Sunday, July 30, 2006


We've had some mischief at Library X in the past couple of days.

Yesterday morning, someone decided to have a smoke in a main floor unisex bathroom and throw his cigarette into the female products receptacle. The paper bag in the box caught on fire causing the box to melt and the bathroom to fill with smoke. Luckily the cleaning lady saw the smoke and stopped the fire. Only the plastic box was damaged, and the fire alarm wasn't sounded. This incident seems odd because one, there are a lot of better places to put out a cigarette in a bathroom than in a paper bag lined plastic box, and second, this bathroom is on the main floor so going outside to smoke a cig is not difficult. We figure the person was either really stupid or malicious. A police report was taken, and the bathroom fingerprinted. Staff didn't notice anyone suspicious, and the bathrooms are not in our line of sight.

Today someone made a hang up call to 911 from one of our public phones. 911 is required to call back to confirm that there isn't an emergency. If they don't get an answer when they call back, they have to dispatch a police officer to investigate. Our public phones cannot receive calls so a police officer had to be dispatched to Library X to make sure everything was okay. The officer asked us if we saw anyone or noticed anything suspicious. We can't see the phone so we had nothing we could tell them. This was not the first time hang up 911 calls have been made, but I hope that it won't become a regular prank. The public phone that was used is in the same general location as the unisex bathrooms on the main floor.

I pray that this isn't the beginning of a trend. Our security is pretty lax. There is just no way for us to keep tabs on everything that happens within the library. We can't even keep tabs on what happens on the main floor. Hopefully a crime wave isn't in the making.


As of closing Sunday night, Library X is missing a brand new Dell laptop. The laptop appears to have been missing since Friday night. I don't work Fridays or Saturdays so I'm going off what students say. We just got these laptops, and they're great. We've been extra careful with them so a missing laptop is very alarming. I'm hoping our IT guy took it Friday to work on, but I have no evidence of that right now. The missing laptop is not checked out to anyone, and when I checked, the laptop was not in the IT guy's office. I'm crossing my fingers that he sent it out to be fixed.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

My Book

Now, where are my residuals?

Really I hadn't known this book existed until after I started my blog. The book used to be the first thing that would pop up in Google when you did a search for "Vampire Librarian". Now my blog has the number one spot. Thanks guys!

When I saw there was a book with my blog's name in the title, I wanted to buy it. Little did I know that the book was not published in the US, and American booksellers were charging sixty or more dollars for the book, but fortunately eBay saved me. I bought the book from an Australian used bookseller for less than twenty bucks, and that's including shipping and handling. I was amused to find that my copy is a library discard and apparently never checked out. Maybe they were afraid of keeping it overdue.

What is so scary about the Vampire Librarian?

I can read thought waves by sonar and transmit thoughts into people's heads to compel them to return their overdue books.

I drive a hearse with a coffin in the back.

I will suck your blood and kill you if you lose a book.

So watch out!

I plan to make the book bat my profile picture. It's just too perfect.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Un-PC comment

I'll fully admit this is an un-PC post, and I should be ashamed of myself, but when I read,

The Legal Assistance Corporation and the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, charging that the Worcester Public Library is unfairly restricting the borrowing privileges of residents who live in homeless shelters.

Identified as “Jane Doe,” the lead plaintiff in the case maintains that she is being allowed to check out no more that two books at a time, making her unable to homeschool her child. The lawsuit claims the library policy is unconstitutional. “Everybody should have equal access to a public library, regardless of whether they’re homeless,” Legal Assistance Corporation Executive Director Jonathan Mannina told the Associated Press July 6.

--From Homeless Residents Sue Worcester Library over Borrowing Restrictions

I could only think:

How can you home school a child when you're homeless? Doesn't that automatically disqualify you? And considering your circumstances are you REALLY the best teacher for your child?

I know. I'm terrible. But really...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Personal Tick

I think everyone has one. It's the one thing that you won't let people get away with around you. When you see it done, you have to say or do something or else your eye starts twitching. One of my co-workers cannot stand for patrons to sit on the tables. She will go over and push a chair up to them and point at it. Students used to purposely sit on the tables and watch for her.

A former boss couldn't stand to see patrons playing games on the computers. She would go and tell them to log off and leave. Students, faculty, administration, visiting dignitary: It didn't matter who they were.

My personal tick is pets in the library. This isn't to be confused with Happy Villain at Libraryosis writing about how nice and fun it was to have a pet in the library.

I'm talking about patrons bringing their dogs into the library and thinking they can take them around everywhere.

