Sunday, September 30, 2007

born to read

this is my very literate niece ... isn't she adorable?! i bought her that shirt at ALA. librarians really know how to merchandise.

Friday, September 28, 2007


today i had my first class visit. now let me tell you a little bit about me and public speaking. i hate it. i hate public speaking. yet, i am surprisingly good at it once i get starting. but the build up is nerve wracking. anyway, so i was dreading this class of fifth graders coming to visit. but then when they got here ... it was SO NICE! they were lovely well-behaved little children who asked pertinent smart questions and they didn't act up at all. and get this ... they like books! so i booktalked a bunch of books (without practicing) and then the kids excitedly picked out books from the books which i booktalked! yay! then they all got library cards and checked the books out!
AND, i am leaving early today. so in a half hour when all the bad annoying kids come in from school I WILL BE OUT OF HERE! i will pick up my dry cleaning and then i will go to the gym and then i will make sangria and then i will eat dumplings.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

why i will never reproduce

half the floor is covered in sunflower seeds
the other half is covered with broken crackers which are slowly being ground into our new rug
there's no eating in here
kicked out a girl for repeated shouting
kicked out a girl for throwing things
kicked out a mentally handicapped boy for hitting kids
yelled in an authoritative voice i didn't know i had
kicked out the mentally handicapped boy when he came back and hid behind the computers
used the phrase, "you think that's funny?!"

Monday, September 24, 2007

my adventures with captain caveman

after a lovely yom kippur weekend on strong island i come home and my roommate invites me out to a local watering hole for a few drinks. of course this place is packed with annoying hipsters celebrating a recent kickball league triumph. but luckily this place serves drinks in large styrofoam to-go cups so we have our drinks outside. now, i don't know what it was, maybe female intuition, but i just KNEW that we would meet eligible men on this autumn night. so there we are, a bunch of cute single girls, sitting on a park bench, drinking beer out of large styrofoam cups. who could ask for anything more?
and then we see him. ooooh, ladies watch out! he was across the park from us riding his bike wearing nothing but a pair of gym shorts and a strange satchel hanging around his neck. his scraggly beard ending somewhere between his nipples and his bellybutton. it was hard to tell where his mane of hair ended and the beard began.
he rode by a few times, showing off his moves. my roommate and i exchanged glances. we knew we would not escape without talking to him.
so first he approaches and tells us how expensive his bike is. he speaks with a thick eastern european jewish accent. then he shows us how his front tire is bent. oh, the tragedy.
finally he starts asking us where we are from and we all, in unison, lie and say we are not from around here. then he asks us if we are jewish and we all say no, including me and my jewish friend. my jewish friend quickly tells him that she is a born again muslim. then tells him to leave us alone. from that point on he refers to her as the very rude muslim.
i honestly cannot recall what we discussed but i somehow convinced him to allow me to take his picture. he has covered his face so that the papparazzi can't recognize him. then he shows me a digital camera he "found" in the park and i teach him how to use it. he is not quick to pick it up, even after we take a few test shots.
then all at once, possibly the pack mentality in effect, we all decide it is time to return to the bar. which we do. and he rides off into the sunset. and that was my sunday night.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bad Attitude on Yom Kippur

happy yom kippur everyone! my mother and i are about to leave for starbucks to equip ourselves for a contemplative morning on the beach.
ha ha suckers! i bet some of you are actually in temple!

Friday, September 21, 2007

if nothing else, i at least know where my googley eyes are

before my amaing transformation of this walk-in closet, when you opened the doors a small avalanche of crafty items would cascade down upon you. but no more! to the left is the shelving unit i stole from the basement. it now houses our collection of board games. the top two shelves have various papers: regular paper, card stock, tissue paper and oak tag. the unit on the right has two clear plastic shelving drawers that contain all sorts of crafty goodness: pipe cleaners, foam shapes, glue sticks, colored cotton balls, markers, etc. each drawer is labeled with its contents. then on the bottom tier we have my collection of hand puppets. never know when you might need a hand puppet. and then the middle shelf has more markers, crayons, oragami paper and instructions, etc. popsicle sticks and a large bucket of beads are stowed above the plastic drawers, and several bags of stuffing are shoved in between the two units, along with a large tub of sidewalk chalk which i can't imagine i'll ever use. look upon my craft closet in all its glory!!!

more zany chair bloopers

1. i am sitting at the children's desk and i hear a ruckus ... things falling and clattering and whatnot. i look over to see a 10 year old boy on the ground next to an overturned chair. i asked what happened and he said, "i tripped over the chair. i didn't see it there." obviously he didn't spot it because it is so minuscule.

