Friday, August 21, 2009

Closing down

I'm going to close down this blog (sort of).

No, No, no arguing. The new job keeps me busy (Hooray!) and I really have less need to post as therapy, and not as much to share. Not as many Shelf-Daleks or Cyber-librarians here, either. My sonic screwdriver has been positively silent these last few days.

So, to all who have been following my posts --- Thank you!

WHO knows? Perhaps we shall meet again, some TIME some place, maybe at a convention. I'll keep and wear the "Director Who" logo on the back of my name tag.

Take care!

"The Director"

Of course, if the Cloister Bell should ring one day, I may re-activate the Blog. So, I'll be keeping it, just not posting.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gripe of the week: keeping order in the library

Ok, here's the thing. In several of the libraries at which I have worked, I have encountered staff (not necessarily LIBRARIANS) who have balked at putting or keeping books in order.

Now some are easier than others:
Hardbacks on a shelf are easy to see and maintain.
Paperbacks, on the other hand, and the subject of this rant, are more difficult, especially if they are on something other than a traditional shelf. Spin racks, for example.

I was putting the paperback rack in order this morning (yeah, I know it's not my job as Director, but no one else was doing it), and a staff person came over with a handful of books, and saw me working there, and just shoved them in at the end.

Me: "Wait, I'm trying to put these in order here"
Her: "Why? The patrons just mess them up, it's a waste of time to put them in order"
Me: "No, it's job security".
Her: Laughs and walks away.

Now I could mention this at the staff meeting, but I know from experience that this doesn't work. I had exactly the same conversation with staff at TWO previous libraries, at one I was Reference Librarian and the other my first run as Director. At that one, I asked for the hard back books to be put alphabetical by author, and then by title within author. "Oh, that's too hard!" "They will never stay that way!"

They will if you shelve them that way, and shelf read as you shelve.

but it never happened.

So, anyway, what's so wrong with library staff putting books in order as they shelve? Why is it such a mystery? Or am I just being "Monk"-ish, and OCD'ing over it?

Probably the latter. As long as the hard covers are alphabetical by author, is everyone but me happy?

Ok, end rant for the week. New rant next week, as well as goodies through the week.

"The Director"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

B.C. by Johnny Hart on kids and books

Click on the cartoon to view full size!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book recommendation

Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
Anne Fadiman

I discovered this on the sale table of our local library book sale. It looked dubious at first, but then, I thought, "why not? It's small, it should be a quick read." Well I'm still reading it. There is a LOT in this little book: it's funny, thought-provoking, and very, very good. Enjoy!

"The Director"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gripe of the week

Ok, what is it with staff wanting to collect money for every little thing? It's like this hidden cost of being employed at a library:

a) we're taking up a collection for X's birthday! How much are you going to give? Everyone else is giving $5.00, plus something for a cake.
b) We're making a snack run -- what do you want us to bring you?
c) Coffee fund!
d) We're out of bottled water, your share comes to _______.
e) fill in your own.

It's not that I don't want to be sociable, it's just that I don't have that much disposable income. Or rather I want to spend it on stuff I want or need.

Now I can see once in a while, for someone leaving or celebrating someone coming in. But why do we have to have a collection for 'National Duran Duran Appreciation Day' (August 10)?

Frankly, I wish I could just say "leave me out of it" but when I said the other day, "oh, all right! Bring me a Coke!" It was almost like I'd given them a raise! "Yay! Director is ordering something!"

Is there a nice way to say "Look, I'm not being anti-social, I'm just broke!" Without seeming to be asking for sympathy?

End rant. For now.

"The Director"

a) Cake? What's wrong with "Little Debbie" Cupcakes with a candles stuck in them?

b) Honest, I'm trying to watch my weight, plus I only drink water at work, thanks to being always thirsty because of blood-pressure meds.

c)I bring my own -- it's better than Starbucks, and cheaper! Publix buy one, get one free -- New England Coffee. Breakfast Blend or French Vanilla. Yum. NEVER Folgers, the coffee of choice of the Library. Ugh.

d) I don't drink bottled water. It just comes from a tap somewhere. I can show you the YouTube video of Penn and Teller proving it*. I buy one bottle, BPA free, and refill it each morning and at lunch (which I go home for, by the way).

*Language warning, may not be family friendly, these guys are crude and crass, but boy, do they make their point!:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday to the US Coast Guard

August 4 is celebrated as Coast Guard Day to honor the establishment on that day in 1790 of the Revenue Cutter Service, forebear of today's Coast Guard, by the Treasury Department. On that date, Congress, guided by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, authorized the building of a fleet of ten cutters, whose responsibility would be enforcement of the first tariff laws enacted by Congress under the Constitution.

The Coast Guard has been continuously at sea since its inception, although the name Coast Guard didn't come about until 1915 when the Revenue Cutter Service was merged with the Lifesaving Service. The Lighthouse Service joined the Coast Guard in 1939, followed in 1946 by the Bureau of Navigation and Steamboat Inspection. Finally, in 1967, after 177 years in the Treasury Department, the Coast Guard was transferred to the newly formed Department of Transportation.

Coast Guard Day is primarily an internal activity for active duty Coast Guard personnel, civilian members, reservists, retirees, auxiliarists, and dependents, but it does have a significant share of interest outside the Service. Grand Haven, Michigan, also known as Coast Guard City, USA, annually sponsors the Coast Guard Festival around August 4. Typically it is the largest community celebration of a branch of the Armed Forces in the nation.

In addition to celebrating their own day every year, Coast Guard members also participate as equal partners in Armed Forces Day activities.

Monday, July 20, 2009

40 years ago today. AMERICA did it first, and, as of today, we are the ONLY nation to send men to the moon and bring them home safely.

However, we are a humble nation, too. So the plaque left by Armstrong and Aldrin reads:

“Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon, July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

God bless America!