Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What happened to the kids' computers?

Asks a regular, a good kid but super-loud voice. I tell him someone spilled pop on one and he cracks up laughing.

For a moment it made me kind of mad but after that it seemed funny to me too. It is a library classic, after all.

In other news, all my fans are in today, even my sole adult fan who is not mentally disturbed, just chatty. We exchange opinions about Louise Penny's books. It's a nice change from averting my eyes and trying to look invisible every time a member of my Old Man Fan Club walks by--today it's the Marx Translations guy and the man who always wears Hawaiian shirts and asks me about my library school classes.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Question of the day

Do you have a manuscript of Beowulf?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Did you drive here?

Today we had some patrons who caused concern about what might happen if they tried to go out and act on the help we gave them.

First a woman said we had something on hold for her and that it had been on hold for six days, but it wasn't on the shelf. There was a book for her on the shelf, in the right place, but she said it wasn't what she was expecting. I looked everywhere for the title she asked for--no luck. I was shelving at the time so I inflicted her on my coworker at the information desk. Later the coworker came by specifically to tell me, "That woman was so confused. She had never requested that book and kept denying that she had ever requested the one on the shelf, even though it was on the paper list she had with her and it was on the same topic as the book she claimed she had requested. She was really confused. At first she said she didn't want it, but eventually she came back and said she did. She was so confused. I wanted to say, 'lady, did you drive here?!""

Then, this evening a woman called and asked where she could buy raw goat's milk in the area. She was either somewhat deaf or had a terrible phone and I had to shout the names, numbers, and addresses of all our suggestions to her over and over.  As soon as I started to read her anything this would interrupt me with completely unintelligible speech. Not surprisingly, she seemed to really be struggling to write the places down. As you can imagine, there are not a ton of places to buy raw goat's milk, so some of these were going to be quite a drive for her. I didn't have a lot of confidence that she had managed to get the information correctly. I kind of wanted to make her read back the addresses to me because I was worried she'd use them to drive out in the middle of nowhere and then be completely lost. Oh well. If she does, I'm sure she will call the library.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Real highlights

1. Helping a kid with math homework, which I always LOVE
2. A different kid hugged me after I helped her save a Powerpoint presentation to a flash drive

Today's highlights

An unknown patron has four items on the hold shelf--all copies of Caddyshack.

Old man with Tourette's (?) who only comes in rarely, but always goes on and on forever, asks for an English-Italian dictionary and then "the same one, but for Spanish, because I'm a linguist!" Then he imitates teenagers for like ten minutes with our poor new reference assistant as a captive audience.

Refgrunt from The Day It All Was Broken

Can I have a code for my brother? (i.e. computer pass) Yes I am totally not checking library cards today. Take ‘em, take ‘em all!

Did you want to use a computer, ma’am? Let me give you a guest pass.
Did you see the sign about the computers, ma’am? Here’s a guest pass.
Guest passes.
Are the Ranger’s Apprentice books over in that section [YA]? Yes!
Another person who thinks that two hours after you place a hold request it will be there for you. Not the case, but the book is Gulliver’s Travels, so it’s easy enough to find a copy in the library.
To confused people looking at each and every self-check machine, all with “Under Service” signs. You’ll have to go to the customer service desk.
You’ll ALL need guest passes.
You can’t play the Wii because you are five.
Guest pass.
Sorry, I can’t check the status of your holds. I can look to see if any are here though.
Guest pass.
My USB isn’t working! Unfortunately there’s not much we can do about that because your USB is broken.
My card isn’t working to get on the computer! Guest paaaaaaaaaasssssssssssss!!!
Mohawk Kid (a regular)--you need a guest pass!
How do I print?
To Mowhawk Kid: You know you can’t eat sunflower seeds at the computer. Clean them up, okay?
Can I help you with anything? No, we are thinking about buying a house here so we are just checking out the neighborhood.
Go and print more guest passes.
Excuse me, it’s not letting me get on any computer. Ggggguest pass!
Not a Service we Provide: Calling your estranged daughter in Argentina and trying to convince her to talk to you.
Dysgraphia Guy can’t print—he used a guest pass to log on to the computer (correct) but then tried to use his library card to release his print jobs (less correct).
Everyone is so MAD that they have to use a little piece of paper to log into the computers instead of their library cards. You actually have to do less typing with the guest passes. Somehow I don’t think people will appreciate that if I point it out though.
Will this computer pass work tomorrow? No, but we’re hoping you won’t need it tomorrow.
Another nice regular. I am going to call her Audrey because she has a name of an old movie star and she is one of our classiest-looking patrons. Always very fashionable. She too wants to know, will the pass still work if I come back later today?
Um, this isn’t working. I thought she was confused about the guest pass but apparently she didn’t even know what it was—she had found it and was using it as scrap paper to write her library card number on, so at first she was really confused about what I was saying!
A book called Rush. We can ID it (It’s the YA novel by Eve Silver, with a blue cover), but it’s not on the shelf.
I’d like to sign my mom up for some computer classes. I would love to sign you up but first you need a library card.
Guest pass.
Cover the children’s desk for an hour while our YS person is at lunch and work waaaay harder over there than I did all morning at adult reference. That’s the life of a children’s person.
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson.

Can you hold these books for a minute?

What are all these books? Bluebonnets.

Walk, please.

Ariel (as in the Little Mermaid)--why oh why are these cataloged by author? It makes them SUPER hard to find without the catalog.

