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Smoke gets in your eyes

Originally posted by clementine123 at Smoke gets in your eyes
I just helped a guy at the library today with a library problem.  He smelled so bad of pot smoke, my eyes were watering.  And no, I do not live in a state where that is legal.  I just tried not to notice.  That kind of thing used to make me angry but now that I am older, I am kind of getting a meh feeling when it happens.  There isn't anything I could do about it or anything that I would feel comfortable in saying.

But I still hate it when they reek of cologne and perfume.  There is more than one application in the bottle folks.

We ain't got no stinkin' taxforms mofo

Once the new year hits the persistant calls come in asking about tax forms.  Do we have them?  Does anyone else have them?  When will they be in?  Are we sure we ordered them?  To add to this years fun, the IRS has informed us that they are severly cutting back on what they are sending.  Basically just 1040, 1040A and 10EZ and a book of reproducables.  Oh, and ONE Publication 17.  And they'll be late.  And no instruction books, just instructional booklets on how to use the website.  HOO-RAY.

Only one so far

After 27 years, the Head of Reference retired and I get to hire somebody new (not replacing the position with a supervisory one, but it is full time)  Using advice I learned in New Director School (2 days of workshops at the state library and a lot of it quite useful) my plan is to "dont be afraid to hire a Rock Star".
This advice worked GREAT last year, as we got a dynamite new YA Librarian (so cool, I didn't want to hire her, I wanted to BE her), fantastic Instructional Technology Librarian, and very awesome Reference Librarian.

So, to hopefully keep up the stream of good luck, I included in the job posting the following at the top:
"The Perfect Candidate"…will be a spicy but dependable blend of Bunny Watson, Rupert Giles, and Flynn Carsen

And at the bottom:
Application Requirements:
Cover Letter, Current Resume
Brief personal statement as to why you are "the Perfect Candidate" as detailed above.
Send via email to: <contact information>

I did this because I wanted to see how people would respond.  I'd hoped it would give me an idea not only of their individual style but how they dealt with something so deliberately quirky.  Would they think it's interesting and be curious to find out what kind of place would think this might be important?

So far only one applicant out of a half dozen or so seems to have actually paid any attention to it at all.  Needless to say, I will be interviewing the one who vowed, "While I have not yet slain a vampire, I would be happy to do so if it were attacking the library or its patrons."  Don't worry, the rest of her credentials are very good, too!

Why do you care?!?

Dear fellow librarian who is retiring in 24 days,

Why do you insist and badger on upcoming library events (OPS workers and their schedules, the renovation, collection development) when you won't be here in a month? The OPS workers, one in particular, you seem to turn a blind eye to and don't get why the rest of us can't stand him. Really? This is the one thing you check out on? As for their schedules, that needs to be decided between the two people that utilize them. And you ain't either person!

The renovation...again, you are retiring in 24 days!!! This renovation ain't gonna happen that quickly. It'll take us 24 days to pack our stuff up and move to a temporary location and that's before the renovation actually happens. I don't care what your opinion is regarding how the library should look afterwards. You won't be here! Why not let those of us who will actually be here take the reins?

Collection are not the Acquisitions Librarian (AL). When our Director decrees that whatever the AL decides is law, going to the Director later to argue your case just so you can get your way only makes us all roll our eyes and mutter "24 days. 24 days."

Please do yourself and the rest of the department a favor and CHILL! This library functioned fine before you came along 7 years ago, and will function just fine after you're gone. How do I know? Because I remember what it was like here before you showed up.

Catalog vampires

Does any one else have an issue with "catalog stalkers", otherwise known as people who practically stalk the catalog for new stuff to reserve?

We've been having a problem with one large family that does this with new DVDs. We're a small library, so there are no duplicate copies of titles, and checkout is for two weeks with no renewals for DVDs. Most people bring them back within a week, but this family not only places a reserve under one card, they place it under three different ones in the same household. I'm pretty sure what's happening is the 18 year old that lives at home is placing all of the reserves so she can keep it longer. I talked to her about it before, saying that they're keeping a new movie for a month or more, and if I saw a reserve list with all of their names in a row again, I would cancel the extras and they could check it out again at a later time just like anyone else.

