Monday, June 27, 2005

Vampire Librarian Goes to the Sea! (virtually)

These are the fishes I'd like in MY aquarium.

The Coffinfish (No Latin name given)

He looks like he'd pop if you poked him.
And I would.

Fangtooth (Anoplogaster cornuta)

Look at those teeth! I love it. I want to hug it and squeeze it and call it George.

Pacific Spookfish (Rhinochimaera pacifica) AKA
Long-nosed Chimaera (USA) AKA Cyrano Chimaera (Europe)

He has a built in metal detector in his nose. Just too cool. Plus he's got cool names.

But the best, the most wanted,
the Official Vampire Librarian Aquatic Mascot is...

The Vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis)

This strange jelly-like animal is halfway between a squid and a finned octopus. In life it is dark brown to black with a pair of fins on the body that are used to slowly fly through the water. They have eight arms with deep webs that form a large umbrella for engulfing prey. On each side, between the bases of the first and second arm pairs, there is a pit that contains a long thin filament. These are filaments considered the equivalent of another pair of limbs, linking them with the squids and cuttlefishes that have ten limbs. Vampire squids have been seen from submersibles hanging mid water with these long filaments trailing from their body, suggesting that they are used to sense vibrations in the water. These animals are great at light shows. They have a pair of large light organs on the tip of their body complete with black eye lids. They can also make light on their arm tips and squirt a cloud of luminous fluid with bright glowing spots inside. Vampire squids start their lives with two pairs of fins, losing one pair as they get older.

--National Oceans Office.

A vampire squid, people. VAMPIRE SQUID. That's all I can say.

All images and quotes have been taken from the NORFANZ website. Go, look at all the funny fishes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Vampire Librarian Blotter

I dearly hope this doesn't become a regular feature.

Around 3PM yesterday afternoon, a university police officer strolled in. She came behind the desk and told us she'd received a call that someone was trying to sell pot in the building. What? Where? Who? Price?

She gave a description of the individual who was wearing a very easily spotted shirt. She asked us if we knew who it could be. My co-worker and I shrugged our shoulders. This was the first we had heard of it. Supposedly, the individual was selling it on the main floor. What? The main floor is pretty open. There aren't many places to hide and a lot of activity had been going on the floor with computers being moved in and out. I would hope we'd notice someone trying to sell weed in front of us.

Another officer came in. He talked to the other cop. They decided to search the lower floors. Then the best part of this thing happened, they asked us to stall anyone fitting the description who tried to leave. What? How? Who? Compensation?

Luckily, before the officers disappeared into the stacks, a third officer came in who could watch the exit. The officers searched the lower floors and came up empty handed. I knew I had seen the shirt they had described, but couldn't remember where. As I was scanning the floor, my eyes landed on a regular community member. He was sitting in the back corner of the main floor where he usually does. From what I could see of his shirt, it could be the one they described.

This put me in a predicament. The community member in question was actually one of our best behaved members. I'd say he was a gentleman even. He said hello to library personnel in the morning and bye when he left. I remember once he held the door for me and chatted amicably with me when we both happened to go outside for a smoke break. He did not have to be told to leave when we 'closed' to the public. He read the paper everyday. Yes, he did sleep, but he did not snore. He used the computers sparingly. All in all, a pleasant enough individual, but he appeared to be wearing the T-shirt described. I couldn't decide if I should alert the officers or not. I worried that if I pointed him out, the officers would take it as some sort of indictment. I didn't want this individual harassed if he were innocent.

I don't know if the officers heard me consulting with my co-worker about what we should do, or if they'd picked up on him on their own, but when they'd regrouped on the main floor, they went directly to the back to where this individual was seated, looked at him, and asked him if he would step outside with them. When he stood up, I realized where I had seen the shirt they had described. The community member had been wearing it. Oh dear. As they escorted the man out, he caught my eye and shrugged his shoulders good humorly like he didn't know what the problem was. I shrugged my shoulders in return. The officer asked if I knew him. I froze. No, I didn't 'know' him. I didn't know his name, or where he lived, or if he had a job, and if you did find he was selling weed, well, I didn't know his character at all either it would seem.

That's the most disheartening part of all this. That we could've been mislead so easily by a patron and our trust so badly abused.

I still don't know for sure if they did find anything on the community member, but I did see them pat him down, put him in handcuffs, and lead him away, and he's not here today.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Me, Paranoid?

I don't get what the big deal is. If we're going to redesign the main floor of the library, let's do it right. I want clear sightlines, no nooks and crannies, only four computers for community members to be able to access and they have to STAND to use them, a security station, attack dogs, ceiling mounted lasers, retina scanners, a helivac landing pad on the roof, and better staff chairs. What's the problem?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Ding Dong the Perv is Gone II

Right after posting my first entry about perverts in the library, we were visited by the grandfather of perverts or as my boss called him "Porn Geezer".

I was not familiar with Porn Geezer. It seems he was notorious at another university library and had been warned countless times by staff to desist with his provocative web surfing, but he continued, and to make matters worse and illegal, he appeared to be viewing kiddy porn.

