Thursday, October 8, 2009

We're in the business of banning...

Tuesday, our Regional Manager called to forward a complaint about the Banned Books Week Display. Banned Books Week is a week celebrated by the American Library Association. It celebrates the freedom to read by highlighting books that have been banned or challenged across the country at some point. To illustrate the lameness of banning books I created a display that said “These Books Have Been Banned” on black paper with white words and surrounded it with caution tape. It was a pretty eye catching display if I do say so myself!

I put books like Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, Are you There God? It’s Me Margaret, In the Night Kitchen, The Stupids, Where the Sidewalk Ends…, The Lorax and the list goes on and on. Really. It does! Even the dictionary was on the list!

A former teacher came into the library and saw the display and felt that it was so outrageous that we were banning books that she called our headquarters to complain. She apparently asked at the circulation desk what the deal was with the display and was told it was a “joke’. Which it really isn’t…maybe the caution tape was a joke, but the fact of the matter is that someone somewhere tried to control other people’s access to those books. And that is not right!

Anyways, on the other hand, a lot of people asked questions about the display. Many people wanted to know why the books were banned, if we banned books, and many people when they found out that certain titles were considered banned made an effort to check those books out! It created a lot of conversation which was my point, and I think that it was a very effective display overall!

Yay me! J

In other fun patron run-ins. I love the people who when I answer the phone “Reference Desk, how can I help you?” don’t even say hello, just launch into some random question like….

“Ben Franklin made magic squares and he had two 8x8 squares. I’ve found one of them but can’t find the other one. You’ll probably have to go onto and search ‘Ben Franklin’ and ‘magic squares’”.

To people like that I say: 1. I am not your secretary. 2. It always helps to be polite to the person you are asking to find you something. 3. If you are so computer savvy, why aren’t you looking it up yourself? Or coming down to the library to get on our computers to do it yourself? HMPH!

If you ever want to really upset me at work, just start moving furniture. I hate it when people come in and think that they can move the chairs around, move tables, move the big seats. I just hate it hate it hate it. They never put them back and it frustrates me to no end. I can’t believe that people think they can come into a public place and move everything around. Would you go to your friend’s house and move their furniture? What about a department store? NO you would NOT! GRRRR

As its pajama story time night I’ve been listening to the screeching of the woman who directs pajama story time for the last hour and a half. She is a former soap star who now dresses up in her pajamas and acts out stories with a junior charity group. She is annoying as hell and I can’t stand the group. I basically want to stab myself repeatedly in the eye with a dull pencil whenever they are here and for some reason tonight they are here an hour longer than normal. GRRRR

And last but not least. A patron came up to our Children’s Librarian tonight and said “I’m off!” Pam looked at her “….. Um okay!” She overheard a conversation with another patron and thought that she was being helpful by telling Pam that she had gotten off her computer and was leaving the library. But of course from the initial “I’m off!” Pam had no idea what she was talking about. And as a side note, the patron’s conversation that she was listening to had nothing to do with the computers that the public uses. A man was unable to get his laptop to connect with our wireless network.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Questions I want to say NO to

Do you have a stapler?

Do you have a paperclip?

Do you have a pen/pencil?

Do you have lined paper?

Do you have this book?

Do you know where the bathroom is?

I need a book over 150 pages, about anything, got a suggestion?

Attack of the Annoying Patrons

I don't know what the deal is today but it's been a major attack of weird, annoying, crazy patrons!

Dog is a patron who constantly has issues with the computer. She is always asking for help with her resume which basically is asking me to help her search on It's annoying and frustrating becasue while I feel like my job is to help people naviagate the web, I feel like it is NOT my job to read words on a website to a person.

Anyways Dog is here tonight and apparently has a typing job that she is working on. She was working on it last night and didn't save her work and lost 8 pages of it. Frustrating I know, but now she is doing a dance around our computers, looking for people who have closed their computer session early, instead of waiting the 20 minutes to log on to her assigned computer.

Unfortunately, the way that our computer system works is that you get assigned to the next available computer at the time you make your reservation. So potentially someone could end their session while you are waiting and a new person could come up and make a reservation and get onto a computer before you.

So she is walking around looking for a computer to get onto, doesn't really find one and finally logs onto the computer that she is assigned to. She drives me crazy!!!!

