darchildre: text:  library rules 1) silence 2) books must be returned by due date 3) do not interfere with the nature of causality (library rules)
2016-05-27 01:05 pm

(no subject)

Good things:

The other day, I discovered that a horror author I very much like and whom I thought had only ever written two books - T.E.D. Klein - had, in fact, written a third book. Or, at least, had a collection of some of his previously uncollected short fiction published in 2006. It was a limited release and copies now are prohibitively expensive, but a nearby library system had one. So I put in an ILL request and got it in less than a week! It is in my bag right now and I get to start it on my break! (And then maybe I will reread The Ceremonies, because it's been long enough that I don't remember the details of the scary bits.)

Not so good things:

One of my first patrons of the day brought in a book that he had to return because it was on hold for someone else, but wanted to put it back on hold for himself. Which I did for him, and then told him, in response to his question, that he was now 10th in line for it and it would be a little while before he got it back. And he frowned and walked away, loudly monologuing about how sad and disappointed his wife would be that they wouldn't be getting it again sooner. 10 minutes later, his wife came up to check out and loudly told me that she was, indeed, disappointed.

People, fussing at me does not get your book here faster. I do not control the holds queue.
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
2016-05-16 10:18 am

(no subject)

Things since my last update:

- The library moved! Our new building is big and beautiful and doesn't smell like cabbage! We have shiny new books! The designers foolishly made the carpet textured and now our carts sound incredibly loud while we're shelving! But mostly things are pretty great.

- We also have a backroom! It is amazing how much less stressed I feel at work now that I have a place that I can occasionally go and hide. Also, we can do all of the processing in the backroom, which means that I don't have to try to get it done as quickly, since it's not in the way of the patrons.

- I saw both Batman vs Superman and Civil War. The latter was great, and I am embarrassed to have spent money to see the former. Oh DC, when will you make it less embarrassing to be a fan?

- I finished a new papercraft house that lights up from the inside. I'm very proud of it, so there will be pictures later.

- While building it, I have been listening to my Dark Adventure Radio Theatre cds. Because apparently it is time for a resurgence of Lovecraft fannishness.

- I need someone to tell me that picking a short book I like and translating the entire thing into senesh is a silly project and I shouldn't do. Probably that's a bad idea, right?

- I am, in general, really happy right now. It's pretty great.
darchildre: text:  library rules 1) silence 2) books must be returned by due date 3) do not interfere with the nature of causality (library rules)
2016-04-27 09:06 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

So, as I've mentioned, my library is moving. (My other library is not, but I am moving from it, because I am transferring all my hours to my main library and will only be working there after today.)

This is stressful in a lot of ways. There's the normal 'oh god, we're moving!' stress, and the 'the shelves have not been placed correctly and now we have to take all the books off and move them' stress, and the 'PR is making stupid decisions about things in our new library because they are PR and not actually library staff but now we have to learn to live with them' stress, and the 'we open on Saturday and stuff still isn't done' stress, and 'I still don't have a finalized schedule for next week - could you at least decide what hours I work on Monday?' stress. I mean, also it's good - our new library is beautiful and full of shiny new books and has an actual staff room - but I may have spent most of yesterday fantasizing about the extinction of humanity and that something I really only do when I'm anxious/depressed. So that's cool.

The move and the stress also means that I haven't been online much for the past few weeks - I don't have my usual 'projects are done and I'm between patrons - time to browse the interwebs!' desk time right now, of course. And when I get home, basically all I want to do on the computer is play Stardew Valley because that is the opposite of stressful. So if you have all been very exciting lately, I have missed it - sorry.

(The exception to the lack of internet time is the fact that I'm rereading Dracula and sorta kinda liveblogging it on tumblr. Wanna come talk about Dracula with me? There or here, either's good.)
darchildre: kay caldwell looking predatory and vampiric (kay caldwell:  vampire queen)
2016-04-13 08:16 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)


- Thank you all for your kind wishes, but alas, I did not get the job. I am disappointed but not hugely broken up about it - there will be more opportunities in the future.

- Our old library is closed and we are beginning the process of moving to the new one! Yesterday, all the books got moved (by a moving company, not by us) and I got to go into the new branch for the first time. You guys, it is so big and bright and shiny! There are so many chairs and so many big windows and we have an actual break room that isn't anyone's office and an actual back room to do check in and processing and nothing smells like cabbage at all! I am very excited. Now we have to go through all the stuff that isn't books in the old library and decide what we need to keep. So much shredding to do, you guys. So much.

