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Dust, Dirt, Debris by Oslo In The Summertime.

(OK, maybe it wasn’t THIS dusty, but it was kinda nasty under there….cool photo by Oslo In the Summertime).

Spring cleaning fever has hit the library and we cleaned out the various shelves and cubbies around the Reference Desk.

Besides the chewed pencil stubs (eeew!) and copulating rubberbands (look away!), I also found some old papers from last year’s summer reading club. They were short stories that kids wrote just for the fun of it. So, to lighten the blog mood, I am going to share them with you…

This one has a Seusical quality about it:

Bug in My Mug

There is a bug in my mug! A bug in my mug!   The bug in my mug is blue and I don’t think it has a clue. Maybe it knows me or you!

And an action-drama story:

My Stiches[sic]

One day, I went on a bike ride. And we were riding and riding when we left my Gramas house we got ice crem. I got mint colitcip and an extra scoop. On the ride home grass was on the sidwalk.

I was going vary fast on that sidwalk. I went out of controll. I fall off my bike I crashed too hard. My hands did not come down when I hit the grown. I got 5 booboos and my chin split. I was crying but not hard, but a volunter fire fighter came over and gave me pads for my chin.

I had to go to the hosptol. When I got there I saw more injuries {the original word was erased and rewritten by an adult hand}. One girl was bleeding from her head. It was my turn the nurse was vary nice. Win the doctor came in he said I have to get stiches. It was hard but I got throw it and that was my story and it is true. I realy have stiches on my chin.                                          

And a poem to finish off (in celebration of National Poetry Month!):

                                          High, high, fly

One day I saw a spider fly.

I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Then I saw a dog fly high, high in the sky,

But when I came back they were gone.

And now no one has ever seen then since.

So every leap year,

Check for the spider and dog.

The End.

The BEST part, though, is the coda at the bottom of the page that says:

“Cool facts: This poem was made in 2008. This is a poem that anyone can use at anytime. You can write a poem anywhere. Just use your amagenatin and rhimying.”

🙂

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Back when I was working as a naturalist, I lamented that the annual professional conferences of the big name organization were:

  1. Far away
  2. Too expensive for regular naturalists to afford
  3. Offering the same shtick you got at the local conferences

It seems the same is true for the American Library Association Conferences. The upcoming one in Chicago is exorbitantly expensive and that’s not including housing and food (AND drinks…I weep for you, Chicago when the librarians are turned loose…).

And what does your hard-earned moola get you? Some innovative library speakers? Some literary experts?

Sorry, no.

Instead you get:

“James Van Praagh


Saturday, July 11, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
James Van Praagh is a “survival evidence medium,” meaning that he is able to bridge the gap between two planes of existence, that of the living and that of the dead, by providing evidential proof of life after death via detailed messages.Van Praagh’s unique paranormal experiences during the past
25 years have been recorded in his New York Times bestselling books Talking to Heaven, Reaching to Heaven, Healing Grief, Heaven and Earth, Looking Beyond: A Teen’s Guide to the Spiritual World and Mediation with James Van Praagh. He has also produced a number of television programs, including a hit primetime series, “Ghost Whisperer,” starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. He has made numerous guest appearances on shows such as “Oprah,” “Larry King Live,” “20/20,” “48 Hours” and “Biography.” His first
memorable encounter was at the age of eight, when he prayed for God to reveal Himself to him and an open hand appeared through the ceiling of his room. Today, Van Praagh is recognized as one of the foremost mediums in the world. In addition to speaking with the deceased, he says he can “feel the emotions and personalities of the deceased,” as well as see the spirit in solid form.”
 

Seriously. Seriously?!

Shit, why don’t you invite Sylvia Browne, too?! I can picture it now: Psychic Reference Desk. When patrons walk up to the desk we just hand them a book and say knowingly, “This is the book you are truly searching for…I sense it!”

I did laugh at the name of this program in the Children & Young Adults track: ‘Where You Can Go with Every Child Ready to Read.”

