Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Adventures at the Library

~Patron breaks window in his own car, because he locked his keys in it. He said he couldn't afford a locksmith, so he breaks a window instead. :-(

~Patron loses his wallet; comes to the circulation desk and tells the clerk to give his wallet back. That ended up with the police coming to "take me away, ha ha". Right after they leave another patron comes to the reference desk and says, "I found this wallet back there by a computer." (!!!) Another day, he comes back and tries busting into the staff door in the back. He's now spending time behind closed doors, - with bars!

~Walmart customers come here next....

~Roofers have been working on replacing the metal roof. They were supposed to be done by the end of last month/year. They're not.

~We made a Christmas tree out of discarded books, wrapped in Christmas lights. We sat teddy bears around it, "reading" books. This generated a lot of comments. Maybe I'll find a picture and post it.

I've always said - working at the reference desk is like sitting on the front row of life!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

rising prices

A patron came in the library last night - as they should... She was apparently trying to use the copier. She made the comment that "the price keeps going up. Every time I put a coin in here, the price goes up." ('How can I ever put in enough money, in other words...')

The Librarian on duty went over to see what he could do to assist her and discovered she was putting money into the copier's coin-op and with each coin, it was giving her the total she had put in.

Yup, we serve all kinds of patrons.

I've always said working here is like sitting on the front row of life.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dig Beneath the Surface

That is this year's Summer Reading Program theme. Even the staff sign up for it. I have read (finished) 1 book so far this summer. Today my name was drawn for this week's staff drawing!!! Woo Hoo.

It was a $25 gift certificate at a local BBQ restaurant!!! Ahhhhhh! To die for! Guess where we had supper tonight! I had four luscious ribs, corn on the cob and more cole slaw than I could eat. (It really wasn't that much slaw, but I made sure I ate everything else first and was quite full!) I did get about half of the slaw eaten. I had over $2 left over which I put towards the tip!

That gift card didn't last long! My husband picked me up at 5:00 and we headed right for the restaurant. It was gone by 6:00!!! Can't beat that, though - no dishes to wash or a kitchen to clean up and a wonderful meal, to boot!!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

What are the odds???

There may be nothing to come of this encounter, but just the fact that this much has even happened is amazing. I'd put it on the level of a "God Thing."

I was working the reference desk when a patron came in. I helped him with his question then commented on his cap. It had a certain sports logo on it.  He said he used to live in that state. I asked him where, with a motive for asking. He named a town - which is 17 miles west of where we used to live. I related to him that I used to live in this other town. [In fact we still have our house there, waiting for someone to buy it.]

He replied with 'I just drove through [said town] looking to see if there were any houses for sale!!!

X - drop jaw open here!!!

So the next few minutes were spent sharing with him about our house and what it was like, etc. Whether he ends up buying it or not, this alone is a rather Odds-busting encounter!!!

Whoda thunk???

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

"Customer Service"

Serving the patron comes in all kinds of ways. today it meant swapping money!

We had a patron that is on leave from her marine post in Europe. She comes to Rogers every summer to visit family. She wanted to get on a computer but with out a library card she could only get on our guest machine. It gives the user 15-20 minutes at a time and often isn't enough. We more than once have extended the time for folks, especially when there is no one waiting. Well after the third or fourth time, today, one of the librarians suggested that maybe she would like to get a temporary card. The catch was that it would cost her $5.00.

For a moment it looked like all was lost. All she had was foreign money, -euros! Luckily - we just happen (!) to have on staff a man who is a coin collector including paper money. He more than happily "bought" her 5 euro bill for $5, American. Of course he got a deal on the exchange. But she got access to the internet more than 15 minutes a day. Now she can chat it up all she wants with her friends back in Germany!!

Now isn't that service!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Blogs - Blogs - Blogs

I love the idea of blogging for many reasons. It does give one an outlet for writing and publishing, whether or not one really has anything to say! I have this one that I started when I was a library director in a private college and seminary. I will say, I slacked off quite a bit when I moved and took a "lower" position that doesn't even require a library degree. But there were  mitigating reasons for that.

Then I started another one for my "new location" that was less library related and broader in scope - more about my personal life.

Number three came along when I opened a new webpage and decided to start a blog about one of my favorite loves - genealogy.

