Saturday, June 28, 2008

These are the books in your library

Summer is never a fun time for public librarians. Sure, it's a productive time and it makes us look good--kids are reading, families are checking out materials and bringing their kids to programs--but man is it hard on the nerves. Yesterday afternoon, after witnessing a kid wapping his brother on the head with one of the summer reading program prizes, I busted out a librarian voice so stern I didn't even know I had it in me. Summer really does bring out the best in each and every one of us.

It doesn't help that our library has another big huge project that needs to be completed by the end of the summer. Basically, we have a bunch of books that have bad cataloging records that won't be compatible with our new library system, which will be arriving in September. Ultimately, this is a good thing; it's basically a big huge, easy as pie weeding project. It's just horrible timing. My little desk area in the children's room is covered in SRP sign up clipboards, SRP prizes, storytime sign up clipboards, storytime books and crafts and lots and lots of old books. A library volunteer pulled all of the books with old records and stacked them around my desk. I basically have a fort, built out of books, which probably used to be a dream of mine when I was younger. Which is all fine and good until one of the stacks topples and you can't get to your file cabinet and a kid knocks over another stack while picking up his Pizza Hut personal pan pizza coupon.

The only thing keeping me sane is the gems I'm finding in these stacks--I'm finding ridiculously outdated books, politically incorrect books and books that were old when I was a little kid. Examples:

"Festivals of West Germany." A perfect source for every child's nonfiction needs!

"The Truth About Old Wives Tales." Old Wives Tales they chose to tackle: "Hair of the Dog, the Ultimate Hangover Remedy," "Black Coffee Sobers You Up," "Beer Before Whiskey, Pretty Risky; Whiskey Before Beer, Never Fear," and my personal favorite "You Can't Get Pregnant If You Have Sex Standing Up." All of these helpful lessons could be found until recently in the juvenile section of the library. (by the way, if you were wondering, their verdict is not true, not true, maybe and not true.)

"World War II and the Modern Age" from the Universal History of the World series, dated 1966. Thus, the "Modern Age" involves putting the word astronaut in quotations (you know! those new fangled people who fly in space!), and featuring pictures of computers that make this look high tech. They also smell as modern as their content.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes, The Violent Edition

Mary, 2-years-old, speaking to her sister as "Mr. Zebra," the zebra puppet: Anna, I am going to come over there and bite you!

Grace, 3-years-old, to her brother Jack, while fighting about the computer: I'm going to cut your neck!

Eric, 12-year-old SRP volunteer, to fellow SRP volunteer, Christian: So I was totally two-timing this girl and she found out and she totally punched her!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Library Land Updates

-The library flooded yesterday! Our basement is currently under about a foot of water, which also means that our summer reading program book prizes are also under a foot of water.

-I had my rain boots in my car so I was sent downstairs to investigate the extent of the damage. All of our reading program book prizes are soaking wet as are the entire contents of the annual Friends of the Library book sale. Not. Cool. And pretty depressing too.

-I'm pretty sure the summer reading program is cursed. It's the first one I've planned and everything is going wrong. Something goes wrong and I fix it. And then two days later, something else goes wrong. And it's only June. The damn thing hasn't even started yet. Who knows what July is going to bring.

-The apartment moving went wonderfully and I'm all settled in. Thanks to Hernia Movers. They truly are the potentate of totin' freight.

-There's a car in the apartment complex parking lot with two bumper stickers. 1) "I fake it so he buys me stuff." and 2) "I'm proud of my cub scout." I can't wait to meet my neighbors.

-There is a guy in the library with a little baby and the guy cannot be more than 20. And he's wearing a wedding ring. I feel old. And single.

-The other people in the children's room is a dad and his daughter. She's approx. 4 y.o. and she's playing on her dad's laptop. She just told her dad "Dad, I logged off!"