Librarian Ire

Monday, September 26, 2005

Gate Alarms suck.

And so do those people who try to pass off the alarm with excuses such as:

"That's ok, it does it all the time."
"My watch always sets it off."
"It's my bookbag, the alarm thinks its a second person."
"No I don't have any library book... Oh, well, yes these."
"They said it was ok."

Friday, September 23, 2005

Student challenge

I am keeping score on the new students.
So far it's stupid 3, students 0.
First one I sent one of the new students to page books at 7:40 pm one day and I to go find her at 9:00 pm. For 17 requests! I can do them in a half an hour. But that's with experience. 45 minutes at the most. And this isn't a big place.
Second one I come back from my meal break and the student starts to discharge books on the truck. He asks me what I want him to do first. Well, page books since you haven't done that and we close in an hour. I have to wonder what was he doing for the hour I was gone? It ain't busy here.
Third one. Another student who is a total Nathan(check December archives) actually told his replacement that he looked for all the unfound books and didn't find them. Not while I was here. Unless he is telekinetic or something since he was planted at the desk for his shift.
I knew this guy was going to be trouble. When he rambled on about his experience in counseling people I knew he was a bad choice. But do I get asked? Nooooo. And he'll stay here forever! That's what people like him do.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Where are they coming from!?

We had a real prize in here. So you can have a mental photo he was skinny and about 5 feet 6. With a comb-over. A sour expression on his face that must have been sand blasted on.
He was looking for a book. It was an old call number that we don't use anymore. He did recognize that it wasn't a Library of Congress number but he still didn't know where it was. So he tells me, I can't find this book.
I look at it and say Hmm, it doesn't look like one of ours. Oh yes it is! You have to find it for me. It says it's here. So I look at the online catalog and discover that the item is restricted and not even in our library. I explain that because of it's age and subject matter we have sent it away for storage and protection and you have to use it within our library. This guy wants me to send it to another library altogether for his use. So I tell him AGAIN that it can only be used here because it's old and fragile and of particular interest to us.
He tells me that it's not a valuable book. Actually what he said was It's on sale at Amazon for $20.00. So what are you doing bothering me for dummy!
I mention to him again that we think it is a valuable book and we'd like to keep it as long as possible.
So he draws himself up and sneers at me. I am a curator of a library, you don't have to explain that to me.
Your own collection of books doesn't count as a library. And since I explained it three times I DID have to explain it to you. Or maybe you meant I didn't have to explain it a FOURTH time.

Idiot Central

I have located the source of all idiots. It seems to be the main library on my campus.


"Hello, this is Loki from the 'excellently run by yours truly, but still a crappy place' library. I have a faculty with an ID that the system has recently expired."
"Ok. Can you give me his ID number?"...... "The problem is, his ID is expired."
"Uhhh, YEAH, that IS why I've called you."
.... "Ok, I've fixed his ID in the system. Anytime that an ID is expired, a person won't be able to check things out."

Oh for the LOVE of God.

"Hello, this is Loki from the 'still run good, but shitty place none the less' library. I have a student will an ILL book that is on your hold shelf. Would you guys be able to send it to my library for the student to pick up?"
"Hold on." Click. Click. Transfer. "Hello, Dumbass central."
Thank you SO much for 1. Not informing me I'm being transferred, and 2. Not repeating my information for me so I don't' have to do it again!
"blah blah blah repeat exactly".
"Ok, can you give me their name?".... "Hello? This book is an Ill."

Holy crap. Such Complete. And. Utter. Morons.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Share the Drugs!

I don't know what some people are taking, but if they don't start sharing soon I'm going MARC on their ass. (B/c really, Librarians have way more stress than postmen. We have books, endlessly coming in and going out, missing, lost; we have to search for them, bill them, repair them - which is all more than equal to mail. But THEN we have endless patrons, each with an infinite range of problems and questions that they demand you answer. So, MARC. "Librarian" just doesn't have the same zing that postal had.)

ANYWAY (Damn, stay on topic Loki! But my complaints are endless! Focus!)

