Saturday, April 6, 2013

Children's librarians work a lot harder than I do

Today I was on the children's desk all by myself all day because the youth services person who is normally here is getting married. I gained a new respect for what she does. This was my day:

As the designated Spanish speaker on days when the native speakers aren’t working, register a lady who ‘needs to speak to someone in Spanish’ for a computer class. Her English is really, really good and she keeps speaking to me in English after I speak to her in Spanish.

A couple of people are really confused about how the AARP tax help that the library hosts works.

“Can you look up a book for me? You can do it faster than I can. I have to go now. The author is J-O-H-M-A-N-N.”
“Yes. Oh wait, I’m not finding it here because I can’t read my own notes. It’s at another branch.”
“Well I’m not seeing anything by this author at all—did I spell it incorrectly?”
“Take out the N.”
“Oh, okay, would you like me to put one of these titles on hold for you.”
“No, I have to go.”

My eternal favorite question in the children’s area: “Do you have any books about dinosaurs?” Plus a bonus: I get him to take a book about Megalodon too!

A couple with a little toddler walks by. Dad to little girl: “Look at all these books! Isn’t this more books than you’ve ever seen in your entire life!” and to mom: “She’s just like….aaaah!”

One of those homeschooling families with like a million children comes through like a tornado, leaving huge piles of abandoned and all the toys from the play area scattered across the floor. You’re not teaching your children to pick up after themselves in homeschool, people?

The Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton.

How do I sign up for a library card?

“Excuse me, where are the Bluebonnets, and the new books?”
The Bluebonnets are literally right behind me, over my shoulder, and she spots those. But it is really hard to get her to articulate which new books she wants. Eventually she says kids’ chapter books. Then when I first show them to her she says “No!”

It’s really hard to describe where the tax help is relative to the children’s desk.

Help a very nice man figure out where to mail his tax return.

Lots of people want to know if the bookmarks from our bookmark contest are free (they are).

Earlier books in a Meg Cabot series than the one she has, and also Maximum Ride books (this a YA series by James Patterson and requests for it used to confuse the heck out of me before I learned what it was).

Princess books. Satisfied by Princess Tiana and the Royal Ball.

Refill displays. Prediction that Animal Grossology will be the first book of the day to circulate off the New Junior Nonfiction display comes true.

Books from the I Spy series.

Phineas and Ferb books and also Wild Kratts—there are no books but we do have a DVD of the show. One of the Phineas and Ferb books has a loose page and, after checking that no one from Circulation is looking, I tape it back in with regular Scotch tape because someone else is waiting to ask a question and I don’t want to go to the back and fix it properly.

Because of Winn Dixie (in) and Legends of Zita the Spacegirl (out).

Do you have books about gods?

Judy Moody series and, from a different patron, Junie B. Jones series. I’m glad get asked this because I need the practice distinguishing them—I’ve been known to mix them up in the past.

Bad Kitty series from a small boy with a major stutter. Luckily we are able to communicate.

Place a hold for a popular kids DVD—can’t remember what series it was.

Books on gymnastics.

Monster High.

The most impossible readers’ advisory ever, and the children’s person is out this weekend. After seeing about 20 choices, she selects the graphic novel series Guinea Pig: Pet-Shop Private Eye.

Pick up a stack of books abandoned next to one of the computers. There are five of them and four are the exact same title. Why!?

“How many movies can I have checked out?” I love getting this question because at our library you can have up to 50 things checked out at a time, and the format doesn’t matter. People are expecting they can have three movies or five movies or maybe ten movies, and then you say they can have fifty and they get really excited.

The newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid (it’s The Third Wheel).

“Where are those fairy books?” i.e. the ones written by “Daisy Meadows.”

Stories about cats. Luckily, I now know to recommend the Bad Kitty series.

Little girl: I need a library card.
Dad: You already have a library card!

Pinkalicious books. I don’t know if I object more to the gender-stereotype-reinforcing content or to the fact that I can never spell “pinkalicious” correctly on the first try.

Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde. It’s checked out but another book set in the same universe is in—good enough!

The same little girl that told me she needed a library card runs past the desk and I say “Please walk in the library!” Her mom, who is following behind her, whispers “Sorry. I told her to run!”

“Do you have any books of Shaun the Sheep?” No, we don’t. Dang.

Dinosaur books again.

Pandora the Curious, Confectionately Yours, and Bake Sale.

Dragon Tales DVDs. This kid and his dad are well-known regulars because he is autistic and because his dad is eternally tolerant. The dad gets the kid to repeat the request after him and he seems to be doing well but then he darts around and presses the power button on my computer, shutting it off. Then he stands next to me, staring at it intently. “He has to make sure it is really shutting down,” his dad says with resignation.

While the computer is down: Field Trip Mysteries.

Are there art lessons for kids in the library?

Villain School: Are there more of these, and what order is the series in?

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