Monday, December 3, 2012

Love helping someone!

Patron (on phone): Do you know what Sparknotes are?

Me: Yes, I do.

Patron: Do you have the Sparknotes for the Hobbit?

Me: Let me check.  *runs quick search*  My computer says we do, but let me check the shelf just to
make sure.

Patron: Please make sure it's  in, because I'm coming from City30MinAway.

Me: *runs to check, then gets back on phone* I have it in my hand.  Can I get your name again?
Patron: *gives name*  Thank you!

Patron (comes in an hour later to get book): *stands around because I'm on phone with another patron while co-worker is helping a different patron away from the desk*

Me: *hangs up with other patron and looks up at Patron*  Here for the Sparknotes?

Patron: *big smile*  You must be the wonderful young lady who I talked to!

Me: *big smile* I am!

*Thanks and You're Welcomes Exchanges*

Friday, November 30, 2012

Computers computers everywhere!

Sorry for the lack of posts!  Work's been keeping me busy!

Today, I tried to help a gentleman search for books on the Apple iOS 5.  Not 4, which we have (or have access to), or any of the "For Dummies" books, but one on the programming and kernals.  He also wanted books on the inside knowledge (kernals again) of Windows 8.

Unfortunately for him, we had none.  I ordered him one book Android that he requested, the one that wasn't "For Dummies" that he was interested in.  No Apple books.  Or Windows 8.  Pretty sure they're both too new, so I told him to check back in a few months and we might have something in.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Sometimes, words just don't translate from person to person, despite speaking the same language.

Patron: I need books about bowling for class.

Me: Books on bowling?
Patron: Yeah, it's the only thing I could think of that other's weren't doing.

Me: *searches*  Okay, they're over here.

Patron: *scratches head*  Bowling.  With a 'u'.

Me: *bowling with a 'u'?  Bulling?*  *lightbulb*  Bullying!

Patron: Yeah, exactly!

Me: *laughing to myself over my error*  In that case, they're over here.

Patron: *laughing with me*

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The difference one word can make

I had a patron come in and look for a movie called "The Speaker".  I couldn't find it.  All I found were books, and she was looking for a movie.

On a whim, I asked her if it was "The King's Speech."  Bingo.  That was the one she was looking for.

One word can make all the difference.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Current Reads

I haven't gotten too many strange questions at work, so not too much to report.

Currently reading Mercedes Lackey's Obsidian Stone trilogy book 2 "To Light a Candle".

Playing Dragon Age 2 and Dishonored on the X-Box.

Last book I skimmed was 'Horse Color Explained' by Jeanette Gower.  It's an older book (1999), so some of the stuff isn't up-to-date, but what is current is interesting and accurate.

I just finished listening to Kim Harrison's 'A Fistful of Charms' and next on the audio list is 'For A Few Demons More'.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Lots of Voting questions

I've had a large bit of questions on voting, mostly about what's going to be on specific ballots.  By now, I can almost walk people through how to find a sample ballot with my eyes closed and no computer at hand.

After the voting is over (today, actually), it'll be back to the 'normal' questions.  Mostly homework questions, but some of those are the most interesting ones, such as the history of the chocolate chip cookie.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Two odd questions

The first one was actually fairly easy, despite the patron thinking it wouldn't be.  The history of the chocolate chip cookie.  Naturally, I couldn't find any books on it.  But we do have the databases, and I was able to find several articles about it, and the original recipe.

Now, Ruth Wakefield, who owns the Toll House Inn, created it.

The second one was a happy answer.  She was adopted, and wanted to look at the past birth announcements.  That was easy-peasy, and I set her up on the microfilm machine with that specific month and showed her how to use it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hmmmm...self-repairing books

I had a book come to me today for non-fiction repair (I decide what gets repaired or discarded).  This was a sex book (by some Doctor about different positions).  There were pages torn out.  There were pages torn out, then taped back in with masking tape.

Pretty sure our library doesn't use masking tape to fix books.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Internet Sleuth

At your service!

