Posts Tagged ‘ libraries ’

NaNoWriMo

   It’s that time again! National Novel Writing Month is upon us, well, in November it shall be upon us, and I’m super excited to get this party started! Is it bad that my idea of partying is to write 50,000 words in a month? Ah well, I never professed to being cool…

Anyway, I’m gearing up for this year’s event. I have my pencils sharpened, my composition notebooks neatly lined up on the corner of my utterly clean desk, and….ha! who am I kidding? I’m a writer! I’ll be lucky if I change out of my pajamas before lunch while I’m working on a writing project.

This year I decided to be a more active participant and went to my library director in hopes of having our library as a writing site for all NaNoWriMo participants in the area. She was totally on board and quickly wrangled a representative from Adult and Youth Services to help helm the project. So I went ahead and ordered our press kit from the NaNoWriMo site so we will have signs, bookmarks and promotional stuff to advertise the event. Plus, we’re hosting a writer’s workshop, raffles, reserved tables with lots o’ outlets, and other goodies. 😀 I’m so excited!!!

Now that I’ve jammered on you’re probably saying, “Well, that’s super great, but what is NaNoWriMo?”

Good question. National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo is a national (global?) event where participants register on the NaNoWriMo website to register and keep track of their progress as they work towards writing 50,000 words in a month. There are forums, chats, and other cool resources also available as well as groups in general regions (central NJ for me) where writers can convene for events in person. It’s a way where writers can connect, vent, discuss, network, and bang out a novel with a word goal instead of over analyzing every turn of phrase and grammar choice for hours only to find they haven’t written an entire paragraph yet. Sounds good to me!

Happy writing!

Wordless Wednesday

Tales From the Library

It’s been another glorious week at the library. Ever since school’s been back in session the chaos has diminished and the craziness has died down a bit.

This, however, doesn’t mean that there aren’t still crazy people coming in every day. Although these interesting people aren’t always fun to deal with, they always make for a good story.

And the #1 Crazy Person at the Library Award goes to….(drum roll, please)….

Book Sale Lady!

(clap, clap, clap, clap!)

Yesterday, it was fifteen minutes before closing time and I went to our book sale area to turn off the light. (There are several patrons who enjoy perusing said book sale until the very last minute and bringing their multitude of books up to the circulation desk for us to count. This is typically followed by them proceeding to count out their dimes, nickels and pennies only to find they don’t have enough money and have to choose some items to part ways with. The process leaves us closing late and not as pleasant as when we first started work. Hence, the early book sale closing.)

I shut off the light and pushed gently ushered the last occupant out letting her know that the book sale was officially closed for the day, but that she was more than welcome to stop back again tomorrow.

Her response? “Ok! My son is on his honeymoon making a baby for me!”

Didn’t see that one coming, huh? Yeah, me neither.

What can you say to that?

This has been another episode of Tales From the Library! Tune in next week for more dastardly deeds and the Library Goddess that has to rescue everyone…

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Tales from the Library

And now it’s time for…TALES FROM THE LIBRARY!

I understand that a lot of how people react and interact with others at the library is circumstantial. Maybe your cat just passed on to feline heaven, or your brood of twelve children is especially rowdy today, or you just got yet another speeding ticket. But there’s a certain decorum that is expected when one enters a library. It is, after all, a hallowed place of peace for those seeking both refuge and a certain hopeful degree of enlightenment. But for those of you who have had a particular bad day or are at their wits end and forget those key rules of etiquette when visited your library, I have compiled a list. I call it:

Runner Sami’s Top Ten Non-Negotiable Rules of Library Etiquette

1. Never, ever put your child on the circulation desk (or any desk for that matter). This leads to (sadly, I say this from experience): being sneezed, coughed, spit and snotted upon, not to mention those parents who seem to have forgotten what a loaded diaper smells like before plopped said diaper disguised as a child on the desk.

2. When your partner/child/septuagenarian grandmother is across the library, please don’t scream at them to come over because you’re checking out.

3. When the first, second, and last calls are being made warning you that the library is closing, please heed these calls. There’s no reason fifty people should be lined up with piles of books/DVDs/CDs when the lights are dimmed because the librarians are going home.