( - I do feel like we ought to do some sort of landtaking for the new library, or at least do something to invite the ghosts from the old building into the new one, but I'm not sure how to talk everyone else into it.)

- I have kinda been in a monster mood for the past few days, which is exciting because that hasn't happened in, like, a year. I kinda want to spend the day watching Dracula movies and thinking about my Marya Zaleska/Kay Caldwell au that someday really will be written down but, y'know, work. Have to do that instead.

- I should maybe find a new horror novel. Haven't done that in a while, either.
darchildre: audrey leaning back and smoking, looking confident (i'm audrey horne and i get what i want)
2016-04-06 10:35 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

So, there's a new position opening up at my library and I'm applying.

I have not applied for a job in 11 years, you guys, it's super weird. There is all kinds of stuff that I've never actually had to do before. Like, okay, I realize this is going to sound incredible to most of you, but I've never actually had to write a cover letter before? They didn't require one when I first applied to the library, lo these many moons ago, and I've stuck there ever since. Also, let me tell you, writing a cover letter to an organization and person that you already work for is super weird, because a cover letter is supposed to introduce you, but these people already know me. They encouraged me to apply for this job - they already think I'm pretty cool. Selling myself to them feels kinda redundant. "Hi, I'm Sara, I work with you every day, I am passionate about my job and devoted to my community, please pay me more moneys."

Anyway. I had a phone interview this morning (it was with someone from HR, rather than someone I see every day, which is good because a phone interview with people I see every day would have felt silly). I think it went okay. ::fingers crossed::
darchildre: text:  library rules 1) silence 2) books must be returned by due date 3) do not interfere with the nature of causality (library rules)
2016-04-01 02:01 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

In our library, we have a combination printer/photocopier. The photocopy part is controlled by a panel on the machine itself, while print jobs from the patron computers are released via a print release terminal on a table right next to the printer. The print release terminal says "PRINT RELEASE" in big purple letters. There are instructions on the table explaining how to use the print release terminal. The panel on the copier has big letters that say "USE THIS SCREEN FOR COPIES ONLY!"

Every day - every day - I have at least one patron come up to the desk and say, "I sent something to the printer and put my money in and all I got was this blank piece of paper!" Well, sir or madam, that is because you are apparently incapable of reading even very basic, very obvious instructions.

I tell you what, I am really looking forward to our three-week closure.
darchildre: text: "i am a terrifying and imposing figure" (they said i'd be ambassador to france)
2016-03-29 09:21 am

(no subject)

Things of lately:

- I am over my terrible cold (mostly) and my Dad is back from Taiwan. He was there for a month, that is entirely too long.

- This past weekend, I went to see Assassins in Seattle, which was SO GOOD, OMG. I'm so glad I decided to do the ridiculous thing and buy myself two tickets, because I need to see it again. I just - I have a lot of feelings about that show. It's possible that Assassins is my favorite musical, and if that's not true, it's at least in the top five. The ACT's production is really great, if you're in Seattle and can get tickets you really should, and I'm super happy that I'm going again in April.

- I have finished reading Wizard and Glass and have started Wind Through the Keyhole. I always think I don't like Wizard much until I'm reading it and then I remember that it's actually really good and that I do actually sorta kinda care about Roland and Susan's doomed romance. Plus, Cuthbert. Wind Through the Keyhole is entirely new to me, which is exciting.

- Vaguely relatedly, I decided I needed something new to listen to after getting through a large portion of Saga Thing, so I spun the dial of "Things Sara is Interested In" and ended up with old time radio westerns. So I am listening to Gunsmoke. There is a huge amount of it, it's really quite good, and the episodes are almost exactly the length of my daily commute, so I can do exactly two a day if I want. I remain astounded and immensely pleased at the sheer amount of old time radio the internet wants to give me for free.

- We are now about a week and half out from the day the Kingston library closes for three weeks so that we can move into our new building! I'm super excited about the new place, but also weirdly excited about the closure. I mean, I'll still be working, but I'll be working in a library that's closed so all the really annoying people won't be there to bother me. My least favorite patron (who only comes in when he has a hold to pick up, but has a lot of holds so that's nearly every day) came in yesterday to suspend all of his holds till after we reopen (because he refuses to go to the next closest library which is 10 minutes away), so I don't have to see him for a month! I like most of our patrons, but it's still nice to have a break now and then.
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
2016-03-14 10:08 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

We had a windstorm yesterday, which knocked out the power in a lot of places, as well as leaving debris all over. So I got to the library this morning a half-hour before opening, to find that the computers are all funny because of the outage, there's debris everywhere outside, our clock that's supposed to reset itself for DST hasn't, neither have the automatic locks on the doors, and my coworker is out sick. So it's just me and my manager, who's busy doing managerial things.

