Archive for February, 2009

jester reading a book

(Picture is in public domain, but check out Liam’s Pictures from Old Books)

I am going to have to learn some magic, since patrons keep expecting me to bend the rules of time and space for them.

For example, our public printer has been on the fritz for a week. We have plastered signs up indicating this on ALL the computers, on the printer, on the entry doors, and on the back of a slow-moving shelver.

You would think people would get the message. However, I still have at least 3-4 patrons a day come up to the Reference Desk and ask, “Is the printer not working?” Once I confirm that it is broken, they then say, “So, there’s no way I can print anything?”Now, several snappy comebacks have occurred to me over the past few weeks….no, no, I won’t go there.

Now, we move into the second stage. They then say, “But I really need to print something right now and continue to look at me expectantly. What, exactly, do they think I will do? ….”Oh, you REALLY need to print something? Well, let me pull out the secret, hidden, working printer we keep just for that purpose!”

Maybe they are waiting for me to suggest a bribe? A knowing wink and a finger aside my nose? “Eh, I might be able to help you out, Mr. Patron, if you had a box of Thin Mints…”

I get the same reaction when a book they are looking for is missing. Sometimes, even though the (all-knowing) computer says a book is “available,” we cannot locate it on the shelves.

So, I explain that it could be because someone else has used it and left it on a table or it could be misshelved or it could even have been stolen (a pox on all you book thieves!). After suggesting that we can order a copy from another branch, they still continue to stare at me…”But the computer says it’s ‘available’ at this branch!”

Maybe next time I will say, “Wait a minute…what’s that behind your ear? ::reach up and pull out missing book with magician’s flourish:: “Why, here it is!”


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Stupid Is as Stupid Does

In an apparent effort to become finalists in the Darwin Awards, some local ice fisherman made national headlines.

While we did have quite a stretch of brutally cold weather for a number of weeks, the temps suddenly warmed up into the upper 40’s and it was sunny and very windy. I would think that it wouldn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that: warm weather=melting ice. PLUS, there was already a crack in the ice. But, no, according to the local paper:

“Authorities and fishermen said the ice-fishing enthusiasts had crossed a narrow crack in the ice on a plywood board about 1,000 yards from shore in the early morning, but warming air and brisk winds from the south caused the crack to widen by midmorning.”

175 of them had to be rescued by the Coast Guard and local rescue agencies (at a cost of somewhere around $20,000). Did they have to pay for this or were they fined? Heck, no.

In fact, the very next day they came back out to get the equipment they left behind! Said one fire chief:

“We can’t stop them permanently. They have the right to be stupid, I guess. But it’s disheartening for my guys to see them going right back out there.”

Good grief.

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