Let me first preface this by saying, "I LIKE ANIMALS." I grew up in a veritable zoo and love all types of animals, but I also believe that dogs should be left at home when not being taken for a walk. They are not a fashion accessory to be toted around everywhere. They aren't your child and CAN be left home alone.

If I see a person come in with a dog, I am instantly at their elbow telling them (in a slightly flustered manner), dogs are not allowed in Library X. They'll have to take the dogs outside immediately. Whenever I do this, the patrons seem kind of alarmed and affronted that I'm not happy to see their dogs. I'm flustered because not bringing your dog into a public building is one of the universal rules. Like no smoking, no littering, no spitting, no dogs. But these people don't seem to get it.

I have been shelving in the stacks and found students perusing the shelves with their dogs sitting at their feet. I take a moment to gawk every time. I mean HELLO! This is a library. We are not a dog park. What the hell do you think you're doing? My greatest fear is I'll actually see one of these canines cock a leg and whiz on a bookcase.

Just recently, a community member (non-student) came in with his black Labrador trotting at his heels. The dog wasn't even on a leash! Before I could confront him, the community member disappears into the bathrooms with the dog! I wait impatiently and fearfully for the community member to come out. Which one of them is using the bathroom anyway?

When the community member comes out, I go to him instantly. I tell him that he needs to take the dog outside NOW. He has the gall to say he didn't think bringing his dog in would be a problem. WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHO? Like I said, this is a personal tick, you all may have shrugged your shoulders at this, but come on! You don't take your UNLEASHED dog anywhere. And as if he had to get back at me for scolding him, HE snaps at ME not to point at him. Actually I was pointing at the dog, but the dog was by the owner so I was probably pointing at both of them, but still...YOU HAVE YOUR DOG IN THE LIBRARY! Me pointing at you is in pure unadulterated disbelief. I mean HELLO! (Though maybe pointing was his personal tick. Who knows.)

For the pointing thing, I apologize, but I tell the patron, "You should have your dog on a leash as well. That's the law, and you need to take him outside immediately."

He rolls his eyes and takes the dog outside. I just can't believe it.

Some patrons seem to think, "Well, I'll only be a moment. Surely no one will mind." Yes, we will mind. Me ESPECIALLY. Why is your dog with you? Why are you at the library? How do these two answers go together?

As a sort of funny consequence to the above confrontation, I've seen the community member a number of times outside with his dog, and whenever he sees me, he calls the dog to him and puts the leash on the dog. I just shake my head. The man just doesn't get it. That dog could dash after a squirrel ACROSS the street and go splat. That's why there's a leash law, and if there's an auto accident due to the dog, the owner's going to have to pay all auto and injury bills.

Now, I've seen patrons leave their dogs tied up outside. I have a problem with that as well. What happens when your dog bites a child while you're in the library? What happens when your dog has heat stroke? Again why is your dog with you, why are you at the library, and how do these two answers go together? And the answer to the third question, in case you haven't picked up on it yet, is the two answers NEVER go together. There is no corollary between them. You take your dog for a walk or to the vet and then you take him home. You don't drop by the library to check out some books.

And yes, I do make an exception for service dogs, though I've found several articles lately about people lying about their dogs being service animals to keep them with them, but I find that service animals don't have to have any license or certification. That seems highly unusual.

Well, we'll see if I have to butt heads with anyone who claims his Chihuahua is a service animal.


Sunday, July 02, 2006

Recipe for MeNOThelpyou Cake


1 Outdated Library policy i.e. Free Printing!

1 Bushy large beard with possible rodent infestation.

Lots and lots of print jobs

1 OPEN FLY, and I'm talking gaping open. The horse could leave the barn at any moment.


Claim you've worked hours to compile these "important" print jobs, which I know to be untrue, since I've been here eight hours, and I know you've only been here for one.

Refer to a five year old outdated policy of free printing and suggest it should still apply to you since you haven't been in town since the new policy went into effect.

Scratch your hairy beard through the entire conversation, possibly picking things out of it.

Do all this with your FLY OPEN. Making me wonder what exactly you've been looking at on the computer.

Cooking time - 10 mins AFTER CLOSING

For that stronger taste of ire, walk away from me after being denied help, go up to the circ counter, lean over the counter till your feet leave the floor, call the work study out from hiding, and insist that he help you. Make me wait another ten minutes for the work study student to show you how to print and then decide you'll abandon your print jobs and go get them from your brother's house instead.

If you follow this simple recipe, you will bake a lovely MeNOThelpyou Cake.