Friday, January 29, 2010

Sorry we're not Office Depot

Today a man who looked eerily like James Lipton came to the reference desk and basically demanded that I let him have some index cards.
When I told him that we didn't have any index cards his shoulders slumped and he let out a long sigh. "I don't even know why you call yourself a library," he muttered as he stalked off in a huff.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Facebook Forevs?

I was reading this little news story today about how Facebook is "locking in" its internet dominance, which ironically mentions how many of these sites end up going the way of the digital graveyard while quoting a tech-savy college student who claims that FB is a more valuable internet commodity than Google.
Ok, I will admit that FB is smart because its creators have learned from what mistakes its predecessors made (or stole from them), and gives people the one thing they have wanted since the dawn of the internet: the ability to spy on their exs with a few keystrokes and for free! Middle-aged moms can finally find out what their high school boyfriends are up to! (Oh yeah, let's just also forget for the sake of this article the fact that Google makes beaucoup dollars and Facebook has yet to return any of its $716m investment).
The most annoying part of the article, to me, was student Ravasio's comment that, "It's your real name, it's your real friends...It's the new thing you need to keep in touch, almost a requirement of modern social life."
Hold up, real friends? I would probably only consider about a 1/3 of the people I've had to accept as friends as my real friends, and that's in my personal account. What with Great Aunt Betty, the girl bully from my 8th grade class, and my creepy polly-o-string-cheese-eatin' first boss friending me in FB, who needs real friends? Or real privacy, for that matter?
I guess part of my problem is I'm too nice in real life, or I'm still kind of scared of Heather Williams and afraid she'll show up at my work to kick my ass if I don't friend her. But if these connections as well as the never ending flood of fake flower gifts, lost farm animals, and "Which Thundercat Are You" quizzes are a requirement in modern social life then I'm not sure I'm going to make it.
Where's my time machine? Send me back to the socially repressed '50's quick!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How to get that stylish "librarian look"

As I am fond of reminding others not involved in the library profession: we are not all hobbits with cat obsessions.
Thanks to Anthropologie, one can obtain the stylish librarian's wardrobe featured in their new catalog in a section called "From the Archives."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Blog

I decided to start a new blog -- a blog for bad books. Now, I know there already several out there that I already enjoy that show off terrible covers and questionable content, or others that specialize on the worst of certain genres, BUT mine will be reviews of bad books I'm actually reading, usually while preparing to weed them from the library. Basically, I was going to read all these goofy Sweet Valley High/Christopher Pike/pulp books anyway, but instead of putting my review on librarything or goodreads , I'll put them here: The Very Bad Book Blog!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

No, Ask Your Librarian

My library system offers a virtual reference service called "Ask a Librarian." There are numerous systems across the country that do. What I don't understand is how at least once a week we have an email or IM question from someone using the service who is not part of our service area. Or state. Or country.
This might even be acceptable if these individuals were asking actual reference questions like "What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" but these weirdo long distance questions are almost all about their user accounts (overdue items, late fees) or books not at our library, or ones like this transaction from the other day:
chat user: I want to read "book x" which is the next book in the series I am reading, but my library doesn't own it. Your library owns it, will you send it to me?
Ask a Librarian:What you want is an interlibrary loan. You can set that up through your own library. They may not get the book directly from us, but they should be able to locate you a copy. Which library are you at?
chat user: I am in Spain. Will you send me the book?
Ask a Librarian: Our library system does not lend materials outside of the US. I recommend discussing this issue with your own local librarian who can help you.
chat user: I don't use my library. Can you mail this book to my house?
Ask a Librarian: *not responding because I'm attempting to knock myself unconscious with another book*

I understand that these people are just Googling "Ask a Librarian" and not taking the extra step to think that it might not be their own local librarian, but it is very tiresome to repeatedly tell people in Michigan and New Mexico that I cannot resolve their lost book problems, especially when they keep emailing back asking me to contact their library for them!