Monday, February 27, 2006

PSA for Students #7

The Library is a crime ridden place. It is not safe. Just because use of the library is free and there are helpful, wonderful people staffing the desks, does not mean there aren't nefarious patrons. Leaving your laptop, purse, cell phone, and/or I-pod on a table in the library does not guarantee that it will still be there when you come back three hours or three minutes later.

There are thieves hiding in the stacks. They will sweep up anything that is left unattended, and you will never see it again. They will take it even if you are sleeping beside it. Nothing is safe. There have been reports of even textbooks and meal cards being stolen.

Just because you signed an honor statement does not mean everyone has or that everyone will abide by it.

Please keep an eye on your possessions because if you don't, you'll find out someone else has.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Do Not Tease the Vampire Librarian

It's not nice to tease me.

If you call to say you're gonna have 10 free pizzas delivered to Library X at 7pm for everyone, have 10 free pizzas delivered at 7pm, otherwise the poor vampire librarian will wait and wait and wait and slowly go mad with hunger, never mind the fact she has blood in the fridge. She wants pizza.

At 9pm, I finally had to give up hope and drink my blood. No pizza ever showed, and I had no number to call incessantly to ask where the pizza was. Next time I will know better.

I still want pizza.


I guess I should explain why I thought the pizza would actually show.

The caller identified themselves as a representative of a large housing/apartment complex community that wants University Z student business. They came by Library X last week with three free pizzas and asked if I would make an announcement about free pizza and who supplied it.

I said no.

There were conservatively speaking three hundred students in the building at that time. If I announced free pizza, all three hundred of them would come up and there would be a riot when they didn't get pizza. I told the people they could walk around on the fourth floor and invite some students to have some free pizza.

They said okay and asked how many pizzas would they need to get an announcement. I said ten. The student assistant said twenty. Twenty would have been a better answer.

That's why I believed the caller when they identified themselves as being with the apartment complex, but no pizza ever showed...

The student assistant said I should make an anti-announcement saying that the apartment complex had promised pizza tonight, but it never showed so don't live at that apartment complex.

I may start listening to the student assistants.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

PSA for Students #6

Returning books is GOOD.

Keep that up.

We just have one small favor to ask you.

Could you please make sure to return the library book to the right library SYSTEM?

Meaning, if the book you checked out is from a public library three hours away, then maybe you shouldn't drop it off at Library X but instead drive back to that far off county and drop it off there or mail it back yourself.

Oh, and you can't return your video store rentals here either. You need to return them to the STORE that they came from. The case has a label with the address and phone number on it to help you find the store again. Take a second and look, and no, Library X won't forgive your video store fines.

Right now, whenever we get something that isn't University Z library material, we put it in lost and found, leave it there for several weeks, and then figure out what we'll do with it. Obviously, I am currently dealing with them.

(I am ignoring today's supposed holiday.)


Sunday, February 12, 2006


The Vampire Librarian is sad. The Vampire Librarian has been yelled at because she liked the new policies a little too much. Yes, the Vampire Librarian will continue to write this post in the third person.

Two new big policy changes went into effect recently. One was the restriction of the public's access to Library X computers. Yay! The second is children under sixteen may not be in the library without a custodial adult. Double yay! But wait! There are exceptions to the second policy that were not originally discussed when talking about the policy change. One is children under sixteen who wish to use the library to look up books and do research for educational purposes may be in the library without a custodial adult. Another is that children of faculty and staff may be in the library without a custodial adult. The Vampire Librarian doesn't give a flying fig about either of these exceptions. She merrily kicked children out of the library and informed UPD and campus security that they could as well.

That got Vampire Librarian into trouble.

They told her that's not what's in the policy. They told her that she must handle the children delicately. Ask them if their parents work for University Z. Ask them if they are doing homework. Ask them if they want milk and cookies.

Vampire Librarian wanted to ask if she could bite someone and not in the fun way.

What the higher ups don't understand is that CHILDREN LIE. They'll claim a parent works for University Z if we ask them. They'll claim to be doing research if we ask them. Vampire Librarian isn't going to ask them. She will ask if they are sixteen. If they claim they are, she will ask for ID, and then watch the four foot liars stomp out of Library X.

