Sunday, February 1, 2015

Suberb Owl Sunday librarianing, oh my...

Well. Since it is the Day of the Superb Owl, I was hoping for a nice quiet afternoon at the library, but we've only been open for twenty minutes and I've already had:

One elderly woman banging on the back entrance, starting around 5 minutes before we actually opened;

At least three different people repeatedly calling the Reference line, hanging up instead of leaving a voicemail, and immediately calling back, over and over and over, while I am either helping a patron at the desk or on the other line; sometimes, folks, your friendly librarian is BUSY, and cannot answer the phone. This is why there is a voicemail box on that line. If you LEAVE A MESSAGE, your friendly, yet frazzled, librarian will call you back as soon as he or she is able to. Hanging up and calling back over and over not only won't make the line of people who requested assistance before you called magically vanish, but it will, in fact, make the already-busy librarian even busier, since he or she now has to go through and listen to all the damn empty voicemails in the box, and delete them, one by one.

More "Do you have tax forms?" questions than I can count. Nope, we don't. Not yet. And when we do, we won't have many. Don't get pissy at us, get pissy at the partisan bullshit the GOP pulled in Congress that resulted in the sequestration, which cut lots of money to various government agencies, which means the local IRS offices can't afford to send us lots of forms. Also, you can get them online very easily.

One woman who was shocked and appalled that the brand-new, highly-acclaimed best-selling novel she placed a hold on recently isn't available for her yet. It's so new, we don't even own many copies of it yet, and there are nearly 300 people in the queue. If you placed your hold within the last couple of weeks, ma'am, I'm sorry, but... it's gonna be a while. A month at least, but probably longer. Nope, I cannot move you up in line, that's not even remotely fair to all the other people who want to read it just as badly as you do. 

And while it would be lovely if the library could have a copy available for every patron that wants one, instantly and with no wait, that's not possible. We own two copies, and have six more on order. With the super-popular best-sellers, we buy even more copies than that. And then, once the demand dies down, those books just sit and gather dust until we put them into the book sale... where they gather dust because nobody wants to buy a battered, dingy copy of, say, 50 Shades of Grey, so we give up and chuck the books into recycling, and then someone finds out that the library is throwing away perfectly good books OMG the horror! And there are news stories and people complaining that we shouldn't waste those wonderful books! We should give them to the homeless! Or to the schools! Or ship them off to Africa, because those people over there would LOVE to read those books! Because sure, the local elementary schools want 20 copies of 50 Shades of Grey that have been manhandled by dozens of readers. And it wouldn't be at all cost-prohibitive to mail those beat-up old books to the poor people in Africa who don't want them in the first place. If YOU won't pay a quarter for it, believe me, nobody else wants it either. Why do people assume that the people they deem poor (like they assume every single person in Africa is) want their trash? Ugh. 

(I would say don't get me started on the subject of people who don't understand that libraries have to weed their collections, except I sort of already did. Oops.)

Whew, okay, we're an hour in, and it's slowed down a tiny bit. Clearly the local schools have projects coming up due, because there are loads of kids in here looking for books on various term-paper-ish topics. Not many helicopter parents doing the research for their kids, which is nice! I'm really just looking forward to going home, curling up with my knitting, and watching... no, not football, because I honestly could not possibly care less about the Super Bowl (which is damn near heresy, since I live near Boston and all. But nope, I still don't care. Even more heresy? I wouldn't be even remotely surprised if the Patriots did deflate the damn footballs to get an advantage, because I get the impression that they'll skirt the rules in whatever way they can get away with. But I think every other team probably does, too, and it's the least of the NFL's issues). No, I shall be watching some gloriously awful movies on the Syfy channel: Airplane vs. Volcano, starring Dean Cain and Robin Givens!! Asteroid vs. Earth, with Tia Cararre, whose name I probably spelled wrong! And Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies, starring a bunch of people I've never heard of, and which I am certain that Syfy doesn't hope people confuse with Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. I have a deep fondness for guilty-pleasure Syfy disaster movies, the cheesier the better, so tonight will be fun. And then tomorrow will be another snow day, since we're supposed to get another 8-12 inches or so on top of the two feet we got last week. And then I think I really shall just take to my bed until spring.

In the meantime, though, there's now an hour and a half left of the Sunday Librarianing. Wish me luck. Happy Superb Owl!

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