Saturday, September 20, 2008

New directions for libraries

Apparently, these days, students believe that our library is a one stop shop. Yes, they still want books and we get many questions about campus unrelated to the library, but those are all part of our everyday routine.

I've had two interesting requests lately, and the students who asked fully expected us to provided them, no questions asked.

The first request was for ear plugs. This is not so unusual because students get a little crazy around exam time and ear plugs could be something we would have on hand. As it happens, we don't and never will. The funny part was, the student was totally shocked that we couldn't fill his request and stomped off with a very mean face. Again, students go insane during exams and cannot be responsible for their actions.

The second request was from "valley girl" type student (my university is particularly known for this, we call them Western Girls). She approached the desk and asked, "Could I buy a hair elastic?"

I replied that we don't sell hair elastics at the desk, we just have rubber bands. Well, this did not end the matter.

"Well," she says, "do you know where I can buy one?" (insert valley girl accent here)

I recommended the pharmacy and she seemed very pleased with this suggestion and she trotted off to buy some genuine hair elastics from the drug store.

I think the lesson I learned here is to be gentle with the students during exams. They really do lose their minds.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This Is Not a Book Review

Because I have yet to read all of it, I am not reviewing this book here. Athough when I finish I will likely do so on NoBS.

I was zooming through the store the other day and this cover caught my eye. I grabbed it off of the display in one fell swoop causing my customer to exclaim,"You must do that alot! You didn't even miss a step!" So true, but it's from 13years of picking up stray books that are laid about the store.

Anyway, back to this book. The McSweeney's Joke Book of Book Jokes is a compilation of entries from McSweeney's Internet Tendency website and is at least worth a scan through.

Chapters include: "Postcards from James Joyce to His Brother Stan", "Winnie-the-Pooh Is My Coworker" and a quiz, "Ikea Product or Lord of the Rings Character?"

I, myself went directly to "The Five Most Dangerous Children's Books Ever Written, According to Sean Hannity". Number one on that list...Clifford the Big Red Dog! Still one of my all time favorites. But did you know that Clifford is simply a metaphor for Communism! Oh dear!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My Son, The Non-Reader

I woke up this morning at about 8:00. I turned over, looked at the clock - nothing. Like every other morning, I tried CNN - nothing. Eventually, my sleepy mind realized that the power was off. Of course, this was the perfect opportunity to read - the house was quiet, my son was still asleep. Heaven!

When my 15 year-old son finally woke up, he instantly noticed the lack of electricity. Stunned, he walked into my room...

Son: What am I supposed to do, nothing works.

Mom: Go outside.

Son: It's too hot.

Mom: Listen to your iPod.

Son: It's not charged.

Mom: Clean your room. (Well, it was worth a try!)

Son: I can't, there's no T.V.

Mom: What?

Son: I have to watch T.V. when I clean my room.

Mom: Well, read a book.

Son (laughing hysterically): You've got be kidding!

Someday, I can only hope that my son experiences the joy that I have - immersed in books.

I have been able to capture his attention with a few graphic novels. But, as for other books, he would rather cut the grass with nail clippers. I will not admit defeat yet - I still have a few years to work on him!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

As a teacher, I have heard some wild comments from students. And, I am always amazed how perceptive kids can be.

After enjoying my summer off, I had lunch with a colleague last week. She spent the summer working with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

One morning in the library, she was stopped by Diana, who was soon to be in second grade. “My grandmother used to be a teacher,” Diana proudly informed her. “That’s why she died.”

Wow! I’ve been back in school for five days – I get it!

The Old Man and the Books

It's been a tough week at the bookstore.

General Manager on vacation, one supervisor in the hospital and some sort of bug causing sick days galore.

Stress? You bet.

Added to that, I forgot today was Saturday and I have to head off to work in 15minutes. I just remembered I have a blog to post. I have to do it now because I won't be home from work until after midnight. Yikes!


What helped to relieve my stress this week?

Silly old man.

I was working the register during a very busy time of the day. Up came an old man buying three books. I asked him, as is required, if he would like to get one of a rewards cards.

His answer, "I don't have time for that. I'm 80 years old. I have to get home and read these books before I kick off!"

That made me think. I hope I don't die in the middle of a book that I'm really enjoying!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Men ARE From Mars

Quite simply put, this all happened in one, eight hour period this week.

A call came about a man in the "Ladies Room". He simply walked through the wrong door.

A man wearing leather chaps was standing in line to purchase his book. This caused calls back and forth throughout the store with uproarious laughter in the background. Because, not only was he wearing chaps but he was wearing loose fitting jeans which caused his pants to poof out at the rear over the chaps giving the illusion of a diaper.

A young man walks into the store and straight to the restrooms. He comes out wearing a neon orange gorilla suit. Why? He was immediately escorted from the store. It's just not a good idea to conceal your identity in a retail store.

Wacky Wednesday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

At least one conscientious library user

Most of the time, books from my library are returned in worse shape than they went out. The most common scenarios include, writing all over the margins or copiously highlighted text; although, a book once came in covered in kiwi too so, there's no limit to the destruction we see. As a one time student, I found this terrible, and apparently widespread, habit very VERY annoying. As a librarian, I find it completely disrespectful - and even more widespread than I previously thought!

Because of the vast number of highlighted and scribbled on books that come through the library, I thought I was alone in my frustration. I began to believe that students think writing in library books is the trendy thing to do or think that their marginalia are ideas of great genius meant to be shared. Well, I was wrong. There is at least one conscientious student out there who feels my pain.

The other day, as I was checking in books, I opened the front cover of a fairly new book to find an interesting post-it-note. The note summed up my feelings exactly; I could have written it myself. The post-it read:

"Please don't write in this book. You will ruin it for us all. It is really very annoying!"

Ah, finally a kindred spirit! I would like to find this mystery person and shake their hand. If there is one conscientious student out there maybe there's more and, maybe one day, all books in the library will be free from grafitti.

Hmm, fat chance of that. But at least I know there's one person on my side, fighting for good and not evil.