Vampire Librarian is happy with the policy. She is ignoring the exceptions. Vampire Librarian may get yelled at again, but she doesn't think it's enough to fire her. She could be wrong.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Ghost

A co-worker wrote the following, which is best description of the Ghost:

Tuesday night a UPD officer came to Library X’s Circulation Desk to explain a report he had received regarding a young male who has been the subject of a couple of complaints from female students.

The first young woman spotted him in Library X Monday night and recognized him as someone she has seen in the past in Library X. She has spoken with him and knows that he is not a student. She reported to the Vampire Librarian that a non-student was in the library after midnight, a violation of Library X rules. The Vampire Librarian then located the young man and asked him for his ID. When he admitted that he was not a student, she asked him to leave. The female student also called UPD because she believes he frequents the library in an attempt to contact female students.

The UPD officer said he wanted to check if we had had any reports of any incidents or had seen a person matching the subject's description. I said we hadn't, and he asked that we be on the lookout for this person because the police would like to find out who he is. He is described as a small man about 5'4" with a slight build. He has brown hair and a very white complexion. The Vampire Librarian said he was wearing glasses and a baseball cap. He has also been described as holding one arm in a strange way, as if it were slightly injured.

On Wednesday, I contacted the UPD officer to see if he had additional information, because he had mentioned a second woman he was planning to interview. He said the second woman had seen the subject in a class that she knew he wasn't enrolled in. The officer said there was even a third young woman who has reported that she had seen the subject at meetings of a student organization, to which he didn't belong.

One of the young women remembered having once seen this individual in Library X stacks. She had seen him watching her from between bookshelves, and when he saw her look at him, he pretended to be looking at the books.

In general, he seems to have demonstrated a pattern of appearing in places and at events where students gather, and watching and attempting to make contact with females. The police would like us to report any sightings of, and any reports of incidents involving, someone fitting this description.

My take:

The Ghost is a hard guy to pin down. He blends in with the students, but usually reveals himself by chatting up a girl and saying something that wigs her out. That’s what happened Monday night when I ejected him from Library X. The girl had to call and describe him in detail to me for me to know to approach him, and I had to look twice at him to make sure I had the right guy. One way he blends in so well is he scopes out the student only computers to find one that was left logged in to use. The community computers are highly visible and not with the student only computers.

The Ghost came into Library X last night. I called UPD when I saw him. He walked around all the student only computers and didn’t find one to sit down at so left Library X. I went outside and watched him enter the large research library that’s next door. When UPD arrived, I entered the large research library and pointed the Ghost out to them. They spoke to the Ghost and got all his information.

They won’t charge him with anything because being unnerving isn’t a crime. I don’t have any opinion on the matter because I don’t know what he says to these female students, and I haven’t observed him doing anything that’s ‘wrong’. If I see him working on a student-only computer, I’ll ask him to move, but for now, that’s it, though he probably thinks I’m out to get him since I brought UPD into the other large research library to get him and he knew I didn’t even work in that library.

One weird thing that I’ve noticed is that any guy who hears about the Ghost laughs and says “That’s awesome,” in regard to the Ghost going to classes and club meetings that he’s not signed up for. Women who hear the story focus on the way he watches and talks to girls and makes them uncomfortable and express frustration in the way UPD doesn’t take the female students concerns more seriously.

Kyle, my replacement says the Ghost has been a longtime fixture on campus. He thinks the Ghost is harmless. When he looks at the Ghost, he sees a diehard geek who has poor social skills. When I look at the Ghost, I wonder if he’s got a head in the deepfreeze. I guess this could be a case of you say tomato, I say psycho.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Out of the Mouths of Babes

A boy barely fourteen just said, “Man, she’s got a big booty,” right in front of me in reference to someone across the room. He then asked me if I had a cell phone charger.

What did I do?

I gave him a cell phone charger while hoping the charger would short and kill him.
It wouldn't be murder then.

It didn't.

He did say thank you to me--twice, once when I gave it to him and again as he was leaving.
Kids are such a puzzle.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

PSA for Professors #1

If you want your class to start on time, make sure you know how to use the classroom before beginning class!

I'm tired of having to run down two flights of stairs to get your VHS tape/DVD/Laserdisc/computer to work on the projector while all of your students stare at me.
It's irksome.

If you are a technophobe, then arrive early and ask me to set up the equipment for you. Arrive extra early. There seem to be a lot of you.