Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Good Things



I think that the library should be filled with good things. Often libraries suffer because of budget cuts, staff cuts, and low circulation numbers. What pray tell should some of these good things be? Let's make this yet another one of my fantasy lists.

Objects endure. I am thinking that any good library should be equipped with a chandelier. Ambient lighting leads to reading, and reading leads to literacy. See how practical that is?

Leather club chairs. They are still found in several Gentlemen's clubs (not the lap dance kind) across London and Paris. They have been there since thier inceptions. Why not add these timeless objects to the library? Long term investments. The lovely fabric and particle board chairs that most libraries are equipped with stain, and become uncomfortable after just 10 years of use.

A fireplace. OK, mind you, we'll need a fabulous fire grate infront of it. The first library I ever worked at had one, in the mystery room. You have to admit, that is the prettiest library you've ever seen. It was filled with beautiful things. Including me.

Dark wood shelving. Its portable. Just read any Pottery Barn catalogue, you'll find the shelves I mean. They can be moved around, and in the long run, can be cost effective, compared to sagging metal shelving. Which is often avacado green.

Cute Gay librarians. Or fashionista lady librarians. No bunheads. Make the patrons feel like they've slipped into "something more comfortable". It'll be like a stay at the Savoy , minus the fluffy towels.

Why don't we also throw in tea in a silver service at 4 o'clock. With little sandwiches. The patrons eat in the library anyway, and G-d knows they drink (see mention of patron drinking a 40). Lets spice it up, and this will also pull patrons in, and help to increase our circ. numbers.

Of course all of this is coming from the guy who hopes to work at Sotheby's. Public libraries should be just as pretty. Even if it is fantastical. If budgets don't let us buy books for years at a time (my state is #2 in the country for funding-we still are waiting for our "best sellers" to come in), we might as well make the place they read the old books nice.

And last, just for the staff, a butler. I mean, we have a cleaning person, and security. Why not throw them in a different uniform? Pinstripe trousers are flattering on almost everyone, and so are Mourning coats.

Gorgeous libraries. They're a good thing.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Olfactory, try Ol'nasty



Having established that I am surprised that I can survive anywhere but a posh hotel lobby, I find myself working with constant olfactory challenges. Let us start with the one that won't leave my 18th birthday present, er um, rather my nose.

I know I work with the public. I bathe daily out of an american paranoia of germs, odor and the like. Perhaps I am working in a library where the patrons aren't "from around here". The man REEKED of alcohol, cigarettes, and intense body odor, that at one point I wished could have been masked by the alcohol and cigarette smell. Where had he come from? Was he getting really hammered, and decided "I must get a copy of Moby Dick before they are all checked out!" and ran from the bar into my library? Yuck. And worst, I can not just get a can of Lysol (R) and mist the offender. Can you believe that??

Second, Mr. Smellyjoggingpants. Same blue pair, same grease stains, same tire of adipose hanging over the untied waist cords (or should I say waste cords?). He smells like day old food, that was left in a hot car in Vegas, with the windows up. And a dead animal in the trunk. Parked in a manure heap. OK, thats extreme, but the BO is so bad, I can not move into that area of the library. Again, not only can't I spray Lysol (R), but I can't even get to the guy with some good stuff . That wouldn't even burn his eyes. For the love of G-d. If I wasn't such a nice Jewish boy...

Third. ALL smelly babies. Period. Come on Moms. You can tell when your kid shits his pants. I know you can. I can, the librarian can, even Mr. Smellyjoggingpants can tell! And then, its worse. At least with adults, you can move away. But kids FOLLOW YOU. They know I hate their rancid dirty bottom smell. So they follow me. Luckily, I can move quickly.

Fourth. Homeless guy. See above BO comments. Only his clothes are ripped, so its like an air vent, every move pushes more of the offending stench onword. I can't even talk about this. Its making me sick. For real. I am super delicate.com.

This leaves me with several possible solutions:

1. Wear so much cologne that people mistaken the new, cute, tall, thin guy for a French foriegn exchange page.
2. Wear the cream that forensic pathologists wear during an autopsy, under my nose..discreetly convincing coworkers that its the latest and greatest clinique moisturizing product.
3. Wear nose plugs, like the kind swimmers wear. I hate that idea. They only come in blue, and I like wearing fall colors.
4. Evict them and wait for lawsuits to start pouring in.