Today, I had to sleuth a bit of political information.  A patron needed to know who the commissioner was for a certain township.  The only problem with finding that information is that the county is split into different districts, and it was a bit harder to find out which district the township belonged to.

All in all, I found the information in under 10 minutes, after searching through several websites and newspapers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Getting the right information

If a patron gives me the wrong information, it can be very hard, if not impossible, to give them the books they want.

For instance, a patron asked me for books on WWII.  So I confirm that's what he is looking for, and tell him where the section is (940s).

About fifteen minutes later, he and his mother come up to the desk.  He hadn't known that it wasn't the war that he needed books on.  It was WWII weapons.  Completely different section.

So I look them up and take them back there.  No books checked in specifically on WWII weapons (tanks and bombs, to be exact), but there were to giant encyclopedia's on the shelf on weapons that had what they were looking for.


Another with the wrong information is if they don't have the right title or author for a book, but that's easily fixed.  If I don't know it, and can't find it within a handful of different searches, I pop the name and/or title into Google and Amazon and run a search that way.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kill 'em With Kindness

If not kindness, at least politeness.  When a patron gets upset, the only thing I do is stay polite.  Usually, that calms them down - especially if you show them that you're trying to work with them.  If it doesn't calm them down, it just makes them angrier, in which case, there's nothing you can do about their problem.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Harder request

I got one of my harder requests today.  A patron needed a radius population map of City in 5, 10, 20, 30 and 40 mile increments.  I have a database to use, but I wasn't sure how to get that kind of map.  I've messed with the database before, but not in that capacity.

After playing with it for about fifteen minutes, I had a radial map, and a separate page of the demographics in those increments.  I got the info to the patron, then told her that if it wasn't quite what she was looking for, to let me know and I'd see what else I could do.

Luckily for me, it was what she needed.

Friday, October 5, 2012

And I will fly...

A woman came in and wanted to reorder the movie "Wicked" since the lending library had cancelled the loan.  We got talking as I looked up her account, and it turns out, she thought it was about the musical 'Wicked'.  It wasn't - it was a horror movie starring Julia Styles.  Luckily for her, I'm a Broadway lover, so right from the get-go, I knew it wasn't the musical like she wanted.  There's no movie on it yet, unlike Sweeney Todd, Phantom of the Opera, Rent and soon to be Les Miserable, unfortunately.  But I was able to order her a Broadway movie with scenes from it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Internet was down...

The internet was down most of my shift, but I still got a few good questions.

One thing I hate is when a patron doubts that I know what I'm talking about.  If I say that I can't find something, I really can't find it because it's not in our system.  I search by title, author and keyword, and if we have it, or have access to it, I find it.

I hide my displeasure, though, since being cheerful makes it easier to bear the displeasure.  If I can't find it in any of my sources, I offer to send a request for purchase for it.

Sometimes, the book is so old even if we had it, it'd been weeded.  Sometimes it's too new.  Sometimes, we just don't have it.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Do you have...

Do you have 'this title'?

No, sorry, we don't.

What about Mel (Michigan Electronic Library)?  Can you check there?

I did already, we don't have it at all.

Okay, what about 'other title'?

No, it's not in either system.

What about Mel?

That's what I meant about 'either system'.  It's not in our system or in Mel's.

What about 'third title'?

No, sorry, not in either system.

What about Mel?

*Me hitting head against desk*

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hmmm...where are they?

"Can you tell me where the true books are?"

At first, I just looked at her, confusion probably scattered across my face.  Because this was the non-fiction/reference area, so everything is true.  Okay, maybe not everything, since we do have some author's stories, like Chaucer, London and a few others up in the 800s, but everything else is true.  That's what makes non-fiction non-fiction.

So, I asked her what she meant.

She clarified, saying that she wanted the crime books on murder.

With a smile, I was able to show her where our true-crime section is.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Current Reads

Print: Dance With Dragons by George RR Martin
Audio: Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Two of my favorite authors.  I started reading George RR Martin's a Song of Fire and Ice when A Game of Thrones first came out.  I admit, the black horse on the cover and the white wolf (Jon and Ghost) are what drew me in to begin with.  Then, it was the plot.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Harder Questions

I love getting the harder questions.  For example, they'll know part of the title, but not the author.  Or, they'll think they have the right author name, but aren't even close.