Going on concurrently to this situation is this new lady. TankTop. TankTop has been coming to the library recently and utilizing as much internet time as she can! Which is fine, but even though our system allows you to log onto the computer for 60 minutes, with two 45 minute extentions (as long as there is nobody waiting) she still wants more. MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE!

She doesn't understand the word "No" or the reasoning behind why we can't give her more time (that there are people waiting to get onto the computer and they have every right to get onto them).

Finally ASL let her on, but she has to wait an hour. HAH!

The old guy that looks at old guy porn is here. EW

In other news, I've made my first real step to becoming a real librarian as I've applied to library school. It's very exciting!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why I don't like people....

because they come into the library, ask to get BACK on the computer after already using there 2 1/2 hours, and then systematically take off their shoes... and then their socks... and then rock back in the chairs. Ggrrrrr

because they want me to find out why Consumer Reports doesn't review Thermador Refrigerators...and continue to talk to me about why why why they don't even though I've told them that I don't know

because they tell me how much they hate California, and how much better Missouri is and how it's just horrible here... thanks. I'm California born and raised, jerkface.

because they don't know that they are being creepy when they call me "girl".

because maybe they do know they are being creepy when they call me "girl".

because they call me "honey" on the phone and think that I don't know what I'm doing when I tell them that I need them to hold so I can look up the transfer extension to the Friends of the Library, and then they tell me "It's 6, HONEY", and then get huffy when I tell them that it is a different transfer extension when we do it in house, bitch (didn't say it...but thought it).

because the friends of the library member who picked up the phone, wanted me to just send the patron over there and acted like I was inconveniencing them by directing a phone call their way. If they don't want to deal with patron questions regarding donations, then why are you in the friends of the library?

because they smell.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I don't understand how someone can use the computer to look up the library's information to call us.. and then have us look in a dictionary on how to spell a word and the definition. There are a multitude of online dictionaries that tell you the exact same information.

Why is is necessary to place your items to be stapled into the staple, raise your arm all the way up and then bring it down to slam the top part down. And its not children who are doing this...but grown men and women. And they wonder why it didn't staple properly.

There are rules about food and drink in the library for a reason.

Maybe the reason you don't know what you are doing, is because you walked away from me AS I was telling you what to do. It's shocking at how many people will walk away from me, as I'm telling them where they need to go or how they need to do something. They will literally walk away from me mid word.

A bad attitude when dealing with me, will result in a bad attutide when I deal with you.

Reading the instructions will get you everywhere.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What number is February?

You know, by the time I was in high school I knew all the months and their corresponding numbers. Like January is 1, February is 2, March is 3 etc. etc. hell I knew that in Kindergarten. Which is why is was so shocking to me when a patron who was probably 17 or 18 came up to me and asked me what number February was... "Like the second month of the year?" " it's number 2?" "Yes..." o.O

So. I had a first ever experience in the library the other day. I knocked off a cart of books. It was completely embarrassing and loud and everyone stared. I think the worst part of it was that I saw it happening and there was nothing that I could do to stop it. :(

I also cussed in the library the other day. I didn't think I did, and I was actually proud of myself for not doing so, until ASL kindly told me that I dropped the F-Bomb.. oh well. Let me explain why I'm totally justified in dropping it too. I was searching for a DVD that a patron had requested that we buy but it was not in system. ASL was looking for it so we could do a quick add to the system and her her check it out, so I began to go through my boxes of DVDs in the backroom. I was shifting through my boxes and a GIANT COCKROACH crawled out of my box and I apparently was so shocked that I threw the box forward, dropped the F-Bomb and freaked the hell out. Because Me + Bugs = NOT A GOOD THING!

Oh well, another day in the library. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Awkward? Part Two

Old man in the library looking at old man gay porn. So gross. so so so so gross.

