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*