The Wild Librarian Makes a Decision

Wild LibrarianIt’s been thirty working days since I started my new job as a General Reference Librarian after working for fifteen years as a Specialist Librarian. My probationary period is over—time flies when you’re scrambling–and last week, the supervisor in charge of my training e-mailed me to set up an appointment for my evaluation.

My training supervisor is not an unreasonable person—on the contrary—and, logically, I knew that no matter what was decided, I would still be employed.  Under our contracts, unless I managed to do something actionable, I would be allowed to return to my old job as a Specialist Librarian if it was decided that I wasn’t cut out to cater to the informational needs of the general population.

But it still felt like my parole officer had called me up and said, “We need to have a little talk about your recent behavior.” And really, that’s what she did say, even if the adrenaline spike and subsequent stomach drop weren’t intentional.

When I mentioned my reaction to a fellow librarian, she reminded me that the evaluation goes both ways. My supervisor might suggest that I might be happier in my previous position, but even if the ink on her evaluation glowed with the holy light of pure approval, I was still allowed to say, “This was a lovely vacation, but . . .”

It dawned on me that if someone offers you the opportunity to make an informed decision, you’re about to make a decision that would benefit from a bit of thought.

So a wrote out a couple of lists.  First, the old job:

Pros and Cons

 Conclusion:  I’ve accumulated some baggage in fifteen years . . . and a good percentage of it is stored in the back seat.

The next list proved that some of my brainstormed cons weren’t actually cons, but I put ‘em in anyway, for the sake of verisimilitude, which is a word I like to air out when I can, mostly because I’m proud of myself for remembering to put that first ‘i’ between the ‘r’ and the ‘s’:

Pros and Cons2

Conclusion:  Just because my back hurts like a  hurting thing (especially when I get the hiccups, gosh $#!% it) and I don’t have a place to hang my kids’ latest deathless artwork and I don’t have anyone who will tolerate my compulsion to snap rubber bands over the exposed air vent shafts while I think up ways to get people excited about local history . . . it doesn’t mean General Reference work isn’t my calling.

Add this to my evaluation, which was actually fairly glowing—in the sunlight from the windows I forgot to mention that my old, lower-level department doesn’t have—and my decision was made.

This is where I belong, for the right reasons.

Onward.

Random Thursday: Literary Puns and Poetical Plums

And about 35 seconds of Up Yours, Mister in the middle, there.

You’ll know it when you get to it.

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Even More Psychosis-Inducing Than The Original

Nevermind Raven

Look at him, sitting there all Poe-faced . . .

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I’m Just Saying

This is just to Say Plums

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This Is For the Patron . . . 

 . . . who called the other day to inform us that taxpayer’s hard-earned money would be better spent in supplying free laptops and city-wide Wi-Fi to citizens than on libraries and the salary they pay me for sitting on my rump all day, reading trashy novels.

Good luck to you, sir.

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Speaking of Passive-Aggressive . . .

WIlliam Carlos Williams Red Wheelbarrow
Could someone please explain this poem to me?

Why is the wheelbarrow so crucial?
Are the chickens significant or just co-dependent?
Is  the rain metaphor or meaningless?

WHAT?!

People have been reading and debating this poem for over fifty years just because we can’t suss out the—

Oh.

Well-played Mr. Williams.

Well played.

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Still a Better Romance Than . . .

 . . . you know.

One Shade of Gray

Alternative Title:  “Consent is not a grey area.”

Pun grimly intended.

(Thanks, Helen—you rock!)

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The Last Line Sells It

We can only do so much, Mr. Pip.

I kid.  Scroobius Pip is one hell of a performance poet, I just can’t share most of his stuff here until my kids are old enough to know when not to recite his lyrics in public.

(thanks, Cha-Cha!)

Library Meatloaf

Yesterday marked the start of the first full week of school and also the first morning confiscations of the school year.

With minimal frisking—this ain’t my first rodeo—I bagged an iPod, an MP3 player, and a set of earbuds I thought I’d left in Chicago from an eleven-year old who honestly may not have noticed they were still attached to her, and also a bulldog puppy named Meatloaf, whose seven-year old thought I was kidding when I said she wasn’t allowed to bring toys to school without asking her teacher first.

I promised Sunny I’d take good care of him all day. Remarkably, this worked and she handed him over with minimal fuss and a heartening touch of guilt.

To be honest, I meant to leave him in the car, but tossed him in my bag instead, where he quietly tangled himself in my badge lanyard.

When I pulled out my badge to clock in, there he was.

And since he was, I decided to put him to work.

