Librarian Ire

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Return of the Celery Woman

She returns. Just as limp and colorless and clueless as before, although not in green. Someone must have mentioned how terribly awful she looks in green. I haven't seen much of her this year(thankfully) but she been around. The stories, oh the stories!
Here's one from recently. She was in here asking questions. I didn't have to answer them. She was asking one of the reference librarians. You gotta give those ref librarians credit. I honestly don't know how anyone can be that patient with someone that stupid.
I swear she asked the variations on the same question three times in 5 minutes. "I have a book on reserve." (No, actually it's on hold, stupid) When we go to the shelf, it's not there. "But it has to be! My e-mail said so." Just in case the shelf is checked again. Nope. Now Celery Woman repeats herself at a slightly louder volume. (Like we missed it the first two times) And she spells her name for us. (Thanks. We missed it the first and second time, which is why we actually checked the shelf) Then since we can't find it we move to the next step. Her account was checked. Lo and behold her e-mail had lied to her. It's at another library on campus. Panic ensues. "Oh, no I wouldn't do that. It's got to be here since this is the only library I use. You have to look again."
Apparently the first two times that the librarian looked on the shelf she somehow overlooked the book even though we had the title and your name and we know what we are doing. Or maybe Celery Woman thought her amazing mental powers would somehow have teleported the book to it's 'right' place so she would be able to pick it up.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Why do people insist on ignoring signs? Usually signs are there to help you. Like out of order signs. Or stop signs in the street.
I had someone damn near run a stop sign this morning. I wouldn't have cared, much, except I was in the middle of the intersection when he finally noticed me.
I just finished paying for my car, thank you very much. Luckily he decided to stop.
But I digress.
Today we had a small mainentance problem with our main bathroom. The door handle fell off. I'd consider a pretty big freakin' problem, but apparently no cares what I think.
For those keeping score it's the inside door handle so it's hard to get out. We put 2 signs on the door saying Out of Order and Please use the other bathrooms. Real clear and concise right? And yes, they were polite signs.
Nothing to worry about. Yeah, right. About noon a patron came to me with the words, someone is locked in the bathroom. I was understandably annoyed. The signs were not hard to read. So I tell the bathroom patron that we didn't want people in there.
Because it was the interior door handle, we had to call maintenance to get them out. And we didn't know how long it was going to take.
Physical plant found it quite amusing. But they promised to get there very soon.
So I go back and update the person. No problem.
On the outside of the door there's a little knob that maybe would unlock the door. So I wriggle it. The locked in person says, Oh wait a minute would this help? And UNLOCKS THE DOOR FROM THE INSIDE!
They weren't ever locked in!
I had to call Physical plant and let them know that there was no need for a welder or locksmith to rescue our stranded patron.
I leave it to you to fill in the rest of that conversation.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Big bowl of Jello.

I'm obviously getting soft in my dotage.

Just had a guy come to the desk with a full size journal:

Uhh, sigh. "You're copier only makes 81/2x11 copies."
"Well." Uhh, sigh. "There's like 10 pages to this article and I only have enough for like 5 copies."
Uhh, sigh. "Well. I need to get like 2 pages on each copy."
"You'll have to minimize size of the copy to do that."
"Well," Uhh, sigh. "That's like impossible."
"Yes, you have a full size journal."
"Well," Uhh, sigh. "What am I supposed to do?"

What am I supposed to do? Give you money? Hold your hand? Weep a sea of tears for your misfortune? TOO funny.

Friday, May 12, 2006

In praise of Scotland

I just love Scotland. Now you might think this is an unusual non-sequitar for LI.
But bear with me. It's not because they have cool accents, kicking Scotch, a pretty keen fashion sense(everyone wants those tartans), and many famous people who changed the world. Adam Smith, John Knox, Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sean Connery, and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, just to name a few.

No, the reason I love Scotland is because of the quality of their ILL staff. It is ILL heaven on earth. They are organized, polite, accurate, and in general damn good!

If I get a request from anywhere in Scotland, whether it be from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, or Edinburgh University or St. Andrew's University I know that the call number will correspond to the title, that they will know how much we charge and be willing to pay. They will return the books in a timely manner with the paperwork! Very important that. And best of all, they always include a handwritten thank-you note.
And helpful! I had a borrowing request that confused the hell out of everyone, except the Scottish. They were willing to find the book, copy it and send it to us airmail. And for a piddling little price! As I said Heaven on earth.

That's all I ask. Some organization, pride in your work, and a little gratitude. What's so hard about that? In Scotland it's not hard at all.
Now if I can only start getting them to send me tea and shortbread....

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Librarian with Attitude.

Yesterday I was in quite the sassy mood.

A guy came up to the desk while I was there. He handed me a blank piece of paper and said:

"This is all that's coming out from the document I printed. Twice the pages have been blank."

I looked straight at him and siad: "Wow, that really sucks."

I scared him for a few seconds by not adding anything to that... then I was the good librarian and helped him. I just love to freak them out though, every now and then.

Love it!

As I've been quite the slacker lately (damn them giving me work!) I thought I'd pass along this lovely phone conversation:

Phone person: "Yeah, I need to talk to someone about the overdue notice I got on a book."

Me: "Ok." I look her up. "Is this the title?"

Phone person: "Yes. I returned the book on friday right after I got the overdue notice."

Me: "Okaaay. Well, you were billed 1 day overdue for the book because it was supposed to be back on thursday."

Phone person, with indignation: "But I returned the book as soon as I got the overdue notice!"

Me: "Yes, but you see the overdue notice means that the item is already overdue. You've already earned fines."

Phone person: "You mean you don't send overdue notices before the book is overdue?"

It was hard not asking her if she could hear what she's asking. I laughed for quite some time.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Throwing stones at the greenhouse part 2

Tonight Stripey announced to me that she didn't think she could work her entire shift.
No reason, just she said I don't feel I can work until we close tonight.
Tough luck babe. You didn't bother to do this before you walked in (late)and started working.
Since you aren't a great worker to begin with I am not inclined to cut you any slack.
She doesn't know the right destinations for returned books, she comes in late, spends a lot of time doing e-mail, and asks for help for the tiniest little thing.
None of which I would miss, but who do you think wants to cover your shift NOW? Maybe if you had planned ahead like the rest of the staff. Everyone else has exams and papers too. Including me.
And I work full-time. She only works 4 hours a week. What the hell do you do the rest of the time? She never uses the library and I don't know anyone who has classes with her.

Friday, May 05, 2006

What's up Loki?

Not dead. Just buried under the chaos of end of year. Ugh. There's bound to be some good craziness coming up, check back next week.