2. again, sitting at the children's desk and i hear a ruckus ... i look up to see an 11 year old girl on the floor in front of the computer station. i ask what happened and she said, "i feel off this damned chair." she then went on to imply that the chairs were not only small, but extra slippery.

my heart aches ...

it's the end of opening day ... lots of kids came and went ... but our TEN copies of the new harry potter remain untouched. i made a pyramid display and everything just like soup cans in a grocery store. i miss my other branch where kids were stampeding over each other to get at harry p.

opening day: a summary

opening day went well ... the kids were excited to be back. i've decided to start something where every week i have a puzzle and the kids get a prize if they can solve said puzzle. i put up a word search of the US, thinking that word searches are pretty easy. however the kids seem to think that finding all 50 states in a word search is far too much work. oh well, maybe they'll warm up to the idea slowly.
i forgot how strict the other librarian here is. she keeps coming over here and yelling at the kids when really they're hardly doing anything wrong. i'd like to speak to her about it but since she is the library manager, i feel a bit weird telling her to get the hell out of my children's room.
but my favorite thing which happened today is that these two sisters came in. they're both 11 and very overweight. and they seem really old. i think they could easily pass for 16. anyway, they come in and they're looking around, saying how nice everything looks, saying how much they missed the library, etc etc. and then they see the chairs and one of them says, "damned, what happened to the chairs?!"
then the other one chimes in, "those are some little chairs!" (turns to me) "why they get such little chairs?!"

opening day!

we're opening up to the public in 2 minutes! will there be a line outside and people will rush in? probably not. most likely, people won't even realize we're open. yay!
i spent the whole morning trying to figure out why i am the only person who cannot log in to my computer. when i say "my computer," i mean the computer at the children's desk since i no longer have my own desk with my own computer. but as i am the only person who will sit here, it's mine. mine all mine!
i finally took a picture of my highly organized craft closet. however i don't have the cord to upload the picture from my camera to the computer so you will all have to wait with baited breath to see it. i hope you can stand it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

thank you mental health day

back and work and feeling much better ... getting this place whipped into shape for tomorrow. working on my calendar of october programs. i've decided we're going to make collages! i've collected a box-full of discarded magazines for this. i'm so excited!
yet again i have forgotten to bring my camera to take pictures of my organized closet (which is getting less and less organized every day as i find more things that need to be put away). but i swear i will take pictures tomorrow.
spoke to the nubian god last night. i do believe he is trying. maybe i don't need to move to texas after all.
so in conclusion ... things are better. i'm happier fitter more productive (although yesterday i was highly productive. i sold clothes at buffalo exchange and got a $65 credit! then spent it all on dresses!)
fyi: our chairs are still too small

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

i take requests

i just want to say that when i return to work tomorrow i will bring my camera so that i can take pictures of my newly organized craft closet (with labels!), since ms. b. cakes requested it. and if any of you out in blog land have requests please feel free to send them along. i will try to comply (just keep it clean people, i have ethics and standards and stuff)