Today, I got to dig up several movies for a patron.  Those were easy, since she had the titles and the production company.

The hard one came later.  She came up with a request for a book she'd checked out and recently returned.  It had a certain word in the title.  I found it and made her day, since it was checked in!

The really fun ones are "an encyclopedia of criminals published in the early 1930s".  Ones that are that obscure I don't always find, but I do my best.  I'll utilize all of my resources, from blogs, to google and to rare book websites (and, of course, Amazon).  80% of the time I can find what they're looking for.

Usually, just googling it gives me what I want.  If not, then I'll move on to Amazon.  If not Amazon, then I usually have to take down their information to call them back to search for it more thoroughly.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


We get quite a few people doing homework in here.  Most of them are helped by us finding books for them, for stuff like book reports.  Others need a print source but we don't have any or enough up-to-date information in book format.

Which is when I introduce them to our databases.  If it was printed in a journal or magazine, online or otherwise, it counts as a print source.  And we have access not only to our databases, but to the Michigan Electronic Library's databases, which are even more extensive than our own.

And even better, is what some of those databases hold.  One is my favorite.  It's called the 'Learning Express Library' and it's amazing.  Those GED books that grow legs and walk out?  I don't worry about them anymore. 

Because the LEL covers that.  If you create an acount, it's got tests.  It's got e-books.  It's got courses.  And not a handful, either.  Not only does it have GED, but it also has SAT prep.  ACT prep.  Civil-service tests.  And that's just a few in the dozens of specialized categories.

Another one of my favorites is Mango.  Mango is an online language database.  Basically, you can learn a new language learning it.  It has courses, lessons and a handy translator tool.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Hardest Request

Today, I got one of the hardest types of request.  The request for information without enough background information.

This person wanted to know what cemetery and plot two relatives were buried in.  He didn't know the date of deaths.  He didn't know the year of death.

What he did know was the names of the people.  And where they lived and possibly died.

Unfortunately, neither I nor my supervisor could find any information on them.  They didn't die in our county, so they're not in our Social Security Index (SSI).  If they had been, it would have listed (at the least) the cemetery where they were buried.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

If it were a snake...

One of the things I'm best at is finding books.  That are already on the shelf.  In numerical (DDC) order.  By author.

When a patron requests a book (at the counter), I look it up on my fancy-schmancy catalog.  I'll write down the call number, author and title for them.  So it might look like this:

616.89 Clark
   How to tell if you have diabetes

Then, I'll tell them that it's 'half-way back to the right', or wherever in the stacks it's located.  80% of the time, they'll find it just fine.

The other 20, though, they'll come back up and tell me that they couldn't find it.  I'll check the record and see when it came back.  If it's been back for more than a week, it's either on the shelf or 'missing'.  If it's less than a week, it's a gamble if it's downstairs waiting to be shelved, or on the shelf.

So I'll write down the info about the book on a slip for me, and I'll slide out from behind my desk and go hunting.  Usually, it's right where it belongs.  Exactly where it should be.

Patrons (adults and children) just aren't taught how to use the DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification), so a lot of them just don't know how it works.  And I can understand that.  Usually, once I show/find the book, they'll browse that section, and hopefully figure out how the system works.

It's actually really easy, and even before I became a librarian, I had many call numbers memorized.  True crime, ghosts and animals were my go-to sections at my small-town library.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Always helpful

Today, I helped a woman several different times.  And I really enjoy making someone's day by helping them, and I made her day.  She needed several different things, including tax forms from past years (several copies), help printing an obituary and help saving an e-mail draft.

At the reference desk today, we got to hear a few complaints about a patron who was talking to himself in the back, near the windows.  When co-worker and I checked him out, he was not only doing that, but also pointing in a sweeping, grand gesture outside.  What he was talking about, and who he was talking to, we have no idea.  But we couldn't see anyone.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Overdrive & E-readers

Overdrive is a library loan of e-books and audiobooks.  Most libraries in my area have it, and a lot of patrons have e-readers to use it.  You can use it on a regular computer, but most people use either a dedicated e-reader, a tablet or a smartphone.