In other news. Annoying library patron is here right now, remember her? The one who took the SLUT BOOK home to her kids? She's here bugging the Children's librarian and is just thrilled because her kids won something in the Summer Reading Program. It kind of annoys me that her kids won... and its sad because I kind of don't think it's her kids fault that she annoys the heck out of me. But what annoys me even more is when she thought that FOR SURE her kids would win something. FOR SURE.. and wanted the Children's Librarian to fudge it so they would. GRRRRRR

Rainbow Girl -- Over the weekend I spent some time at ASL's house for a nice BBQ. She regaled her guests with stories about the Rainbow Girl and today I was able to meet Rainbow Girl. This little girl comes up to the Ref Desk and demands to color RAINBOWS!*!*!*!*!*!*! ASL and FHLA (FortyHourLibraryAssistant) offered her whatever coloring sheets we had and then tried to ignore her. Well apparently Rainbow Girl was not having any of that and began clapping her hands in order to get FHLA's attention as she was helping another patron. After being informed that we do not have rainbow coloring sheets for her to color, she then told FHLA that "she could use her computer to get her some rainbows"...snotty little thing. ASL and FHLA are now the Rainbow Nazis to my Special Craft Nazi! :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Are you sure that's right?

I love the stupid questions I get from people. Take tonight for example.

Our computer system will not let someone make a second reservation for a computer a day. It is because we only let our patrons log one ONCE a day for UP to 60 minutes. I just had a gentleman come in and wanted to know why he was not able to go online. I explained to him that he had been here earlier today and the system only allows him one log on.. which got the response "Well, there are 10 EMPTY computers!", and I of course said, "Yes, there are. But the system only allows you one log on a day, so if you would let me see your library card I can put you back on but I have to override the system."

So I do so.

I tell him that he will be able to log on with his card number but he has to use a pin that I just made for him (1234) for just this log on. He is completely confused by this, and is adamant that he will not be able to print from his account. Even though it's his account number that he is using to log on, just the pin number is different for this time... so then I get the infamous question.

"Are you sure?!?!?"

Yes. I'm sure. I do this every day. MULTIPLE times a day. I am very sure that you will be able to print, because you did indeed sign on with your account number. Remember when you typed it in? That number that is on YOUR library card? Remember? It's yours! and all your printing is tied to that number! So when you type it into the computer, and the computer sends something to print, it's going to come from your account! Shocking. I know!

Le Sigh.

Special Craft Nazi

Today is one of those days. Everyone seems to be bugging me and I'm trying really hard not to let it show in front of the patrons... let me give you a sample of some of the annoying patrons I've dealt with the last few days.

The lady who is on the computer who keeps asking for more time. This happens all the time. My library system allows people to have one log on to our computers for up to 60 minutes and we give people 5 pages of printing free. How nice of us! Now, if its not busy and people are busy working on job related stuff or school related stuff I have no problem with extending their time or letting them back on. But its when people start asking over and over and over and over and over and over again. She knows that we'll let people back on if it's not busy and she takes advantage of it. I don't like it when people take advantage of it...The other day, this gentlemen had been on our computer from when we opened at 10 until 2 hours after I got here which would be 2. That's four hours in front of the computer, playing on facebook. Now I know the library should be accessible for everyone but grrrr that just bugs me!

The little girl who every night that I'm here comes and asks me "If we have something special for her to do" basically something to entertain her. Her mom comes in and goes on the computer and she comes over and asks for something "SPECIAL". Tonight I just wanted to scream and be like NO! You are not SPECIAL! Nothing SPECIAL for you!!! (ala Soup Nazi... perhaps I am Special Craft Nazi?) instead I calmly told her that we have coloring sheets and whatever is left in the after school club bins over in the children's department.

Some people might think that I'm being mean by not giving her anything, but you know what? Why doesn't she go pick up a book and read? It's a library not an arts and crafts center..

I'm just a grumpy gus I guess.

I also forgot to mention, not someone who makes me grumpy, but someone who kind of creeps me out. This story is courtesy of my good ole' ASL. Apparently one of our regular homeless people, Cloudy, has now regained his attraction for women, and proceeded to tell ASL about it. How he thinks that breasts are nice or whatever... she proceeded to direct him towards the beach, because that's where one can go to admire all those big beautiful breasts I guess.. :)


Special Craft Nazi!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A few musings if you will...

If you are printing something immensely important and you won't be able to print another copy of it, don't send it to the printer, finish your hour online, go in the back of the library and read for an hour and a half, and then freak out because it's not showing up in your print queue. Yes the computer is suppose to keep all the jobs until closing...does it? Probably most of the time.. but lady, don't bitch at me because you didn't think to print it out and make sure you had it before you closed whatever you were on.