mental health day

i would like to start off by saying that it takes a lot for me to not come into work. i am typically wrought with guilt, assuming that no one will be able to go on without me. how can any library function sans me? but i had the most depressing night last night and i just could not go to work today. so here i am sitting at starbucks paying god knows how much to use their wireless network because, as always, my internet problems at home continue to go unsolved. it is an enigma wrapped in a riddle, that is.
so last night i was hanging out with some friends who i think very highly of. truly, i love these friends. it pains me slightly that i have to write about this situation, but i know they'll understand. it's not you, it's me! the problem is me!
so there we are having a fine old time and Guy A is telling Guy B how many girls he has that are just dying to go out with Guy B. Then Guy B says, "oh no! not true! its you, you Guy A who all the girls want to go out with!" and back and forth, both guys being too modest to admit what fantastic catches they are, and both generously offering a cornucopia of single women that the other would adore.
"do you guys know any single men?" i ask, getting a little annoyed.
"men?!" they say, "pshaw! we don't know any men." (okay, i admit neither of them used the word 'pshaw' but you get my drift)
innocent bystander: "if you're looking for men you should really move to another city. new york is terrible."
so there you have it. new york is a single man's paradise, but if i want to find a reasonable boyfriend i have to relocate. texas was suggested. i would be "exotic" there. i have to move to @%&#ing texas?! do they even have libraries there?
but i digress, three scotches later i found myself walking home from the L train through the lonely streets of brooklyn. feeling down i decide to call the nubian god. now, things have been rocky with the nubian god since his departure to cleveland. just the other night we were speaking on the phone and he convinced me that he would call more often and that i am in fact still important to him. but of course the nubian god did not answer the phone, so i left a drunken message on his voicemail. note to people who know me: please do not let me operate phones when i am intoxicated. if i was trying to drive you would take my car keys ... why do you trust me with my cell phone? they are equally dangerous.
so i walked home quietly crying to myself and then spent the remainder of the evening eating mixed mediterranean olives and taking pictures of my blotchy eyes.
and that, dear blog readers, is why i have spent the better part of this morning knitting and watching the price is right. because by gum i deserve it.

it's okay ... laugh at my pain

that's why i put this stuff up here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

more lines of communication

i just remembered something funny ... back when i finally convinced the designers that the chairs were too small, they started chattering amongst themselves trying to figure out who they could talk to about getting the right chairs. it went something like this:
designer 1: well we need to call R. R is the one in charge of this project.
designer 2: yeah but R is out sick (R has conveniently been out sick for two and half weeks. maybe she caught the plague).
designer 1: hmmmmm.
designer 2: we could call J. J would know what to do.
designer 1: no, we're not allowed to talk to J. we can only talk to R.
designer 2: hmmm, is there someone we can call and talk to and then they can talk to J?
and so on and so on until nothing is resolved.

i am all aspects of snow

you can also call me 'snow white.' just wanted to let you know, just in case you were looking for new racial epithets to call me. that one works too apparently.

lines of communication

this branch has been closed since mid-July. now, imagine how many new books, movies, CDs, etc come out each month. alot. every month central orders certain items for us and then we supplement this with our own orders. so we have about two months worth of stuff that central ordered for us that we should have gotten here. but it is not here. "where is it" you ask? good question. we don't know! now, i hate to say this ... but i think the only logical conclusion is that it was stolen. i'm sorry, and i'm certainly not accusing anyone in particular. but where else could it be?
the library manager has said that it was supposed to be held at the vendor's until we reopen. so i ask her, "oh, did the vendor say that they shipped it to us?"
she replied, "i don't know what the vendor says because i'm not allowed to call the vendor."
yes, that's right. the manager of the library is not allowed to call the vendor to ask where our items are.
are they still at the vendor's?
were they shipped to central?
were they then stolen from central?
are they still sitting at central in a dark corner somewhere waiting to be rediscovered?
who knows? we don't know because thanks to the ever-efficient chain of command we are not allowed to ask anyone who is actually directly related to this issue. we have to wait for the higher-ups to poke around and figure it out and then report back. assuming, of course, that they remember to. since it really isn't any concern of theirs since they are up at "central" and we are here in the hood and we will have to deal with irate patrons wondering why we don't have any new dvds.
motivated self-interest: we will have to deal with the results of this problem, therefore we are the most motivated to solve said problem. yet we are the only ones not involved.