So now she's trying to loophole me. She has two sisters that are married and out of the home, and she's placing reserves under her name and theirs. So they're not in the same household anymore, though she's the one who comes in and picks everything up for the family. She'll bring in a movie she's returning, then expect to leave with it "for her sister". There have been times I've called the sisters to tell them their reserve is ready, and it's obvious they have no idea what I'm talking about, but play along.

One way I've tried to combat this is by cataloging DVDs, but keeping them hidden from the catalog view until we activate it. That way, someone else has a chance with it on the new shelf first. We've also put others on the reserve list if they've asked if we're going to get a DVD and we have it cataloged but still invisible, so our catalog stalkers won't be at the top of the list.

My ethics have a twinge putting a "delay" system in place, but yet they scream at the idea of someone hogging resources. Any ideas on how I should handle this?

Bad to Worse to Too Bad for You

Food in the loft is strictly prohibited, you 3 middle school girls.  But you sneak it in anyway and make a right mess. And then stuffing your garbage on bookshelf.  And then walking away when the poorly capped bottled of unfinished oj opened up and leaks to the floor below.  Really?!

Betcha wished you hadn't done all that right in front of the security cameras, huh?

What's that?  That sound you hear?  Nope, not Mjolnir, it's the even more powerful Ban Hammer which just crashed down on you in the form of a a phone call to one and a letter indicating to another's parents that we've had Willow Rosenburg perform an "un-inivitation" spell on you until they come in to discuss your behavior.

Still working on ID-ing the remaining little cherub...


I've been working in a public library for a couple of years now, and one of the biggest surprises to me has been how clique-y and snobby librarians can be, at least in this system. Not all of them of course, but many. If you don't have a MLS and/or work part-time, you are nobody, regardless of what degree you may have or how well you do your job. The reference/adult services librarians look down on the children's librarians, the librarians from the branches that are "busier" (based on circs & summer reading stats) look down on staff at the other locations (totally forgetting that just because our stats are lower doesn't mean we aren't plenty busy at times. Our patrons unfortunately don't read as much, tend to be there to use computers or hang out if they are homeless, are much, much needier, sometimes mentally ill or under the influence, lots of groups that show up unannounced, etc.) It's really aggravating. Is it like this everywhere? Has it always been? My impression is that this has been a more recent development, like in the last 5-10 years.

I will just give you my shushing stick

Grad student:
Students are NEVER quiet in here.  This is why you will never be a premier university!   I did work at Cornell, and they are always quiet in the library!   That is why they are so good! They are always quiet!

...some people really need to de-stress.  Finals aren't even until next week.

next option: I set you on fire.

Dear student:
Yes, I get that you are chilly.   You have, in fact, told this to me four times.   And I have now told you, just as many times (in different ways, even!) that we can not "turn up or adjust" the heat because we do not control the heat in our building.    We have no control over the heat or ac in our building. 

If you are cold, move away from the drafty door that leads directly outside.  Don't huff at me about this as a suggestion - there are other places warmer.  And in a library that spans four floors and two different libraries that are connected, I think you are can find someplace else to study.   And I know you are capable of walking far enough to do so, because you crossed one floor, came up a flight of stairs, and then crossed another floor to show up  at my office door to complain.

Passing at least SIX other open staff doors - two of them that actually are clearly labled as directors.  In public areas.  And you end up in a staff only areas in a.....non-administrative librarians office.   Did you...need the exercise to warm up?  I am confused.

And really, PLEASE STOP TELLING ME YOU ARE CHILLY.    You are in my office.  Where I am working with a space heater running between the two of us and wearing gloves as we talk.   I am also wearing my long underwear - not that I would expect you to see that.  BUT STILL.  Preaching to the choir, dude.

At least you have the option to pick a warmer location to move from.  Be thankful and stopping being such a pissy mofo about it.

Lovely Faculty

Dear Lovely Faculty,

The Library is not responsible for the faculty computers that were put in our back room. We didn't want them there. But we were forced to house your workstations during the renovation. Well, the renovation is over, and your workstations are still here.

Just because you cannot remember what the log in is, doesn't mean we (The Library) have changed it. Coming after me and acting like it's my fault isn't professional.

When I explained to you that we (again The Library) have nothing to do with the workstations, and suggest calling IT, your indignant attitude was uncalled for.

You must have shaken something loose in that brain, since you were able to get logged in and printed a tree's worth of stuff off.

Authority Record

the fuck
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.

Date Due

January 2015


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