Saturday, April 30, 2011

Over dinner last night, I explained to Phil why the last hour at work on Saturdays feels so hectic: that's when (at our location) the extra staff person has gone home, and that's when three or more of these things happen:
  • a fellow or two with greasy hands come in needing a Chilton's to finish that repair job
  • a parent comes in dragging a kid by the ear: kid needs 3 book sources about an obscure animal for a report
  • a returning-to-school student tries to begin college-level research not at a college library, but here
  • the copier breaks
  • a couple comes in with shrieking kids to check out DVDs
  • 56 people materialize out of thin air, needing our approximately 30 public computers. Having successfully logged on, two stomp back demanding to know why they have only 44 minutes on the timer, not their full two hours! ("Because it's counting down til closing time.")
But, surprise! A not-yet-grease man has already been in looking for a Chilton's! Does that mean the day will end easier for my colleagues? (I opened; I get to leave first, today.)

Full Ref Grunt-ing:
  • Chilton's for 1991 Toyota Truck
  • forms for a personal budget (MS Word as a pretty good one as a template)
  • Yeah, when I say "type in your whole library card number," I mean all of the digits; you can't leave off the last four.
  • Printing
  • Architecture and decorating books for a man who says he's teaching a class and ran out of questions for the quiz with the books he has at home. We agree that Richmond's Main has the deeper collection of art and architecture books, but he finds things he can use.
  • Clancy
  • At about 11:10 a woman arrives looking for a meeting that's scheduled for Tuckahoe. Scheduled from 9 - noon. She leaves us to drive over.
  • Add a woman to long waiting lists for literary fiction
  • Color printing
  • Find basketball and wrestling books for a boy of 11 or 12.
  • Self-check machine
  • Mouse and keyboard are sticky; I clean them for her.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011


    I met author Candace Fleming at a Virginia Library Association conference a few yers back. I hadn't read her books, yet (my lib classifies them as JUV). She was receiving a prize and gave a wonderfully funny history-nerd speech. I bought two books, and when she signed them I told her "you're a kids' book-writing Sarah Vowell!" And I meant it.

    At my old branch I helped people of all ages, all day, so knowing good JUV authors is helpful; sadly the county doesn't get many of Fleming's books, and most are at the big libraries. Now I work at a big library, and when I spotted Amelia Lost on the children's librarian's desk and went "ooh," she let me have it first. It took awhile to pick it up: "I know how it ends," I whined to myself. "It'll be sad."

    Well, it is sad, but, wow what a good read! I love how Fleming builds excitement by weaving in one-page (usually) descriptions of the day the plane lost contact and all the people who thought they picked up distress signals from Earhart. Fleming even takes time to explain radio technology and culture of the time so that makes sense. The book is illustrated with period documents, ephemera, and photos. A great, suspenseful tragic read that I'll recommend to kids in grades 4 to 8. (Or, really, older. Even a high schooler who can hack an adult bio would enjoy this; it doesn't present little kiddish.)

    P.S. I don't often blog about books anymore, but I want to turn in this book before the weekend. I like to make notes before returning so I'll know if there's swearing or sex or whatever before suggesting a book to a kid. But I couldn't make notes today because Shelfari is down, and has been since about 3:00. Shelfari -- now a subsidiary of Amazon (more rightly named than we knew? A giant monopoly in the making?) -- to add insult to injury, is suggesting I amuse myself by downloading something for my Kindle while I wait! Some damn nerve.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    "Lots of Cats"

    Here's the puzzle that goes with Sunday's heart.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    Puzzle piece heart - another idea from the book. After I made this, I had to go ahead and put it together for real. We did tons of stuff today - yard, groceries, awesome outing with Janet and Mark. By the time I got back to the puzzle, it was dark out - so, no picture. I'd lost one piece: the corner with the last half of the artists's name. Anyone recognize it just from this picture? 

    Wednesday, April 06, 2011

    In Which a Dose of Perspective Puts Me Right in the Middle of the Road.

    Sometimes when I go places, I feel a little self-conscious about my car. It's kinda new (2008) and compared to what else might be in the grocery store or City library parking lot, and kinda fancy (Honda Accord!). Today, I had to go to the Far West End, the richer part of town. I felt self-conscious about my car. It's not really that new, it's way smaller than some of those mammoth SUVs, it's really not that expensive a make, and it lacks private school bumper stickers. Travel is so broadening.

    Sunday, April 03, 2011

    Weeds or perfectly good flowers? We've lived here a year, now, and I still haven't decided. I like them in the mulchy areas, but not so much in the lawn. I used to have a blue glass ink bottle that I found in the woods at the house I grew up in that was just right for displaying tiny violet bouquets. Sadly, I broke it when I lived (yardlessly) in Williamsburg. The company that ran that apartment complex sprayed for bugs several times a year and the ink bottle dropped in one of my rampages to empty cabinets to prepare for the exterminator.