Thursday, June 7, 2018

In disguise

I wish I were better at telling how old kids are, because I think it would have helped me a lot this morning.

Two little girls came in with their mom. I would have guessed they were 5 years old. They had the following interaction with one of my coworkers:

Little girls: What's your name?
Coworker: My name is Alma. What are your names?
Girls: Elmo!?
Coworker: Um, no...
Girls: Wow! Why are you in a costume!?

Then they hugged her, then they ran away. I can't tell if they were trolling or if they really thought she was somehow associated with Elmo.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Talking trash

Today it was again my turn to pick up trash around the library grounds. I did not find any cereal, but I did find:

  • 32 cigarette butts
  • An empty bottle of motor oil, which I'm sure has nothing to do with the auto repair shops on either side of us
  • The label for a can of fat-free refried beans
  • (Presumably) a can of refried beans, about 5 yards away from the above label
  • Two of my nemesis' daily cigarillo packets, since no one picked up the trash yesterday
  • A long lock from someone's extension, or so I like to think.
  • The largest bottle of Smirnoff I've ever seen outside a liquor store (empty)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sorry, but no

More services we don't provide:
  • Microwaving your cold fast-food lunch in the break room microwave
  • Typing in your social security number for you
  • Talking to your caseworker/the housing office/your lawyer on the phone because you can't explain what you need
  • Memorizing your library card number so you don't have to get our your card to check things out (knowing your face and your name is already a lot, actually!)
  • Reading everything on the computer screen aloud to you because the print is too small for you to read
  • Watching your laptop while you go to the bathroom
  • Watching your baby while you go to the bathroom

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Supply wish list

A few weeks ago I went to a community resource fair and spent a frustrating couple of hours watching Hispanic-looking people pass my white self by and stop to talk in Spanish to the people on either side of me, both of whom were Hispanic-looking as well. I am confident I look friendly (possibly too friendly) and I was also giving away candy, so I suspect this is because I don't look like I speak Spanish. I realized that I really, really need an "hablo espaƱol" button that I can wear to stuff like this, and I am going to ask my boss if the library will buy me one (not that it would be pricey, but I feel strongly about library staff not being expected to pay for the things they need to do their jobs).

Have you ever come across a weird supply or tool that you needed for your library work, something that couldn't be added to the standard Demco or Office Depot order? I'm curious!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The revelation of Fedex

One of the parts of my job I like a lot is doing one-on-one computer tutoring, but it can be a challenge. Today I had an elderly gentleman who needed to check his email, but who didn't understand what email was.

Me: Email is a lot like regular paper mail, except instead of having a regular address, you have an address that you can use to check your mail from any computer. This part of your email address before the "at" sign is like your street address.
Patron: [looks at me uncertainly]
Me: The part after the "at" sign is the name of the company that sends and receives your messages. So your company is Yahoo.
Patron: Ain't it all Yahoo?
Me: No, there are different companies that can do your email. know how, besides the U.S. Postal Service, there are other companies that can send packages and letters, like Fedex and UPS?
Patron: Well, that's a revelation to me!
Me: Okay, never mind. Imagine you wanted to send a letter to Mexico. You'd give your letter to the American post office--
Patron: But I don't know anyone in Mexico! I don't want to send a letter there!
Me: [sighs]

An hour later, we had submitted a finished application for section 8 housing, so things worked out. But it was a tough one for sure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Loud patron with loud phone: Any theater is fine. My priority is you.
Caller: Okay, how about Cineplex 12?
Patron: Not that one.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Without eyewitness

Unnoticed, someone went through our entire collection and pulled out all the Eyewitness books, then 'shelved' them all together in an empty shelf.