Meatloaf Clocking in

Did it beep? I didn’t hear a beep . . .

Meatloaf turned out to be the perfect library page: eager, willing, and remarkably quiet, considering his owner.

He helped answer the phone:

Meatloaf Taking Calls

Yes, we’re open. Yes, I’m sure.

Look up information for patrons:

Meatloaf at the Catalog

You don’t know the title, the author, or the plot, but the cover could be blue? Or maybe red?  No problem.

And sort magazines (from his expression, clearly not his favorite):

Meatloaf and Magazines

Um . . . I’m going to need the step stool. And some thumbs.

He also shared my dinner and helped me hone my Flappy Bird skillz* on Jane’s iPod before napping in my lunchbag for the rest of my shift.

Meatloaf for Lunch

Got any Scooby Snacks?

At the end of the day, I returned one very sleepy puppy to his equally sleepy little girl just in time for him to tell her all about his day before I tucked them both into bed.

This morning, I didn’t have to remove him from Sunny’s backpack.

I found him hiding in my purse. Wearing my lanyard.

Good boy!

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*Which are nonexistent.  Someone needs to invent a game where you’re supposed to bash a digital bird into the same building over and over.  I would be the reigning champion of the world.

A Brief List of Happy Tuesday Stuff

Things that made me happy today:

1.

Feeding my kids pizza for breakfast without guilt—
or pitching the uneaten half of their cereal, toast, eggs, or other traditional breakfast foods.

Pizza!

This also took care of my MIL’s complaints about the leftover pizza taking up too much space in the fridge
and the way my children don’t eat enough in the morning—
though it did not stop her from expression her silent, pointed, painful-looking opinions about pizza not being Real Food.

I can’t say that didn’t have an elevating effect on the “without guilt” part of the experience.

(and also maybe, secretly, the happy)

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2.

Singing along to the radio on my way to work, stopping at a light, and realizing that the guy in the car next to me is belting out the exact same song.

He was doing Kimbra’s part, while I was covering Gotye.

He noticed,too, gave me a thumbs up, and we both sang louder, with feeling.
(long light +  a cement truck trying to back up over railroad tracks= looong light)

But the best part?

When the light changed, he grinned at me and hollered, “Let’s take this show on the road!” and took off.

He made my entire day.

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3.

I gave a very young patron a pencil and some scrap paper this afternoon,
while her grandmother was having something notarized,
and later received a hug and a picture that Jackson Pollack would have been proud to call his own.

She said I was a “very nice Library Lady.”Librarian Stereotype

Sniff.

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4.

Mike Allegra’s Doodle Contest! For which I get an extra entry because I mentioned it on my blog!

a-fine-artist

It ain’t ego, if it’s true.

If I win, I want a duck in a fedora!

Because that would make me even happier.

 

Random Thursday: The Power of Random Thinking

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

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Shall We Dance?

Optimism Cha-Cha

If this is true . . . then parenting is sort of a rhumba.
Or a breakdance challenge.

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Mock the Head

Mock the Week, a BBC current event quiz show featuring a panel of comedians
—wrangled with limited success by Dara O’Briain—
is one of my favorite things ever.

I have to be careful when I watch it late at night,
because Sunny keeps dreaming that howler monkeys are laughing at her.
Janie just walks in, hands me a box of tissues, and pointedly closes the door behind her.

Braincrush City . . .
And apparently, Mr. O’Briain has plenty of brains to crush on—or room for ’em, anyway.

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Library Mystery Theatre

Why did this tumblr image, celebrating the inclusion of Ace Attorney manga in a law library,

Law Library Tumblr Argument1

Provoke this reaction

Law Library Tumblr Argument3

and a lengthy argument between these two ace attorney avatars

Law Library Tumblr Argument4Law Library Tumblr Argument5

that was only resolved by the common sense and keen eye of the person behind this avatar

Law Library Tumblr Argument6

who clearly understands the awesome power of a library catalog?

Click any image (or here) to find out!

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Pessimism

You know you’re a pessimist when WordPress tells you your stats are booming today,
and your first thought
is that someone’s legal team is gathering evidence.

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Deja Vu

Kidsnippets is a series of scenarios created and voiced by kids and acted by adults.

The results are hilarious . . .  and often eerily accurate.

Replace Dragons with Small Engine Repair in the one a friend sent me (hi, Siobhan!), and this is pretty much a replay of the last time I covered lunch at the main reference desk:

There are more on the Bored Shorts TV channel, if you’re interested,
including a couple of Behind the Scenes vids that are sheer awesome.