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Horrible news

I hope our brother and sister librarians at the FSU library are all right and have a chance to bring their fright and stress levels down after the shootings in the library.  We're here for you.

And may I add that this item was apparently a live-saver for one student who had it in his backpack on his body and found a bullet lodged in it?
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Grouchy coworker

Ever work with someone who is incapable of being happy no matter what you do? I’ve worked with someone like that for four years now. I’d say 85% of every single day, she is complaining about something. Her biggest complaint over the last few years has been the fact that the university where I work cannot afford merit raises. “They can afford to pay for holiday parties but can’t give us raises! I hate parties!”

Cut to this year, when the university is now able to afford them (yay, right???). I came into work this morning to her usual ranting, but this time she is literally complaining about GETTING A RAISE. I hear, “It’ll just throw me into a higher tax bracket. I don’t want it!”

Sigh...

a WTF moment

A professor was planning to use a documentary posted on the PBS Video site (it had aired as part of a PBS documentary series, though it was filmed by non-PBS people) in class next week, but suddenly the video link stopped working--Page Not Found. I contacted PBS to ask what had happened to the video, will it be put back up, etc.

The response email included the phrase, "we do not have streaming rights for [Name of Documentary]."

...seriously, PBS? You had posted content you don't have the rights to? I expect that of undergrads, not a respected media organization that should know better.

(We're borrowing a DVD copy from a local public library for the class, since the education-licensed DVDs cost $300+ while regular people can buy it for like $30, but pricing is another rant entirely.)

This keeps happening every semester

Originally posted by clementine123 at This keeps happening every semester
Does this happen at anyone else's academic library - a student will come in looking for a reserve item that their professor has placed on reserve.  You ask for what class, they don't know.  You then ask for which profesor, they don't know that either.  When you ask for what book you get the same answer but that the test is tomorrow.  How do they know their test is tomorrow?  Their friend told them so.  Can they call their friend to ask what class or what the professor's name is - no, they cannot because they don't want their friend thinking that they are an idiot.

I have news for these patrons - that ship has sailed,  I'm pretty sure your friends and your professor already think you are an idiot.

Every semester, there is some version of this playing at my library and I dislike working with this kind of student.  One of them actually knew what he needed but it was already checked out and had a screaming fit at the check out desk and declared that I was the reason he was going to flunk his class.  It had never occurred to him that more than one student would wait until the last minute to check out the reserve reading and that we had been open regular hours all semester long leading up to that moment.

Mofos to the right of me, mofos to the left

1. At my academic library metadata job:
The Humanities faculty hate our new publications system SO much that today they delivered a 2 page letter to the provost, signed by every Humanities chair. Never once did they breathe a word of these troubles to myself or my director, even when we met with them last week to collect CVs for metadata cleanup. They complained of the "onerous task" of cleaning up their profiles, but this onerous task is really MY job, which I could do if they actually cooperated and sent me their CVs.

2. At my public library reference job:
We have a patron who, as my supervisor put it, has "emotional problems." Like, one day she imagined the man next to her at the computer was watching her and screamed and threw a chair at him. I wish she had never been invited back into the library after her trespass last year. She's given every staff member tons of shit.
Except me. She's always really polite to me. And she's taken to lurking around the desk, asking me lots of questions every time I have a shift. I'm scared.

Just proves that there's mofos whether you're in tech services or public services, I guess.

Then Keep Your Mouth SHUT

I am new to a committee. We review proposals. I have just gotten an e-mail with such a proposal attached. The body of the e-mail, which was written by the chair of the committee, includes the phrase "I don't want to influence you, but..."

DUDE! That's not really any better than starting a sentence with "I don't mean to sound racist, but..."

GAH.