Monday, September 17, 2007

punch list

back when i worked out on long island, which i now realize is some sort of librarian nirvana, we demolished our library and built a completely new building. this project was overseen by the library director, so when things would go wrong (which happened alot) you could come to this library director and say stuff like, "ohmygod! i don't know what to do! this [insert problem] is wrong!" and then she would contact people and figure out what had happened and then she would get back to you in a very timely fashion and tell you what she had found out and together you would solve said problem. amazing, right?
so today i came into library-in-the-hood and as usual there are no workers in sight. now, there are some problems here that need to be addressed, but for the most part we are about 1-2 days away from opening. but we've been 1-2 days away from opening for about a week and a half. why? because no one is in charge. people come and they point to stuff and say, "oh no that's not right" and then they leave without fixing anything. please indulge me as i go through our "punch list" of problems yet to be solved:

1) our media/ya shelving is now in pieces: they created a YA area in the front of the building. this is good. but they put an extremely tall shelving unit in front of it so you cannot see what is going on in the YA are. this is bad. so after we unpacked all of the YA books and the media items which go on these shelves we were told to take everything off so that they can take the shelves apart and make them shorter. so then repacked the YA books and media items, trying to keep them in order so that we can easily unpack them again. last saturday they were supposed to shorten the shelves. this of course did not happen. then one day in the middle of last week we came in to find them shelves in small pieces neatly tucked away in the periodical section (completely blocking all access to the periodicals). and there they have stayed untouched.

2) we have no chairs for adults - not in the computer area, nor in the seating area. adults like chairs. who doesn't like a good chair? especially when studying at a table or using a computer. chairs are the cornerstone of our civilization as far as i'm concerned.

3) the children's chairs are too small - i don't know if there's something in the water here or if living in the hood ages children more quickly, but the kids here are big. not obese big, but old looking big. i'd say every kid here seems at least 2-5 years older than they actually are. so even though children are typically small and need small chairs, that is not the case here. this is another case of why i don't like the branch system. someone from "central" has decided that children need small chairs and have ordered miniature chairs, despite the fact that they are useless here. had they asked we would have told them. but "central" knows best. that's what they're there for. so we have chairs that are so small they are actually shorter than the children's tables. you can push the entire chair under the tables. i spoke to a design person about this ... it went something like this:
me: the chairs are too small
designer: no they're not. they are the right size.
me: no, they are seriously too small. look (i push chair so that the entire chair is now standing completely underneath the table).
designer: maybe you're right.

4. we have no copy machine

5. we are missing a high-tech book drop system - they say we're getting this high-tech book drop conveyor belt system which will magically sort the books as they come in through the book drop. so far we just have a big empty space. maybe the big empty space will magically sort the books for us. wouldn't that be something?

6. supposedly, a wall needs to come down - i belive a wall needs to come down in order for the high tech book drop system to be put into action. this would take construction workers. or they could just give me a sledge hammer. i'll have a go at it. you know, for the good of the team.


back when i worked at hell's library (shudders with disgust) we never knew what our schedule would be. so pretty much you could never make any plans because you didn't know which evenings you were working or which saturdays. sometimes you didn't even know the schedule for the following week. and then there were those lovely times when you would clear vacation time in advance only to find out that you were put on the schedule anyway (it was rumored that the woman in charge of creating the regional schedules was a drunk).
today i looked in this binder cleverly marked "weekly schedules" and i was able to the schedule when little old me is expected to work here at library-in-the-hood and what did i find? lo and behold there were weekly schedules (hard to see that one coming) for the entire staff up to and including the first week of december. yay! efficiency!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

i have much great wisdom ... try not to be overwhelmed

i would just like to say that if anyone finds what i write to be motivating, brilliant, hysterical, timely, terribly succint, blah blah blah ... feel free to pass my words along. especially if doing so would be "giving it to the man." i do ask that you quote me accurately and give me full credit for my terribly clever musings. thanks!