An old guy (not a student) comes up to the desk looking for a particular journal. Once again, I'm all "Did you look it up in the catalog?" Oh yes, he did. However, he can't tell if we had it. O.K. So I look it up. We get to the initial screen with a list of those titles (and more). The guy starts in with "Now, you see this list - why doesn't it tell me what library has it?" I try to explain the structure of a Library Management System to him, but he's not having it. I actually said, "Whatever. Just click on the one that fits." So we have made it to the item screen (15 minutes after beginning, the dude wanted to talk and complain until my brain tried to escape out my ear and hop a plane to Mexico) Then, I scroll to the bottom of the item screen to show/explain that is where one finds the holding information. "Now see, that's just stupid. Why would you put that information on the bottom? I don't want to go all the way to the bottom. That should be on the top. Its the most important thing. I want the title, then right underneath the call #."
"But sir, I explain, we don't have any control over that. The bibliographic information all has to go together. Sometimes people want to know the author of a book. Or the year it was published. Besides, you can't just put the call #, you have to put the owning library and the status fields in." "Why?! I don't need that. I only need the call #. Can you call someone and have that changed?"

Ok, at this point, the freak had tee'd me off to no end. I want to know just how nice I have to be to him. "Are you a member of the faculty or staff here?" "No." "Do you have an ID?" "No, I just like to use this library every now and then." HA-HAH! Freedom to bitch. "Listen buddy, get your scrawny ass out of my library, you're pissing me off!" Alas, no. I just told him that's how we do it here, that's the right way to do it, and its too bad he doesn't like it.

Be afraid, be very afraid

Yet another library that has made it to the "what the hell were you thinking?!" list that I keep for ILL.
This time it's from Down Under. A library from a major city in Australia sent back a book that they had borrowed on ILL. Now to give them points the book was returned WAY before the due date. That's worth about 25 points in my book. Also all the paperwork was included. That's 10. So a total of 35 points. I sometimes add 'cool' points if it's an interesting book or from an exotic place like Tahiti. But none here.
All right now on the debit side. They used a RUBBER BAND on this poor defenceless book. What DUMBASS is in charge down there!?
Take away 15 points for that. So we're down to 20 points.
Next they have sent this book to the wrong address. This happens a lot. I don't get a lot of requests, but I get a lot of returns. Which is why I take away points. Normally I would only take a few points away from them if they sent it to me and it was going to another branch of our library. A max of 10. (Okay 15 if you are from Utah. But that's different. They're always wrong.)
But this book is coming all the way from Australia. And it is going to the nameless university in Pennsylvania that is also on my list. How hard was it to aim it a little closer to it's final destination? I suppose I should give them points for getting it to the right continent. Okay a half a point for that. So we are now up to 20.5 points.
The state that I live in is not close to Pennsylvania. It's not next to it or a quick drive in the car. So for that I take away 50 points. So those of you keeping score it's now -30.5 points for Australia ILL.
It's not a huge total to overcome. Let's see who rises to the challenge to erase the debt and restore my trust.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Hormones or evil?

I ran around putting out fires all day. Thanks in part to my boss. (Let's call her MSB. Short for Mood Swing Boss) She was gone for half the day. Leaving all the new students to deal with the questions, problems that Monday generates. The new student did her best, she's pretty good for someone who's only been here 2 weeks. Smart, nice, and organized. She actually took notes in her training sessions! No one I've trained ever did that. Okay it's a little geeky, but she's asked less repeat questions. Just always new questions. She picked up the basics fast.

So I was putting out fires for the first 2 and half hours. I found misplaced books, I gave directions, and there was the 20 minute reference question from the "experienced researcher" who was looking for a book about a series of paintings. What kind of researcher never even types in the title of the book that they are looking for? She used subject and author and even keyword searches. When I dumbed it down it popped right up. Keep it simple stupid!!
Then I had to find the shelvers to clear out the reference room. And the shelver I assign to that little task is so clueless he had to be re-trained. Sigh.
So I finally sit down three hours later. Which is when the boss comes awanderin' in. She immediately sits down and starts in on her e-mail. She has been in a meeting with the person she's e-mailing for the past 3 hours, but MSB needs to do this 'very important e-mail' right now. Meanwhile there are reserves to go out, and more questions and people wanting their hold books.
Then I was showing the student how to do the e-mail replies because she is so good at everything else. Then I am asked what the student is doing. I tell MSB I am having the student reply to some e-mails that came in. 30 minutes later MSB announces that she's gonna e-mail these patrons telling them why we can't find their books.
What were you on Mars when I answered your question the first time!
Now there is a lull so the student goes on her break, since she's been here alone most of the afternoon. OF COURSE the floodgates open. The boss is still composing her epic e-mail which is "very important".