So you can see, I am really in a tough spot. A Rose is a Rose is a Rose, problem is A rotten fish is a rotten fish is a rotten fish....

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Haircut



OK, its not so bad. It looks kind of cute. I don't mind that I look like a post WWII comic book character. In fact I think its kind of charming.

Makes me realize that the librarian of today is not stereotypical in any sense of the word, as far as appearance. I've already recounted some of them from my past that have bore a striking resemblance to any good SNL parody. This new coif works for me. Rather, I make it work. It makes me look really innocent, and naive. I'm not. Im naughty. In fact tonight I am going out to booze it up with some fellow librarians-to-be.

My boyfriend is going to be in Chicago all weekend, so I figure I can whoop it up tonight, and then settle down and get all my homework done in my quiet, and utterly charming northside townhome. Yes, townhome. OK, enough of my domestic enthusiasm.

I have one more class to go before my day is over. Then I get to have a drinky or two. Only I haven't eaten anything yet today. Yes, I am svelte. No need to ponder that, how else could I rock this TinTin trim?

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

'Scuse me, libarian!



Its not misspelled. Its just like I heard it. While working in the rough sort I heard in the most urgent of Southern whiney voices:

"Come stand by Mama"
"I want this"
"Precious, I said come here"
"You guys! Bring that over to Mama"
"Just ask the libarian...."
"They have videos too! *squeal of delight*

OH MY G-D! Anna Nicole is in the library! I turned my head oh so slightly to confirm the B list celebrity sighting, and there she was. Now let me paint a picture for you.

A never been bleached, and very worn wife beater (sorry, Im not too PC) and matching dingy white hotpants, that had been literally pulled over a hulking mass of womanhood. Top this off with white high heels, and greasy hair pulled up into a pony tail, and red lipstick that looked like a blindfolded Courtney Love had applied. Hmm. Maybe this was Anna Nicole after all.

She and her 5 kids, and multiple sidekicks stood by the video cart, pawing through the AV collection to-be-shelved, like brides at the Marshall Fields Wedding Dress sale. All the while spewing quips, in the most grating southern whine. Mind you, I am only an hour and a half west of West Virginia, and about an hour and half north of Kentucky, so this isn't so out of the ordinary.

"Sweety, come to Momma, lets pick a video out" I wanted her to add "And then lets get some pizza", but sadly, she didn't. It was car wreck curiosity on my part by now. I couldn't stop staring at this lady. I use that term loosely. I was hoping she didn't notice me. Luckily, I was saved when my dear vegetarian co-worker caught my attention and I went into the "staff only" room.

Phew. I survived. I couldn't go back out onto the floor though, in fear of asking for her autograph.

Among my many new goals now, faux celebrity sitings. I figure this will spice up the day, and it will make for some fun entries.

Now, on a side note, not nearly as amusing but to better your idea of the neighborhood I work in, I will convey this story. Last night we kicked an entire family out of the library. Around 7:30 PM, a Mom and her 4 kids came in. They wanted to check out videos:

Daughter: *non-library voice, I think she thought she was at a NY Yankees game) OOOH! I am checkin' me out a movie. HEY! Are these divided up into things like "Horror" and "scarey movies"?

ME: Um, no. They are dump shelved. All the movies are put on the shelves next to one another by title...."Maid in Manhatten" will be right next to "Mansfield Park".

Daughter "Oh, So is R for horror?"

ME: Uh, no. (Does horror even start with R?)

Daughter: OOOH! Look at this! This movie will scare the f*** out o me!

Brother #1 Shut up B****! No one needs to know that! Here, check this one out!

Daughter: No you Mother F*****, that will make me cry. I don't want to spend the whole F****** night cryin' my mother f*****' eyes out!

OK, tone set. Finally after about 6 minutes of this, good guy-outdoors type-handsome customer service-guy says "Hey, lets use library voices, this is getting too loud"

Daughter: OK, Thank You. Good Bye!

