Wednesday, August 30, 2006

True Crime

I get a question regarding True Crime books at least once a week. Sometimes it's individuals, sometimes it's couples. The amount of people who find joy, want morbid details, or want to see crime scene pictures is scary.

The men who approach me and ask to be directed to the true crime books and announce that they only want the books with pictures really scare me. My supervisor and I were at the desk one day, I had directed a man to the section. The man returned to the desk and said, " I can't find the books, can you show them to me?" When I returned to the desk, I asked my boss, "Did he think telling me that he wanted to see crime scene pictures was a turn on?"

Patrons even steal the true crime books. Yeah, I know, patrons steal every type of book in the library.

************************Free Blackjack on the internet*********************

Patron: "I can't play blackjack on the computer!"

Me: "Did you type the website address in the browser?"

Patron: "No, what is the address?"

I walk over to the terminal where the patron has logged onto the internet. He has typed Free Blackjact practice in the search box on Google.

Me: "Why don't you just click on one of the websites listed?"

Patron: "I did, but they want your login identification and password."

Me: "Have you played blackjack here before?"

Patron: "Yes."

Me: "Why don't you just go to that website?"

Patron: "I don't know what it is, can you tell me the address of one?"

Me: "No."

Patron: "Can another librarian tell me a web address?"

Me: "Probably not."

Patron: "Why not?"

Me: : " Because we don't play blackjack on the computers."

For all the researchers, writers, etc......

If when reviewing your notes, you notice that you failed to include vital information needed for your citation page; please do not do any of the following:

1. Call the library and ask for the information that you already have and get mad because we
retrieve it from the internet.

2. Fail to mention that you already spoke to a librarian and received the internet information, or
database information.

3. Tell the librarian that you want someone to go on a specific floor and retrieve a book.

When I did research in the past and even now, if I fail to get all of the citation information; I go back to the source and retrieve it. There are tons of people who approach the reference desk every hour and they expect speedy service. That isn't possible when someone on the telephone wants the librarian to run all over looking for information that they failed to get!

We will gladly do the foot work if you are honest when you call. Simply inform the librarian that you failed to write down all of the vital information. If you have the title and or the author, let them know this.

Yesterday this old man did all of the above mentioned. Finally, he told me I want the encyclopedia and the page number where the exact information is located. I finally found the information, 10 minutes later and after speaking with him three different times. Not once did he mention that he had already been here and failed to get all of the information. ****** The information was in a biographical dictionary and not an encyclopedia. As I was giving him the information, he proceeded to tell me, "Everything is not all on one page so what is the exact page number for each item." This let me know that this man could have saved me a lot of leg work if he had just let me know what happened when he came into the library.

I was heated and my supervisor knew it. He asked me, " Do you want me to takeover the reference question?" I told him no, and let him know that it had been an extremely difficult reference call.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

3:30 p.m. and I thought I would get away smooth.

NOT!!!! Why do they always chose me????? This woman approaches the desk and asked me for two desk reference books. That in itself is fine, but you need to leave either your library card or a CA ID. I tell her this and she proceeds to look for it. I help two other people while I waiting for her to produce the ID. Five minutes later, she pulls out her social security card and tells me that is the only ID that she has. I repeat to her the forms of ID required for her to use a desk reference book. She tells me that she wants to speak with a supervisor. I tell her that there aren't any supervisors working today.

I offered to look up the information for her and gave her a piece of paper so that she could write down what she needed and she refused my help. She told me that she didn't know what she was looking for and I couldn't help her.

She goes on to argue with me about the rules regarding the policy. I explain the rules and finally get tired of the interaction and tell her that I will let her use them. I inform her that this is against the rules and if she returns again without the proper ID, she will not be allowed to use the books.


She started telling me some mess about losing/and or having the mess stolen. I wasn't trying to hear it. At this point, I told her, " I will let you use it but know that it won't happen again!"

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Yesterday evening I was helping an elderly man with microsoft word. He was trying to print what he had typed and he just couldn't get it together. He didn't ask for help, he said, "Hey, I need help!"

He is old, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and helped him even though he was rude.

I got his print job set-up. All he had to do was go to the printer and retrieve the job.
NOOOOOO, he sits in front of the printer, turns around and yells at me," YOU HAVE TO HELP ME, I CAN'T DO THIS BY MYSELF!!!" I was leaving the desk because it was time for me to go home. Those words he uttered, stopped me in my tracks. I told my co-worker, "I got this!"