Walk, please!

Little girl, you need a pass to get onto the computer, typing your card number in isn't going to work.

Where can I check out books?

Can you help me find picture books about the senses and about community helpers? Sort of. It will be really hard and time-consuming since the catalog is down, but otherwise it would be really easy. Grr!

Biography of Helen Keller.


Pointing to Sports Illustrated Kids cover: Do you have any books about OSU?
About the school or about the football team?
The football team.
I don't think so, but I can show you the other football books and movies.
He sees them--not good enough.

Talk to some ladies at the copier who compliment me on my Spanish, even though I use it to tell them they have to go to the customer service desk to break their $10 bill.

Where can I get my son a library card?

Geronimo Stilton--thank goodness I don't have to try to look up that one.

Rainbow Magic--same thing

Reading list for 6th grade?

Mailbox somewhere?

Can I use your scissors? I’m trying to send this picture to my friend in jail and they don’t like things printed off the internet. This is the nicest guy trying to contact people in jail who I have ever worked with.
Guest passes 2x, but they are both good sports.
Book on blogging. We don’t have the one he had in mind but he’s satisfied with a different one on the same subject.
My card doesn’t work. GUEST PASSSSSSSSS!
Guest pass.
Books by Iceberg Slim. All checked out, if we own any.
Is there something like this [reference world atlas] that my son can check out?
Go and print more guest passes.
Thrusts card in my face—this isn’t working.

God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew—not on shelf.

Texas Driver’s Handbook—I can NEVER find it, it is my white whale.

Can I print from any computer? Yes, IF you have a guest pass.

I can’t log in. GP.

Driver’s handbook guy comes in—will drive to the closest branch to see if they have a non-reference copy, because my colleague couldn’t find one either.

Directions to a restaurant. Easy!

Least favorite patrons: The ones who ask multiple staff members to do things that require the catalog, as though the first person who told them it was down system-wide might have been lying.

Woman is walking around looking lost.
Me: Can I help you?
Woman: Can you make change? (Holding up a five-dollar bill)
Me: No, sorry, but if you go to the customer service desk they will be happy to make change for you.
Woman: Okay, thanks.
Then she goes back to the printer and messes around a little, tries to put the $5 in the machine, looks over at me.
Woman: So it takes fives?
Me: No, sorry, only ones. That would be happy to make change for you at customer service.

 Much less clueless woman: Do you happen to sell headphones here?
My favorite phrase, “Sorry, not here, but if you go to customer service…”

Fascinated by the hundred ways to say, I can’t get into the computer with my library card and I need your help.

 Talk to a sweet kid—please enter the bookmark contest! I so want someone from our branch to win!

Legend by Marie Lu. Another book I KNOW we have but it’s checked out and I can’t. place. Any. D***. Holds on it. Aargh!

Is X-Men: First Class on hold?
Do you mean on hold for you, or on hold for someone else?
No, I just wanna know if it is here or over there? (Points at DVD area and hold shelves)
Well, did you check the regular shelf under XME for X-Men?
It’s not there. This is another Legend scenario.

 Wii controller.

 Wii controller is out of batteries.

 Legend girl: How much is a new library card? Because my friend punched holes in mine.

The 17 Day Diet. It’s actually there! Hooray!

Can you check if my hold is here?

A Kid with a Lot of Questions.
Kid: I want to pay my fines.
Me: Sorry, actually you can’t today, our system is down. But you can still check out books.
Kid: Will the fines keep growing?
Me: Not if you renew your books.
Kid: Okay. Is the catalog working? Can you like look up books?
Me: No, sorry, everything is down. But I can still show you where things are. I just can’t tell you what is checked in or not.
Kid: No, I mean can you look up my account?
Me: No, sorry.
Kid: Why is everything down?
Me: They are moving the computers that all our stuff is on to, uh, different computers.
Kid: Oh, okay.

Go to show a woman how to release more than one print job at a time but she is on her cell phone. No help for you then, lady!

Woman with a $20 bill pinned to her tank top: “I was trying to print this and it came out weird, can you help?” I take a look at her computer and get her document set up so that it will print the way she wants it to look. Then she says, I only have fifteen cents left, but I want to print two pages…”, hinting, so I say, “I see you have a twenty-dollar bill there, ma’am. They would be happy to make change for you at customer service.” “Oh, never mind.” She is disappointed that I won’t give her five cents’ of free printing even though she has 200 times that much money pinned to her shirt! The audacity.

I want to see what I have out. Sorry, you can’t.

And of course I can never go a whole day without asking, "Do you want me to show you how to print more than one thing at a time?"

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Flying blind

My supervisor says we are "flying blind" today because the city is doing a major server move and our catalog (public side, staff side, and computer reservation function), email, and shared drives are down. We open in five minutes and all I have up on my computer is Internet Explorer---three tabs with Major City's public library catalog open. We just have to guess where all the books are.

I'm going to be spending the day cutting out Yodas for Star Wars Reads Day, handing out temporary computer passes, and explaining to angry patrons why I can't place hold requests for them. It's gonna be exciting.

Refgrunt to come, if I'm not too exhausted.

Final note: Of the approximately ten staff members who have to be here on this dark day, two of them have birthdays today.

Friday, September 6, 2013

New Yorker( reader)s are jerks

My colleague who reshelves the magazines reports that The New Yorker is always the most mangled.