Oh, I can tell you where to go….;-p

 

 

 

 

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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!”

Sigh.

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Um…eeeew?

Just a short one:

After a recent children’s program, I was cleaning up and helping the stragglers get suited up to go back out into the cold. A little girl came up to me because she couldn’t get her earmuffs on (they were those twisty, plastic ones that fold-up on themselves).

So, I reached out and took them to put them over her ears. They were sticky wet.

“Why are these all soggy?” I asked the girl.

“Because I was carrying them in my mouth, ” she replied (as if I was daft).

Oh. Right.

I washed my hands copiously. 😉

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Jack Bauer by Aubele.

Photo created by Aubele

Ok, so here is how the actual library event played out:

A 50-something female patron frantically motions to me over to the computer area. When I get there (I was way up front by the new books), she is freaking out and yelling, “You have to extend my time! Extend my time! I’m taking a test! I’ll lose everything!”

I look at her computer screen and see the time counter is now on 7 seconds (and counting). As I hurry over to the administrative computer, knowing there is NO way I can possibly get there in time, I say, “I really need more than seven seconds of lead time to extend your session.”

Her time runs out and the computer automatically logs her off, as expected, before I can even touch the keyboard. She, of course, blames the librarians.

Oh, and did I mention that the computer system has built in time prompts that pop-up in a BIG yellow box on the user’s screen at 30 minutes, 15 minutes and 5 minutes that warn of the time running out? Geesh.

So, the time ticking off the counter reminded me of the show 24. In that spirit, I give you:

Jack Bauer, Small Town Librarian:

“I’m standing near the new books section, giving the skunk eye to a group of teens when I get that tingling in the back of my neck…something’s wrong. Looking around, I see a 50-something female patron frantically motioning to me over to the computer area.

Seeing her distress, I quickly shove a young kid out of my way and dive over two book carts, nearly impaling myself on a book end. Thank god I insist on wearing my bullet-proof vest at work. I do a quick tuck and roll and land at the patron’s feet.

When I get there, she is freaking out and yelling, “You have to extend my time! Extend my time! I’m taking a test! I’ll lose everything!” I look at her computer screen and see the time counter is now on 7 seconds (and counting).

That’s when I realize, she’s a Chinese agent who is trying to release a computer virus! With my lightening reflexes, I knock her out with a swift karate chop (I’ll torture her later for more information), grab the computer off the desk and run toward the back door.

“Out of my way, people!!,” I yell as I hurl the ticking computer into the metal book drop where it explodes in a small fireball. Just then, my cellphone rings…it’s the library president! She needs me to track down an overdue DVD that’s vital to the library’s survival…I have to go.”

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Even though we have about four inches of ice coating the roads.

Even though all the schools are closed (along with the local museums).

Even though there are widespread power outages.

The library is open.

Because, God forbid, you should have to go one day without getting a DVD to watch. Especially an old chestnut like Ernest Saves Christmas…(know what I mean, Vern?).

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So, after looking over a few of my recent posts, I see they are all pretty darn snarky. As this is the holiday season, perhaps I should tone down the snark factor a notch….

What do you think? Let’s use one of the new WordPress tools and try an anonymous poll:

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It seems so obvious now...

It seems so obvious now...

Just a little advice to a certain someone who works at my library:

I am often amazed by the things people do at the library but it is usually the patrons who are doing the odd things. Today, however, you did…er…well, let’s just say the word is “stunned.”

I suppose I can understand that certain emergency situations arise and action must be taken…but I don’t think that having a “not-so-fresh” feeling counts.

I think I speak for all staff (but especially for the male custodian) when I say that, in the future, you may want to strongly consider cleansing the inner naughty bits of yourself in the privacy of your own home and not the staff bathroom. Or, at the very least, hide the packaging AND the used plastic receptacle at the bottom of the dustbin.

Ick.

No, really: ICK!

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