Well now - there has been added #4. It is at my current location. I am blogging for the library where I currently work. It takes a totally different approach. Here I blog about tidbits of the day, genealogy tips, and goings-on at the library for the adults.

If you want to take a peek here you go -
Arkansas Pilgrim
The Ghost Buster
Books, Bones and Beyond

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What's in a name???

A patron recently came in and asked for help finding a book. She said that the title was written by "Woodruff Lee." But she couldn't find it. So, I went to help her. I'm usually pretty good at this, so I figured I would put my hands right on it. After a cursory look I couldn't find Lee's book. The patron wasn't sure if there were 'numbers' associated with it or not. But it was suppose to be in the New Large Print, also one in regular print. So I sat on the floor where I could read the spines more easily and went through every single new non-fiction book shelved. It wasn't there.

I went to the circulation desk and searched through all the carts waiting to be shelved. Not there. She said it was okay, she had plenty to read. She headed off for children's and I headed for a computer. I decided that I should look it up, like I should have done in the first place. Sure enough I found her book listed just as she quoted to me "Woodruff, Lee." AH! the Comma!!! It's amazing what a difference punctuation makes. I went back through my searches. Sure enough I found the regular print book, in the W's right where it was suppose to be.

I pulled it off the cart, and headed for children's. I didn't find her. So, I took it to the circulation desk for a courtesy hold till the patron checked out. I described her to the clerk.

She had just checked out and left!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Blog Names

I realize I don't post on here very much any more. That's partly because I don't have much to put on a blog about libraries any more and partly because of time. However recently I have been asked to do a blog for our public library where I work. (Rogers Public Library). I've been doing it for a couple of weeks now and was using a tired overused title: Food for Thought. So I decided to see if I could create a new, fresh and unique one.

I needed to come up with a name that reflected what the blog was about - or at least I thought I needed to. I cover trivia type things: word for the day, quote of the day, this day in history,...as well as recipes and something to do with genealogy. I finally decided on what I wanted to use. But because it took me a while to figure one out I thought maybe others do to. So, the ones that are left I thought I would post here. Maybe they will give you an idea, or help spark one of your own. - Enjoy -

Armchair Librarian
Book Bags and Bone Piles
Books and Butterflies
Brunette Bookie
Brunette Bookette
Busy Bookworm
The Book Barn
The Book Brain
Bindings and Treebark
Bones and Brains
The Book Nook
Cup and Chaucer
Plate and Plato
From the Book House
Glamorous Bookie
Glamorous Bookette
The Ghost Librarian
The Happy Worm
Journal Blothering
The Library Ghost
No Shelves Necessary
Off the Shelf'
Razorbooks (for Arkansas)
Quiet Updates
Today's Serving
Words to Wonder
Words to Wander
Wonderful Words
Word Nerd
Word Journal
Word Mission
Word Room
Write and Wong

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sitting on the Front Row of Life

Working at the reference desk gives you front row view to the public! It's interesting to see and meet so many different people.

There's the older patron who's lost his wife and now ready to move on. So he flirts with anyone over 50. Even the librarians. He does dress rather smartly!

There's the demanding patron. "Give me a laptop" with no smile or thank you.

There's the southern belle, the sweet older lady, that calls you honey, is very polite and courteous. These are few and far between.

There's the young person who comes in with hair in his eyes, ears plugged with ear buds, his mp3 player sticking out of his pocket. OR the young person, who does come occasionally in  and is nicely dressed and says please and thank you. (They actually do exist.)

Then there's the patron that apparently lives alone and wants to talk your ear off, either in person or on the phone, sharing their latest ache, or political complaints, or they just make no sense whatsoever!

There was one patron recently who wanted to reserve our community room the next weekend. We have a rule that groups can using the meeting rooms once a month. Only. He wanted to know if a different person made the reservation, could they have the room???? Uh, that would be... NO.

Another 'hazard' to the job is 10 people (or more) coming in to ask you the same question as the person who just left. They don't know it, for them this is the first time they've asked. But you feel like a broken record. (My father's a broken record, my mother's a broken record, but-I'm-not, but-I'm-not, but-I'm-not!!)