If you are 9 months pregnant and love to come into the library with your scary looking boyfriend/baby daddy who I'm pretty sure first starting coming in here with the drug rehab group, please wear clothes (tube tops and low rider sweats don't count!!) and try not to suck face in front of the nice library assistant, kthnx!

Porn is not something that should be looked at in a public place, but it happens in the library all the time. It's gross. Stinky disabled man looking at porn? even grosser. :(

And the overbearing mom whose children can't be bothered to come into the library and pick out their own books/prizes for the Summer reading program? I loved hearing about how the book that the Children's Librarian (CL) recommended was about the SLUT and how the SLUT got in trouble and how her daughter didn't want to read about the SLUT but her son did want to read about the SLUT... this lady ticks me off. If she wants her kids to read, have them come in and pick out their own books. Grrrrr. And if you think the content of the books is too vulgar, do some research and find some that aren't and ask for those. Don't get me wrong, I think that librarians should be able to recommend books but if she doesn't like whats being recommended, do some research and find some that are acceptable.

And on a bright note! My favorite patron came in today! Liam is 5 and wants to be a Master Librarian! He told me all about the books he read and had me test him on his adding and subtracting. I love Liam!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Even more awkward??

Having to deal with the crazy 78 year old lady who owned the wallet and was unable to correctly print her documents.


Let me tell you, it is very awkward when you are going through a wallet that someone left at the print station, with the creepy dude that you work with...and he pulls a condom out of it.... awkward!!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A long long time ago....

when I still updated my blog, I liked to talk about crazy patrons I encounter in the library. But since its Summer, I've been pretty busy doing Summery things and dealing with the ever crazy Summer Reading Program (or as us library insiders like to call it...SRP) at work, so I've completely neglected my blog. I thought I would catch you up with a little bulliten list of fun things that have been happening recently.

  • Neck Hair Man -- One Thursday night as I sat on the reference desk with my Adult Services Librarian (ASL), I noticed that she gave me a weird look and mouthed something to me. I had no idea what she was saying but I just smiled and nodded and didn't really give it any thought. Until I saw it. The man directly infront of my work station had neck hair poking out of the top of his Hawaiian shirt, and its not like it was just a little bit of hair poking out, like he didn't shave his neck or something. It was like 3 INCHES of hair sticking out. And the worst part? His wife was standing behind him stroking it!!! I turned to ASL with what I'm sure was a look of horror, now fully understanding what she was trying to tell me earlier!

  • Fax Lady -- We are getting multiple calls a night from a lady who is trying to call her husband at a military base in the Mojave Desert. It's almost sad because she seems a little bit confused and is blaming the operator for crossing the lines. The irritaing thing is after explaining to her that she is calling a number with a South County area code, she doesn't believe me when I tell her that it can't possibly be the area code for the base that she is trying to call. She tells me she has had this number since right after "The War". It's sad, it's annoying, and she just won't listen.

  • Troll Lady -- As my library serves a beach town we see our fair share of homeless people. Some are really nice, some are crazy, and some are a combination of both. Troll Lady likes to talk to you. She likes to tell you all about the funeral services that shes planning for her dead homeless friend (which is actually kind of nice if you ignore the parts that sound a little paranoid). The other day she was buying a plane ticket, and came up to share the price with myself and the ASL. This started a conversation with the ASL that lasted for about 15 minutes, I ended up having to rescue the ASL by placing a call to the reference desk from the back room. I'll be honest and say that I would be a little frightened if I got on a plane and had to sit next to her. She's nice, but a little nuts, and a little smelly. :(

  • Creepy Guy at Closing -- He's a new fellow. Lately he's been staying all day in the library working on his laptop computer, thats fine. In fact, we have a lot of people who spend all day in the library. The issue that I have with him is that he is CONSTANTLY staying until after closing. We CONSTANTLY have to walk him out the door, and all the while he has this creepy smile on his face and cracks little jokes about walking us ladies out of the library and keeping us safe. It's creepy. And on top of that! he's one of those people who gets into my personal space, he'll lean over the reference desk to ask me a question. BLEH! Stay out of my space!

