Thursday, February 26, 2009

Week 8

I have really enjoyed this course a lot. It sometimes has been a challenge to get the time, but it has been worth the effort. I have appreciated the explanations and the structures that give us opportunities to figure out the different technologies at our own pace, and based on what interests us or what we could most make use of. Some things I knew already better than others, but this format of online learning took what in workshops give you an overview and give us ways to make the knowledge more personal and deeper. So, thanks, Caitlin and Matt! (Also thanks for not requiring us to sign up for Facebook:) I would recommend offering the course again and on-goingly for newbies to the system or people who missed this one. Likely even, I am going to continue my blog, as it turns out to be a great place for me to express and work out the strange and unlikely experiences of being at the public service desk. Stay tuned if you're interested...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Photos I like!

Gorgeous Colours
Lao Healing Ceremony
Japanese Rice Planting Ceremony
Tea Ceremony (with Masks!)
PS. I am having difficulty finding permanent links to these photos. I have replaced them once now, and we shall see how long the active links last!


So far, I'm not that keen on joining Facebook, as I really don't want to increase the amount of time I already spend on the computer and I only have dial-up at home. If it becomes an asset to join for my business, then I will.

Friday, February 6, 2009


A very unkempt middle-aged man with a crazed look in his eyes walks up to the info desk.
Man: "Do you have a book?"
{Now, because he looks serious, intense and not well, I forgo sarcasm and ask:}
Carrie: "Yes. Which book is that?"
Man: (now twirling the hair at his right temple in his finger and staring just off to the left) "Jeffrey Dahmer."
Well, as it turns out, the books on Jeffrey Dahmer were all out. I, well, frankly, reluctantly, directed him to the true crime section, as he giggled maniacally and continuing to twirl his hair. Ooh, the downtown branches.

Next up, a middle-aged guy walks up to my desk looking very annoyed and entitled.
Guy: What's the problem?
{That's it, that's all. Like I'm supposed to know what the *#!&*(& he's talking about!}
Carrie: (laughing, somewhat hysterically, as a way NOT to snap his head off) I don't even know what you're talking about.
Guy: (in a tone that implies I'm supposed to know already) The computers! They're not working!
But of course. Silly me for not being an IT mind reader. I feel completely enlightened by your well communicated, fully thought-out, direct and detailed question and answer. Come again!

This reminds me of the laziest NON-question I have ever had, back in the day, when I worked at the Blackburn Hamlet branch. There was a regular patron, a middle aged woman who did a program with learning disabled adults who would come in every week and expect the diva treatment, meaning no effort on her part, full effort on ours. Normally, she would walk up to the desk, tell us a subject and ask us to collect all the books in the library with good pictures of this topic. This one day, she didn't come up with even that much.
Woman: Do you a book, with, uh, a, little bit of, uh, everything?
{Insert internal explosion here}
Carrie: (in a steely, "are you sure you want to ask that?" tone) You want a book with a little bit of everything?
Woman: (taking a step back and looking less certain, but still going for it) Uh, yes?
Carrie: (in a similarly-themed "believe me, after this, our conversation is done for today" tone) The generalities are in the 00's, behind you.
Woman decides to go and look herself.
I am not usually so un-professional, but I swear the thing that drives me the most crazy the fastest is people who expect you to both provide the question AND answer it, without them having to trouble themselves with any action of any kind. Press button A... I have found since, though, now that she has set the gold standard in this kind of behaviour, I find every other version of the question does not annoy me to the same degree. So, in a strange way, I do thank her for blowing out that circuit so I don't have to do it twice. Zen and the art of library work.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Just to get it off my chest, the *#$%@^(! Internet is so slow this afternoon at the library that it took several tries for almost each RSS sign up. Mental note: don't do this on a Friday afternoon at OPL. As for the feeds themselves, I don't have a personal use for them yet, as when I visit a site, ie. CBC, I get to go when I want to and not when I don't. At this point, it personally is just information overload. There may be some excellent business applications, though. And as for library stuff, certainly library programs, for example, if you can limit it by branch, could be really useful.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Later that same day

Ok, really, I am not one for blogging ad nauseum, but when a story presents itself, well, what am I going to do but blog?

This afternoon, I was helping a guy look up a specific book on origami that he wanted to order through ILL, after talking him out of finishing the Suggestion for Purchase form, as it was an older book. Nice guy, but he was pretty slow moving, so the interaction took some time. Anyways, at the end of it, while I was helping other patrons, he folded me two connected origami cranes out the half filled out Suggestion for Purchase paper!

The three R's in action, people!

That's Ms. Zellweger to you

This morning a woman (one of our "irregular regulars, if you know what I mean) came up to the desk because she wanted to ask me:
"Are you the woman in that movie, Reneé Z..., uh Ren...Weg..?"
me: "Reneé Zellweger?"
woman: "Yeah, her. Bridget...Diary"
me (friendly tone) : "Yes, Bridget Jones' Diary. Reneé Zellweger is in that. But I'm not her. I've never acted in a film."
woman: "That's too bad because I wanted to say that I loved 'Bridget Jones' Diary' and to tell her that she did a really good job."
me: "I liked it too."
woman (looking a bit confused): "You look at lot like her."
At this point, I just nodded and smiled, but I would like to interject, for the record that I look nothing like Reneé Zellweger, except that I am a white woman in the same age range... But still, the woman was sweet and you take compliments, well-meant but deluded as they are, where you get them.

I'll also take the time to tie it into a previous encounter I had, which happened just after I got a new haircut. One of our regulars (I don't remember who, so I'm not sure if they were "irregular" or not although I suspect) told me that she liked the cut and that I looked like Nicole Kidman. I laughed (I couldn't help it!). Maybe my haircut looked like Nicole Kidman's haircut (which, if true, means I didn't tip my hairdresser enough) but that's as far as the similarities go (except for the aforementioned white skin and right age range, plus in this case, red hair).

Oh, the glamourous life a public service assistant!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pigeons Beware!

This just in from a colleague at Main:

"I hear you're going to be posting your experiences at the info. desk on your blog. Here's a breaking story you might want to keep your eyes on. We have a possible serial slasher in our midst. Twice now, the photo of the pigeon on Andrew Blechman's book: Pigeons : the fascinating saga of the world's most revered and reviled bird has been cut out (from two separate books)."

So, keep your eyes peeled, folks. APB on the "Pigeon Slasher"...


So I see that a lot of folks are sharing what books they've read recently. I am going to pay homage to that trend today, but with a twist - let me tell you about the haircut I saw today.

Picture if you will, dyed black, shaved to 1/2 and inch on one side, spiked in a mohawk on top and long past their shoulders on the other side. Why choose any one style when three will clearly do!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lesson 2

I guess I would have to say that my goal would be to learn how to make best use of an ipod, in the event that I win it?!? (see habit 7.5:)
Actually, I am looking forward to getting some experience in the realm of 2.0 in this course, since I am not naturally drawn to technology on my own - having a structure will really help me get up to date.
AND I will still be posting bizarro stories of the library if I encounter them in this time frame (the odds, literally, are good)!

So a man walks into the library...

It occurs to me that I could really spend this blog putting in writing what happens at the Info Desk on a daily basis. Hmm...the possibilities.
I can't think of anything for today (it figures) but I will direct anyone reading this to visit my existing business blog at This is what I do with the rest of my professional time. And this is where I direct the rest of my blog knowledge and insight, such as it is.
Until the next exciting library story, then!