Saturday, March 28, 2009

Vampires Don't Matriculate

Imagine getting a note from your kid's school that says, "There are no vampires attending this school." That wouldn't be very reassuring would it? Such a note was sent home to parents of Boston Latin students. I'd love to be a fly on the wall of the next PTA meeting because seriously, what was the headmaster thinking?

From the comments I've read, there might to be more possibly going on with this situation, but even so, this all could be a case of wild accusations and rumors flying fast and loose. No matter what, things went screwy at Boston Latin and the kids at the center of this are not going to fare well no matter what they did or didn't do.

I wish I'd gotten a copy of that letter though. It would've made my week.

Read an article about the incident here.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Stupid questions are exhausting.

I'm sure everyone has had this conversation, but I've got to share it.

Me: You know your items are a day overdue.

Student: Really? When were they due?

Me: Uh...yesterday.
Whoever said there are no stupid questions has never worked a public service desk. I hate when I get a question so stupid that for a second, I don't know how to answer. I have to quickly review the conversation up to that point and make sure that yes, the question really is that stupid. Then I have to quickly vet my response in my head to make sure that it isn't sardonic, sarcastic, or just plain rude. I have to school my features into the blankest expression possible and refrain from rolling my eyes. I remind myself that I can't touch the student no matter how desperately he needs a Gibbs style smack to the head. And I have to maintain this composure until the student leaves the area or I do.

Stupid questions are exhausting.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Don't Bite Down

Here's an interesting little article about a 'vampire' found in an archaeological dig in Venice.

Forget stakes in the heart or decapitation, just stuff a brick in his mouth to stop a pesky vampire. Don't got a brick? Use a VHS tape (or better yet Betamax). Promise it will work.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Old Tech

Never mind the newest gizmos, your mp3 players, high-def, and mobile devices. Libraries are haunted by ghosts of technology past and technology that never really was. Here are some snippets of tech support I have had to give.

Exchange 1

Professor: This VHS tape is broken. The machine won't play it.

Me: Let me see what's going on.

Professor: Look. It won't even go into the machine.

Professor proceeds to try and force the VHS into the player.

Me: Turn the tape around.

Exchange 2

Student: Something's wrong with the VCR. Nothing's coming up onscreen, and there's no sound.

Me: Let me come see.

I check connections and find everything is hooked up right. I pop out the tape.

Me: You're at the end of the tape. You need to rewind it.

Exchange 3

Student: Hi, can I check out LD23?

Me: That's a laserdisc. Do you know what laserdiscs are?

Student: Yeah.

He even sounds a little offended by the question.

I bring out the laserdisc.

Me: Okay, here you go.

He takes it and looks at it for a bit.

Student: Okay, I don't know what a laserdisc is. Isn't there a DVD?

I've had this conversation quite a few times. Laserdiscs are a precursor to DVDs. They never caught on. Of course, we have hundreds of them. Pioneer reccently announced they won't be manufacturing laserdisc players anymore. They announced it only in Japan. The format was a little better received in Japan, but it seems odd that they didn't offer an English press release. We are planning to stock up because there are things that are on laserdisc but have not made it yet to DVD. It's annoying. But it is fun to blow the undergrads minds when I bring an LD out.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Misinformation from MSN

Sigh, in a list of 10 Jobs for Quiet Workers on MSN Careers, they had this to say about the profession:

It might seem obvious, but given that librarians work in a mostly "no talking zone," it makes sense that a librarian position suits quiet workers. Most of your time is spent organizing and maintaining library publications and materials, and the rest you'll spend directing people to whatever they may need.

I love it. They've obviously never been in a public library or a large university library. This is how we end up with all those misanthropes. They think they'll get paid to sit and arrange pamphlets on a table and maybe once in a blue moon answer a question. When that doesn't turn out to be the case, we have to deal with the passive-aggressive fallout. Can we sue MSN? Maybe form a class action suit?

I have a co-worker who has lost partial hearing in both ears because of how loud the public library was where she worked. Does that sound quiet to you, MSN?

A more accurate suggestion would have been cataloger. That is a job where you don't have to have any human contact. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of sociable catalogers, but if someone doesn't want to talk, they can just pop in ear buds and not miss anything.

What do you think?

(OMG, two posts in less than a week? I think I need to lie down.)