That library experienced a fire alarm today, and their patrons came to our library. Porn Geezer was one of them. Luckily, the university lawyer, who had spoken to Porn Geezer before, was in our library, saw him, saw he had possibly kiddy porn on his screen, and knew he had looked at illegal material in the past. She called the police and locked down the machine.

The surreal thing was Porn Geezer looked like somebody's kindly grandfather. He was dressed nicely with an expensive wooden cane. He looked like retired faculty. When library personnel went by the computer, the screen would be innocuous. I had walked by him several times and had not noticed anything unseemly, but we all had badges on identifying us as library personnel. The university lawyer had on no identifying badge.

The police came, arrested the man, and took him away, but boy, did it raise a stir. There was some question about if the police could charge him since he was on a public computer, using a public login, and so on, but it turns out Porn Geezer was downloading images to floppy disks. He actually asked for the floppy disks back. The floppy disks were confiscated.

I've heard varying reports about how Porn Geezer reacted to the arrest. Some said he was glad he was caught and that he needed help, another was he denied doing it and that they couldn't charge him with anything anyway. I just hope it doesn't turn out that this man has been molesting children.

The fact that the public schools here are about to go on summer vacation, and we receive an influx of young patrons sends a chill down my spine knowing that an individual like that could be lurking alongside these young kids. We are reviewing our policies on library access for underage users. Groups of unattended children had been causing their own set of problems for us, but this recent event has cast a far more sinister sheen on the problem.

I'm glad this individual is gone, but found it very disturbing that so many of my co-workers knew of this man and that he had been allowed to use the libraries without impediment for almost a decade. How does this happen?


Ding Dong the Perv is Gone

Oh happy day! Mr. Red Pants is no longer allowed in the library!

Just to be clear, Mr. Red Pants was my LEAST favorite patron of all time.

Here's a list why:

1. Spit on floor.
2. Flipped the bird at library staff.
3. Looked at porn on the computer and wouldn't move to another computer or stop when you asked him.
4. Hit on yours truly in a most disgusting manner.
5. Would make a cave for himself out of chair cushions down in the stacks so he could sleep during the day.
6. Yelled profanities at Library staff.
7. Drank cheap beer in stacks and left cans behind.

But he's not allowed in the building anymore! Yay! If we see him, we call UPD, and they'll arrest him. Yay!


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

PSA for Students #3

Sigh. Classes aren't even in session and yet here we are.

RESERVES: Items selected by an instructor to be placed on a shortened circulation period so that all students in class(es) may have access to materials.

The most popular loan period is two hours in-library use, though some materials may have longer loan periods. Please pay attention to the library employee when he or she tells you when the material is due and look at the pink slip we put in the book telling you when the book is due. If a book is only two hours in-library use, it means, you can look at the book for two hours IN the library. You may not leave with the book. You may not keep it for more than two hours. It is possible that you can renew if no other students have been asking for the book, but otherwise, it's a dollar an hour that it's overdue.

Just because the class is over, does not mean the book automatically comes off reserve, and it does not mean we will forgive the fine.

If you checked it out before the class was over, that means other people in your class may have wanted the book. Just because the class is now over, does not mean we will forgive the fine.

You should have remembered to return the reserve materials before leaving town. You will have to mail them back or deliver them yourself. You're lucky the maximum fine is $20 for an item.

Insisting that no one else needed the book is not a valid excuse.

And let me repeat, your instructor put this material on reserve. We didn't decide to do it. Talk to your instructor if you want to argue the fine. Maybe instead of making you pay, he or she will dock a letter grade. Would you prefer that?


Friday, June 03, 2005

Requiescat In Pace

A blogger and his sister were murdered, and his last entry helped police find his killer.

It's a terrible tragedy.

What I find rather chilling is everyone's comments on the victim's last post. I would say about all of the comments are due to the NY Times article on the victims. Almost none of the commenters knew the victim before his death. The fact that all of these people are leaving simply three letters is rather irksome to me. Their sentiments seem almost trite.

They are posting on a dead man's blog wishing him R.I.P. That's just wrong to me. I couldn't bring myself to read the rest of his blog. He was a young man with hopes and dreams and now those aspirations will go fallow in the grave with him.

But the comments instead of touching me like I thought they would just irked me. I also dislike when people simply sign their name to a card and don't leave any note.

I don't know maybe I'm just in a judgmental mood today. I know that maybe they don't feel comfortable saying more than R.I.P. but still...Why leave a comment? The family may see the blog, but what solace will they get from R.I.P. a hundred times from people they don't know and will never meet and will never hear from again? Empty gestures really annoy me and before you jump down my throat, I'm don't think all the R.I.P.'s are empty gestures, but some of them are.

I'm holding back a good bit actually b/c I know I see things from a really cynical angle at times and may take things the wrong way so leave a comment of what you think of the whole thing so I can see if I'm really on my own on this.

Here's a link to the last entry with comments.

Giving credit where credit is due:
I heard about this at Asshole Roommate's Blog.