Insulted

Okay, so there's librarian position that has been advertised at my library. Three people have called/shown up to talk to the Director about said position. Don't care much about that. We all have an equal shot at it right now. (Oh, I've applied for the position.) But when an applicant decides to volunteer and this person is accepted as a volunteer and they're being shown around...why am I suddenly no longer This is [JarethIsMine] and she's a newly minted librarian, blah blah blah...but she's the secretary?

Bitch move, lady. Total bitch move.

Rant over.

It's got to be the full moon

This week has been a little more insane than normal, so of course I get someone in bitching about their account going to UMS (a library oriented collection agency).

There are a total of four items due between her two children, though she claims three items were returned because she's certain her daughter brought everything back and it's just one DVD that her son had out. Um, no. Some of her daughter's items were returned a few months ago, but three were not.

Then she tries to play the card that items were late because she'd been dealing with her mother having a stroke, and started getting irate that we wouldn't cut her some slack due to the circumstances. OK, (a) the due dates were over a year ago, (b) we did two text/email/phone calls, followed by a postcard and a letter without a phone call to let us know there was a reason items were late, and (c) your mother's account was cleared up months ago and she just checked out a stack of books last week. She's the one who had the stroke, so what's your excuse?

Then she was complaining how it wasn't legal to turn in a juvenile to a collection agency. I explained that UMS sends out to the name on the account, but for accounts of juveniles, the name should be preceded by "To the Parent/Guardian of:" and if that was not the case, let me know and I'll make them aware of the issue.

The cherry is she's the niece of an advisory board member, and she tried to play that card as well. I didn't break it to her that he'd helped his sister out by bringing back what they could find of her materials, and buying used copies of the missing ones to replace our copies, which is perfectly within our rules, but essentially told me the rest were on their own and maybe they'd actually take responsibility. Bonus points were when his sister initially called months ago when UMS called her, and I mentioned there were other items out on the family's account (they're all tied together in our system and live in the same house), and I could hear the grandkids in the background saying they knew where they were.

But it's all my fault, and I'm a bad person and should feel bad. Not. Because we still don't have the missing items returned, even though she said she knew where the DVD was located. Why not bring that in instead of complaining about a letter saying you should bring it in? [sigh]

Bullying Faculty Rant!

So, all you academic librarians out there, this one is for you!

The library is willing to take the initial blame for the screw up during the Literature weeding. Yes, we were supposed to inform the English department, and we thought (our bad) that the librarian that said it would get done did it. But that didn't happen. More than willing to take the fall there.

BUT!!! When you faculty start raising all holy hell because a copy of Tennyson poetry from 1928 that was falling apart was withdrawn and you don't think it should have been because of the pretty font, etc., it's really hard to take you seriously.

We librarians know what the students are willing to use. The poetry book may be pretty to you, but no student is going to use a book that's falling apart. 1st reason: they don't want to risk being charged for damaging the book. 2nd reason: there are other copies on the shelf that aren't falling apart and have more information.

We are not a repository. We do not have the room to keep every single item. That's why the weeding process is in place. We are trained to root out books that need replacement, books that are out of date, books that contain misleading information. Not you! Your job is to make student write research papers (I'm sure it's more than that, but that's the main reason why your students are in the library).

Your constant bitching has caused one colleague to not be able to do part of her job because of your demands. We all tense up when you walk into the library, because God forbid it even look like we're contemplating the next section to be weeded.

And yes, I did use the word demands. I should have used bully tactics and intimidation. You have no right to tell us how to run our department. I love our director, but I wish our old director was still here, because she would have nipped this in the bud.

I think I'm done now. Thanks, y'all!

Authority Record

the fuck
library_mofo
The Society for Librarians* Who Say "Motherfucker"
For all of those times when the gatekeepers of the world's knowledge are called upon, in their professional capacity, to use the word "motherfucker." Or at least to seriously consider it.

*Open to librarians; library associates, specialists, technicians, and paraprofessionals of all kinds; library school students; library aides and volunteers; and all of those who love libraries, or even just love a particular librarian. Welcome.

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November 2014
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