Thursday, November 29, 2007

Smaller and Colder

This week I finally managed to visit the Inglewood branch of the Nashville Public Library system, which is the library I went to every day during my childhood summers. Kevin, the guy who I remember from so long ago, is still working there (he's been there 31 years!) and I (re)introduced myself to him and told him that I am now a public librarian.

The building itself seemed smaller, as does just about every place you remember from childhood, with aging floors and columns. All available floor space was taken up by computers (of course), meaning the lounge chairs I remember being next to the fireplace are long gone. The fireplace is still there, although not lit. It was a cold and damp day outside and it was cold and damp in the library, as well.

I was happy I got to go in and visit my old friend, but it was depressing at the same time.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I think that there is at least one certifiably crazy regular patron at every public library. We have lots! There's the dumpy guy with the 4 or more hot/cold bags that he carries with him every day (my boss opines that's where he keeps the heads). Then there's the guy who comes in every Saturday morning who asks for the weekly preview for the Young and the Restless, and whose wristwatch's alarm goes off at 10 a.m. He doesn't shut it off.

And we have our fair share of bipolars, schizophrenics, etc. who call and come in and make life interesting.

One of our regulars, whom we have dubbed "Fuzzy Top", hasn't been to the library in over a week. We realized this today. Until now, she came in at least once a day to use the computers (and to ask if anyone had delivered a $1,000 check for her to the library or if anyone had turned in a wallet. She also liked to trade her guest pass for another one, because "they are tracking this one" or "I can't have any with 3's on it" or "this one has a folded corner").

I hope she's okay. Actually, I kind of hope she has been admitted for psychiatric treatment, because it seemed like she was going downhill last time I saw her...

UPDATE: She's back. Apparently she took off nekkid down the road and got put in the hospital for a few days.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Freakin' Metadata

My pet peeve library/info science term-of-art:


I have some sort of weird internal block about it. Every time I hear it I feel slightly nauseous. I am also incapable of remembering what it really means.

Blech Blech Blech.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

AYCE Buffet Patrons

Yesterday a cow-orker and I went to a local Chinese buffet for lunch (a really good one, BTW, that has the usual buffet stuff and some unusual things like sesame crusted bean paste dumplings and lychee fruit - it's the Royal Chinese Buffet in Embassy Commons next to the Books-A-Million across from Gulfview Square Mall, if you're in the area).

Anyhoo, in addition to the usual people one sees at an all-you-can-eat joint (the normal ones, the really very obese ones, the old ones), there was a couple at a table across the aisle from ours who... get ready for this... didn't have any teeth.

Okay, maybe one or two teeth, but they were gumming their food and their jaws and mouths... well, it looked like a documentary of Deepest Appalachia.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Not to toot my own horn...

But BEEP-BEEP, baby! I got a (cue Johnny whatshisface from the Price is Right) nuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu jooooooooooooooooooooob!

I'm an egovernment librarian. Whatever that is. I get to CREATE a position. How freakin' cool am I?

So Ashamed

Granted, when the Academy of Country Music Awards were held in Nashvegas I was always a little put-out but proud of the sheer hick factor of the stars there, but it has gotten EVEN WORSE since moving to Las Vegas.

MSN Music - 2007 Academy of Country Music Awards

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Required Classes Taught By Trained Apes

So as a county employee I am required to appear for certain training classes. These classes range from the useful (CPR/First Aid) to those best termed as a questionable use of time (Customer Service in the Public Sector, Cultural Diversity), to those I consider "it seemed like a good idea at the time but was horribly staffed and thus is a gargantuan waste of 4 hours."

Which brings me to the defensive driving class I had today.

The instructor apparently spent over 20 years as a police officer in Indiana before moving to Florida and working for the county here. So he's talking about accidents he has investigated and he kept talking about the Coalition of Friction. At least 20 times in 2 minutes he said "the coalition" or "coalition of friction". I don't know if he really thought he was using the correct term or if he was seeing if anyone would correct him.

Meanwhile I am beaming lasers from my eyes into his forehead, willing him to say coefficient.

[furrowing brow]

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I will be so glad to get into the new building. Not because I will once again have my own desk in a relatively private office, and not because I will finally get to stop answering the question "So, when's the building going to be done?", but because of one MAJOR thing:

I will no longer be sharing a restroom with the patrons.

I did not realize the depths of male disgustingness (is this a word? well, it is now.) until I had to share a toilet with all of them. My sainted husband is a model of cleanliness and sanitary bathroom usage compared to (apparently) most other men. Not only are they incapable of putting the toilet seat down, but they are also incapable of aiming. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that was a matter of some pride amongst the male species, what with all the Cheerio-sinking during potty training time and later writing of one's name in snowbanks.

Perhaps that's the problem. . . no snowbanks in Florida.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Nomad Librarian

Well, as of today I am once again the nomad librarian. (I wish that sounded better, like the "Roaming Gnome". I'd like to be the Roaming Gnome, if only I would not have to, in fact, be a gnome.) I took leave of my "temporary" branch, where I've been for over a year now, and am returning to my home branch, which right now is a temporary storefront across the street from the actual library.

So the bottom line is all of my files and stuff are crammed into bags in my office (a/k/a the backseat of my car).

The good news is the actual library building should be move-in-able by next month. Huzzah!

Friday, January 05, 2007

This! Is! Jeopardy!

I registered to take the online Jeopardy! test! WooooooHooooooo!

On January 23rd I will turn that mother OUT! Of course, assuming I pass the online test there's only a small chance that I will be contacted for a full audition, which consists of another 50-question test, followed by a practice game using podiums and buzzers, then a "personality interview".

That is all. Carry on.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


*not a real word.

I've always had hermit tendencies. It seems to be getting worse as I get older. Today was my day off and I've not left the house except to take the baby to the sitters' house, then I came back home and climbed back into bed with my book.

I had intended to shop for new shoes and a new car seat today. Didn't happen. Part of this is that it's too humid out (yes, it's January in Florida - too cool for a bikini most days, but shorts and a t-shirt is fine).

So I have decided to embrace my chosen solitude by learning even more obscure facts, in preparation for my eventual Jeopardy! championship. Oh, it'll happen. First on my list: history. World first, then American.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Library Envy

So I just got back from Christmas in Nashville a couple of days ago. While I was there I convinced my mom to take me to the new main library downtown. I had seen bits of it on their website but wanted to take a look for myself.

Oh. my. God.

It's just too much! For our library's expansion, much debate was had over whether we wanted to have soda vending machines for the public to use. At Nashville Main, there is a boulangerie where you can get pastries, hot meals, soups, salads, fresh bread... now you can't take the stuff into the library part of the library, of course, but still. And there are all of these great big tables with reading lamps and data ports and electrical outlets at each seat so you can take your own laptop in and use it wherever.

AND they have self-service checkout stations EVERYWHERE, not just at the front desk. And they have self-service reserve shelves, so the patrons just walk up and pull theirs from the shelf. There is an info desk next to the hold shelves, so people who can't find their materials can ask for help and the staff person can keep an eye on people peeking at what other people have out (when I was looking at the hold shelves the guy at the desk was keeping an eye on me).

Nashville Main has always been known for its children's programming. There is an art/storytime room and a puppet theatre that I didn't get to look at but the marionette display outside of the puppet theatre is AWESOME.

And they have the Nashville Room, where the serious researchers go. It smells like a library in there, lots of very old books and the Banner archives. I could have spent all day in there.

My library system is very progressive for its size, but going to the new Main Library in Nashville reminds me of how small my system is.