Thursday and Friday my lungs were so congested that they felt like they were filled with cement.  After tons of herbal tea (laced with lemon, honey, and echinacea), water, and over-the-counter expectorants, by Saturday my lungs felt like they were filled with sand and I started coughing green stuff out of my lungs.  By Sunday I was strong enough to leave the apartment without keeling over.  And today I went back to work.

For the most part things went well today, but on several levels I felt like I was moving underwater.  The main reason was that everything I tried to do on the computers took FOR-FRIGGING-EVER.  Here was a typical example:

scan barcode


stare at the screen

look at the barcode on the book in my hand

double-check that the barcode on the book is the same as the barcode on the screen

watch the hourglass appear on the screen

stare at the hourglass

stare at the hourglass

stare off into space

tidy up papers on the desk

stare at the hourglass

see the record for the item finally appear on the screen

verify that the information is correct

click on “Close”


After scanning item after item this way, I eventually started checking my watch and seeing how long these transactions were actually taking.  The record was 17 seconds from the initial barcode scan to the actual results that I was looking for.  And it was bad enough when I was working on books by myself; it was much worse when a patron would come up to me with a typical question (like “Do you have this book?”) and we got to enjoy those long awkward pauses together.

The second reason that I felt like I was underwater was because it was gruesomely humid today.  When I walked out of the library at the end of the day, it felt like a wet dog was sitting on my head.  And the atmosphere wasn’t doing my lungs any favors, either.  Ugh.

Tomorrow I begin our summer reading club signup in earnest, visiting local schools every morning for the rest of the week.  This will be an interesting endeavor, since I have NO summer reading club materials.  But we’re supposed to sign up kids for the club, and sign up as many as possible as quickly as possible.  I have already ranted (repeatedly) about the pressure to sign up kids and to increase our statistics, even if we’re basically creating empty numbers.  But it just adds insult to injury to keep expecting us to do more while giving us less.  But, you know, whatever.  I’ll sign up the kids using the 2009 sign-up pads.  I’ll bring the books on the summer reading list to show them, do some booktalks, and tell the kids that the actual book lists will be here “soon.”  And if anyone asks about what prizes we’ll be giving out this summer, I’ll just try to change the subject.