There are many, many different types.  Kindles, Nooks, iPads and Android tablets being the most popular.  As for the easiest to use, I'd have to say a Kindle Fire (the Amazon Tablet) or an Android device (either tablet or smartphone).  Nooks have to be hooked up to a computer to use Overdrive.  iPads are also pretty easy, but it doesn't get easier than the Kindle Fire, since you don't have to download anything to use it.

With an Android, you can either download the Overdrive app, or the Kindle app.  Either work.  With the iPad, I think you can only have the Overdrive app.  I'm not sure if you can get the Kindle app for it, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A few questions

But nothing too out of the ordinary.  Today, I mostly ordered new material for my section, and fixed/separated damaged materials.

A patron came in and requested a book that his brother had read.  He couldn't remember the title, or the author.  Just that it had to do with two local schools.  My searches brought up nothing.  Co-workers searches came up with nothing.

Finally, he called his brother and got the title.  It was a title we were passingly familiar with (it had to do with local history), but we hadn't thought ot it since it was a biography.  Luckily, we had it on the shelf. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Down Internet means not much to do

That is, not much of my regular stuff I can do.  Almost everything I do relies on Horizon (our library software).  From downgrading DVDs from new to regular, to indexing the newspapers, I need Horizon.

While the staff computers were down, the public wireless was up, so we were able to use the laptops and the iPad to do our routine reference  questions.

The reference questions, however, I can either use books, my memory of the library's collection or the iPad.  For most of them, I was able to use the iPad (to check our collection through our website) to see if we had certain books.  For general books, like on music or collectible figurines, I can take the person back there, or go look to see if we have a certain book.  But for specific titles, I need the catalog.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Local History

As I've said before, we have a local history room.  I get a lot of questions dealing with it, but today's question was really interesting.  A woman wanted to know the history of her house (she'd had it for over a decade) because it was haunted.  Not by a nice ghost, but (in her words) a mean, nasty one.  It makes me wonder, with the old houses in the City, if most of them aren't haunted.  An old City with a dark history (started as a logging town), with a lot violence.

There's a few books about haunted Michigan, including one by a Reverend Gerald S Hunter that has a chapter about my City.  Very interesting books!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Currently Reading

My current book is "Thirteen" by Kelley Armstrong.  It's the last book in the Otherworld series, although she is still writing the YA books, and she's started a few others according to her signature on her forum.

I love the Otherworld series.  I started on Dime Store Magic, not realizing that Bitten and Stolen were before it.  I was hooked.  Could not put them down.  I've been reading them since Industrial Magic was published.

Thirteen stars Savannah, but Elena, Paige, Jaime and a host of other MC's also show up.  I'm about half-way through, and I must say, it's amazing.  I love growing up with Savannah, and seeing how she solves the problems that are thrown at her, including her loss of magic.

Last book read: Odd Apocolypse.  This is my favorite Dean Koontz series.  Something about the way he writes Odd makes me not want to stop reading it.

Last book attempted: Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  I tried to hard to get into this book.  I love her earlier books, with Zarek being my favorite, followed closely by Valerious, but I've had such a hard time getting into the last few.  Maybe I'll try the next Dream-Hunter book.

Listening to: A Fistful of Charms by Kim Harrison.  I've read this series (the Hollows) more than once, but I needed a new series to listen to after finishing Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series.

My favorite type of request

Books.  Anything to do with books.  As much as I like finding other types of information, I really love finding the books more than anything.

I had a conversation the other day with a patron about Fifty Shades of Gray.  She'd heard about them and wanted to know if we had them.  I told her we did, but there was a huge (over 500 people) waiting list.  She laughed and said nevermind.  I told her that they started out as Twilight fan-fiction, and she'd heard that, but just wanted to see what they were about (and if they were as awful as she'd heard).  We laughed as she walked away.