functional schmunktional

i came in this morning to find out that are opening date has been pushed back yet again to next friday, which is fine by me because i am enjoying the peace and quiet. i spent the morning making a "welcome back" banner and coloring it in with magic markers. yay! but as i was printing out this lovely banner which i made, the printer ran out of paper as printers often do. at the new children's desk (sans small shelving unit) there is a little cubby hole where the printer sits on a little platform on rails so that the printer may be pulled in and out of said cubby hole with ease. why would you need to pull a printer in and out of a cubby hole with ease? i'm not sure. but its a terribly modern fabulous desin. and this little platform has a raised edge all around it so that my printer can't run off and escape. thank god we have fenced in the printer.
why am i telling you this? because when i went to add more paper to the printer i realized that the platform is only slightly large than the printer, and that the raised edge is about as high as the paper tray THEREBY making it physically impossible to open the paper tray. yes, that is right. now i'm sure a problem such as this could have been avoided by doing some simple measuring, but who really has time to measure when doing stuff like contruction and remodeling and furniture purchasing.
so in order to add paper i must lift the printer up and then rest it on the very handy raised edge so that the paper tray is free to be opened without any obstructions. i pointed this out to a passing workman and he told me that was "the design." well, what will those designers think up next?
really, its a good thing that raised edge is there or else i would have nothing to rest the printer on when i am repeatedly lifting it up to add paper. he he he he.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


so i was able to steal a large shelving display and put it in my craft closet. i've spent the entire morning going through my craft supplies and organizing them and making little labels saying where everything should go. it's very satisfying.

Monday, September 10, 2007

i've got the central ordering blues

when i came into library-in-the-hood this morning i found out that our "soft opening" date (he he he, soft opening) has been pushed back to next week. which is good because we are totally unprepared to re-open. so i have been going through the books, trying to put them away and all that and i notice and recurring problem.
here is my two-cents against branch systems:
when you have a large library system with many many branches you come into this problematic thing that higher-ups love called "central ordering." pretty much, people in an office far far away from reality (oops, i mean far far away from the public) wind up ordering lots of books for all the branches and then dispersing them as they see fit. typically, logic has no bearing on this dispersement. so instead of a librarian looking at her (or his) own collection of books and deciding what needs to stay and what needs to go, you have some person in "central" doing it all with no thought about what the library already has or what the library needs.
so i am going through all these books that have been centrally purchased while we were closed and there were several instances in which instead of just getting one or two copies of a book we would get 5 ... 6 .... maybe even 8 or 9 copies. now, in a very large busy branch that might be a good thing. but in a small library where most people do not read (or have too many unpaid fines to take anything out) it makes no sense to have so many copies of one book. and these aren't great super popular books or anything.
then i found that we got 5 copies of a picture book we already owned 2 copies of. i checked and the 2 copies we already owned had only gone out 3 times each. so we really aren't in need of 5 backup copies since no one is busting down the door for the original 2 copies. its like a math question on an IQ test. if the library has x number of books and they only went out y number of times ....
all the money that is being wasted on multiple copies of books we already have could be spent on new titles ... or better yet, it could be spent on getting me a new desk.
grrrrr. (waves fist in air at the injustice of a desk-free society)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

free subscriptions! now easier than ever before!

thanks to my friend, ms. b. cakes, i have fixed the subscription problem. so everyone can just subscribe with abandon! click on the link on the bar to the right (it looks just like this doo-hickey here) and then you have to pick which reader you want (i am unsure what the pros and cons of each reader are) and then presto ... everything's sorted.

Friday, September 7, 2007

a new philosophy

i think i may have mentioned the "desk free society" which has taken over at library-in-the-hood. so one thing i have noticed now that i am back and trying to unpack my stuff is that there is no place to unpack my stuff to. not only do we no longer have personal desks, but they have taken away most of the shelving and storage closets and filing cabinets and counter tops. at the children's desk there used to be this low shelving unit where i kept reference books and now that shelving unit is gone as well. so all the books i used to keep there now have no home. NO HOME! its so sad. and it makes organizing really difficult. and they did this ON PURPOSE!

so the fancy pants design people were in today and i asked them if i could have my low shelves back so that i could be organized because i am a librarian and we organize stuff.  and she tells me that the "philosophy" is that if i have all my stuff at the children's desk that i would be less inclined to be on the "floor" helping people because my desk would be so cozy and convenient.  so instead i will now be spending my time either A) carrying around all my files and books wherever i go or B) i will have to store things in the basement and then make trips up and down all the time.  why is it such a big deal to go to the basement you ask?  is it because i am afraid of basements? yes,  slightly.  but it is mostly a big deal because we HAD all this storage space.  we had a whole workroom with desks and overhead compartments and file drawers and they took it away from us!  where is the justice?!