I had half a dozen ILL books to return, 3 ILL packages to send and a reserve book that still hadn't been done 4 hours after I got to work. Which she could have done no problem.
So the bell rings. After the third interruption in 10 minutes, (That damn bell!) I asked the boss if she could help that patron, since I was trying to actually do my job. (I didn't say the job part, but I thought it) She gets all huffy because she has to get this e-mail right out. This is the one she's been working on for 90 minutes.
So I told the patron I'd be right with them and closed out ILL AGAIN! I guess I wasn't moving fast enough because MSB stomps out there to help the person.


Ok. Creepy guy was in yesterday - no blinking, dark hair, out of date clothes. The clincher? What appeared to be blood that had run down and dried on his chin. It was SO gross! What's more - could not the 3 people who were lurking around with him had pointed that out? "My lord, some of your dinner has run down your chin. Would you not like to clean it off before our long hidden existence is revealed?"

Friday, September 09, 2005

I perform Feats of Magic!

You say you are looking for a book and it is not there.

I see a found book in your future... Give to me the call number. Ahhhh... a P call number. Let us go forth to the stacks.

I will now search for the book in the location where it belongs... woo-oooh... You were correct. The book is not there. I will now scan the surrounding shelves for the wayward item.... shewww-weewh... Truly, your quest is a worthy one. I feel this book will only be found with the assistance of a greater power than my own. Please do not disturb me as I consult with the great Dyslexic God of Shelvers. Hommmmm... Ah. Follow me.

Here is your book: PA4363 A3 I76 1994 I have found it amongst the PA3436's

You are welcome. Yes that is amazing. You are truly impressed? Well, I am glad you think I am more than a barcode wand-er.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Online classes

I was never a huge fan of on-line classes. The impersonal venue,(new word, look it up!) the extra expense(they charge more for online classes at my university, highway robbery in my opinion), and the fact that there weren't a lot of on topic and interesting tangents where you really could learn something new. And idiot teachers. I have done on-line classes where the prof couldn't even spell.
Oh don't get me wrong, I can see the advantages. Don't have to deal with traffic, bad weather, idiots in class scaring you s*itless, and making your own schedule.
But I have to say I am becoming a bigger fan nowadays. I just completed two assignments sitting at my computer with a glass of wine(okay 2) at my side, and listening to my favorite music that was downloaded from the internet. Try doing that in a classroom! Not to mention going to class in my pajamas. I am thinking this is pretty good. Now if I only had my textbook and actually did the reading for last week.(I signed up late. So sue me.)

A little late, but...

Just like the government, we at LI are a little late in wishing our comrades in arms in New Orleans and in Mississippi our sincere wishes and prayers for a recovery from Hurricane Katrina.
And hope that you will be back on the front lines very soon!
In the meantime we will be checking blogs to find out how you all are.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Celery woman

A new student has appeared. I am calling her Celery Woman because any woman who has reached her age(late 40's) and hair color(fading blonde) should know better than to wear a celery green top and dark green slacks. She looks like a piece of celery with legs.
But she is head and shoulders above the rest of the idiots we have seen today. She came in three times in 1 hour to ask questions about the reserves. How to check them out, how to look them up, can she take them home, how to look them up again. She asked the same questions over and over again.
And she pitched a fit when we wouldn't let her take the reserve books out of the library. Not for 2 hours. Overnight, sure. That was the latest question.
Just now she wanted to know how to add money to her copy card. Stick it in and then add the money. "I did that. The machine keeps spitting out my card." Did you put the card in with the arrow facing the right way?" Oh no. I'll try that.
I can't live with this type of idiotcy for a whole year.