Okay, cool, so I'm running around trying to get all the opening stuff done that usually has two of us to do it, plus all the extra stuff due to the power outage and DST. And I get all of the inside stuff done, we open okay, and I run out to get the newspapers, because if we don't have the Wall Street Journal in its place first thing in the morning, the cranky guy who reads it every day will be the first person through the door and he'll crab at us.

While I'm digging through the bookdrop for the newspapers, a patron walks past me. So I put on my customer service smile and cheerily wish her a good morning. And what do I get in return?

"You need to sweep that stuff up."

Gosh, I am glad that I came out to open the library so you could get your books today, ma'am, instead of staying home to drink tea and reread The Gunslinger. It's awfully nice to know that people are so kind and appreciative.
darchildre: The lady Melisandre with a candle, looking particularly intense. (melisandre will set you on fire)
2016-02-25 02:32 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Dear library patron,

It is not acceptable to call me "Shylock" because the cash register is at my station, holy shit.

Wow, dude. Wow.
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
2016-02-14 12:38 pm

(no subject)


- Since November, I've been trying to write in my paper journal every day. I find this leads to not writing here. Sorry.

- Earlier this week, a notoriously child-hating patron of the library came in and handed me a box of candy canes saying, "There'll be kids in here soon, maybe you can hand these out." I thanked him, put them in the office, and didn't give them to anyone. They were still wrapped, so I'm pretty sure they weren't poisoned, but you never can tell.

- I am still reading a lot of Revolutionary War-related nonfiction. The thing about reading about Thomas Jefferson is that I want to make notes that just say NERD in big letters on basically every line, which is probably not helpful. (Oh god, he was so hilariously terrible.)

- Yesterday, I told a coworker my theory about Washington having magical powers. She nodded and then asked if I had read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and we talked about that for a while. Sadly, she works mostly at Poulsbo and was only subbing at Kingston, so she can't be my new work-best-friend.

- I went to see Deadpool yesterday and it was pretty much everything I wanted out of a Deadpool movie, by which I mean that it was full of stabbing and jokes I would feel uncomfortable about if my parents were in the room. Sometimes, that is all I want in life.

- For the past few weeks, I've been attending a Quaker meeting on Sundays. (You can be a Quaker and not be a Christian. Who knew, right?) It is immensely satisfying. Which is maybe a weird thing to say about sitting in a circle with a dozen other people and mostly not talking at all while you all think about god/the gods for an hour, but yeah, it really is. I won't be able to go next week, and I'm pretty sure I'm really going to miss it.

- The reason I can't go is that next week is my grandmother's 90th birthday and all the aunts are coming. Also my cousin and his wife. And my sisters. And while I'm super happy that they can all come to celebrate Granny's birthday, oh my god, where are we going to put them all, what are we going to do with them, I have never met my cousin's wife and will have to make conversation with her, oh no.

And that's what going on with me!
darchildre: text:  library rules 1) silence 2) books must be returned by due date 3) do not interfere with the nature of causality (library rules)
2016-02-09 09:12 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Dear Overdrive,

Would it kill you to have subject headings more specific than "History"?

Also, while I'm complaining, is there no way that you could make it easier to filter out children's books? It's awesome that you have so many children's books, but they are really not what I'm looking for right now.

/library problems
darchildre: seventh doctor tweaking ace's nose (aces are rare)
2016-02-04 01:22 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

I have this one patron who comes in and mostly gets movies and rock cds and reminds me a lot of my dad, in that he's about the right age, balding, soft-spoken, and quietly warmly funny. I like him a lot. (He also never needs any help with the self-check machine and is the only IRL person I've had a conversation about the Chernow Hamilton biography with, so even without the resemblance he'd be on my list of favorites.)

Recently, he's been watching his way through the Harry Potter movies. He hasn't read the books, but he picked up the first movie for some reason and really enjoyed it. (It seems to surprise him, how much he enjoyed it.) Now every time he comes in, he asks me for the next one - he just turned in Order of the Phoenix - and spends a few minutes quietly gushing about how great the Harry Potter series is.

