Librarian Ire

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Spam in the library

Now you might be thinking this is a rant-y(is that a word?) post. But really it's not.
I am not saying I am in favor of being bombarded with advertisements for things like V!a gr@, C1aL1s. And I really don't have money to invest in the stock market, but thanks anyway. And my personal favorite, how to enlarge certain organs to an AMAZING size.
Hmm, I wonder what the success rate is for those drugs when there's no organ to work with in the first place?
Things I wonder about as I am deleting my spam folder. Yes, I have a special in-box for spam.
And that does annoy me. That I need one. But overall I look at spam as a free laugh. Especially to the general library account. When you are sending spam and viruses to an e-mail account that says circdesk@*******.edu do you really think that a header entitled CRAZY ILLEGAL SEX!!! is going to make it past the trash? Or how about Pharmacy spelled with an F and 4 A's?
Little tip for you spammers out there reading this. Librarians have to learn to spell before they let us graduate. It's one of those stupid little requirements of Library school. Damned spelling quizzes on the GRE.
So thanks for the laugh. But you can stop now. The patrons have complained that the hysterical laughter from behind the circ desk is distracting them from important things like listening to their Ipod or talking on the cell phone and abusing books.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Yeah, My stack has completely blown.

So, It's my turn to check the library general email account - handle all those pesky problems. I see there are about 40 pages of emails in the inbox. As that really annoys my fluctuating type A, I decide to go through and try to delete the ones older than 3 months. I am happily deleting when I run across a very angry email from a professor. Since he was quite the jerk, I was curious to see what the librarian who got the email said in response. So, I flip to the sent folder. 15 pages there. I find the email, I read it, and I completely blow my stack. The person who got it was an ass-kisser who was brought in for a term position. She goes on in her email about how whoever had done things before her had slacked off on the job, its there fault, but that now that she's here such things will never happen. No fooling! She did a whole long letter with this kind of crap, but written in a polished letter form. I can NOT believe she did that! At best she's an egomaniac kiss-up, at worst the director and all other staff in the library are complete fools!

She thinks she's so professional too. She is on my list. Watch for her, b/c I am going to make a point of highlighting her shenanigans often here from now on!

All is Right.

Here I thought I had been going soft. I haven't noticed very much idiocy lately in the patrons. Thankfully, I discovered this morning its not me, it was just a slow couple of weeks.

8am this morning. I am not visible from the very front of the circ desk, but I can see the desk. I hear the doors open. I hear feet drag along the carpet for 2 steps. (ps I HATE that! Why the heck don't people pick up their feet?!) I'm waiting for them to get within 7 feet of the desk, which is the area I can see, before I come out from my spot where I'm working. Beyond 7 feet I can't see yet. So, the steps stopped after 2, immediately some BIMBO yells out "Is someone there?!" Ok, first off - this is a library! No yelling! Second, no one of any sense would think you need help at a desk when you are about 10 feet from it. Grrr. I'm not a concierge or a valet, it is not my job to pounce on you before the door closes behind you.

Needless to say, I came out, but I was very short with the pinhead patron. She just wanted to return a book too! She didn't even approach the desk until I was standing at it directly in front of her. Then she lifts up her huge bag, wet!, plops it on the desk and begins to root around in it. I yanked that book out of her hand, said 'thank you' - but not like I really meant it, and walked away. Grrr.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A due date means something is DUE on that date.

I don't know why this is so hard to understand for people. When a book is due - it's DUE. When you check out a reserve, you do so next to the large sign telling you what happens if you do not return the book by the overdue time. You get a receipt with the due date & time. The student tells you when exactly the book is due and reminds you - in case you can't read the sign - that you get fines if the book is returned after that time.

Let's review:
What will happen if you do not return the book when it is due? You will be fined.

Why sure. If you die. If you are in a coma or otherwise unconscious in a hospital and you can produce documentation if required. If you've been jailed or kidnapped. All excuses will have their fines forgiven until you can return the book.

Phoning or emailing us on the due date informing us you can't return the item today because you have to work, your car broke, your flight was delayed, you've got a headache, your mom needs you to clean the garage - none of these count. You knew when you took the book when it was due. You were accepting responsibility for the items return and if the outside world affected your plans the book is still your responsibility.

How can people not get this?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


A few random happenings today.
First of all some funny names. A Mr. Charme and a Mr. Purpel.
I want to know who the Purpel guy thinks he's fooling. We all know he changed the spelling.
Second, the vanishing books. Several books disappeared from their spots only yesterday. Then later on they mysteriously re-appeared. Just in time for me to find them all. Highly suspicious.
Then the most unusual thing of all. Someone left their boots in the library. In the middle of the reading room to be exact. Both of them. How do you forget your boots? It's not like an umbrella or your keys or a glove or something.
And in January?! Did you have another pair? Were you wearing really heavy socks?
People have left things here before. Laptops, CD's, umbrellas, hats, notebooks, food, I once found a postcard from New Zealand near a copier. But shoes? I don't get it. It was however very funny.
So, what's the strangest thing that's been left in your library?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hoot-hoot goes the Loon.