More profanity, other brothers join in. Now its security's turn.

Big, strong, bald security: "Hey, we asked you once, please be quiet, there is no need for that here".

Daughter: OK, we heard that already. Thank You, Goodbye! (in a super loud voice)

Now the Manager of the library walks over, and asks whats going on. The mother now jumps in to say that they aren't doing anything wrong, and that they have been told and she says "OK??? Thank you. GOODBYE!!" Then starts yelling at the big, strong, bald security man. He asked her to leave, and to gather her children, and leave. After about 3 minutes of her telling him she wasn't going anywhere, he escorted her to check out, they got their movies and left.

CRAZY!! I am much too delicate to deal with this.

At least I got to see Anna Nicole. sort of.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Influences



So I write in this almost everyday now, and still have offered up no real reasons as to why I want to move into this field of Library Science. I was thinking about it more this morning, and decided it was a good enough topic to spill today.

So, in order of their appearances in my life, MY INFLUENCES:

1) Miss D******. She was my elementary school librarian. She was always wearing turtleneck sweaters and cords. Her hair was shorter than any of the boys, (Do I detect one of the Seven Sister colleges? hmmmm) and she wore little gold earrings. She was the one that convinced my parents & teachers that I deserved a pass to the high school library once a week to get books to read. Thank you.

2)Mrs. B*****. Middle school librarian. Very traditional, down to the long skirts, bun in the hair, and horn rimmed glasses (you go girl, this was the late 80's). She was giving, and maintained one of the most efficient, and well organized libraries. She tought me being quiet in a library was important (maybe its not SOOO important).

3)Mrs. L****. High School Librarian. Again, turtlenecks and cords, but she was awesome, and perhaps one of the biggest influences. I was the kid voted most likely to be found in a library. I used to get passes to go down to the library, and I was naughty. I would wait for her to get up, and sit behind her desk, and type into her computer. She never let me sit there though for some reason. I also loved it when we got laser technology to scan books out. I would "Charlies Angels" with the laser gun. OK, maybe this just taught me that I was pretty darn gay. I learned to love the atmosphere and realized that it was because of the librarian that I loved spending my free time there.

JUMP TO THE FUTUTRE

4)Leslie C***, my first corporate job, and she was my boss. She is THE biggest influence on me. Not only is she well dressed, well spoken, and funny - but she knew EVERYTHING. If she didn't know the answer and its reference point, she knew how to get it. She impresses (to this day) the hell out of me. Corporate, tasteful, I dare say glam, sassy, and efficient. She encouraged me to go to library school, wrote one of the most glowing letters of recommendation I've ever received, and best of all, we became friends outside of the office. I strive to achieve her perfection. And to aquire a similar wardrobe... only in Mens.

In true Oscars Thanking format, I would also like to thank my Mom, both Grandmas, my now deceased Undergrad advisor.

Currently, my mentor/advisor is one of the best influences. She is a cataloguer, and she talks the talk with such impressive ease. She is sweet, smart, and funny. And she doesn't read this site, so I can say all those things without feeling awkward.

Who knows where I will be in 5 years, let alone 10. I would even settle for this life. OK, Im kidding about that, but I have never been so in the now, and not planning ahead.

I know I have to take all of this day by day, and after last night's escapade at the library with an even dirtier version of Anna Nicole Smith, I sometimes wonder if this is right, or if maybe I should have been a Botanist. But who ever heard of a hotsy totsy botanist? At least I'll always know that people fetishize over me.

I'll blog more about faux Anna Nicole later.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Regulars



So yes, I have been accused of being super sleuth boy, been compared to Jessica Fletcher (earning me my one of my favorite nicknames "Fletch"), and have also been called the proverbial nosy neighbor. I can't help it. I LIKE TO KNOW WHATS GOING ON. Working in a public library just allows me a little more leverage into the kind of insight I like.

Astonishingly, I have not only been activley playing Sherlock Holmes, and making up entire worlds around patrons based on the books they peruse, but found myself caring about these people as well.

