Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hot Commodity

I've come to the conclusion that the most important thing in our library is the stapler.

There is no other item I spend more time instructing students on how to use or fixing after they misuse.

Yes, using the staplers is complicated.

We have a heavy duty stapler (first pictured on right) that jams if there are too many staples, too few staples, if the user whacks it instead of gripping and pressing down firmly or if they don't press down firmly enough.

We are now on our second heavy duty stapler. The students killed the first one. We now keep the second one behind the desk and give mini tutorials to anyone on how to use it before taking the replacement out of hiding.

The students have killed five normal staplers like the second pictured to the right. Two of them have been my personal desk staplers. No, I am not the one who keeps volunteering my stapler. My boss does. I don't know why he keeps doing that. I LIKE having a stapler, but I'm the only one foolish enough to leave her stapler out in the open. After tonight, I'm gonna start putting mine in a locked drawer. The students killed my latest stapler. They did it in four hours.

They like to whack the stapler. I think it's some sort of stress relieving ritual for them. They've finished the paper BAM! in goes the staple. I get the appeal but think of the poor staplers. They're innocent office supplies.

Of course, there are no staplers in the supply closet. The last I heard, we don't have anymore supply money for this year. The last couple of staplers we bought were bought with lost and found money.

While I've been writing this post I've had to hop up five times to deal with the stapler. We have gone back to the previous circ desk stapler, since mine was KIA.

The other stapler cannot staple twice in a row without being opened and closed. So most of my night has been spent telling students this. It gets boring and annoying after about the 134th time.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

In the News

The following articles were written for the student paper. I thought you all might be interested in reading them.

Library X
By Associate Editor

"I created a Library X Myspace group in an effort to bring together all types of aficionados of Library X so we could unite in our passion for that library," first-year College student Mark Cohen said.

Not many libraries can boast that kind of affection.

"It's very hospitable for people who have various studying needs," Cohen said. "Group projects on the fourth floor are always well-received. And individual studying can be done pretty efficiently on the first and second floors."

Cohen said his affection for the library extends even further. He wrote a literary piece for the Literary Society and Debating Union on Library X, calling it "a topic very near and dear to my heart, a subject on which I have infinite affection."

Cohen is not the only person who feels that Library X is a great library on campus.

"I pretty much always go to Library X," first-year College student Dave Rob said. "I haven't been to any of the other libraries except one. I like the atmosphere in Library X -- it just makes you work."

Cohen has also noticed this environment.

"I feel like there's a better motivational atmosphere in Library X than, say, the humanities library or the library of fine arts," Cohen said.

In addition, Library X lovers cite other reasons for preferring this particular library.

"It's a perfect spot for socializing because of the Media Center, which is a great place to meet new friends by comparing your similar movie interests," Cohen said.

However, there are those that disagree.

"The one time I went to Library X, it was for an exam," first-year College student Adam Neider said. "I couldn't study there because it was really loud. And there were people streaking so it didn't really work out."

Huge Research Library

By Another Associate Editor

"I like the Huge Research Library firstly because it is not Library X," third-year College student Sara Muyo said. "It is much quieter in the Huge Research Library and there is much more of a studying atmosphere."

Third-year College student Yasemin Brown said she relates the more studious nature of the Huge Research Library to the make-up of the student body that chooses to study there.

"Unlike Library X, or The Science and Engineering Library even, which is mostly undergrads, the Huge Research Library has a large amount of graduate students who study there," Brown said. "Whether it is for office hours, or for their own research, graduate students mostly come to the Huge Research Library which makes it a little less focused on the socializing."

Brown said the Huge Research Library is able to provide the students with various settings for studying despite its reputation of being the quieter library.

"The Huge Research Library is great if you want different levels of intensity at different times," Muyo said. "If you want it to be really, really quiet then you go to the stacks, and if you want a little bit more relaxed atmosphere then you can hang around the café since there are always people around."

Muyo said she observed students of different majors choosing different libraries.

"I think you can definitely see that Comm school kids prefer Library X since they need to work on group projects and a lot of liberal arts majors like English and politics come to the Huge Research Library," she said. "And then of course all the science and engineering students go to the Science and Engineering Library or the E-school library."

While the Huge Research Library is her favorite library, Muyo said there are also downsides.

"The thing is you can only stay at the Huge Research Library until midnight," Muyo said. "And honestly college is the time for all-nighters, especially during finals, and having to move from one library to another with millions of books, coffee mugs and a laptop is not too pleasant."

Yeah, and guess where’s she’s going at midnight? Library X.

There were two other articles, but only the Huge Research Library felt the need to bash Library X while singing its own praises, and why'd we have to have someone talk about not liking our library in our own article? I’ve been told there is something of a rivalry among students between the two libraries. I find that amusing.