  • Man Living in our Portopotties -- This is a second hand story. I did not encounter this man myself, but I know him from his visits into the library. Our public restrooms have been under construction for about a year now. We were updating them to make them more ADA compliant and they found dry rot in the tower above them and had to red tag that part of the building, so we've had portopotties in the parking lot of a while. One day, we had a complaint about someones feet sticking out of the toilet. I believe it was our lovely ASL that had to go out and see who it was, and inform them that they were not allowed to stay/live in the handicap portopottie. EW EW EW EW

  • Xanax Guy -- One day while outside enjoying the lovely summer evening in the parking lot, on my break, I was approached by a man wanting to sell me Xanax. After getting upset that I did not want to buy anything from him he walked off. I had to call the sheriff to report it, as there are lots of children in the area and the guy seemed like a freako deako!.

  • Ring in the Toilet Lady -- This is another second hand story, courtesy of our lovely ASL. ASL answered the phone the other day in regards to a call about a lost ring. This is how the conversation went according to ASL:

ASL: Hello -------- Reference Desk How can I help you?

RitTL: Hi, Yes, I lost uhhh a ring the other day.

ASL: Okay, did you want to see if someone turned it in?

RitTL: Yes.. well uh I uh lost it outside of the uh library.

ASL: Okay.. well we do have a lost and found and it may...

RitTL: Um uh.. I think it might still be where I lost it... I lost it in the toilet.. it uh kind of fell in....

ASL: In the toilet?

RitTL: uhhhh yea.

ASL: Well, what do you want me to do?

RitTL: well uhhhh could you go uhhh look?

ASL: Actually, we just had our toilets unloaded....

RitTL: uhhhh do you think I could call them? uhhh like how does that work?

ASL: I believe it's done with a hose....and I don't think they would be able to look for you..

RitTL: You don't think so? Why not?

ASL: Well... it's human excrament that you lost it in...

Now one would think that this ring is like 4 carats or something huge right? It's a silver ring. It just has "sentimental value". I don't think sentimental value is going to convince someone to sift through poop and pee to find it for you.

All of these lovely stories have been brought to you by the very sweaty library assistant who has been suffering without A/C :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gameboys, Trolls, and Sarcasm Oh My

So, my birthday is tomorrow and apparently as a present to me, my library's computer and phone system decided to go down leaving me with nothing to do for most of the day.

There were no phone calls and we couldn't even go on the internet. It was actually really nice.

I went to dinner with my adult services librarian and as soon as I got back I was approached by a woman who was in tears because she left her daughter's gameboy at a pharmacy. She didn't have any money and did not have a phone. She wanted me to call the pharmacy or at least let her use the phone. I said no and she basically broke down in tears.

I kind of have no sympathy for her. She left it there, she should figure it out herself. But the ASL called the pharmacy for her and they are checking. I guess that is supposed to be part of the services we provide? Rawr.

Now there is the troll lady here (one of our local homeless people). She is telling us about how some of the other homeless people died. The gameboy lady is scoffing at her.

I find it all amusing. Am I mean? or just jaded? lol.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I feel so bad for children who have parents or caregivers who take them into the library, let them pick out a whole stack of books and THEN ask about getting a library card.

You see, to get a library card in my library, you have to fill out an application, show photo ID and proof of your current address. If your current address is not on your ID you can show your check book, a piece of mail, car registration. Basically anything to prove that you can receive mail at that address. AND the first day that you receive your card you are limited to checking out 3 items. After those items are returned you can check out up to 50.

Today I had the cutest little boy and girl come in with their live in nanny. They picked out a whole pile of books and as they were gearing up to leave the nanny came and asked me about getting a library card. I explained to her how to go about applying for one, but she did not have proof of her address. She then wanted me to look up the child's card so I could check out on their card (No can do. Must have a card and cardholder present to check out) The children started to cry at this point because they wanted their books, and of course the nanny gave me a very evil look and said that I wasn't allowing them to check out anything today. 

I just don't get it! Why wouldn't you find out the procedures and rules BEFORE you get your kids all hyped up and then have to disappoint them. And then you blame it on me! It's not my fault you aren't prepared!