First Patron: An elderly woman who smells like she has lived inside a humador her entire life. She checks her maximum of 5 videos out every single day, right around dinner time. When I didn't see her for a week, I found myself asking the branch manager if SHE'd seen her. I was much relieved to find out she'd been playing Siskel and Ebert at the lunch hour for the past week. I've named her Grandma Smoker.

Second & Third Patrons: Two girls that come to the library every single day as soon as school lets out. I didn't know if they were best of friends, or if they were related. I have since sleuthed that they are half sisters. What makes them most precious to me is that when one of them had a fine on her card that blocked her use, she made it her mission to find all the money she could to pay it off. She proudly came back into the library with her $6 to pay this fine off. The best part is: it was obviously her TOP priority in life, $6 to a 10 year old is like a million bucks - yet she used it to clear her fines. Mind you, these are also two of the naughtiest patrons - they like to take 75 books of the shelf at a time, walk over to a corner and read...and leave the books there. As a page, I groan each time I see this happen. They are affectionatley referred to as "the Girls" by the entire staff.

Fourth Patron: A sista with weave. She is all about the new releases, and comes in almost 3 times a week to see if they are in, even though we call you when they do arrive. Each time, she checks her status to see if she's moved up any on the list, or to request even more new releases. Sometimes her husband comes in, and fondles her and makes a small scene....yuck.

Fifth patron: This british guy, who I call "Hugh". He is hilariously british, and comes in everyday to use the internet, and to check out books on small "thing" repair, as well as a healthy dose of science fiction. He only stands out in my mind because he leaves his library card at home every single time, makes us hold his books, and comes back for them. He always seems surprised that he needs his card.

And then we get a big mix of infrequent people. The loud woman from the Carib, with her 3 kids. She screams (yes, not yells, SCREAMS) across the library for her kids in a perfect Ms. Cleo. Maybe libraries in the Carib do not enforce a quiet-while-in-the-library policy.

Our local homeless squad. We've evicted two of them for being loud and disorderly in the library. Their stories amaze me, and occured while not on the floor....and they include profanity, pushing other patrons, and , yes, a 40 of something in a paperbag.

The staff is the best staff I've ever worked with. Everyone really loves their job, and it shows. It is a very positive work environment, and having come from my Old Corporate Job (hence forth to be referred to as the OCJ) it is refreshing. The staff is totally over qualified, and really serves its public better than any other branch in the system. Out of the 13, two have an MLIS, 4 are working towards an MLIS, and the other 8 are all college educated. Imagine a branch where even the pages are librarians in training!

Now, for true excitement link over to wonderful The Male Centerfold Librarian or the truly hilarious Sex in the Library.

I guess its true all the way around, today's libraries are not the same as the hush filled rooms of the past. Now the only time we get to quiet a patron down is when they are screaming profanity across the entire library. And to think that guy didn't even offer to share his 40.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Oral Presentation



The fact that I have linked Dan Savage's column, and used this as a topic today are purely coincidental. But yes, librarians do have sex. Especially the cute ones. OK, maybe thats not true. You decide.

Last night was my "Presidential Libraries" oral presentation. My fabulous group of MB, SC, CH and me was pretty hilarious. We strayed from the traditional power point presentation, and opted to introduce the PL's by having the actual presidents give the talk. How you may ask? We printed out each of the 12 presidents faces (and Eleanor Roosevelt and Nancy Reagan) on card stock, and put sticks on the back. When we presented we WERE the presidents. Needless to say, our class roared with laughter, which is good, and our professor told us it was an amazing presentation (which is great).

The class gasped when we presented the Ronald Reagan Library, because Ronnie did come up, but Nancy gave the presentation...all while Ronnie looked around the room, and wandered about. I'm glad we didn't decide to have Betty present for Gerald!

At any rate, this is the type of innovation that I am gearing myself for, none of this traditional stuff. I don't want to be a traditional librarian, and while my far flung fantasies of being a glamorous librarian are probably pretty off the mark, I will be tremendous in my field. Last night, CH and I were discussing how when we both got to where we want to be (myself = auction house land and CH = art & design curate) we want to do cross exhibitions, and benefit from the success of one another.

