Keyword: bacon

March 25, 2008

One of the things they don’t teach you in library school is that the reference desk has tax season. I can’t tell you the number of circular conversations I’ve had with patrons about what I can and cannot tell them about their taxes – essentially, we can only provide the forms, but even that isn’t as straightforward as it sounds, because not everyone knows what forms they need, or how to ask for the form they need. I anticipate the number of anxious and angry patrons will only increase as the deadline approaches. Thankfully, there’s an H&R Block right up the street.

And just a teeny Today I Have:

  • ordered a bacon cookbook
  • had a patron tell me he invented the idea of “pay it forward”
  • had several people shout at me re: see above
  • joined a social networking site for knitters and crocheters
  • been thankful many times over that I’ve already done my taxes

You’re a can of soup

March 20, 2008

Today I have:

  • looked up for a patron how to tell if a can of soup (without an expiration date stamp) has expired
  • read a passage from the Encyclopedia of Communes aloud to a patron over the phone
  • been invited to a TV premiere party at a patron’s house
  • shelved, shelved, shelved, and shelved

Now I think I’m going to go browse shelve in the knitting books.

How do you spell “pedia”?

February 12, 2008

Today I have:

– had a patron call and say, “So I need to build a bar in my basement.”
– helped someone figure out the difference between “acclimation” and “acclamation.”
– used NoveList to figure out where a book was in a series (my favorite NoveList feature, seriously.)
– found a book a patron was desperately searching for (but could not remember anything about) using only the search terms “mango” and “sail.”
– endured a conversation about Wikipedia between a patron who had no idea what it was and a librarian who understood even less. The subject line of this post says it all.

Today I have:

  • been told that the library is like a mother – the one you call for everything.  It was a very sweet compliment.
  • been tempted into passive-aggressively dealing with a nosy co-worker by looking up Yahoo Answers to the question, “How do I handle a nosy co-worker?” while she’s reading over my shoulder.
  • completed my very first display – a Jane Austen theme, with actual Austen novels, spinoffs, movies, and non-fiction. It was awesome fun.
  • tried to dissuade a six-year old from watching Too Fast, Too Furious: Tokyo Drift
  • set myself a challenge of starting to collect information on local book clubs and what they are reading, because I have gotten similar questions several times this week and still not had a good answer.

Today I Have:

  • Helped a patron find out which harbor cruise organizations in the area also offered excursions up river, and discovered that one of them offers 12 hour fishing marathons.
  • Had a patron ask for help making a trench coat. I’m not sure he didn’t mean to ask for information on where to buy a trench coat, but he has a reputation of asking oddball questions. He wandered off before we could turn up anything.
  • Listened to someone get $4.90 back in dimes from the copy machine.
  • Played with the updates to the Minuteman OPAC.
  • Discovered that McGraw-Hill’s American Idiom’s Dictionary has a great keyword index. I knew there was a phrase about doing something wrong that had the word “nest” – turns out it’s “to stir up a hornet’s nest.” Which is apparently what I do every time I mention a Library 2.0 idea that regrettably  involves getting the permission of the webmaster.

Advanced Copy

October 17, 2007

Today I have:

  •  Been advised, while helping a woman scan official documents to be emailed to the consulate in San Francisco and then forwarded on to Brazil, “Don’t marry a foreigner.”
  •  Helped a patron find two reference books on mushrooms. He said,”I don’t want to be poisoned when I go mushrooming on Thursday.” I was glad we found the books he needed!
  • Called another local library and been directed by their phone tree to dial an extension “if I had a touch tone phone.” I only barely stopped myself from asking, when I got a hold of the person I needed, how many of their patrons still had only rotary phones.
  • Completed my first from-scratch Dewey classification of a book.
  • And yesterday: We had the morning newspapers, which had been somehow locked in the book drop all day, finally become freed and delivered to the reference desk at 8:30 PM. I said, “Please tell me it’s not the morning all over again.” and my companion at the desk said, “Are we getting advanced copies of tomorrow’s news now?”

Repurpose Ability

October 3, 2007

Today I have:

  1. Miraculously boiled down all my notes from the NHLA Library 2.0 to a small list of projects I think my library should work on.
  2. Come to the conclusion that using social networking tools in a library setting is about repurposing them for use in a library much in the same way that Library 2.0 is about repurposing the library itself.
  3. Delighted in introducing a patron with a readers’ advisory question to BookSlut and Trashonista (the latter of which resulted in a huge smile.)
  4. Had a patron bring in her suction-cup soap holder, hand it to me, and ask me to help her find where to buy another one.
  5. Had the Circ. Desk call up and ask if I was fluent in Spanish. (I am not, but they eventually found someone on staff who was.)
  6. Tracked down the contact info for a library in Virginia with the same name as our library, and passed it on to the patron on the phone who thought she was calling Virginia in the first place.