Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Today's adventures

I had the luxury of a four day weekend. Well, we all know that you find little surprises after being gone for a while.

We have e-mail suggestions and e-mail reference questions. Lucky for me, the floor manager is the person who assigns the items.

The first question I received, the guy asks if he can get a list of all of the poetry books purchased by the library this year. Our fiscal year is from July 1st until June 30th of the following year. We purchase books every month. For me to answer this question, I had to review all books purchased for the last fiscal year and the first three months of this one. Each month, we make two list, one of new books and one of replacement books. I spent two hours cutting and pasting the poetry titles from all list.

That was a behind the scenes question.

The desk question:

Caller: I am trying to locate information for an actor.

Me: Did you try searching the IMBD website?

Caller: That really doesn't give any information.

Me: What's the actor's name?

Caller: Well, it's a relative of mine and I'm nosey, so I just want to know what is available.

Me: What's the actor's name?

Caller: I called your library because I figured you are located in a liberal city and the librarians
wouldn't judge.
Me: What's the actor's name? I am only asking so that I can conduct a search to see what I can
Caller: Well, its an um, um, an adult film star. I actually live in the midwest and I use my local
library all of the time, but they wouldn't search anything like this.

Me: OOOkay, so what's the name? [He was still trying to tell me how much they judge people
at his local library] I was thinking that they probably just look at him sideways.

Caller: Donita Dunes. She's a distant cousin and my sister calls me to tell me the family gossip.
I just want to know what is out there about her.
Well, I did a g***le search and found her website. I closed the website before it finished loading because of the racy pictures. I told the caller this.

Caller: I just want her contact information. You know, her agent, or her publist.

I tried a specific search for the contact information and was able to get the website address for the booking agency. I told the caller and he hung up the telephone so fast.

He lost me for a minute

Last Monday, September 17th, I was helping a patron who seemed to have suffered a stroke. He seemed to be paralyzed on one side of his body and had difficulty speaking. He also used a walker.
I was finally able to piece together that he wanted to use one of the internet computers. I found a vacant one in the back. I chose one near the exit aisles because I thought that would be easier for him.

About 12 minutes later, he approached the desk again. This time, he was complaining that he wasn't able to log onto the computer and for me to,"Juuus commme!" I went back there and he was trying to log onto a different computer, and he was still logged onto the first computer. I tried to explain this to him a few times. Well, he kept telling me,"NO." Finally, I simply logged him off myself and told him that after a few seconds, he should be able to log onto whichever terminal he wanted.

Ten more minutes passed and he was back at the reference desk again. He said, "Man wwwith bbbaaaagg STINKS, IIIII mmmmovvveee." I simply said okay. I finally ended up booking him a computer for the next hour on a different floor. This was after thirty minutes of back and forth.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Same stuff every single day

We've been experiencing the same complaints on a daily basis for the past three weeks. You see, the library is still in the process of renovation on the first floor.

The renovation process has moved into the second phase. This means that the new fiction stacks are gone. The new DVD stacks are gone. The express internet computers are gone.

Now, the new books are mixed in with the older works of fiction. The problems occur when we (the staff) are trying to explain the changes to the patrons. Because the bank of express computers had to be removed, there are now more express computers on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors.

Often, patrons walk away while I am in the middle of explaining the new changes. Others yell, " NOW, Whose BRIGHT IDEA was this, because it surely isn't working."