Speaking of traditional my professor ,who is a self-proclaimed Trekkie, brought in THE shushing librarian doll action figure (which for posterity sake will live forever in its packaging) and showed it to our class. It is hilarious, don't let anyone else tell you anything else! We librarians have an action figure! I'm still recovering from the fact that Barbie lost in the polls , and became something else (even though I have a tall, pretty blond girl in my class who for all practical purposes IS Librarian Barbie).

Librarians don't seem to make the news much. Libraries do, museums do, but not the actual librarians. Maybe if we were all pin-ups, it would make a difference. When I left my firm in Chicago, I was encouraged and advised to "sex it up", or in other words, "glamorize the profession". I am working hard to do this, I think wearing a French cuff shirt with art deco cufflinks, charcoal pinstripe trousers, black Steve Madden slip ons, and a light blue tie last night were just the way to start my mini-revolution.

According to some sources retirement will be opening a huge space in 2006 for us (the year after I graduate). This is when we can all jump on board and change the tide of libraries, maybe I can be the sexy, well clipped, dandy of a librarian I hope to be. Perhaps in 25 years, children will no longer be able to recall the librarian dressed in corduroys and the tweed jacket with leather elbow patches. Children will want to become librarians as badly as they want to be supermodels. We will be smart and sexy! Children will be librarians for Halloween - and people will mistake them for Hollywood glitteratti.

OK, so MAYBE all of this won't happen. But I still love the response I get when I tell people I'm a librarian! And ladies, the world won't stop until you prove that slingbacks ARE sensible shoes! And men, we don't get off the hook either. A little fragrance, a clean shave, that impeccable dimple in our ties, just enough cuff showing from out our sleeves, cufflinks if you dare, and DO NOT WEAR PLEATED TROUSERS. No matter how svelte we are they make us look like chubby hubby.

OK, I need to go moisturize before I start my day at the public library. All those dry books really pull the pink out of my cheeks.

Ta!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Study Hard!



I've realized while studying for my upcoming midterm in this class, and having already taken two,I've learned that Librarians love acronyms. I can't even begin to count how many terms I've learned with an acronym.

The funny part is, as long as I've worked in a library (6+ years) I've never heard a single one of them used in context. This leads me to wonder, how many other things are going to be extranious knowledge. While I realize a librarian is "a jack of all trades, Master of none", am I going to be a walking, well groomed Trivial Persuit game?

This could have its advantages, I'm sure of that. But am I actually going to get to apply Ranganathan's principles anytime soon? Do we actually use the term "Pearl Fishing" in context, or is the theory just applied to what we are doing so that we can call it by its true name?

Some of the other stuff I'm learning makes me laugh. I can't imagine that anyone in my class could suppose anything else:

1. smile, be friendly
2. listen carefully, take interest
3. Take each question seriously
4. Keep asking questions, until you’ve got it
5. don’t think of strategy until you have the question completely stated
6. Never think you know the answer, use all reference tools
7. Invite user to return if more help is needed

Thanks to Linda Smith and Richard Bopp, I now know that the 7 principles of interviewing a patron can't happen like this:

me: Smoking a cigarette while thumbing through Italian Vogue, wearing a black Gucci two button
Patron: sipping a martini, wearing an Oscar worthy dress, taking small steps in Jimmy Chu shoes

me: Dahhhling, how can I help you (without looking up from the magazine)
patron: I adore that two button, and where did you find that tortoise shell cigarette holder?
me: Is that your question?
patron: Aren't you a clever little monkey, no, I wanted to know where the nearest Chanel boutique is?
me: (getting comfortable in my chocolate leather club chair) Are you serious? We are in the mid-west! How many of those cocktails have you had?
patron: (laughing loudly, digging through her small, but very smart handbag) I just received this (pulling out a fabulous Isadora Duncanesque scarf) and wanted a different color! Aren't you charming? Here, let me light that next cigarette....
me: I'm feeling peckish, shall we go get some nibblies?
patron: you are the best librarian in the world!
me: yes, but this is all part of the job....

My world is shattered. All this time I've been having "Thin Man" fantasies of life. I suppose all of the above could happen, only since its not 1930 anymore, women just don't carry small and smart handbags anymore.

