Sunday, January 24, 2021

How I can tell my team isn't as overworked as I was afraid they were

Overheard in the staff office: "...that's what you get when you do a Google image search for 'fearsome wallaby.'"

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Another new job

 I am moving libraries yet again. My new job is not going to be public-facing, so I'm afraid I may be starved of blog material for quite some time! I know I didn't have much time to post to the blog as manager of Walnut Bluff so hopefully people aren't checking this too often/any disappointment has already been experienced. I will certainly keep posting highlights, they are just likely to be infrequent.

Ironically given how I am a mega-grinch, one of my last acts at Walnut Bluff was to put up a big "Season's Readings" display in the library windows. At least I got a pun in.

Still confused

 We now have two large A-frame signs outside our front doors that patrons have to basically squeeze past to reach the doors themselves. The signs say "CLOSED. Curbside pickup only, call 1-800-WALNUT-BLUFF." Of course, people being people, they often squeeze past the signs and pull on the door handle, at which point our front door person (whose job is supposedly delivering curbside pickups as cars arrive) has to shout the information to them. Most people get it at that point. However, today I had a couple who were still confused. They asked me "What kind of appointments do you guys do?" and when I answered "You can come pick up books or movies or printouts!" they replied, "Wait, so you can't come inside and look at books?"

When I relayed this conversation to Children's Librarian, she said, "I think people have been spending too much time in their houses watching TV and they don't know how to interact with real people anymore. They're like 'This one is talking back to me when I talk to it! What am I supposed to do!?'"

Monday, November 2, 2020

Curbside Nos

 Things people want us to take into the building for them while we are closed and only doing curbside service:

-A 'donation' of two boxes of old magazines

-A mysterious envelope addressed to "Walnut Bluff Librarians"

-The book they bought to replace the one they lost ("Sorry, you need to put it in the book drop so it can be quarantined." "But I don't want to wait for it to be quarantined, I want you to take the fine off my account now!")

-Jars of homemade jam to give to the staff (Aw, how nice! But still no.)

-Used plastic bags ("You use bags to put people's books in for delivery. Why can't you use these ones!?")

Saturday, October 31, 2020


A common problem at Walnut Bluff is people leaving bags and boxes of unwanted 'donations' in the dead of night. Right now we are having an argument about which is worse: the three boxes of ancient Civil War books left by the back door in which gloried Confederate generals featured prominently, or the two ripped plastic bags left by the front door of cassette tape cases (yes, you read that right, they were empty).

It's sort of a moot point, as both went straight into the trash.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Pig's name

 Patrons have to call or email us to make an appointment to pick their requests up via curbside service. Here's a recent conversation I had with one family, when the adult called to make a pickup appointment.

Me: Looks like we have 3 books ready for you.

Patron: Can you tell me: Are those all chapter books, or are some of them for little kids?

Me: I'm sorry, they're all chapter books; it looks like the early readers are still on their way. But if you have a younger kid at home, if you can tell me a little bit about them and what they like, we could pull some suggestions for you.

Patron: Oh, that would be great! He's four and he's reading level 1 or 2 readers. He likes Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Blaze and the Monster Machines...

Little boy (in background): Boy books!

Patron: (to kid) Girl books are good, too. (to me) No 'girl books,'  but for some reason, Peppa is fine...

Little boy: Peppa isn't a girl's name!

Patron: It's not?

Little boy: No, Peppa is a pig's name!

Saturday, August 22, 2020


 A patron described the color of their car as "granite" when making a curbside pickup appointment this week and it absolutely broke Chillest Coworker, who collapsed into horrified laughter. I don't know why this was the thing that finally got to him, but it was.