Lord, it’s been busy.  I haven’t even finished uploading my vacation pictures yet, because there are just SO MANY of them to go through.  Plus, that task got pushed to the back burner because when I got back to New York I had to deal with so many other things …

I had to get my new glasses and sunglasses, which set me back over $2000.  Yes, my frames are stylish, and yes, I discovered that when you get frames from Tiffany’s they come with so much robins-egg-blue STUFF that you can show the whole world just how fancy you are:

Tiffany Stuff

But even though my frames are fancy, it’s the lenses themselves that really set me back.  This explains why I can’t afford to get new glasses as often as I probably should.  But damn, I’ll look good on my way to the poorhouse!

My website problems that were plaguing me for over six months are now finally RESOLVED.  The latest (and clearly the greatest) tech guy finally found the last of the malicious code that had been screwing up my website.  The poisonous stuff that had been hiding in my files was written in Arabic, so between that and the mysterious traffic that had been coming my way from Russian websites, it seems that I was taken out by an international conspiracy.  So the good news is that my website is back up and running again!  The bad news is that I now have to jump-start myself and get back into the habit of creating new content every week.  Oof.  I feel like I need an oil can for my brain, because damn, I feel rusty!

Work has been work, and over the last two weeks since I’ve been back I’ve had to deal with most of our heavy hitters in the problem patron department.  The cat lady has been in with her cats that she’s not supposed to bring into the library, and Crazy Ms. H. with her endless DVD holds, and the Evil Weatherman has been ESPECIALLY evil, and on and on.  It’s like the bus from Crazytown was circling the block and waiting for me to get back from vacation so it could drop everybody off at our doorstep.  Then again, I also believe that ice cream trucks lie in wait for me just so that they can play their annoying jingles when I walk by.  So you might want to take my paranoid theories with a grain of salt.

We’re working on a library-related project that set me going back through my 2014 and 2015 photo archives to track down pictures.  That led to an evening of deep melancholy as I sat at my computer scrolling through pictures of Logan (my late great cat), my mother’s memorial service, and all the weird stuff I found in my mother’s apartment.

I’m also getting ready for class visit season, because outreach is great!  And we need to strengthen our alliances!  And boost our stats!  Woo-Hoo!  Well, most of the time as a young adult librarian, my outreach consists of picking 10 books that I can booktalk backwards and forwards, packing those in my rolling suitcase along with a boatload of handouts, and telling all my classes about those ten books over the course of several days or several weeks.  Well, because of an emergency situation at my biggest local school, I just learned that their library is being used as emergency classrooms so I can’t conduct my class visits there.  Instead they want to bring their classes to visit my library.  That will be great for my circulation statistics, but it’s much more labor-intensive for me and for my staff, and it also means ordering multiple copies of books in advance and cramming WAY more booktalks into my head since I have to be prepared to talk about new books with every class.  So this is gonna be exhausting.  I mean, the good kind of exhausting, but STILL …

Okay, there’s other stuff going on, too, but that’s the stuff that’s sticking out of my brain right now.  I promise that I’ll share more updates when I have time, more photos when I have time, and more thoughts when I have time.

Sad Librarian

I was already expecting this to be a semi-lousy Saturday.  We didn’t have a lot of staff scheduled (certainly not enough to cover the children’s room), we were going to have to rearrange our program room multiple times for multiple programs, and it’s harder to predict the busier and slower hours on a Saturday because ANY hour has the potential to be a busy hour.  And today, most of them were.  Plus, I had a bunch of behind-the-scenes stuff like email and schedules to catch up on, and not a lot of time to work on them because I was busy covering the service desk and dealing with programs.

And THEN the Evil Weatherman showed up and asked for my help with the computer.  At which point my morale started to plummet and I realized that up until that very moment my hectic day had actually been wonderful, after all.  Because dealing with the Evil Weatherman is a very specific kind of hell. (more…)

So, today was one hell of a day.

In the morning I visited one of my favorite middle schools, but this visit was different because I had a two-person entourage with me.  My colleagues were there to observe me in action, which is honestly the best way to learn how to conduct a class visit.  My best experiences with class visits were always spent watching other librarians at the front of the class, learning what to do and what not to do as I watched them interact with their audience.

It was also fun observing from my end, watching them crack up when the kids would interrupt me, or start applauding (this was one of the most applause-happy groups I’ve dealt with in a while), or rush up to the front of the room to get free bookmarks and look at the books I’d discussed.

One of my colleagues took a bunch of pictures, and I’m still going through them to whittle out all the ones in which I’m blurry, or I look like a dork, or the kids look like they’re goofing off … so … I think there might be one or two pictures that might actually be useable.

Then I was on the desk, out to lunch, and back on the desk.  Then this afternoon I was shadowed by yet another colleague, an information assistant who’s thinking of starting her own teen advisory group and wanted to see mine.  Luckily, my kids were fairly well-behaved, and even when they were rowdy they were rowdy in a good way.  Which means that my day began and ended in a fairly similar fashion — that is, on a chaotically positive note.