Oh well.

Time to study a bit more.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

This morning I was treated to a facial, thanks to Clinique. I thought that this would bring me back down to earth, and make me feel calm again. Then I remembered that I am no longer a corporate librarian, and having things like manicures, pedicures (dress code now states no open toed shoes, so that means my Kenneth Cole slides are collecting dust), and facials are no longer really necessities of the trade.

This reality check made me realize how hard I am going to have to work to get back to where I want to be. Mind you, I adore where I work. The people there are more than fabulous (ooh, yes, I used the F word), and tremendously kind. I have already been forwarned not to wear dress clothes to work, because they will be trashed. Kneeling and crawling around the kids department to pick up various puzzle pieces, stuffed animals and the assorted like just serve to destroy the knees of good trousers. Perhaps I will go to Sears and buy some toughskin double reinforced knee jeans! On second thought, I won't.

Can I be a fashionista working at a public library? Is this just another reason to strive towards the glittering world of coporate toil? I'd have to say yes to both. The gal who is incharge of several of the branch locations is stunning. She has the greatest bob haircut, a black wardrobe to make even a catholic sicilian widow weep, and good skin. She is still in the public domain. Could this be the factor that swings me to the public sector?

Tonight instead of watching movies, and eating junk I will be working on my paper for my oral presentation. Presidential Libraires. How fun.

ps Tonight I was able to help a patron. I am allowed to answer questions about book locations, if the patron has a call number. She asked me why she couldn't find the book, the computer said we had it. I looked it up, and the computer DID say we had a copy, only it was checked out. Amazing, people checking out books who can't read....

Friday, October 10, 2003

Breaking my own rules



I promised myself I wouldn't write more than once a day if I could help it. But I can't. Tonight while I was shelving books, a customer kept clearing their throat, as if they would spit something very large and painful up. It was SOOO loud, I can't even tell you. One of my co-workers said something that is soo true.

"Isn't it amazing what we'll put up with from the customers? If that was one of us (the staff) we'd be telling them to cut it out!"

My manager laughed and agreed. I said "should we do something?" and she in her hilarious, southern-charm way smiled and said "No, I think nature will run its course". I laughed out loud!

But this has made me realize that we DO put up with a lot of stuff from the patrons, stuff that we wouldn't put up with from our partners, friends, relatives, etc. Because it is a publicly funded entity, everyone has a right to be there, that I am not denying. But please...how much loogie hacking do we need to hear? Common decency.

Now I have been accused of being a bit grandmotherly, and I do fantasize about being a librarian in a Cabot Cove like setting. Perhaps my moral and ethical standards make Emily Post look like a scrubber, but then again maybe not. I just think that the customers should give as much respect as they get...my library gives more respect to the patrons then you can imagine!

Perhaps I'll write a book on library ettiquette....or maybe I'll do my homework. hmmm.

I'm so embarrassed.



This morning when I sat down to check my e-mail, I got a letter from my advisor, whom I mentioned yesterday. She wrote to tell me that because I am such a good student, and because she is my advisor, that she wanted to go over my test results with me to see why I did so poorly.

This was after a letter that she had sent out to the entire listserv of my class, explaining her grading - apparently a lot of people did REALLY bad. The fact that she singled me out made me feel like a naughty son, being pulled aside by his mother. I adore her for doing it, but I still feel really awkward. I wrote back to her and told her that a meeting was unnecessary, and that I was going back in and looking up the answers I got wrong on (which I am), and striving to do better. I have never in all my years of college (well only 4 Undergrad years) written a letter of remorse to my professor/advisor over a less than perfect test grade! We all have to have a person that watches out for us. I have one. My advisor. She's awesome.

It reminds me of when I first started at my first job as a cataloger for an auction house. It was a small house, and they had just brought in 4 estates off the truck. Being the prissy, glitteratti white shirt and BR trousers boy that I am, didn't think that I needed to help unload the packages. I figured thats what the hired hands did. I didn't know my soft, manicured hands were supposed to dig through the boxes before I cataloged them. When the Auctioneer came up to me in the back and asked what I was doing, I told him "I'm waiting for the boxes to be unpacked"...like I worked for Phillips or Christies. He told me they wouldn't unpack themselves, and I needed to have the contents cataloged in the next two days, for the upcoming preview auction night.

