Monday, August 27, 2007

Tiny Pet Peeve

So today I was at Paradise Plaza, which is a nice enough branch. The fun personalities of the people there balance out the drudgery of the work admirably. So today was a rather short and uneventful day. Since I'm not at that library enough to really know their cast of characters, I wasn't able to get in on the continuing adventures of their wackos. It's actually a pity that it's so rarely used since it's the newest library and has the best equipment. Hell, it even has wi-fi. But no, I don't suppose the homeless people and weirdos know enough about the branch's existence to warrant visiting there on a regular basis.

Like I said, the staff at Paradise is a great bunch. They fit all my librarian stereotypes to an uncomfortable T. It's always good to be called "young blood" by a guy who used to sub for me in high school. It makes time go by faster to man the reference desk when you know you're surrounded by a colorful cast of characters.

But, work is not just hanging out with co-workers, no there are patrons to appease and give computer reservations in order to pacify them for the time being. It's not as bad as some of the other branches. Actually, some of the kids seem to be fairly computer literate and knew how to use the print management system (An honest shock. The rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina is further along then the implientation of the new awful printing system. But that's a longer post for another time) But seeing as school had just started a week ago, I got a lot of questions about school books and research topics. However, most of them had to do with one topic: Summer Reading.

Now I could understand if it was some enterprising kid who had delayed the inevitable by putting off summer reading all summer and was struggling to cram it all in. But no. These are parents. Parents coming up to me, shoving a reading list in my face, and demanding which books are the shortest. I'm sorry, but didn't you care about your child's scholastic achievement, i dunno, maybe a few months ago, in the SUMMER?!?!?! Page count means nothing at this stage in the game, you're just screwed. Back when I had required summer reading, my parents made sure that I got started on it at an early enough date that I wouldn't have to wait until mid- to late August to get it done. And I know a lot of those books I had to read sucked and I barely remember them now, but you better know that on the first day of class, I was able to ace that quiz testing if I'd done the reading.

The thing I find most amazing is that these people are shocked, SHOCKED, I tell ya, that the book that's been on the summer reading list for the entire county
is checked out and there's a waiting list!??!?! You mean there are equally irresponsible parents that have putting it off as long as I have!?!?! And then they get the gall to demand me to check it again, as if I would be like "Oops, you got me. I'm a jackass. I get off on withholding stuff from people. I've got a whole slew of copies of 'The Lightning Thief' under my desk because I was testing you." I mean, most of those books (The previously mentioned 'Lightning Thief,' 'Blood Red Horse' and 'Basketball or Something Like It') we don't even bother looking it up in the system. Why? WHY?!??! BECAUSE WE'VE FRAKING HEARD FRAKING 3 MILLION FRAKING PEOPLE DEMANDING THOSE FRAKING BOOKS ALL FRAKING SUMMER AND WE FRAKING KNOW THERE'S A FRAKING LONG WAIT! Jeez. Give us some credit.

And my favorite part of the entire equation is when they get desperate and start asking where they can get a copy cause their kid needs it tomorrow. First off, those lists were given out in May, so don't act so surprised. Secondly, don't be offended when I suggest trying Barnes and Noble or Amazon. People have it in their head that book stores are our enemies and the library will close if they start buying books. Two words: Government Funding. As long as you draw breath, we will get paid. But by the same token, you don't give us money directly, so we don't have to give you the book right then and there. Didn't you idiots ever see "Reading Rainbow?" It's called a Free Library. And if it's free, you've got no right to complain.

Anyway, in closing: Paradise Plaza is underrated, summer reading should be done in the summer, and for the last time, we don't have any copies of bloody "Cottonmouth Club"!!!

1 comment:

Draper said...

Damn, it feels good to be underrated!