Well, I know I haven't posted on here in a long time. But I'll try to add more on this Front Row theme. I have much more.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Libraries and Social Media

Over 90% of business and organizations have turned to Social Media to advance their goods and services. A good example of that is how Gov. Huckabee has moved a nation for an August 1st "Support Chick-fil-a Day" - all through social media. At this year's PLA (Public Library Association) conference, it was announced that the majority of libraries across the country are finding their niche in the Facebook world, in promoting their libraries' activities. Blogging is another way that spreads the word faster and is becoming more and more popular. "No more" billboards, or newspaper ads, or 'news flashes' on TV. The fastest, most immediate way to get the word out is through Social Media. It's the Digital Age's form of 'word of mouth.' Does your library have a FB page? How about blogs? Encourage your staff to write blogs of interest to them. It's all about spreading information and somebody out there is also interested in the same thing and would love to hear from you.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Scrapbooking at the library

If you 'happen' to see this and live in NW Arkansas - "come on over". Tomorrow, July 14, from 2-4, we are having a scrapbooking workshop at the Rogers Public Library. Stop on by and see what's happening. "Between the Covers...of scrapbooking." Yours truly is the presenter.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

I'm looking for a book that starts with "S"

No kidding, someone came to the reference desk the other day looking for a book. He didn't remember the title; said it started with S and that it was a new book. My coworker had been looking at the New York Times bestsellers list and had it pulled up on her computer. The patron said it was nonfiction. She went to that section and started reading the titles. She found one that the second word started with an "S". That's it, the patron exclaimed!!! I looked it up in our catalog, we had and it was on the shelf to boot! He went home a satisfied patron!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Reference Desk

Working the Reference Desk is a unique position in a library. Where our desk sits, you get to see everyone that walks in the library (except those who go in the children's library). If you ever like people-watching, this is the place to be. I sometimes wish I was a quick sketch artist. You see people from all walks of life, all ages, all cultures and levels of education and station in life.

Someone has said, 'decide what you love to do then figure out a way to make money doing it.' This reference position I now have offers me that very situation. I am the one that takes all the genealogy queries that come into the library - something that I love to do. When a query comes in, I'll go to town lots of times finding more than what folks had asked for finding extra news they often did not know. It's a lot of fun providing customer service in this way.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Job update

As per the comments in my last post on this blog, I thought it was time to update that post.

It's interesting how things sometimes work out. The last two libraries, where I had applied hired other people. I received the obligatory letter of: 'thank you for applying but we choose someone else.' In other words, we choose someone better than you, so to speak. They were both to my liking, however the second one would have put me back on the road again for commuting. But I didn't get either one.

When we came back from vacation in July, I learned that one of my coworkers had announced her retirement. She worked the reference desk. I was already doing this, on a part time basis, once a week, along with my 'then-current' position. Well, that gives it away. So, yes, I applied and yes I was offered the position. This was two months ago, at this writing.

I am thrilled to be at the 'front desk.' It has been a good move all the way around. The person who took my place in cataloging, has a quick mind for that type of work and has done quite well, even though he had never done that kind of work before. [Cataloging does take a certain type mindset, or maybe I should say, works better when one does.]

As for yours truly, this move is also a better fit for me, my strengths and people skills. Having worked the reference desk, once a week already, gave me a head start on learning what I need to know for this position. Not that, I knew 'everything.' In fact, I am sure I will be continually learning new things in this position. Reference librarians can be asked any multitude of questions on a multitude of subject areas. For the Ref librarian, it is knowing where to look for the answer.

Now that I am at the reference desk, I have opportunity to explore all kinds of subjects as one never knows when that bit of information will come to good use. Here is an example. A patron came in one day asking if we had any good books with photos in them that showed country scenes, especially with hills and roads. We went to the travel books, and to some on various states, but none of them worked. Then I remembered a book I had looked at just the week before. It was a book of photos on Amish life and some of those pictures were some every day country type pictures. We found the book and skimmed through it together. It turned out to be just what she wanted. Nice how what you know can generalize, or cross over to meet other situations or someone else's needs.

You get to meet quite a variety of people as well. We won't go into all the 'good, bad and ugly' of people you meet. You find that in any public situation. But invariably, I will meet a lot of friendly people, and, extrovert that I am, enjoy visiting with them on one topic or other - some serious, some not-so-serious. -All in the day of a Reference Librarian.

So, from time to time, I think I will begin posting various things that I find interesting: either something of a newsworthy note for librarianship, and/or stories from my day on the job.