It is the cutest damned thing imaginable.
darchildre: a large blue marble.  text:  "today I am a small blue thing" (cool and smooth and curious)
2016-01-26 04:02 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Today, work is stressful. We are short staffed - one of my coworker's mother died late last week, so she's out all this week for obvious reasons and we're scrambling to cover her shifts. There were extra people here this morning, doing inventory before our move to our new building and trying to fix the furnace in this building because the room next door (which serves as an emergency shelter for the community during inclement weather) isn't getting any heat. We have mice in the office. And the internet went out system-wide for several hours this afternoon, which also knocked out the phones and with them all our usual avenues of communication. And later this week, on Thursday, I have a meeting in a library I've never been to before that only has street parking (I hate street parking) and then I get to come back to my library and run a program.

So that's cool.

I really want to take a mental health day, but we're short staffed as it is, so I would feel terribly guilty doing so. (And if I did, my mom would decide that we should "do something fun together!", which would rather defeat the purpose. Not that Mom isn't fun, but it is not a proper mental health day if it includes time where I have to worry if other people are enjoying themselves. Which I would do.) It is a problem.

I have a jury summons for next week and let me tell you, it is probably some kind of warning sign when you start fantasizing about being called for jury duty because it would be a day off. But I am absolutely doing that - ideally, I would get called in on Tuesday and then not actually get put on a jury but not have that decided till the end of the day. Because then I could spend the majority of the day sitting quietly and reading while I wait for things to be decided around me. Doesn't that sound lovely?

With my luck, I will get called for Monday and put on a jury for a trial that lasts for days so that I'll have to call into work every day (which I hate doing) and then feel guilty for adding extra stress to my coworkers' lives.

Maybe I will go live on the moon instead.
darchildre: children reading books in a field. (books are for adventure!)
2016-01-19 07:23 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

I have this one coworker who is about 10 years younger than me. He's pretty geeky and sometimes we talk about geeky things. And I constantly forget that, unlike other geeky people that I have geeky conversations with, he is about 10 years younger than me. We may both be geeks but we don't share the same formative cultural touchstones. He'll come in and be all, "My friend lent me these dvds and they're great - have you ever heard of a cartoon called Gargoyles?" And I have to blink for a moment and remember, oh yeah, he's too young to have watched Gargoyles when it was on tv.

This sounds like the kind of post where I'm going to complain about feeling old, but it is, in fact, something different. See, we had a patron donate a bunch of old sci-fi/fantasy paperbacks today and he was looking through them. One of them was an Anne McCaffrey book and he showed it to me, saying "What is this?" And I said, "Oh, it's Anne McCaffrey - she wrote the Pern books." He had no idea what that meant*.

I just - Anne McCaffrey. Every nerd I knew in middle school and high school had read Pern, or at least the Harper Hall trilogy. She was like Mercedes Lackey or Piers Anthony - maybe not always great, but omnipresent. It seems super weird to me that this is no longer true.

Let me tell you, friends, trying to explain Pern to people who haven't read it, especially if you haven't yourself for quite some time. Crazy names and color-coded telepathic dragons and Thread, oh my.

*I count myself fortunate that I didn't go with my first thought that always comes up about Anne McCaffrey and mention something about tentpegs. But a) I realize that that is perhaps a more specialized reference and b) this is a public library and that is inappropriate.
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
2016-01-14 03:19 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

I realize that, as a library employee, I'm really not supposed to have opinions about the materials my patrons check out but really, if you are returning an actual copy of Slave Girl of Gor, I am going to judge you for it.

I'm not going to say anything or in any way stop people checking it out, of course. But, y'know. Judging.
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
2015-11-09 10:29 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

One of our weirder curmudgeons (this guy) asked me if I could place a purchase suggestion on this book for him. I, of course, said I'd be happy to do that.

Him: "That book might put you on the library bad list."

Me: "There's nothing you could request that would make the library put you on any kind of list, sir."

Him: "No, I mean you."

A) Sir, you are the person requesting the book. There are no consequence to requesting a book, other than getting to read the book you requested, but if there were, the consequence would devolve to you.

B) That book is being published by a mainstream publisher (a division of Macmillan) and you found out about it because of an article in the Wall Street Journal. It appears to be a book about economic history, which I'm sure you will find interesting but I have a hard time believing it's going to be all that inflammatory. I think maybe it is not the dangerous subversive work you think it is.

C) One time, you implied that I must be a fan of Donald Trump because "don't all librarians like tv?" I think maybe you have a very skewed idea of both my and the library's politics, which perhaps you might like to rethink. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy your book when it gets here.
darchildre: (natasha does not have time for this shit)
2015-11-05 04:23 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Today, I had to actually stop a kid from doing cartwheels in the library, while her grandmother stood right next to her and watched, while complaining that we didn't have any books in our tiny library specifically on doily making*.