I went over to the man and whispered in his ear, "When you need help, you must use courtesy words. We don't work on command up in here!!!" He then said, "Well, I'm 86 years old!" I replied, "And you think that makes a difference?"

I helped him retrieve his print job and walked away while it was still printing. He tried to say thank you, but I was already near the exit doors.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Some people

I have written this before, but I will do it again just in case some of you have forgotten. There are only two cocoa librarians in my department, myself and a guy. This guy was on vacation last week. Yesterday, he was scheduled to return to work.

Like any other Monday, he was scheduled to work the reference desk the first hour that we were open to the public. I was scheduled to work the second hour. When I approached the desk, I noticed that the department manager was alone at the desk. I asked, "Did you work the whole hour alone? You took it like a champ!" The manager, " Where's your friend?" Me, " I don't know, you are the one who has his telephone number?" The manager, " I am not his supervisor, so I don't have to call him!"

These people do this whenever one of us isn't at our desk. Whenever they ask me where dude is, I always look at them like they are crazy. I know they would be upset if I asked, " What, we are attached at the hip because we are the only cocoa librarians on this floor?"

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sunday, oh Sunday.........

A man approached the desk with an Army Duffle Bag stuffed to the brim. He had on an oversized blue button down shirt that was knotted in the back, black khaki pants that were folded at the waist and cuffed at the ankles. His hair was brown and gray with blond streaks, cut in a bob style. The sides of the bob were up, not flipped(like we women do,) but just up and out. He stopped in front of me and proclaimed, "All librarians are the same, it doesn't matter which one you are speaking with." I ask, "Do you have a question, or do yo need help with something?" He goes on, "They don't tell you that you stink, they don't tell you to wake up if you are sleeping, they just call security to have you escorted out of the building." ( I had never seen this man on this floor before.)

I ask him again, "Do you have a question?" He finally stops his rant. "Yeah, I have a question! I am going to get a book and then I will be leaving this floor!" I simply looked at the man and shook my head. What else could I do. After the last outburst, he walked away from the desk.

I often wish that I could take digital pictures of these people and post them.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What makes it so hard to understand when you are wrong?

Each day, at least once, sometimes more, I find myself spending anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes explaining to a patron why they are wrong.

They never seem to accept what I am saying and move on. I work in the General Collections and Humanities department. There aren't any business, cooking, computer, electronic, art, music,or government books on this floor. The magazines and newspapers are housed on the fifth floor. There is a whole floor dedicated to the history of this city and Northern California.

The layout on each floor is the same. There are two reference desk, one on each side of the floor. I will give the partons that much. There is an automated voice that announces the floor number whenever the elevator doors open.

This man insisted that I go behind the desk and look for a business reference book that is shelved at the reference desk. I told him many times that the book wasn't at this desk, it's upstairs. After going behind the desk twice, while he watched, he finally asked me once again what the floor number is. I told him for the third time that this is the third floor and the business reference desk is on the fourth floor in the same location. He finally said, "Oh," and walked away. No, "I am sorry for wasting your time." No, "I am sorry, I should have listened to you at least once when you tried to explain that I was on the wrong floor."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Some days, I am at a lost for words

Do you remember the dude from Cooley High who wore the trench coat and had a doo-rag on his head? Okay, the movie was made in 1975 and depicted the life of the class of 1964.

I saw an exact replica of him walking past the reference desk yesterday afternoon, dragging a suitcase on wheels behind him. The only thing missing was a cigarette dangling from his lips.


Moving on to 7:15 p.m. There is a bum who hangs out at the bustop where I catch the bus after work. The bustop is right in front of the library. He and I have exchanged words in the past. I have never been nice.

He carries a sign that says, " I bet you $1 that you will read this sign." The first time he flashed it in my face almost 4 months ago, I told him that his best bet was to get out of my face!

Last week, he approached me with dollar bills(many plural) in his hand and asked me for a dollar. I told him, " You have money in your hand." His reply, " Yeah, I know but I want more." I said, "Everyone wants more money." I turned my head and quit paying him attention.

Yesterday: The bum walks past me a few times. I ignored him. The last time, he shoved the sign in my face(I was looking in the opposite direction.) I turned in his direction and said, "

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Teenagers, MAN!!!!!!

This morning, a call was transfered. I was given the call number and the title of the book the patron wanted by the librarian who transfered the call.

