Monday, May 16, 2016

Small Town Library Refgrunt

Shift starts with 2 out of the public printer's 4 cartridges having to be changed, which I have never done before. The poor man's document is only in black and white, but the printer won't print until I replace the magenta cartridge. Although this is the first time I've changed the cartridges on this particular printer, that's not why my hands are covered in ink. Somehow that happens no matter how many times I practice. The man who wanted to print says. "I only came here because my home printer just broke!"

Realize the desk chair is covered in pet hair as usual. I've got to start keeping a lint roller here.

Can I pay you for printer paper? I mean, um...
Do you need to put money on your card so you can print?
I can't help you, but the ladies at the checkout desk can.

Liz at circ: We need to have a meeting. The man who requested How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time is coming in to pick it up this afternoon. You must not laugh. You must keep a straight face! Maybe we can cover it in brown paper? With just a window for the barcode?
Other circ staff member: The window should be translucent black lace.

Phone call: Can I put To Kill A Mockingbird on hold? My daughter needs it for school. I know you might not have time to pull it, but I'm sending my husband to come pick it up this evening and you know what men can be like. Oh, also, all the versions are the same, right?

Dawn at circ and I put the other two printer cartridges for the two colors about to run out on a shelf behind the desk so we can grab them right away when the printer makes us, but long-timer Ethel sees them and says, "You'd better take those back upstairs. They take inventory often and it will cause confusion." Dawn removes them from the shelf where several other spare cartridges for other printers are sitting, takes a deep breath and says to herself, "Just follow the rules. Don't ask questions, it's better for you."

The Friends of the Library are having their Spring book sale this weekend and one of the volunteers is carrying an endless succession of folding tables into the building. I feel bad seeing her go by 3 of 4 times while I sit chatting with Dawn about her dog.

Cool older lady: Can you see if by chance anyone has returned the movie War Room? I've been trying to get my hands on it forever but it's always checked out, and I just have a temporary card so I can't put it on hold. It wasn't like that last summer, I don't know what happened.
Me: I'm sorry, both copies are checked out right now! I think what happened is that last fall we joined a consortium, which has a lot of good sides but unfortunately means we have to follow some rules we might not have chosen on our own.
Cool older lady: Oh, I understand. I was a librarian for five years!
And she goes on to tell me about her experience driving the bookmobile and being a one-woman library staff! 

Cool older lady: I was just telling Liz how exciting that book was! Lisa Scottoline. Actually, is it 'scot-oh-line' or 'scot-oh-leeni'? I've always said scot-oh-line, but I'm thinking maybe I'm wrong."
The author's website's FAQ page says that her name rhymes with 'fettuccine,' so the patron is right! (I was also pronouncing it 'scot-oh-line' and I hope I am successfully able to internalize this new knowledge.)

How do I turn on the scanner?


  1. I think librarians are all going to die from changing printer cartridges and getting ink and toner all over us.

    1. I would actually say that printer ink is not even in the top five of Things At The Library I Have to Touch But Wish I Didn't.

    2. hahahahaha, ugh

  2. what a rare thing to get a patron who actually understands the weird library world! most of the time we just get blank looks amirite

  3. did the awkward checkout of "How to Satisfy a Woman..." go okay? Do you have any self-checkout stations?

    1. I didn't see it (not sure if I'm disappointed or relieved), but it would have been a person-to-person interaction to some extent because although we have a couple of self-check machines, our holds are kept behind the counter (grrr).