can expect, she told me that they will be gutting our back office and that we will no longer have desks. now, imagine a library. now imagine that the librarians have a back office where they have computers and desks and files and things, where they do work when they're not on the floor helping people. it's important to have desks. i'm sure you can see why. i'm confident that i don't have to explain the fantastic usefulness of desks to you.
so i tried to remain calm and unbitchy when i asked her, "if we don't have desks, where will we put our stuff?"
she looks at me as if i am being a real primadonna. "well," she says, "you can always put your stuff in your locker."
yes, i am aware that i can put things like my purse and my umbrella in my locker. i am aware of this because i am not a complete idiot.
"yeah," i say, "but where will i put things like my files?"
she then assures me that there should most likely be a filing cabinet...somewhere.
"ok ... but where will i put all my stuff? like my books for storytimes and my arts and crafts stuff and the collection of puppets i just found and all my summer reading prizes etc etc etc."
"well," she begins. oh she has an answer for everything. "why don't you put them in the supply closet."
"there are supplies in the supply closet."
so then we take a little trip to the supply closet and i show her the overflowing unorganized mess of supplies we have there. she looks at it and says, shaking her head back and forth "oh, this should be more organized."
now, i agree with this. but there are no shelves or drawers or anything in the supply closet. so there is no way to organize it. there are no implements of organization.
i mention this to her and then ask her if she has any suggestions on how to organize it and she says, and i quote "hmmm."
i love it when libraries hire special library designers to design their libraries and said designers have never even set foot in a library before. so efficient.

my glorious commute

have i mentioned it only took me 30 mintes to get to work today? 30 minutes! door to door!

there was no joy at hell's library ... nor was there any knitting

so i don't know if i told you the story of how i tried to do my job at hell's library. my job being to create and implement programs for young adults. so i had this idea ... i know how to knit. teens like crafts. i knit an iPod cozy (and it is super cool. maybe later i will post a pic of it). teens like iPods. why not teach teens to knit iPod cozies? so i found this yarn store that was going out of business and i was able to get equipment for six people to knit iPod cozies. also, i had enough yarn that i would have been able to do this twice. so really it was enough equipment for two sessions of 6 kids. AND each session would probably be about 4 weeks long. all for the bargain price of $36. a steal. very very cheap. i am lucky to spend this little on a project just for little old me. so if you do the math $36 for about 8 weeks of programs is pretty good.
but hell's library didn't think so. they wanted me to do programs without spending any money at all. i should just stand on the street and beg for craft supplies. so everyone got mad at me and there were all sorts of emails and meetings and i am so so so so terrible for trying to do something.
why am i telling you this? here's why. yesterday i sat in on the teen advisory group with the young adult librarian here (because she is new to YA and needs my expertise). some of the kids mentioned they would like to knit. so i showed them my iPod cozy and they were very very impressed. many oooohs and aaaaaaahs. and it is settled that next week i will start teaching teens to knit iPod cozies. ahhh sweet vindication.

my new new digs

so i have started working at another library while my library is closed for renovations. this new new library is only 2 miles from my house! 2 miles! there is a bus from right outside my door that whisks me away and takes me to this lovely new new library. and today no one is around and i've been left in charge of the children's room and of course i am taking this opportunity to communicate with you, my beloved blog readers. i hope you feel loved. very very loved.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

why i haven't been posting stuff

1. i've been in england ... ha ha suckers!
2. my new job requires me to actually do work: reading to children, looking up books, etc. as opposed to hell's library where i had hours and hours of free time to play around on the internet (i do miss IMing)
3. my internet at home (ie neighbors wifi which i use on the downlow) is no longer working
i know you guys love me and all, but try to control yourselves ;)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

i thought wrong

so i thought that since i had successfully flown to australia, surviving a 21 hour flight, that i would be able to fly to england without falling victim to jetlag. certainly, in comparison, flying to england is nothing. forget that the other times i've flown to england i've had jetlag. oh no, why should that be taken into account. i made it two days functioning normally, and now it is 3 am and i am wide awake. i have written several postcards, finished an entire book, and checked my email. is it because i didn't drink this evening? does drunkenness cure jetlag? maybe. studies so far are inconclusive. woe is me.

how geeky am i?

so geeky that i visit libraries when i'm on vacation ... so this is the jubilee library in brighton and it's quite lovely. they even have a gift shop! (i love a good gift shop) ... anyway they have rfid and a very nice children's room and a teen area with a ps2. i am so jealous. i would like to join some sort of exchange program where i get to work there for a year and then one of their librarians gets sent to hell's library. even though i myself am not at hell's library anymore i think it would be good to send a brighton librarian there just so that they can appreciate how good they have it. needless to say there were no drunks, homeless people, or crack addicts at the jubilee library. it was quite jubilant indeed.

i ask you ...

why i am not mentioned in this? i am not hip enough? you know, you leave for england for a few days and suddenly the new york times is writing about how cool your colleagues are ...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

two more days and i'm out of here

tomorrow is july 4th ... which bbq shall i attend? choices, choices. then thursday i am off to jolly old england! for nine days! woo hoo! so long suckers.
but anyway, today a little girl came up to me at the desk and just kinda stood there staring at me for a while. i asked her if she needed help and she said 'no' very quietly. then she continued to stand there and stare at me. so i asked her if she needed help finding a book. she smiled and said yes. guess you have to be very specific with this one. she tells me she wants an arthur book, so i show her where they are because i am a children's librarian and i know these types of things. so i get her some arthur books and then i get her to sign up for the summer reading club. and she tells me a long story about how one time she was in here before and she saw me. it was a longer story than that but that was the main point of her story. she was so cute i decide to give her a sticker. then she hugged me.

Monday, July 2, 2007

CIPA: hard at work protecting your children from cartoon characters, coloring books, and cheap used furniture

hi all, have you missed me? i know, i know i'm not writing as much as i used to. i'm sorry but they actually expect me to do work here. what a pain? don't they know i'm busy blogging?
anyway, there is this thing called CIPA: children internet proctection act which is an act that was passed a few years ago denying federal funds to any library which does not filter it's computers. well, this wouldn't sound so bad if they meant that they were only filtering the children's computers and that the filters actually worked. if actuality, the filters must be placed on ALL library computers, even staff computers, in order to be CIPA compliant. and said filters don't even work.
so here at my new job we have the CIPA filters and so far they have been SO useful at protecting the innocence of our children. for instance, many of the spongebob websites are blocked. thank god, because that spongebob is a dirty dirty sponge and children should not have access to his filthy websites. also, many websites which provide coloring pages are also blocked. and today when a full-grown man needed to go on craigslist to look for furniture, he too was blocked. yay CIPA! i'm sure no one will ever have access to anything innapropriate thanks to you!