People are inexplicable.

*We offered to put books on doily making on hold - no good. We offered to find and print patterns from the internet - no good. She was amazingly offended that we had no books on hand to offer her. It was pretty astounding.
darchildre: the seventh doctor explaining things to ace (seven explains the plot)
2015-11-03 12:31 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Yesterday, we had four very tall teenage boys walk into the children's library at Bainbridge and ask if we could lend them some ribbon. They had some papers they rolled up to look like a scroll and wanted to tie it so it would look more official. We gave them some blue ribbon and we asked what it was. They told us it was a Declaration, so we asked if they were overthrowing some kind of tyrannical regime and they said yes and then left.

I have so many questions.
darchildre: ninth doctor and rose viewing earth from space (...and i feel fine)
2015-10-06 02:58 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Back from the film festival and back to work!

So, this is my tenth year of working at the library. Which is pretty cool - I like working at the library and it's nice to think that I've been there that long and still enjoy it.

When you get to 10 years at the library, they give you a pin. I got mine today. I got one at five years, too.

I don't know, you guys, maybe I am just really cynical but what is the point of that? I assume there are people who value things like that and I envy them, but it always puts me in mind of those awards ceremonies we'd have at the end of the year in middle school, where everyone got a certificate for something. Just these weird mass-produced pieces of paper with a facsimile of the principal's signature, saying that you'd had perfect attendance* or whatever you were being "recognized" for. Ours had pictures of tigers on them, despite the fact that our school mascot was the jaguar, and we told at least one of our teachers that every year. (Once I had a teacher try to argue with me about that, as if I didn't know/couldn't tell the difference between tigers and jaguars. I invite you to imagine my adolescent scorn.) That level of attention to detail should give you an idea of how valuable these certificates were, yet they were given out every year of my school life as though we ought to treasure them.

That's what the pin feels like. It's a random mass-produced anonymous piece of useless nonsense. I guess I've never really understood the point of trophies, either. Either you won a competition, in which case you won, or it's an achievement you reached on your own bettering yourself. In either case, you have what you achieved. Having a weird useless cup as well seems silly to me.

The uselessness bothers me too. At 15 years working at the library, you're given a plaque. What do you even do with that? I mean, obviously, you hang it on your wall except no, I'm not going to do that. I didn't even hang my college diploma on my wall, and I put actual work into earning that, rather than simply clearing the lowest bar possible by showing up to work every day. You want to reward me for clearing that bar? Then at least give me something I can use.

I can never tell if being weirdly annoyed about this kind of thing is just me being overly cynical or if a lot of people don't really get trophies and certificates and we've all sort of silently agreed that it's not done to talk about it. Maybe there are a lot of people who really like this kind of thing. (If so, I hope that you'll accept that I mean no insult to you.)

I don't know, guys. Anyay. Now I have a pin.

*Awards for perfect attendance are especially bullshit, because a) don't come to school when you're sick, that's a terrible decision and you'll infect everyone else, and b) a child has basically no control over deciding whether or not to go school. It's like getting an award for not being struck by lightning - you put no effort into achieving it, it happens whether you want it to or not.
darchildre: The lady Melisandre with a candle, looking particularly intense. (melisandre will set you on fire)
2015-09-18 04:29 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

The library patron who calls me all the pet names came in today, and called me "Sweetiepie" and "Lovey" and "Bunny". And, y'know, I hate that. So, I figured that I've put up with that for 10 years and, other than that, we have a pretty amicable relationship, so in the course of conversation when she said "Bunny," I said, "Please don't call me that."

And she blinked at me and said, "Why don't you like being called that?" So I told her that I don't really like being called pet names. And she said, "Why not? I mean, do you have no inherent sense of self-worth?"

Do you have no inherent sense of self-worth. That is a thing that she actually asked me, actually said to my face.

So, y'know what? Fuck you, lady. I do indeed have an inherent sense of self-worth, because that's what makes me not want to be called demeaning pet names by someone who can't be bothered to use my fucking real name after knowing it for ten fucking years. I also have an inherent sense of courtesy and respect for other people that makes me a) address people respectfully, b) not argue with people when they ask me not to do something, c) not do terrible shit like accusing people of having a lack of self-worth, and d) talk to you respectfully even after you said that shit to me. As well as a sense of restraint that leads me to not punch you in the face.

You want to know the real reason I don't want you to call me pet names? Because you don't know me, and I don't like you. So back the fuck off.

I am so angry about this. Thank the gods I'm off tomorrow and don't have to do any kind of bullshit customer service anything.