I told the patron that I had to look for the book and asked that he hold on.

I returned with the book in hand. I asked the patron if he wantedto pick the book up here or have it sent to one of the branches. The boy says, " I don't want to pick it up until the 28th."

I asked him, " Do you mean August 28th?" The boy, "Yes, I don't want to pick the book up until August 28th. I told the boy, " You can pick the book up here today, or have it sent to one of the branches, but we will not hold it here until August 28th for you." The little *** hung up in my face.

Last night my Mom commented, "Doesn't school start soon? I mean, isn't this the month when they go back to school?" Those are my sentiments exactly after a call like this mornings.

***The book he wanted is on the reading list for many high schools*****
"White Fang" by Jack London

Sunday, August 06, 2006

U Gotta Love Sundays

Caller: "Have you ever heard of the word hallelujah?"

Me: "Yes."

Caller: "Can you look that up for me and give me the definition?"

Me: "Yes, I can do that for you. Hold on please."

I retrieve the Oxford English Dictionary volume six, and read the first definition.

HALLELUJAH: The exclamation of 'Praise (ye) the Lord (Jah or Jehovah)' , which
occurs in many psalms and anthems; hence, a song of praise to God;

Caller: "So what does that mean?"

Me: "It means that the word Hallelujah is used to praise the Lord."

Caller: "Hallelujah, and that's a good thing! Please and thank you."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Security AGAIN!!!!!

A patron approached the desk to tell me that two other patrons were yelling and cursing at each other. They were behind the stacks, in the corner by the windows, so we couldn't hear them at the desk.

I approach them:

I asked each of them separately, " What seems to be the problem?"

The man: "I sat down and she just started cursing and yelling at me."

The woman: "I don't know what he is talking about because he was the one doing
all of the cursing and yelling."

Me, " Well, I will solve everything, I am calling security to deal with you!"

The woman: "Oh, go ahead. That is fine."

As I was walking away, I saw one of the security officers walking toward the staff elevator. I caught him just before he pressed the button. I explained the situation and led him to the area.

The officer said that he would speak to the man and see what was going on.

He reports to me 3 seconds later that the woman jetted as soon as I turned my back.

******Minnie Me and Magilla Gorilla returned today. They were late, therefore unable to
secure their regular spot. They are sitting behind one of the pillars facing the reference
desk. Minnie Me was "mean muggin'" me over the top of the laptop.******

I guess he had me mixed up with somebody who cares and is scarrrrred!!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why I gotta always be the bad one?

This morning I had to have a couple removed from the library. They were eating and drinking while watching DVD/Music Videos on their laptop and portable DVD player. I suspected it, but had no proof...........UNTIL........I heard the click.......fizzzzz.......from a can of soda being opened.

I did the "LINDA BLAIR " head turn. They hid that mess real quick. I told my co-worker what was going down. I called security and said, "There is a couple watching DVD/Videos, eating and drinking. I am going to speak with them, but I want reinforcement from security." Said couple had been caught yesterday and nothing was done.

I go over there and say," There is no eating and or drinking in the library and you can't tell me that you weren't doing either because I heard you." Magilla Gorilla (the chick) had the nerve to say something smart under her breath. I said, "Excuse me?" She said, " I know you heard because you were looking out for us!" Minnie Me(her man) said, " Anyway, it's gone now!" I looked at them hard, rolled my eyes and walked away.

On beat, security approached the desk and asked me what the problem was and who the culprits were. I simply pointed because they were scrambling to gather all the junk they had stashed under the table. The female officer said, "Didn't they get in trouble yesterday?" I told her that they did. She then said, " They gon' have to go?"

This is the same couple who the librarian suspect are stealing the DVD's people have on hold and burning/watching them. There are here all day almost every day. They skip the "first of the month." I had to explain to my co-workers what that meant. When I explained that they probably receive SSI benefits, my co-workers said," On yeah, that makes sense now."

This is my whole problem with eating and drinking in the library.

1. It you are going to do it, be slick about yours. Don't sit where the librarians can not only
see, but hear everything that you are doing.

2. If you have been caught once, move to a different area and or floor. You know the librarians will be looking out for you.

3. The regulars who visit the floor I work on, have seen me kick people out of the building, off the floor, etc.
For: computer hacking, talking loudly, whether on a cell phone or not. I do warn two times.
I always say, " If I have to come over here a third time, you are leaving!"