Thursday, June 30, 2005

Holy mackerel, it's a library marathon!

Tomorrow marks the 5th day in a row I'm working. That may sound pretty normal to y'all "banking hours" folks, but it's a bit of a rarity in my little corner of Drudgeryville.

Five days in a row, with hours upon hours of contact with ... DUM Dum dum... The Public.

For those of you not truly aware of what The Public actually consists of, thinking that bank tellers and retail clerks deal with "the public" all the time, let me tell you... "the public" is a LOT different than The Public.

From itty bitty babies to the very very old. A lot of unkempt. More than a few unwashed. Also insane and generally wacky. Today I had to wake up a man who was sleeping in a chair next to the window. When I say sleeping, I mean snoring so loudly I could hear him at the reference desk, a good 30 or so feet away.

So I go up to the guy. He's a middle-aged black man, dressed casually but appropriately, and he is ASLEEP. I say, "Sir?" in a low tone of voice. Then I say, "Sir?" a little louder. Then, "SIR." in my big voice. Then I had to tap him on the shoulder. I hate this. He woke up and looked at me and I have never seen eyes that bloodshot, not even at a Laser Floyd show. Holy moley, this guy was LIT UP on something. I told him we don't allow sleeping in the library, so Wake Up! And he did and then he left a few minutes later. Tres bizarre.

Also, a very enthusiastic boy threw his arms around me when I managed to get him into Yahoo! Music videos. It was sweet, but he was smelly like a little sweaty boy. Also I am slightly weirded out when patrons touch me.

Bygones. Tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Smokey Smokerson

I've noticed an interesting trend in the patrons we get in our library system. A lot, and I mean a LOT, of them apparently spend most of their day chain-smoking in a tiny room (or their car), only emerging to come to the library and either a) get library cards so they can check out 20 videos which they may or may not return or b) get on the computers. Some of them I can smell before they even come around the corner to the reference desk. I can tell when they are in the reference section (behind me) by scent alone.

Does this county just have more Really Dedicated Smokers, or do Really Dedicated Smokers just use our libraries more often? I've not noticed this at other libraries. But then, too, I didn't spend 9+ hours a day at other libraries, either.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

It's question day at the library!

Yesterday, apart from being pretty darned busy in general, I got some doozies at the ref desk. My top question of the day:

"Do you have a book where I could find a diagram of the inside of a British-made shotgun?"

I'm thinking.... ummmm... no.

No books, then I got curious as to what I could find on the Internet. (You can find anything on the Internet!) I didn't come up with any shotgun schematics, but I did discover that NRA members get discounts on laser vision correction. Good to know they won't miss their targets.

My blog is better than your blog

Bloggy bloggy nice and soggy.

It's raining again here in sunny Florida. I had a nap and a mini-row with the other half. It's my only day off this week and forgive me if I don't particularly want to go anywhere.

Gray. Rainy. Day.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Summer Reading: More Difficult than Need Be

Say the phrase "Summer Reading Club" and most people will think back nostalgically to their youth, when they went to the (quiet and mostly empty) library, filled out a simple form, got a log, and submitted their log at the end of the summer reading time. Then they would be invited to the end of the program picnic and those who read the most books would get some sort of prize (for me it was a season pass to the local theme park - sweet!).

Fast-forward to today. Now the kids who come in to the library to use the computers (I suggested to one of them once that they read a book while waiting for a computer to free up - he looked at me like I had vomited on his shoe) are railroaded into signing up for the program by our very persuasive youth services person. So we at the reference desk are responsible for signing up all these kids. No problem, BUT...

Each participant can come in and report on the book(s) they have read each week and get a little prize. All of the other libraries in our system are having little programs each week, but we aren't because we are getting ready for the Big Move. We also have a halfway party and a final party for each of the 3 programs (pre-readers, the elementary school gang and the middle and high schoolers). I'm constantly flustered at trying to explain the logistics of reporting at our library, but doing the programs at another library, etc.

It's gotten a lot more complicated since I was a young 'un!

[An aside to my pet patron: we like it much better when you bring your nieces and nephews in.]