and what is worse is that my bedroom is also a mess.  so i go home and everything is chaotic and unorganized and now i go to work IN A LIBRARY ... SUPPOSED BEACON OF ORGANIZATION and it is chaotic and unorganized there too.  grrrrrrr.

p.s. i made it a whole day without any derogatory comments made towards me. however, the woman in the laundromat gave me a dirty look when i dropped my clothes off.  but it was only $6 so i feel the low price was worth getting a mean stare.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

new uses for flags

okay i didn't see this but i heard that there is a woman walking down the street wearing nothing but the jamaican flag wrapped around her. like i said i didn't see it with my own eyes, but that's what i heard. thought you should know.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


i am back at library-in-the-hood. i have to say, i was quite pleasantly surprised when i walked in and saw how very very nice it looks. new carpet, new paint, new furniture. i was actually feeling good about being here. and my new 30 minute commute didn't hurt either (a nice change from the hour and twenty minute mass transit version). i spent the morning unpacking books and rearranging things. nice. quiet. relaxing. and then i went to lunch.
there is a chinese takeout place three doors down from the library. i have never seen them actually prepare any food there and there are no tables and you have to order through bullet proof glass. it may or may not be a front for a drug operation. anyhoo, i go in there often to buy bottles of water to go with the lunch i bring from home since there are NO lunch options here.
so as i am walking the thirty feet from the library to the chinese place, i am yet again accosted by the local men.
local men: hey how you doin' snowflake?
me: (quietly keep walking)
local men: hey! i said, "how you doin'?"
me: (continue to walk silently)
local men: what?! you walk through my hood and you can't tell me how you doin'?!
me: (enter chinese place with sigh of relief)
okay, i ask you my beloved blog readers ... am i rude? is this a cultural thing that i am not aware of? is snowflake not an insult? am i expected to speak to all the local men as soon as i exit the building? am i not allowed to walk silently and annonymously, communicating with no one (that is my favorite way to walk). what gives, men of queens? why can't you keep your comments to yourself?

breaking dawn (eclipse spoiler ... beware)

i just finished eclipse! so good. so good. i was so worried bella was going to pick jacob. thank god she got some sense in her by the end. do you think she and edward will really get married? oh, i hope they do and i hope they live happily ever after as vegetarian vampires. is that not the weirdest sentence you ever read? i just checked stephanie meyer's website and there is a FOURTH BOOK in the series coming out fall of 2008. i just don't know if i can wait that long.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

silver lining

although i was a little disappointed there was no party thrown to commemorate my departure, there was a lot of hugging and people telling me how much they wished i wasn't leaving. it was pretty sweet. i mean, i was only working there a month and a half and everyone got very attached to me, saying how they'd miss me and what a great librarian i am and how much the branch needs me. there are times that i am still a little taken aback when people acknowledge that i am really good at what i do. this is not to stay that i'm not really good at what i do. i am really good. you would be so lucky to have me in your community library. but it still surprises me sometimes when people say it.
so as i was leaving the branch manager told me how they still need a YA librarian and she wishes it could be me. then the children's librarian piped in that i would be such a perfect YA librarian for the branch. and we all wistfully thought how lovely it would be if i could transfer back when my 6 month probation is up. and although i'm sad to be going back to the hood, i feel upbeat that there is this branch that i could be happy in and they want me and maybe i could actually end up there.

last day

sob sob ... today is my last day at my favorite-est branch. i found out that they are getting a new librarian who will work in reference. this could have been me! if only i was out of my probation period! it should be me! i have instructed the staff to be very mean to this new librarian. specifically, they should get more and more mean as my probation period nears an end. that way she will storm off in a huff and i can swoop in and reclaim my position here.
in brighter news, i have procurred a car so that i can drastically cut down my commute to library-in-the-hood.