But there were a few things wrong with the middle of the day, by which I mean that a bunch of our worst and weirdest problem patrons all descended on the library at the same time.  It’s almost like some kind of a secret signal went out, saying YOU MUST COME TO THE LIBRARY NOW, and the people who responded to that signal included:

  • The guy who claims to be a teacher, but I hope he isn’t because he has some pretty severe anger management problems (and he’s the one who helped to make my last Saturday such a godawful disaster).
  • The man who bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain Dead Poet of Forgotten Lore, who always needs computer help and who always looks like he’s a few minutes away from a nervous breakdown.
  • The SUPER CREEP, who is now equally known for the time he punched one of our computers (again, we suspect anger management issues) and the fact that he seems creepily obsessed with one of my coworkers (who asked to be escorted to her car when she left the building today because of this guy’s vibes).
  • The Evil Weatherman.

I will say that it was a very strange experience for me to walk from my office into the program room past all of these crazy people with a visitor in tow.  Because, you know, if it’s just me I think I can deal with a crazy patron.  I might stand my ground, or cut and run, or go for help, or whatever.  But if I’m bringing a visitor from another branch through a gauntlet of craziness and I’m waiting to see which of them goes off the deep end first, it puts me on edge in a much different way.

That being said, TODAY WAS MY LAST DAY BEFORE MY VACATION!

Yay!!!!!

So now I have a week off to recuperate from all of this nuttiness and excitement.  I think I’ll do some shopping, and reading, and cooking, and relaxing, and … maybe some more shopping?

That’s what a patron said to me during the last hour of the day while I was at the service desk.

Ironically, I’m pretty sure that this patron (whom we shall refer to from now on as the Evil Weatherman for reasons that make sense to me) was SPECIFICALLY PUT ON THIS EARTH to annoy me.  Anyway, you can all be very proud of me for biting my tongue and not responding to his statement by saying any or all of the following:

  • You, sir, are a dick.
  • The world does not revolve around you.
  • You know, people would be more likely to help you if you didn’t speak with such an insulting / patronizing / insulting tone ALL THE TIME.
  • I acknowledge and understand the fact that you are upset that I wasn’t able to give you an extension on your computer appointment.  However, coming up to me when I’m in the middle of helping another patron and demanding that I extend your appointment because you ONLY HAVE A MINUTE LEFT is not the best approach.
  • Neither was berating me afterwards because I dared to walk away from you … even though the reason I walked away was to help that patron who was there before you.
  • Neither was responding to my explanation that if you came up to the desk with only one minute left on your appointment, there wouldn’t be enough time to grant an extension with, “Well, how much IS enough time, then???”
  • Neither was telling me that the library was there to serve its patrons, who support their library and write letters to politicians to support the library.
  • Because honestly, we don’t need support letters from the likes of you.

*SIGH*  Okay, now that’s out of my system.  Here’s hoping for the spirit of “out with the old and in with the new” for the new year!  And for some more positivity, stay tuned for my comedy podcast recommendations that I’ll be posting later on tonight.

Happy New Year, Dear Readers!

I’ve been gathering bits and pieces of things to share over the last week, but it was never enough to make a whole post.  Yet now I have so much stuff to talk about that I have to condense things to make them fit.  C’est la vie.

Okay, so work has been busy lately.  Sometimes it’s busy in a good and constructive way, and sometimes it’s busy in a driven-to-the-brink-of-madness way.  We’ve been having ongoing problems with one of our problem patrons, a man who bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain famous (and jolly) weatherman.  I’ve been working in public libraries for almost two decades, and this guy is in my top three of all-time most horrible / annoying / manipulative / evil patrons.  Anyway, that guy has been coming in a lot recently, and every time he walks into the building, our collective blood pressure skyrockets.

I’ve been busy online — sometimes finding stuff myself, and sometimes following links that other people sent me.  Here are some of the highlights:

The “Weird Book Room” From AbeBooks

Check out the trailer for season 5 of Fringe!

And Now They’re Writing Fifty Shades-ish Sex Scenes Into Jane Austen

Some Really Cool Pictures of Storms Over New York City

Also, we went to Smorgasburg last week, and had lots of fun enjoying tasty and exotic foodstuffs.  There’s always such a great selection of stuff that I don’t get to try everything I want.  Of course, too much food is better than not enough, so it’s not TOO much of a problem.  I think the lesson here is just that I need to visit more often!

And speaking of way too much food, we went out to a BBQ at Hawk’s place today.  Some of the people who were invited had to cancel, so there was an even higher food-to-person ratio than usual.  We had a lot of fun eating, talking, and watching episodes of Mission: Impossible featuring the oh-so-dreamy Peter Graves.  *SIGH*  Anyway, it was great catching up with everyone who could make it to the party, and everyone went home with lots and LOTS of leftovers.  Now we’re home, enjoying some coffee and digesting all the goodies.

Tomorrow my boyfriend and I are going to catch up with chores for our respective families, and then spend the rest of the day decompressing and enjoying our leftovers.