Sunday, September 19, 2010

Things not to donate to the library (other than National Geographic)

At our branch we have an ongoing book sale so that we will take small donations from the public to try to raise money. It seems like "small" is a subjective term, where I believe it means a couple of items and may include a plastic grocery bag of books or box that can easily be carried by a normal person. To others, "small" means backing up to the library a medium sized moving truck that was rented for the purposes of donating your dead Aunt Trudy's entire collection of romance paperbacks from the past 40 years that could not be sold on eBay because they are falling apart, reek of Newports and cat pee, and because no one wanted them. And yes, they had the nerve to call ahead and ask if we took "small" donations.
Recently a man came to the library with a small shopping bag of items he wanted to donate to the library. He explained that the bag was filled old dvds that he had only watched once or twice and didn't care to own anymore now that he had Blu-ray. He asked if we were going to add them to the library collection.
Me: Possibly, sometimes we use good donated dvds to replace our scratched copies if needed. Occasionally someone will donate something we feel should be added to the library collection and in those cases we will put it in the catalog, but it doesn't happen very often.
The man just nodded, took his tax credit receipt, and left the bag on the desk.
The shopping bag contained about 20 dvds, containing boxed sets of seasons 1 & 2 of "Hogan's Heroes," a "Saturday Night Live" Best of Chris Farley dvd, and about five pornos -- including the very classy sounding The Erotic Witch Project. Yeah, those porn dvds can't be added to the collection, nor sold in the library book sale.

Other items the library would not like the public to donate:
1. Copies of the Bible or the Book of Mormon
2. Colored in coloring books or solved Sudoku puzzle books
3. Jewel's Pieces of You cd (I think everyone in the US was issued a copy)
4. Expired medication
5. Old textbooks (get over the fact that you paid $100 for it, nobody wants it)
6. 50 copies of your self-published memoir
7. Computer books from the 1980's (or even from 5 years ago)
8. A broken calculator you stepped on
9. Encyclopedia volumes or complete encyclopedia sets
10. (Say it with me!) National Geographic, National Geographic, National Geographic!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Say something!

A comment left on my last post mentioning how the reader wished my updates were more regular made me think about writing, what I like to write, and what's standing in my way.
I enjoy writing and have since childhood, writing stories to accompany my vast illustrations. I also started keeping a diary in second grade, though it was extremely dull. In high school I started writing in a journal, which was more interesting, but also terribly embarrassing to read in hindsight. Back in 2007, I started posting some of those high school journal entries in a now defunct blog called "Mad Super Cool." I stopped posting because I didn't know if anyone was reading it and I felt a little spread thin because I also had a (now very neglected) livejournal account that actually had followers, and just followed my regular life.
I started "shushie" because I didn't want to bore my friends and readers of my livejournal with library stories that seemed to be in danger of taking over my life. Around this time, I also started a side blog with my brother called, "What Mom Had For Dinner," which chronicled the odd restaurant ordering habits of my mother for the entertainment purposes of my other family members.
Since starting "shushie," I've changed jobs, which has put a bit of a damper on my posting, as I had much more off the desk time at my previous library, and have started casually (very casually) modeling -- again eating up more of my free time. In June I was very excited to be offered a writing gig on "closed stacks," another library journal I followed and respected, but now had to think of more topics to write about while my time to actually sit down and write them has been dwindling. I'm also reading horrible books in my free time and writing about them in the "Very Bad Book Blog." Plus after spending nearly 8 hours a day in front of a computer screen at work, I will admit that I'm less than excited to sit in front of my own computer when I get home -- especially if half of the time I figure I'm just talking to myself and maybe two or three other people.
So what does all this rambling mean? It means that I want and hope to write more frequently and I don't want to lose any readers, but it also means that sometimes you have to be patient with me. While it may seem like I just slap some of these entries together, I do actually try to put thought into them instead of just saying anything. So stay tuned (and don't be afraid to let me know you're reading)!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What I'm reading now

Since I think I probably unintentionally do too much complaining here, I thought I could lighten things up with periodic entries on what I'm currently reading. This will be different than the Very Bad Book Blog, because these will be "normal" books and I will try to impart some sort of literary knowledge so that you, the dear reader, will run out to your library to check out this book because I told you to. Or you will avoid it at all costs.

Currently, I'm reading The Year of Endless Sorrows by Adam Rapp. I picked it out because the book literally jumped off the shelf at me while I was trying to do some shifting, but also because the title seemed vaguely familiar and I remembered it came up as a possible match for me in NoveList. So, I'm about a third of the way through and enjoying it for the most part. The novel takes place in the 90's as a recent college grad, his brother, a friend, and a squatter take residence in the East Village. The chapters are linear, but almost like little micro-stories, which make it interesting, but also provide good stopping points, if your boss suddenly appears behind you and wants you to do some real work. The main character works a slave like position in a publishing company, but is writing his own sci-fi novel involving an injured knee and basketball. There have been several laugh out loud parts, probably more that are merely amusing, but my biggest problem is that Rapp seems to be addicted to using similies and metaphors, averaging one third sentence. It's a bit distracting, so we'll see how it goes.

What I won't be reading anymore is the effing librarian, one of my favorite library related blogs, as now it ceases to exist. Too many library blogs out there are stone cold serious and sound like they were written by boring weirdo catalogers (no offense to you personally, if you are a boring weirdo cataloger), or they are constant ragefests that get dull quickly and are depressing. The effing librarian was humorous, informative, nay might I dare say intellectual, and often chock full of made up shiz and crazy pictures. You know you loved it, but it's gone now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Email Fail

This morning at work, as we are clearing the bins from the mountains of items returned during yesterday's holiday and preparing for the onslaught upon opening, everyone's computer goes "beep boop" indicating a new email.
I was in the middle of printing out the daily schedule and clicked on my inbox to see an email from one of our high up county officials with a subject like "Very Important! High Priority!" So I open it and am greeted to a message that says, "It is extremely important that you not discuss details of this morning's budget meeting with your staff nor reproduce any of the information in the handouts." That last part is in bold. Then it mentions something about the next meeting, yada, yada, yada and I hear my computer go "beep boop!" again.
New email: High county official is trying to unsend previous email.
Way to send out an email about top secret information to all county employees!

A second email fail occurred right before lunch where a patron violently waved me down instead of, oh you know, getting out of his seat and walking the 10 steps to talk to me like a human being. When I ask him what he needs help with he points at the screen, "This, can you make this disappear?" What he wants to make disappear is a name in his contact list in his email.
To verify I ask him, "You want to delete this person from your contact list?"
He nods, "Yeah, that person is me! I don't want anyone to know I am sending them emails."
Of course his email address was the very anonymous "firstname.lastname" format.