Monday, October 31, 2005

Thoughts on Halloween

As a matter of public service, all librarians should dress in a costume for halloween.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


The BITTER LIBRARIAN strikes again! Posted by Picasa

Library vs. Blockbuster

This year the board raised the fines our library charges for overdue videos and DVDs. This, understandably, caused quite a reaction among our patronage. However, one gentleman’s comment stands out above the rest.

He phones the library and I answer. He wants to renew his movies, all 2 days overdue. I brace myself for impact.

Upon renewing them I inform him that the fine was $1.00 for each movie. He has 22 checked out. Fortunately, the computer does the math for me: a total of $22.00.

Silence.

“How is that possible?” he asks.

I inform him that we recently raised our fines, and re-explain the above: $1.00 per movie equals $22.00.

Silence.

“Well . . . you know Blockbuster just got rid of their overdue charges.”

Several responses charge into my head at this moment, each one wrestling the others to be heard:

1. Well, why are you checking out our movies? It's 3:00 PM and I’m sure Blockbuster is open.

2. Oh, well, if Blockbuster’s not charging fines then we shouldn’t either. Let me just take those off for you.

3. I’m sorry, you’ve called the library. We are a non-profit organization, and do not attempt to compete in the capitalist market.

But the best one of all won out:

“That’s fine that Blockbuster doesn’t charge fines, but they do charge for rental, and ours are . . . free.”

Silence.

I can tell I’m talking to a clone of Einstein.

“Well, yeah.” Click.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Learning to Read . . . Braille

A woman comes to library to ask if we have any books that will teach her how to read braille. (She's not blind.)

"Do you want books in braille?"

"No. I can't read."

"You can't read braille?"

"No, I can't read. I thought it would be easier to learn to read braille than to learn to read. So I'd like a book that teaches me how to read braille."

Blank stare. And how are you planning to read that book?

Needless to say, I was not able to help her. The BITTER LIBRARIAN strikes again!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Basic Phone Etiquette

Just received a phone call from a mother (and her 18 month old) apprently. While trying to fulfill the mother's requests . . . well, it was difficult to hear her over the baby pressing various buttons on the handset SHE was using. She ignored her mother's prompts to "Please put the phone down. Please get off the phone." Yeah, because and 18 month old really has an extensive enough vocabulary to really know what she's being asked to do.

What she really needs is a good SMACK in the keister!

While we're on the topic . . . don't call the library, or any other organization for that matter, until:

1. Your child stops SCREAMING! (We can't hear you anyway.)

2. The signal on your cell is strong. (Trust me it won't last.)

3. You have formulated the question you want to ask. (Begining with a statement such as, "I lost my library card." (Silence.) Is not a question.)

How Do You Spell SEE-AL-ACE?

I am sitting behind the information desk at a small county public library. An old man at a computer asks for my help. (Always a bad sign.)

He says to me, “How do you spell SEE-AL-ACE?”

I attempt to squelch my girlish giggles while imagining the hot, yet wrinkly, little number awaiting his manliness at home. I recall the TV commercial. I’ve seen it hundreds of times. But I cannot remember how it is spelled. And darn if there aren’t a hundred different ways to spell it like it sounds.

“It’s for erectile dysfunction,” he unabashedly announces to me and the rest of the patrons quietly minding their own internets.

Please stop. I can’t take it!

I manage to pass off a laugh as a cough, but I still cannot conjure up the correct spelling.

“I want to get my free sample. My buddy got a free sample, and I want to get mine.”

Enough! I can’t take any more!

Thank GOD for GOOGLE and their spelling “suggestions.” I finally succeed in getting him “hooked up” on the website. And his “excitement” is directed elsewhere.

All in a “hard” days work.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Bringing Sick Kids to the Library

We are looking to post a sign on our library door which reads, "Please bring your sick kid to our library. We aren't immune to everything yet!"

What is the deal with bringing sick kids to the library? It seems general protocol, at least in our neighborhood, to bring a child to the library after a doctor has pronounced that he must stay home from school for a few days. Although the free babysitting may seem appealing at first, there is nothing more frightening than a BITTER LIBRARIAN who now has the flu! Once we all get the flu, the library will have to close, and our neighborhood will have no place to bring their sick kids.

So please leave your sick kids . . . at home! Where the little runts can get better . . . (God forbid!) Who are these parents anyway?