I’m winding down from the natural high of class visit season.  There’s all the energy spent on memorizing booktalks, rushing back and forth from classroom to classroom (I couldn’t do my visits in the school libraries this year, unfortunately), packing and unpacking my suitcase, standing, walking, and talking-talking-talking-gulping down some VitaminWater so I don’t lose my voice again-TALKING-TALKING-TALKING.  Then there’s the post-class visit exhaustion.  Then there’s the “Hey!  You came to my school!  Do you have a copy of that book you talked about?” period of instant celebrity.

FWIW, that recognition and appreciation is one of the main reasons I haven’t quit this job yet.  I don’t get it all the time, but when I DO get it, it’s like food for my soul.

The other night I spoke to a group from the local community board (education / libraries / cultural affairs committees) on the topic of promoting literacy in relation to computers.  So there was already a bit of tension in the premise — they thought that computers and electronic devices were the bane of literacy, and I was going to discuss ways in which computers and electronic devices could be used to promote literacy.  But first and foremost, it was a literacy discussion, so my master plan was to open with a booktalk.  According to the feedback I’ve received, my audience was “positively spellbound” by my presentation.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE POWER OF BOOKTALKS, DEAR READERS???

As usual when booktalking in front of grownups, the time leading up to that presentation was spent feeling like I was going to hyperventilate and/or throw up.  But the end result was that the presentation went very well, and that’s what really matters in the end.  Well, that and being spellbinding 🙂

Anyway, I guess as a result of the cumulative effect of running around like a chicken with my head cut off for two weeks, I pulled something in my lower back yesterday afternoon while I was at work.  So I spent yesterday afternoon and all of today staggering around like someone had driven several railroad spikes into my lower back.  If we were back in olden times when we were actually fully-staffed, I would have called out sick today.  But because I represented 50% of our librarian population today and because my most popular program (XBox Kinect games) was taking place this afternoon, I dragged myself in to work this morning.  Although I did miss my bus because it took me so long to get dressed.  You never realize just how much you use your lower back muscles to put your socks on until you’ve got railroad spikes sticking into you like a pincushion.  Anyway, I’ve just got to get through the rest of today and tomorrow (heating pad and ibuprophen at home, portable heating pad and ibuprophen at work), and then I’ll have most of the weekend to recuperate.

Other developments:

I entered four pictures (one for each category of interiors, exteriors, details, & people) into the Open House New York Focus on Architecture photography competition.  Looking at the work of my fellow entrants, I am both intimidated and impressed.  I don’t expect to win, but it’s still cool just to compete.

Operation Anime is no longer sending out DVDs — the “temporarily down for maintenance” message has been up on their website for so long that the temporary seems indefinite.  Which means that in order to continue my library’s anime program, I now have to scour the library catalog looking for Funimation titles, hope I can get DVDs in time for each showing, and then send an email to ask for permission to show each one.  Major.  Frigging.  Hassle.

My copy of the DVD of the film Hanna that I’d ordered finally came in.  It was exciting, with lots of super-cool action scenes, fighting scenes, and scenes featuring Eric Bana in various stages of undress.  Yowza-yowza!

I had a weird conversation with a patron today that could have gone terribly wrong, but it didn’t.  A woman came in and said she wanted to give someone else permission to use her library card — the guy she brought to the library with her.  I looked up her record and saw that the guy was someone who had been barred from the library system, and the note made specific reference to the fact that he wasn’t even supposed to be in the building and mentioned the special investigator who was assigned to his case.  I recognized the name of the patron from a staff email that said he’d tried to use this woman’s card several days ago, and the fact that he was barred from our system.  I explained the situation to both of them, and reminded him that he was barred from all branches in our library system.  He said, “Okay.”  Then there was an awkward pause, and I added, “… including this one.”  At which point he said okay again, told the woman that he would wait for her outside, and left peacefully.  The whole situation was really weird, especially since I didn’t know WHY he had been barred from the library in the first place (i.e. – “Barred from the library for leaping across the desk and attempting to strangle a staff member who told him that he needed to leave the building”).  Anyway, I only learned the reason why he was barred from the library hours after my encounter with him.  Let’s just say his girlfriend might be VERY interested in knowing the reason that he was barred in the first place.

Okay, I’m just about ready to drop.  Time for bed, and a heating pad to help ease the pain of those railroad spikes.  More updates soon, Dear Readers!

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