Monday, December 19, 2005


Anonymous said...
Is there a reason you all think you're extra smart just because you work in libraries?

I feel the need to respond to this question. The comment was in response to a post discussing/snarking against the stereotype of librarians being considered nerdy. I probably did come off sounding smarter than thou, but that is not the case.

I'm an idiot. Have proven this on numerous occasions, but I feel confident in answering someone’s reference question, not because I'll know the answer, but because I have several million dollars worth of resources available at my fingertips, and the odds are that I'll stumble across the answer. I don't know the answer, but I am willing to help find it. I won't claim to always find a satisfactory answer for the patron, but I make a go of it.

This doesn’t mean I’m extra smart. Remember when the book cart attacked me? Do I need to say more? Okay, I once put the wrong key in a conference room lock and got the key stuck so badly, locksmiths had to be called while a group waited to get into the room to have a meeting. The group was a bunch of library very higher ups. Yeah, I felt really smart that day.

Once I left a couple of printouts in the printer from Pirates of the Caribbean website. There was this amusing game to make up pirate names so there were a couple of printouts with “Captain Scalawag Vampire Librarian” but with my real name. So yeah, that was smart.

I’ve misshelved books. I’ve forgotten to desensitize them until the patron set off the gates. I always have to pull out a campus map when someone asks where any of the other university libraries are located, even if it’s one I’ve been to before. I drop things a lot. I’m constantly forgetting where I left my soda or coffee cup. Don’t ask me how to spell something. I have to count on my fingers.

So no, I don’t think I’m extra smart. I know otherwise. I just think I can find an answer quicker than the average person. Not because I’m smarter but because I don’t know much and have to look up stuff often for others and for myself.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Exams Suck

Exams are now over here at Z University, and I got stressed out as badly as the students.

I had nightmares that I was back in college and got E-'s on all of my papers, which were worse than F's for some reason only understandable in the dream. I tried to look at the papers to see why I'd done so badly and couldn't read what I wrote or the professor's comments. I tried to hide the terrible grades from my classmates so they wouldn't know I was such a dunce, but they could see the grades anyway and pitied me. It was just bad. I'd wake up very grumpy.

I also got sick. I'm still sick. I'm congested, weak, achey, and I smell vomit constantly when I breath through my nose, but I'm not vomiting. Yeah, I'm sure you wanted to know all that. My mother was the one who made the connection for me to exams. This happened every fall semester when I was in college too. At the least, I had to go on antibiotics, and at the worst, like in my senior year, I had to be taken to the emergency room. I had abdominal pains which by the process of elimination was classified an ulcer. I had to take two incompletes and make up the work over break.

It was all stress related in college. I don't know why I got laid low by exams this year. I wasn't taking any classes. An aunt had passed away the week before which upset me so that may have affected me, and the weather here has been very bad. The library put me up in a hotel one day because we didn't think I'd be able to drive into work that night, and I had to chip ice off my car for twenty minutes the next day. So maybe there is cause for stress and illness, but still, this whole being sick thing sucks. I've got X-mas shopping to do dammit.

I hope all of you are in good health and cheer while I'm huddled at home scowling because I wouldn't wish this nonsense on anyone.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Job Change

This is my last week on the overnight shift. Come spring semester, I will be the evening supervisor. My hours will be 4pm-1am. The evening shift is very busy. I'm a little apprehensive. My stress tolerance may be sorely tested.

I've been working with my replacement this week. I think he will do well on this shift. He's a former student employee. He and my co-vampire Laura seem to get along which is good, but he's an odd one.

Here's a list why:

1. He knows some magic tricks.

2. He's a drummer in a band and does air drumming at the desk.

3. He likes Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

4. He can lick his own armpit which he was happy to demonstrate to us.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Squinting in Anger, Not Poor Eyesight

I saw something yesterday on The Ellen Degeneres Show, and just had to comment. She had Darryl Hannah on, who was promoting a board game she "created" called Liebrary. I put created in quotes because the game's premise is pretty old, and Hannah and her friend just formalized the rules and packaged the game.

Liebrary is basically like Balderdash, except Liebrary focuses strictly on books instead of weird words, people, laws, movies and initials. The liebrarian reads the title and a brief plot synopsis of a real book, and the players write fake first lines for the book. The scoring and object to the game is the same as Balderdash. You try to lie as believably as possible.

I think the game would've been better if the players simply wrote fake summaries. The first lines of books are so different and often memorable. It could be one word, a paragraph long sentence or anything. The first lines are supposed to be special. Here's a few first lines with titles to show what I mean, all were gathered from First Lines: A Sort of Literacy Test.

"Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
--Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Once on a dark winter's day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.
--A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson

Burnett Isaac McCaslin, 'Uncle Ike', past seventy and nearer eighty than he ever corroborated any more, a widower now and uncle to half a county and father to no one ---- this was not something participated in or even seen by himself, but by his elder cousin, McCaslin Edmonds, grandson of Isaac's father's sister and so descended by the distaff, yet not withstanding the inheritor, and in his time the bequestor, of that which some had thought then and some still thought should have been Isaac's, since his was the name in which the title to the land had first been granted from the Indian patent and which some of the descendants of his father's slave still bore in the land.
--Go down, Moses by William Faulkner

--The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

So you see, first lines vary a lot. I don't think the classics are heavily covered in the game, but it's still going to be an odd game to play. I wonder what criteria was used for choosing the books for this game. If they were marketing whizes, the developers would've invited publishers to send in their titles and summaries with a small fee for inclusion, but I doubt that happened.