Yesterday, I had a patron needing books for a book report.  That was due in a week.  And we'd had the book list for well over a month.  Most of them were checked out, but luckily we had three of them on the shelf.  One was an automatic 'no'.  (Too long).  Thankfully, the other two were acceptable.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Can you price this for me...

Do you know how much these trading cards (of James Bond) are worth?  'Cause I'm trying to sell them on ebay and need to know how much they're worth.

No, sorry, I don't.  All I can suggest is seeing how much earlier ones have sold for.

And, yes, he was asking if I personally knew.  We didn't have a book about the JB cards, either.

Patron vs Customer

In my bout of insomnia, I've been thinking of what makes it a patron vs a customer.  In my mind, a patron is someone that I'm giving a service to.  In my particular position, I'm giving them my expertise of searching and locating specific amounts of information, from phone numbers, to books, to almost anything you can think of (except that.)  A customer is someone I'm selling something to.  Whether it's a service or an object, money is involved.

While it's true the library itself deals in money, overall, it's the service that's important.  It's providing a service that many people (including myself) can't provide for themselves.  From the free internet, computers with office programs, to free (unless they're late) book rentals, most people utilize the library at some point in their lives.

Some people claim that since 'they don't use the library, so they shouldn't have to pay for it'.  I don't believe it.  They might not use it - right now.  What if their internet goes down?  What if their child needs to write a book report?  What if they lose their job and are forced to get rid of their internet?  Even if they don't use it currently, chances are, they'll use it at some point in their life.  Or they know somebody who does use it.

 I use not one, but two libraries.  The one I work my regular job at, and the one that I substitute at.  I get books, movies and CDs from both of them.  I use the internet.  I use the programing.  Mostly, though, it's the books.

Cemetaries & More

So there's a lot of local cemetaries around this area, and a lot of them (but not all) have information such as who's buried in what plot in books (well, bound pamphlets) in the genealogy section.  Some of my best days are when I can find the rigth information, or lead the patron in the right direction to finding where a relative is buried. 

Local genealogy is a big thing in my library, and it's taken me quite a while to really get to know the collection.  Not just where the ghost books (133.1), dog books (636) or local history (977.447) books are, but where certain things are located.  Certain books, like high school yearbooks, specific books on local history, like the cemetary plots and marriage/death records are accessed a lot.

Needing to know how to work the websites and databases is another crucial part.  It's not just "plug this word into google and see what comes up" (or, rather, cross your fingers that the right thing comes up), but more of knowing which word is the right word.  Knowing that the subject that a patron is looking for isn't what they're calling it, but that it's something completely different.

Oh, and knowing how to read minds is also helpful.  :)

Fairies - real fairies, that is

Today, I was asked to find books about Fairies.  Not "fairy tales", but about real fairies.  Aside from my own personal disbelief that fairies actually exist (while I do believe in ghosts, and I have a few library ghost stories to share later, fairies are not on my list of 'mythical creatures that actually exist but are simply hiding from us lunkers'), I was able to find about a dozen books in the system that were in the non-fiction section that concerned fairies, including the Time-Life series "the Enchanted World", specifically the one about Faires and Elves.  Which I also have in my private collection (and I did admit that to the patron, although I also told her that I didn't think it would help).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Copier: always know how to use it

1.       Assistance getting the copier lighter
2.       Bruno Mars Cd
3.       Video for band Disturbed
4.       Thunderstruck and the Naked Consumer by Erik Larson
5.       St James parish records
6.       Dexter season 1.
7.       Naturalization records on Microfilm

Something I've always been good at (well, 'always' being since I was shown how when I started work) is using the copier.  Getting the prints lighter, darker, two pages on to one page...I'm just good at it.  But only because I've had lots of practice.  At least a couple times a week, I get asked to help with the copier.

Monday, August 20, 2012


1.       Help using copier
2.       Alkali plant pamphlet file
3.       Do we do faxing?
4.       Books/information on Defoe Shipbuilding
5.       How to use the obituary index cardfile
6.       How do you open/watch one of our (sealed) DVD’s?
7.       Help printing
8.       Home heating credit pamphlet
9.       Where to find a biography (to read the call number)
10.   Strength/Weight training
11.   Flier for computer class
12.   Book on hold?

