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Midnight is looming and, as is typical, I find myself thinking back on 2009.

Overall, it was a pretty crappy year. In 2009 I lost my full-time job. I also lost my best friend Linda. Still, I do have a roof over my head (although it desperately needs to be reshingled), food, clothing and family & friends and many other things to be thankful for.

But I miss Linda.

I just wish I had the skill to write something about her to do her justice. But she was the writer. I am only left with a quote that she told me she really liked from Rachel Carson’s letters:

“This is a postscript to our morning at Newagen, something I think I can write better than say. For me it was one of the loveliest of the summer’s hours, and all the details will remain in my memory: that blue September sky, the sounds of the wind in the spruces and surf on the rocks, the gulls busy with their foraging, alighting with deliberate grace, the distant views of Griffiths Head and Todd Point, today so clearly etched, though once half seen in swirling fog. But most of all I shall remember the monarchs, that unhurried westward drift of one small winged form after another, each drawn by some invisible force. We talked a little about their migration, their life history. Did they return? We thought not; for most, at least, this was the closing journey of their lives.

But it occurred to me this afternoon, remembering, that it had been a happy spectacle, that we had felt no sadness when we spoke of the fact that there would be no return. And rightly – for when any living thing has come to the end of its life cycle we accept that end as natural.

For the Monarch, that cycle is measured in a known span of months. For ourselves, the measure is something else, the span of which we cannot know. But the thought is the same: when that intangible cycle has run its course it is a natural and not unhappy thing that a life comes to an end.

That is what those brightly fluttering bits of life taught me this morning. I found a deep happiness in it – so I hope, may you. Thank you for this morning.”  Always, Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952-1964. Freeman, Martha

 

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Or, should I say “humour”?

Either way, luv it!

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Yeah, OK, I’m back to blogging.

Maybe.

Kind-of, sort-of.

So, when we last left our intrepid librarian she was getting downsized due to budget shortfalls. I think I am now classified as “under employed,” since I am holding on to my job but only as a very limited part time worker.

And now, with a new year, comes a new boss. Except that no one knows who that will be. Or just when, exactly, this mystery boss will actually start. We get to fly rudderless (crap, I’m mixing metaphors again…) for an entire month. Well, THAT should be interesting.

So, while we all ponder that, here is a very amusing yet disturbing report by Geoff Nunberg on the horrible state of Google Books categories/ tagging/classification:

“An edition of Moby Dick is classed under “Computers”: a biography of Mae West classified as “Religion”; The Cat Lover’s Book of Fascinating Facts falls under “Technology & Engineering.” A 1975 reprint of a classic topology text is “Didactic Poetry”; the medievalist journal Speculum is classified “Health & Fitness.””

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Destination Unknown

Life is so strange, indeed…

I should know by Wednesday if I am going to be laid off at the library (or, possibly, next week as there are union thingies that must be done, too). My state is one of the very few where public libraries depend on government funding to run. And, hey, you just might have heard this somewhere or other, but it seems our economy has tanked.

So now our library has to figure out how to make up a 3 million budget shortfall. Next year, we can add 4 million to that figure.

Dire times for public libraries here. And dire times for those of us with little seniority. I’ve never been laid off before but it seems highly likely (if not next month then it will be in January).

Which gets us back to the age old question: Now what?

Stay tuned…

Which Way To Go? by theevilmightyf.

(photo by theevilmightyf on Flickr)

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Is anyone else getting a boatload of Russian spam lately? It seems very odd….

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(…unless you are Ewan McGregor, Joaquin Phoenix or Viggo Mortensen…then, by all means, give us some luv darling!)

Ran across one of the funniest videos celebrating National Library Week called “Reference Desk.”

Yes, these questions all sound familiar! I think this guy comes in twice a week at our branch…

 

Check out all the others here: http://alfocus.blip.tv/posts?view=archive&nsfw=dc

 

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Picture of Childrens Playground - Free Pictures - FreeFoto.com 

Very, very strange kids today. Must be something in the water?

I was thinking about something like “weirdos at your library” but realized this had not only been done here by Woeful but also that this wasn’t all that weird comparatively.

It started off with me back in the children’s area and overhearing a father and son interaction. The dad, holding a book, said, “Look, Fabio* (*name changed to protect the odd), it’s a cow! What does a cow say?” Fabio replies, “No, No, No!” in a cheery little voice.                                    

 The cow says “no”?!  His father thought it was strange, too….

Then, during family storytime, there was this 3 or 4 year old kid who kept running from one side of the room (at full speed) across to the closed door and body slamming himself up against it and laughing while his parents looked on and did NOTHING.

Which begs the question: Are you encouraging little Rush* (* see above) to play in the street as well? Followed closely by: Why don’t you just take him outside now and let him do that, OK?

Finally, there was a homeschool group that had booked the public meeting room for a spelling bee. When the homeschool kids were done, these three elementary age little girls in long skirts came up to me asking for certain types of books.

Annoyingly, our link to the catalog had just crashed throughout the system so we could not look up anything. Now, I could find the requested “books about rabbits” without the catalog but I was stumped by the request for “books about making things with balloons.”

She wasn’t very specific on WHAT she wanted to make (if, indeed, anything)…balloon animals or hats? Crafts with balloons? What?! What?! She didn’t know…just something about balloons…the kind you blow up (at this point I was hoping she was referring to air inflation). So, three of us proceeded to scan shelves for various books that might fit the bill.

After much searching, we presented her with the books and she took them, seemed pleased with them, said they were “exactly what she wanted,” walked away and promptly put them back onto a shelf a row over. She came back to me and said she now wanted books about Bible stories.

At the same time, one of her sisters came over and asked for…wait for it………books about balloons! This was the one who wanted books on rabbits originally. And, the third and youngest little sister wanted books on rabbits now.

It quickly became apparent that these kids were “not right.”

We all went over to the Bible section in the 200’s and I pulled out several kid level Bibles and Bible story books. They did not even look at them but instead started pulling books off the nearby shelves (and piling them up on the floor) and asking, “Is this a Bible story? What about this one? This one?” I repeated my “No, THESE are the Bible story books here” line (doing the Vanna White thing) five times before I said, “I have to go answer the phone now” and ducked away.

The thing is, it was clear they weren’t being intentionally dense and they did not seem LD. I found it ironic that they had just come from a spelling bee and when I said, “Let’s look for books that have the word “bible” on them” and then showed them an example, they clearly could NOT distinguish them.

Freaky.

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