Is such a delicate flower ready for the rough profession of cataloging? Will I get that job at Sotheby's and Pavlovianly upack the boxes when I see the truck pulling up to the dock? More importantly, what will I wear on my first day? I'm thinking a chocolate four button two piece with high lapels, a pocket sqaure, a Burberry tie, and the unquestionably fashionable black Prada loafers with the matching belt.

Maybe I really should be working on that studying for that mid-term next Wednesday...I don't think I can handle the guilt if this professor writes to me too....

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Today I got back my midterm grade from my organization and information class, and I should note the instructor is my advisor. Lets just say that this bright undergraduate student, isn't such a bright graduate student. On the flip side of the coin, I also received my first big paper back, and received an A, with a "good" written in the margin.

My question is, how did I do so well as an Assistant Librarian in a corporate firm, and I feel like I am struggling with this grad program? This makes for very dull blog.

On a lighter note, I have just come home from my 3 hour and 40 minute Thursday night lecture on Foundations of Librarianship. That is one tough pill to swallow, but I have made it into an adventure. Outside of finding time to write my weekly grocery list, I have noticed things in the class room that amuse me. In the back rows, there is knitting instruction. There are students who are teachers grading papers, and other students doing crossword puzzles. Do you suppose this is a reflection of the teacher? Or is this the true spirit of the future librarian shining through?

My humiliation on the job front has grown. Yesterday, I was treated to my 8 week evaluation of shelving, and sorting. I actually mishelved an Edmund White book (one out of sequence), and put a book by John Gardener in the wrong order while sorting. I am not allowed to answer patron questions, such is the life of a page. The cool part about this system is that lots of the promotions are internal. Maybe in 3 more months, I'll be customer service. Having started at the bottom will just make me appreciate what I have even more.

Every time a patron comes up to me, and says do you know where the *fill in the blank* are, I have to walk them over to the Information desk, and hand them off to the reference staff. OH, how the mighty have fallen. I know its my job, and I love it, for the first time everyone I work with loves their job. Its refreshing to me. I had no reason to be embarrased, but never the less, I was.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Well, some more interesting nonsense. I was an assistant corporate librarian in Chicago before I moved deeper into the midwest to persue my Masters degree. I am now working for a public library, as a page. I earn as much every month as I did every 1.5 days there. Its kind of crazy, but I am dealing with it. While shelving in the childrens section about 3 weeks ago, I overheard this coversation between two young girls, playing with rag dolls (that were life size):

Girl 1: Boo hooo, wahhhh, boo hoo
Girl 2: Girl, whats wrong with you?
Girl 1: My baby is dead....
Girl 2: MINE TOO!
Girl 1: Well, what should we do?
Girl 2: Let's take them to the hospital
And they walk over to the big couch in the kids section
Girl 1: Well, should we leave them here?
Girl 2: Mmmhmm (yes), Girl, you wanna go to lunch?

And they walked away! Made me wonder what exactly is going on in their worlds! At any rate, I am loving my public library experience despite the pay, and the insanity that I get to hear on the floor of the library. The head librarian/manager of my branch is a children's librarian. All I can say is that she has the patience of a saint!

Well, I am off to hand in my Web Reference Evaluation paper. I am hoping I did good. Sometimes I wonder if its all worth it....

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

This is my first go at this. What can I say, I felt that this segment of the market needed a voice. *laugh* Lots of interesting stories to tell, and I'm realizing that I am sort of crazy for doing this.

To start, I am 27, working towards my MLIS degree, and I am one of a few who hope to work in a Special Library. I am almost frowned upon by the leagues of people who have decided to become public librarians, thinking I am selling out for the corporate buck. I would be a public librarian too, only you can be arrested for smacking children with dictionaries, and you aren't allowed to shove homeless people off of reading couches when the sleep. I kind of like the black tie cocktail party option after work - call me crazy.

So, as I figure this all out, you can follow me on my trail of astonishment and excitement.