And, no, we don't fax.  :)  We do have this slip that will tell you some places around us that fax, but we don't.

Friday, August 17, 2012


1.       Where to find the Twilight books
2.       Silverware plate patterns

Where to find them?  Downstairs.  Thankfully, they're not non-fiction, although I'm sure more people wish they were.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to find a book (in the library) on silverware patterns (she was actually talking about not the patterns, but the manufacturer's mark on the bottom), but I did.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


1.       Book on moped maintence from auburn
2.       Grease DVD
3.       Fifty shades darker/freed got the audiobooks, wanted the ebooks
4.       Dierks Bentley, Nicki Minaj

Spelling counts when searching.  Really, really counts.  And it helps when the patron knows the right name.  She gave me a name close to Dierks Bentley, but not quite right on.  Luckily, I'd heard of him before.  And Nicki?  I always have to google her last name...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Detroit Tigers

1.       Old pictures of City
2.       Human body DVD
3.       Dictionary
4.       Detroit Tiger & Yankee stadium previous names
5.       Ghost adventures DVD

I've actually been asked that before about the Tiger's stadium.  Unfortunately, I didn't remember the previous answers, so I had to search for it again.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Collectible Guides

1.       Two cds  - alanis morissette & scissor sisters
2.       Precious moments collectible guide
3.       Parenting for aspergers child
4.       Sam Cooke musician
5.       Reason for God
6.       Books on art

I get a lot of questions for collectible guides.  And CDs.  And books.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Medical books

1.       Help printing something out of a book
2.       Closed head injuries, narcotics, PTSD
3.       A season in hell poem
4.       Books on film making

I just had to reorganize the medical books (breaking the 616's even further down), so I was able to find the medical books fairly easily.  I've been asked about film-making so much I could basically walk you there in my sleep.  Hopefully I don't have to, though.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Computer lab

1.       Growing the Angel’s Trumpet
2.       Question about the kindle
3.       Question about genealogy collection
4.       A life without limit by Chrissie Wellington
5.       Playaways
6.       Resume templates on computer and what time computer labs close
7.       Books on tattoos

I get a lot of questions about the computer lab.  Most of them, I direct to the tech page, but some of them I can answer easily. 

Monday, August 6, 2012


1.       Books on iPads
2.       Glee season 3 and carly ray Gibson
3.       Question about renting the energy smart monitor
4.       Fifty shades of grey
5.       25 hill, perfect game movies
6.       Number for valley farmers
7.       Alice in Wonderland
8.       Mother earth news
9.       Area better for wifi
10.   Polish book containing churches.  Interested in where the pamphlet should go.
11.   South Dakota travel guide
12.   Bart Simpson: Class clown
13.   Help getting on Angie’s List
14.   A child called it
15.   Numbers for Aldi’s

I've had Glee season 3 ordered since it was available for me to order.  I keep up on the TV series that we have if they go out relatively well, and Glee goes out often enough for me to keep ordering them.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Overdrive and the Kindle Fire

1.       Locate two books.
2.       Overdrive with the Kindle Fire
3.       Bossypants by Tina Fey
4.       How to spell Quinceanera
5.       Newspapers from the 1920s
6.       Treaty vs accord
7.       Book sale time/date
8.       The strawberry letter
9.       Cookbooks

With the Kindle Fire, you don't need to download any extra programs to get books through Overdrive.  Neither do you need to use a regular computer to get books for it.  Since it's a (low) functioning tablet, all you need is a wi-fi (or 3G) connection.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Dexter and Dog books

1.       Dog books
2.       ASE truck certification t4-8
3.       Christian CD’s
4.       How far from Alabama to Charleston, WV.
5.       Books on bats
6.       Mexican cookbooks
7.       Dexter seasons 2 and 5
8.       How to win friends and influence people

Dog books are in the 636's.  I've known that since I was a pre-teen. 

