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Overheard in the Library

This morning, a woman asked her daughter, "Do you want this book, or that book?"

The little girl replied, "I want this book and that book."

She got both books. That little girl is going places.

Digital literacy is what?

Serious questions for the collective:

Is it just me, or is there a noticeable lack of digital literacy in teens/late 20's, right now?
I'm in a public library and over the last couple of years I've seen a significant rise in the number of people who supposedly grew up with the technology, but have no clue how to do many simple tasks.

Ex: sending an attachment through email, changing the font on a word document, understanding the difference between a table and a spreadsheet.

This came up yesterday, while I working with a colleague who is 26 (she's not very comfortable with tech, but is willing to try and learn) and our 18 year old page (who has NEVER taken a single computer class in her life and admits she's starting to regret it).

Is this just a regional lapse in education? Or is there an expectation that people are now growing up with the technology and no longer need formal instruction? What do you all think?

I am unbelievably stressed

Just a warning. I know lots of folks are stressed: there's a lot to be stressed over right now. The election, the upcoming holidays, the time-change, the weather . . . all of those are legitimate sources of stress and I'm feeling those too, but mine is currently centered on work.

I'm being evaluated this year. Normally I can manage this pretty well--one of the vps comes to watch me teach three different lessons and we go over them afterwards together and they give me advice or praise and we sign off on it. No big deal.

But this year the vp is a newer one, super gung-ho about everything aligning to the standards, using collaborative conversations, using the diminishing responsibility lesson template and all the other education strategies that have been cropping up.

In our district, library has their own standards, and we have a cross-walk document that shows how we support the standards for the other subject areas. Apparently this is NOT GOOD ENOUGH for Mr. Gung-ho, who wants me to 'integrate ELA standards because the library is only there to support ELA.' (Teacher's lounge gossip indicates he's pushing for every other subject to integrate the ELA standards into their plans too. PE is particularly pissed about this.)

He needs to see the lesson plan before I teach it. Of the two I submitted, he told me he had concerns because there wasn't any 'academic rigor' to them, and that they didn't follow the 'I do, you do, we do, you do' format.

I see each class only twice in a month, for forty-five minutes. In that time I also need time to check books in and give THEM time to look for books and check them out. Right there is at least twenty minutes. So somehow I need to have an 'academically rigorous' lesson with full modeling in twenty-five minutes.

Also, I have to have my standards posted every day because of course I do.

So I tried to explain that the library supports ALL subjects, and that having to incorporate ELA standards into every lesson was troubling. When we couldn't come to an agreement I sent a note to the principal. She brushed me off. I contacted my union and I haven't heard back from them. (the idea of being evaluated under standards that are not part of my own irks me.) I talked to the head of library services who assured me the cross-walk document should cover everything and that I had nothing to worry about.


So what the hell do I do? I'm beginning to think that nothing I submit will be good enough or fit his criteria, and that I won't pass my evaluation this year. I've been with the district for over twenty years so it's not the end of the world but I really do hate feeling so damned helpless. No-win situations are depressing, stressing and hard on one's sense of self-worth.

They can't all be Mofo days

My library just accepted delivery of a donation. The entire Photo morgue of our primary local newspaper. 16 pallet loads of carefully boxed up newspaper photos going back to the 20s, it's the largest single donation of materials we've ever gotten. It's going to be years of work to catalog and digitize everything, but oh what a resource for local history. BRB, squeeing in a library approved fashion.

Elevator rides are not a finite resource.

Times when it is appropriate to hold the elevator.

1. When somebody is currently coming toward the elevator with the intention of getting on.


Times when it is not appropriate to hold the elevator.

1. When you and your friend are leaving, but he still has to log off the computer, gather his stuff, put his stuff in his backpack, pick up his backpack, put down his backpack, pick up his phone, pick up his headphones, drop his headphones, pick up his backpack, pick up his headphones again, drop his phone, pick up his phone again, and finally walk toward the elevator.

2. When you and your friends have been studying are leaving together and some of you are walking toward the elevator and some are still in the study room gathering up their stuff and talking and then one guy turns and goes back in the study room which causes another friend to go back and everyone but you is back in the study room and they're all talking and the door is closed and now it's open but one guy is pulling stuff out of his bag and they're still talking and another guy comes out but then goes back in and the door is closed again and the elevator is making seriously angry noises now and they're all still talking and...

Seriously students of the area, if you don't want to be embarrassed by the elevator bonging at you and throwing a fit and refusing to do anything but open and close the door for 5 minutes because you held it too long, and you don't want to be further embarrassed by me rather sharply lecturing you about elevator etiquette, don't try to hold the elevator when it's blindingly obvious that your friends are not actually going to be ready to leave until sometime in the next century. I know you’ve been holding it for a while, but... Look, just Google “Sunk cost fallacy” OK? And do it away from the elevator.

All Staff Training Day

Not all of this is Mofo worthy, but the day was very draining and had sprinkles of suck throughout. Very lengthy. If nothing else, please scroll down to the bolded bit near the end, where I sum up the staffing situation.

Today was loooongCollapse )
I'm sorry I can't give you an exact year when prehistoric people started living in our state, but that's literally what Pre Historic means, before written records of history. I'm sorry you're not satisfied with "About 12 thousand years ago." but until we invent a time machine that's as close as you're going to get. Yes I can give you the phone number of the local university's history department. No, I swear to dog they are not going to be able to give you an exact year either, but maybe they can convince you to come in and take a class or 50...

cleaners who don't clean!

How come the plumbers who were fixing a leak in the restrooms can mop up their mess and leave the place CLEANER than the actual cleaners? As in, they got the balls of fluff out of the corners, cleaned behind the toilets and under the rubbish tin! Sigh. Sometimes this library looks ... grubby.

pet peeve #79

Patron who requests, like, 50 books on CD, which all arrive over a span of a day or two; then the patron comes in, picks up 7, then cancels the other 43. Which they put back through the sorter, and all have to verified by hand to make sure all the CDs are inside. Oh, and the patron took the time to remove the hold label, presumably to look at the CDs (what, do your eyes emit frickin' laser beams?) and then put it back on instead of just throwing the shit away like everyone else. We don't need the label to know who's returning those bloody self-improvement BCDs, it's always you! >:(
Dear person who took about twenty different books and reshelved them randomly in our graphic novel section, thus necessitating a forty-five minute search for the mis-shelved books and fifteen-minute reshelving process by an already overworked page:

No jury will convict me.

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

May 2017


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