There is so much going on this just made me laugh!

I get a call at the desk. A foreign student starts right in yelling at me, yes, yelling, that I didn't check in her book. She returned it. She put it in the slot. She returned it. Remove it from her account. Blah blah. Since there was no pauses in her ranting, I had to cut right in and ask for her ID #. "No." she says to me. No? She has already launched into my yelling about her returned book, I am trying to talk over her to get her to shut up and give me her ID when she goes "Fine, 243556993882" and then starts yelling again. Lucky for her I have a good memory for numbers b/c I had to catch all that in a half a second. I exercise my toon-out ability and type in the number while she is yelling at me more "I returned the book. I returned the book. I returned the book."

I finally get her record, guess that the overdue item is the 'returned book' and tell her (cuttin in of course) that we'll search for the book and let her know. "No! I returned the book. Remove it right now! (She's really screaming now) I was just there and returned the book, remove it!"

"Wait a minute." I say. "When did you return this book?"
"Right now. Just this minute!" She screams.
"You mean, within the last 5 minutes you returned this book?"
My pardon to religious folks, but christ! "We are very busy. If it was just returned it is still in the book return and it won't be checked in until we have the time."
She grumbled a bit more then hung up.

Now, that is just crazy. She comes in, returns the book, then obviously runs to the nearest computer not in this building and checks her book account to see if it was removed. Who does that?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Mark and remember.

Had a screamer in today. Ranting and raving about his 25.00 overdue fine. He claims he checked out a 2 hour reserve and returned it about 45 minutes earlier.
He protested excessively about the fine. He even had his dates wrong. He said he checked it out on Wednesday when he had checked it out on Tuesday. There was no record of him checking anything out on Wednesday.
I pointed that out to him several times and he insisted I was wrong. It's not me, but you might want to be careful about who you accuse of being wrong there fine boy.
He got all happy and less loud when I told him I would forgive the fine. I then gave him advice on how to avoid this from happening again. Ask for a date due slip or a receipt. He was Very Uninterested in that advice.
And what made me even more suspicious he kept ranting about how the student was all wrong and had had trouble checking the item out to him.
So I check his account. Surprise! This is the fourth time he has had major fines on his account all on a 2 hour reserve item. And maybe this will shock some of you, but all were forgiven on account of 'error.'
Not anymore. He has a note in his fine account now. HA HA!

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Patron: "Why don't you send me an electronic notice when books I've ordered come in?"

Me: "We do sir. Can I see your ID so I can verify your email address."

Patron: "ok"

Me: "Is this your email address? blah blah .edu?"

Patron: "Yes."

Me: "Well then, you should be getting email notices."

Patron: "Where do they go?"

Me: "To your email account. Do you check this email account often?"

Patron: "Check where? Doesn't it just come up on my computer?"

Me: " You have to have a mail client to receive email of any sort. Do you have one of these set up on your computer?

Patron: "I don't know what that is. My email just comes up."

Me: "Why don't you just call and ask us if something comes in?"

Patron: "OH! Ok, that'd be great."

Around the bend

I don't know if it is the colder weather, the new year, or the excess of fat in people's bodies, but they are driving me crazy with book returns. One by one they come in and stand around to personally hand me their ONE book return.

"You don't have to wait for staff you know. You can return books in this huge slot & bin that you are standing directly in front of. Right under the "Return books here" sign."

"Oh, I just want to make sure its checked in."

Patrons everywhere here is an important notice: We check in everything. The percentage that slips through the cracks is less than 1%. And those? They usually come about because people don't put the books in the bins. Put it on the counter or insist on handing it to us when we're busy with the 40 other things, well, then they sometimes get missed.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

ILL updates # 3 or 4.

If someone's counting let me know. I lost track. Anyway this is to adjust the -30.5 for Australia.
I know you all were just waiting up nights wanting to know if that was gonna get better.
It was starting to worry me.
But finally(!!) the University of Tasmania stepped up. Yes, little Tasmania. Home of the Devil and Errol Flynn. And some very organized and puntcual ILL'ers. They sent back 2 books BEFORE the due date. They were my books. Which is what we are keeping track of here. Returning two books to the proper library is worth 5 points. To get them back before they are overdue is worth another 5 points a piece. So we are down to -15.5 points.
Okay who's next? University of Sydney? How about Melbourne? Monash University? Maybe the University of Perth? Let's give it a try.