4. Always check inside your books for pictures, checks, cash, thermometers, baseball cards, and toilet paper BEFORE you return them to the library.

5. Stop taking covered hardback books to the beach. Please.

6. Get chance for the copier/printer before coming to the library, so you won’t have to ask us every time if we can break your hundred.

7. There’s no need to scream and pitch a fit at your librarian. Despite what you seem to believe, we are NOT out to get you for twenty cents. We have much more important things to do then plot ways we can piss you off and ruin your important life.

8. Gum is best chewed quietly in a closed mouth. Chomping does nothing to expedite the checking out process.

9. For the love of all that is decent in this world, please don’t put fifty items on hold then wait for them to expire before coming in to get them only to put them back on hold.

And finally,

10. Under no circumstances should you send your six-year-old child to inquire about the fines on your card. Shame, shame on you!

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Tales From the Library

 Yes, folks, it’s Thursday once again. That means it’s time for – Tales From the Library!

 The ongoing heat of the summer has not helped with the moods of the library patrons. My colleague spent twenty minutes listening to a man argue over when he dropped his book in the book drop yesterday. First, he said it was on Friday, then it was on Saturday, then it was his wife, then he had the audacity to ask her why she wasn’t believing him when he was “telling the truth.” She calmly responded, “Which story would you like me to believe, sir?” And the real kicker of this tale – the fine was only twenty cents!!! 

Yes, you read that right – twenty cents. Oh, man, I hope this heat relents, so people’s brains aren’t completely fried.

My favorite is when people go straight to my boss and argue about a book being absolutely, one hundred percent returned and claiming that if we can’t find the book, then probably “one of your employees took it.” Yes. I am going to steal a book, not check it in, all to spite a random stranger and risk losing my job. That is definitely what happened. Genius!

And finally, a patron comes up to the circulation desk:

“I thought you would have a book I’m looking for, but I can’t find it. It’s for my son’s summer reading.”

“I can check for you, sir. What’s the title?”

“It’s called, Men and Mice.”

Oh, brother.

My favorite moment of the week so far was finding this in the book drop:

If only all patrons were as conscientious!

 

And yes, the fine was exactly thirty cents. 🙂

My question for this week is two-fold and a little tricky, as most of you are probably fans of your local library already. If you are, maybe you could ask a friend. Many people in the 20-30s don’t frequent their local library. 

Why not and what do you think libraries can do to bring more patrons in from that age-range?

I love hearing your thoughts and comments! 🙂

Tales From the Library

Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind of day that seems to give the adage “when it rains, it pours” meaning? Yup. Me too. I think that library patrons get a little more crazy in the summer. I think it’s partially the heat and partially people who have school-aged children going off the deep end. Just at the library I see kids regularly running around screaming, banging on the glass of the fish tank that has a sign posted “Do Not Touch Glass,” or parents yelling at their children from across the library about not yelling. Ah, the joys!

People tend to get sloppy with their excuses too. I mean, come on, if you’re going to make up an excuse or blatantly lie to my face at least make it a good one.

For example:

Me calling a patron: Hi, this the public library –

Patron: It was like that when I got it!

Me: Erm, well, sir, it’s actually graffiti on the cd case of your name and phone number.

Patron: Well, there are a lot of people in the “why not club.”

Me: ??? Ok….I just wanted to let you know that it’s unacceptable to deface public property and that the next time it happens you will be asked to pay to replace the cd case.

Patron: There will be another cd in the book drop that has the same message.

Me: Ok…thanks for letting me know.

Patron: I’ll be sure to tell the person responsible that it’s not okay to do that.

Me: Thank you, sir. Have a good day.

And it was okay with you to both tell a bold faced lie about the cd and allow whoever did it to do it in the first place?? *sigh* I wish I was making this up!

So not only has there been a ginormous influx of the library crazies, but then we’ve started getting summer returns in our book drop too.

Such as:

Books filled with sand

Books still wet (“The person who had it before me did that!” “It was like that when I got it!”)

Random photos in books from family vacations

And my favorite so far: a sock.

Yes, summer in all her glory is upon us! 🙂

Do you have any stories from a bookstore or library that you’d care to share?