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.