One thing we’ve found interesting is that no one mentions the book collections in any of these articles about the libraries. They only care about the study space. I think that’s very telling.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Stay Out!

Overheard a girl say this into her cell phone as she's entering the library:

You want to make a drunk library visit?

Okay, I'll text message you in a couple hours of where I'm studying.

No, no, no!

Students, do you know how absolutely fucking annoying you are when you're in the library drunk off your ass?

You might find it funny, but I will boot your ass sooner than you can say, "Whuh?"

And if you give me grief, it's UPD time. I don't have any patience with drunks. I don't want to smell their Corona breath. I don't want to watch them hit on other students who are trying to do work. I don't want to have to check on them when they're puking in the toilet or pass out with their eyes rolled up. It's not funny.

If you're 21, go ahead have a few and GO HOME! Don't come to Library X. If you're under 21, I don't have anything to say to you because you won't be having any alcohol, will you? Yeah, I thought so. Stay out of the library. We're not a drunk tank.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

New Question to scratch your head about.

Question: Do you have ethanol cords?

Answer: I wish.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Elevator of Doom

It shakes. It groans. It has a funny smell. It's the Elevator of Doom!

The Elevator of Doom is a quiet horror here in Library X. You get on the EoD, press the button for the floor you want, then grab the walls as it shudders up or down to your floor. You dash off as it whips open and slams shut barely not getting caught in its vice like doors. Supposedly safety measures are in place to prevent squishing, but the safety measures work selectively. Long ago, all the elevator call buttons burned out, so you never know when the elevator is coming to you or if it's already there lurking behind the steel doors. Never mind the fact that some of the buttons are mislabeled anyway. The door open button is labeled >|<, and the elevator call button on the ground floor points down.

Tonight, the alarm went off on the elevator. For over ten minutes, shrill bells rang on every floor. I called facilities management and told them of my dilemma. I couldn't figure out what was going on. Was someone trapped? Was the elevator stuck? Was the EoD taking a victim? Finally the EoD fell silent. I tried to find out where it went once the alarm stopped. I saw it open on the third floor. I asked if anyone had stepped off. Everyone shook their heads. I went back up to the main floor, and when the elevator opened, I trapped it with some trash cans, and held it hostage until the facilities management crew could come and look at it.

When the repair crew came, I had the pleasure of watching two grown men argue about who would ride the EoD. They bickered back and forth before me, and finally the younger man accepted the task. As the doors closed upon him, he gave us a brave salute. We saluted back and waited.

A few minutes went by. The older repair man pushed the call button for the EoD. The EoD opened back up before us and there stood the brave repair man grinning estatically.

"Well, nothing's wrong. I guess a student accidentally pushed the alarm button then paniced and left it."

"But it shakes so much and groans a lot," I protested.

"Nobody called System Headquarters to say that they were stuck."

I could see that they weren't going to investigate further. I should've known this would be the case when they arrived without even a toolbox between them.

"If it happens again, call us," said the younger repair guy.

"Just make sure it's before 11:30pm."

"We're open 24hrs," I informed them.

"After 11:30, call the Fire Dept."

As we talked, students got on the EoD. I said a silent prayer that for all those that entered the EoD, just as many exited.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Are you being robbed?

This is what UPD asked me when they came in tonight.

I looked around, didn't see anyone in ski masks so turned back, and said, "Huh?"

The officers stepped back and radioed dispatch for clarification. I looked at the student assistant, and she shrugged her shoulders. I know that I'm not very observant at times, but she should've noticed if we were being held up.

A student then rushed up to the officers and pointed at someone else on the floor and pulled the officers toward him. They stopped the excited student and spoke to him. I figured out he must've been the one to call the police, but I didn't know why.

UPD spoke to the hyper student for a few more minutes and then approached the other student and asked him to step outside with them. The hyper student was left behind.

Ten minutes later, UPD came back in to speak to me.

"We have a student in custody who stole two drinks from the drink machine on this floor, which another student observed and called-in. Does the library control the vending machines and would the library like to press charges?"

I shook my head and told them that UZ Dining controlled the vending machines, and I had no idea if the library would like to press charges or not, though I was leaning more toward not. I figured the fact that police showed up to speak to this student, was more than enough to make our petty thief never ever rock a vending machine again.

UPD contacted UZ Dining and worked out a plan with them. They wouldn't press charges if the student paid for the two drinks that he stole and wrote a signed letter of apology to UZ Dining. Seems very fair to me.

It seems the student who made the call did it through 911, and the message may have gotten a little garbled from one system to the next, or by judging by the student caller's demeanor, he may have overstated the crime a tad.

Stealing from the vending machines is wrong, but the vending machines steal from the students all the time. It's hard for us to get outraged when either happens.

Another lovely question I got tonight:

Do you have wireless cables?