What made me sit up and squawk was what Hannah said on Ellen. She came out with an eyeglass case, and Ellen commented on it. She asked if it were a purse. Hannah said, "No, they're my nerd librarian glasses."

Nerd librarian glasses.

Oh no, she didn't.

As a glasses wearing library worker, I take exception to this.

Why are they librarian glasses? Is there an ALA stamp on them? Why must they be nerdy? Are glasses inherently nerdy? And if glasses are inherently nerdy, does that mean librarian glasses have to the nerdiest of the nerdy?

The game doesn't have any major distribution deal. You can't pick it up at Target or Walmart. You've got to order it directly from the website, and at $48 (+S&H) that's a pretty steep purchase. The most likely people to seek out this game and purchase it are, you guessed it, librarians. Alienating us by attributing her failing eyesight and ugly choice in eyewear to some disliked antiquated stereotype is a swift way to get her precious game scratched off our X-mas wish list.

She didn't get to put her 'nerd librarian' glasses on, though she tried. Ellen cut her off before Hannah could demonstrate the game and threw it to commercial. I'm hoping Ellen did this because she was as appalled as I was by Hannah's gaffe, but probably they just ran long talking about Hannah's recent trip to Africa.

To even the score, henceforth I'm going to refer to my crap one lens tinted red, the other tinted blue, can't break with a sledgehammer, can't lose no matter how hard I try, three prescriptions too old, coke bottle bottom, spare glasses as my Darryl Hannah specks. So there. Actually now, it'll be much easier to refer to them, previously that other bit had been quite a mouthful.

I guess since I went to the trouble, here's some other things I learned. It seems this is Hannah's 2nd game she has developed. Her first was "Love it or Hate it". You can find a summary here. Frankly, I don't really see how much fun that one could be unless it was changed into a drinking game.

Also the company SimplyFun is one of those companies that throws in home parties like Home Interiors or Southern Living, so I'd be leery of purchasing something from them because they may decide to try and recruit you, but it looks like you could possibly simply purchase the game, unlike those other companies.

*Disclaimer, I think this should be obvious to regular readers, but I like to make mountains out of mole hills. Yes, I know Hannah isn't the spawn of the devil but instead is probably a very lovely woman. I was surprised by how varied her career has been, and I wish her nothing but good will. Her comment was probably just an unfortunate mistake, but it still doesn't change the fact that I don't want her game and what she said just reinforced my choice. Wait, is this still a disclaimer?

Monday, December 05, 2005

PSA for Students #5

The Library is not an alternative housing option.

If you have serious roommate issues, speak to the dean of students. Don't nest in the library. It annoys the cleaning staff, and it isn't good to annoy them. They control the toilet paper.


Friday, December 02, 2005


There's nothing more suspicious than students shushing each other, especially on the stairwell...

When I hear them, my vampire senses tingle, and I know mischief is afoot. I decide to mosey downstairs all casual-like. I ask at the third floor circulation desk if they have any clue what is up...One student employee says she heard a group of students say something about going downstairs to sing carols on the first floor. Oh great. I run to stop them before they get there but I'm too late. I arrive on the first floor to find about twenty-five boys and girls shouting Jingle Bells.

Now my library doesn't have many rules. Hardly any except, don't take anything out of the library without checking it out, and be quiet on the first floor.

So guess what I get to be? I get to be the person to tell the happy carolers to move it along. Did I mention they're standing on tables and chairs so their voices project better? Yeah. So I walk up to the group. I catch a few of their eyes and shake my head. I motion with my thumb that they have to go upstairs. They don't pay any attention to me.

They're singing at the tops of their lungs. The students that are studying are looking at them with bleary eyed disdain so I have to shout, "Move it upstairs!" They keep singing. I yell again, "Come on, you gotta move it upstairs." They. Keep. Singing. Now, I'm getting pissed. I'm thinking about calling UPD. There's a phone right on this floor. I shout one more time. "Move it upstairs!" Finally they finish their rendition of Jingle Bells and start going to the exit.

One guy points at me and yells, "Grinch."

Another guy says, "Stop being a grinch, Grinch."

The first guy adds, "We're just spreading some Christmas cheer." I just shake my head and continue to trail them.

The guys keep making comments in my direction. I don't care. They're leaving. That's all I care about.

They could've sung carols on second, third, and forth floor, but no, they had to go to first floor and only first floor.

Heesh, I just realized I basically shushed them. I'm not one of those librarians. Why last night, I happily made an announcement over the PA system for a sorority that there was free food on fourth floor for everyone to enjoy. You should've seen the mob that appeared, but that was okay. Fourth floor can have parties.

Till next time,


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Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's over. Thank goodness.

I'm done. The insanity has passed.
Why did I think this was fun again?

New posts coming shortly.