Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lookie-Loo Minus the Bundle of Joy

"Excuse me, did you go to Pleasant Valley High School?"

"Um, no."


This was a conversation I had with a random guy at a restaurant the other day. He came up, said hi to someone he knew at my table, blurted out the question to me and then left.

Once he knew I wasn't this other person we didn't have much in common, I guess. question is...

What's this girl look like? Is she attractive? Ugly? Athletic? Fat? Do our faces look the same? Our haircuts? Our body types? Ankles?

I'm always so. stinkin. curious. Whenever people say I look just like someone, I'm like so show me a picture!

Apparently my self esteem is a fragile leaf balancing on the edge of a rocky cliff. I just want to make sure that I'm not being compared to someone, um, odd.

Yes, I know this is self-centered. But admit it, you wonder too about how people would describe you to other people or compare you to somebody else.

So yeah, she's the short girl who looks like a rabbit - or
Picture a cartoon version of George Washington - or what about simply
You know that guy with the big ears?

One time somebody told me I looked justlike the actress who played Jane Eyre in one of those old versions. I looked it up on YouTube and didn't see it, frankly. But also, who wants to be told they look like Jane Eyre? Isn't she sort of known for being, well, a plain jane?

I suppose I've never seen it when people have told me I look like someone. Let's just say I've never been told I'm a dead ringer for Scarlett Johansson or Penelope Cruz.

However, I like to think I'm pretty glamorous for a librarian.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

May I Not Be Able to Help You?

I wish I could write more on here! But I've been so busy with school. And work.

Oh, forget it. I'm just going to tell you what I told my diary when I was ten. "I'm not going to keep apologizing for not writing more!"

Of course then, I was busy with my full-time job of playing with Barbies.

So it was pretty crazy at the library over the weekend. On Friday morning the server went down for our entire county library system.

No catalog, no renewals, no holds, no checking in material..... This happens on occasion. We're limited for a couple hours. But not this time. All weekend we were down. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. On Monday at 8:30 pm everything came back up.

All day Tuesday we played catch-up, going through hundreds and hundreds of books and movies and CDs.

But let's go back to Saturday. I work one Saturday a month, and of course it's the day when I can basically do nothing for people. And this is tough. I mean, I work at a library! To have to turn so many requests down put me in a bitter mood. Luckily, we had an offline option so we could check out material using a patron's library card. That was the one thing we could do! And people could still study, read newspapers, use computers, etc.

So most of the time I had to spend apologizing to people. And asking "may I help you?" ironically. It was a sad, sad, day. The one highlight was being able to help people without using computers and feeling like Super Librarian. I surprised myself at how well I know authors and dewey decimal numbers, and was able to lead people right to where they needed to go.

On the whole, though, not my favorite weekend. We are crippled without our computer system.

And of course people didn't read all the signs we had posted, and still asked us to do things we couldn't do. And everyone wanted to know if they'd get fines for material we couldn't check in yet (no) or if they could renew their items (no) or if we could check on a hold for them (no) or if we were having a hard time (YES).

Thankfully, all is back to normal. And last night, after a full day of madness plus three and a half hours of homework plus an hour of Pottermore (really? new chapters are open NOW? well, I have to read everything obviously), I dreamed all night about not getting enough sleep.

And now let's do it all again!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pay Up

So here's my plan.

I think it's pretty super awesome. If I do say so, myself.

People who sign up for library programs should put down a deposit. Like $20. If they come to the library program, they get their money back. That may seem like a lot, but it needs to be something people might think twice about losing.

If they don't show without calling and cancelling (unless it's an emergency)...well then, the library just got a sweet donation.

Let me explain.

1. The library staff puts lots of work into programs. Planning, organizing, creating.

2. The library staff puts lots of money into programs. Well, not lots. But money. And money that takes away from other things we could be doing. The number of people registered dictates the food and materials we buy. I've had 20 kids sign up for a story time, so I create 20 take-home crafts. If 5 come, it's embarassing, frankly. And a waste of time and money.

3. Libaries don't have a lot of resources. So it's a bummer to waste them.

4. People have this tendency to consider free things to be, well, sort of worthless. If something is free, often people don't give them much priority. This also goes for library programs.

5. Guess what? Calling to cancel for a library program at the last minute is annoying, but it's at least better than us going through with the program if 75% of the group ends up not coming. Seriously? And how hard it it to call and give us a heads-up?

6. SO, maybe if people put some money towards programs that they will get back if they consider common courtesy (ccc!), they will place more value on library programs.

This isn't exactly a new idea. Libraries have charged for programs before. My library only asks patrons to pay fees if we have a special instructor coming in who needs money for materials. Like a painting class or something. And a deposit is fair, since people who are polite will get their money back.

I think I'm onto something here. At the very least, I'm making myself feel a little better.

I just really wish people would be more considerate of their libraries. Don't stand us up if you get a better offer, especially if you don't call and cancel.

The public library depends on the community. Don't let us down!

*climbs down off soapbox*

Monday, September 3, 2012

Swooning by My Car and Waiting for Assistance

Okay, in my 10 Things blog post I mentioned car repair. Specifically, tires. Told you I'd come back with more!

So I got my first flat tire.

Suffice it to say, it was embarassing. Lots of people stared at me. On the plus side, I did get to officially use my hazard lights. That felt important. And yet also drew more attention...

Anyway, my dad came to my rescue and showed me yet again how to change a tire.

Now, it all made sense when he was showing me, but what if I don't have to do it again for, like, five more years? I won't remember.

When it comes to car things, I feel very inadequate. And frustrated. And jealous of guys who seem to just instinctually know what to do with all these... parts. Seriously, all you need is an open hood and suddenly guys are clustered around poking greasy items wedged into random spaces and muttering things like "transmission" and "suspension" and "weirdwordthatsoundsmadeup."

Is there some kind of handbook for men? Where can I pick one up? Or perhaps the Cliffs Notes edition?

And what makes a car so interesting? I'll admit it's a smidge intimidating to not understand at all the biggest machine I own. But I don't really care to understand it. I've had guys tell me not to worry, there will always be a man around who is willing to help a "damsel in distress."

Oh boy, that's reassuring. As long as I'm not in the middle of nowhere. And the man willing to help me is not an ax murderer.

Ugh. I just don't like feeling helpless. Or walking into a car parts store for something and having men look at me like, clearly she doesn't have a clue what she's doing. Or maybe I'm just imagining it.

Luckily, I know how to do... things. I can bake a mean batch of cookies. And use correct spelling and grammar. I am creative. I am knowledgeable. And helpless guys are always wandering into the library requiring my assistance.

So perhaps it all evens out in the end.