I keep up on the Dexter show since it goes out a LOT.  Like, there's always at least once season out.  I tried to watch it, but I just couldn't get into it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


1.       6th season of Dexter
2.       Where a biography is

All the biographies have the letter "B" before the name of the person it's about.  Most people don't realize what the B is for, so I get asked a lot since they can't find the book.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Divorce books

1.       Books on haunted Michigan
2.       Divorce book
3.       Once were soldiers movie

They go out a lot.  We have two in Ready-Reference (right behind the desk, and they can't be checked out) and two copies of each (with and without minor children) to check out.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Local History

1.       Books on social work
2.       How to log in to Library website (needed to know his pin)
3.       Davenport art guides
4.       How much fines she has.
5.       The Lone Survivor
6.       Civil War books
7.       Books on ebay
8.       Books by Kristin Hannah
9.       “Canning jar” or “bug jar” quilt.
10.   Motley Crue “The Dirt”
11.   Books on Ballet
12.   Looking up her great-great-grandfather and history of pinconning
13.   Hitler and the holocaust
14.   St Stanislaus and St Hyacinth Church

One of the biggest parts of being a reference librarian where I am is the local history/genealogy room.  It's always in use, sometimes just one person, but usually multiple people.  There are four microfilm machines and four computers (for ancestry library and heritage quest), and sometimes, they're all full.  We also get a volunteer from the local genealogy society in there three times a week.

Microfilm vs microfiche:  Microfilm is on a spool (like a VHS tape) while microfiche is flat.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Free movies

1.       Governor’s phone number
2.       Movies on how to read
3.       What movies are free
4.       Property Owner’s name (used Polk directory)
5.       Ghost hunters/adventures dvds
6.       Three Stooges

Free movies are the non-fiction movies.  They go out for a week (like the fiction movies), but they don't have the $.50 charge.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

PAC Computers

1.       Redemption by Bryan Clay
2.       Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen
3.       Downton Abbey season 3, the Mentalist season 1
4.       How to use computers to tell where material is.
5.       Brother/sister speedskaters from City.
6.       Physician assisted suicide
7.       Christian rap cd

PAC, or Public Access Catalog computers are where the catalogs are.  We have two of them by the reference desk, three down the stacks, and two by the magazines.  The biggest mistake I see when people use it and can't find what they're looking for is that they're looking at something that we don't have.

Monday, July 23, 2012


1.       Defoe shipbuilding
2.       Eviction notice
3.       McNamara Federal Building phone number
4.       Yamaha warrior – where is it? (Patron had it on hold)
5.       Senior apartments in Midland & Owosso
6.       Question on nook’s and overdrive (need a computer to read overdrive with kindle)
7.       Disabled American Veterans number – Saginaw chapters only
8.       Avon Collectibles book
9.       Small business plans
10.   Reporting tax fraud
11.   Books on writing novels

I've gotten very good at walking patrons through using Overdrive with the Kindle.  I can actually walk them through it without seeing it for myself.  The Nook I'm not so good at, but I can still do it.  But I'm awesome at the Kindle.  Especially the Kindle Fire.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Medical books

1.       Baseball biographies
2.       Books on diabetes
3.       Books on the Duke of Duval (George Parr, corruption)

The medical books are all in the 616's, and after going through them and narrowing down the categories (there were several types, like Diabetes and Thyroid disorders, that were all thrown together), now I can finally give patron's the number for Diabetes and say "there will be other books in this section", instead of walking back there with them to grab seemingly random books of the shelf.  Narrowing them down also means that it's easier browsing for patrons.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


1.       Books on Nursing
2.       Christian authors like Joseph Prince
3.       Hours of the library on print
4.       Book on acting
5.       The Futurist by Robert Downey Jr
6.       Fifty Shades of Gray
7.       Study room policy
8.       Latin language CD’s – told them about Mango.

Mango is a language database that we've recently (about two months ago) acquired for patrons.  Even though we have a bunch of language CDs, Mango has even more available.  There are two sections available.  One for the casual learner, and one for someone learning to travel.  It's pretty easy to use (I tried it out in German).