Friday, August 31, 2007

Building open, library closed

I know this is a hard thing to comprehend...why is the building open, but the library closed?

Well, we are one of the lucky sites who gets to host Early Voting for an election that is going on right now. Early Voting is actually a super cool thing, and brings in hundreds of people who might not frequent the library (in fact, the other day alone we had 500 extra people here in the building just to vote early).

Early Voting opens to the public at 8:00 am. The library, however, doesn't open until 9:30 am. And on Fridays, the library isn't open at all! Hence the confusion.

We do our best to deter patrons from wandering around the building. We put up barriers and block pathways into the actual library part of the building. And, it's not like there is this big maze to get from the front door to the meeting room where the voting is held - it's a straight shot. It just seems that it would be obvious (especially considering there are signs EVERYWHERE that the library is closed until 9:30 Mondays through Thursdays and closed all day on Fridays - not to mention the barriers) that one is not supposed to be meandering through the stacks, browsing the DVD collection or picking up their holds.

Yesterday, I had a man shimmy past the barriers to the holdshelf where he wanted to check to see what he had on hold. When I told him (very nicely, I might add) that the library was closed, he got all up in my face (seriously) and told me that this is why he never comes here because we are SO rude.

Um, we're closed. CLOSED. That means NOT OPEN FOR BUSINESS. If the building were not open for early voting, you would not be able to check the holdshelf and see what came in for you. And even if I did let you check the holdshelf, you wouldn't be able to check these items out.

Once again, I am not here to piss you off, mess with your head or make your life a living hell. Though the way we get treated sometimes, that sounds like it might be a fun game...

haha... *wink*

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A couple of random facts

This was posted as 'Fun Library Facts' on the home page of my Advanced Management of Library Systems class. A 6 page report on how "libraries stack up." Here are a couple of the facts that I found interesting.

1. Libraries worldwide have $31 billion in expenditures annually. Libraries in the US have $14 billion in expenditures annually.
**US libraries exceed the US spending on videos and athletic footwear, and are close to the level spent by businesses on magazine advertising.

2. US Public libraries circulate 1,811,500,000 items per year.

3. US Public library cardholders outnumber Amazon customers by almost 5 to 1. Amazon has 30,000,000 customers, public libraries have 148,000,000 cardholders.

4. US libraries circulate about the same number of items as FedEx ships per day - more than 5.3 million items per day.

5. Five times more people visit US public libraries each year than attend US professional and college football, basketball, baseball and hockey games combined.
US public library visits: 1,116,000,000
US sports attendance: 203,700,000

I love interesting statistics!! WHOOT WHOOT!! =)

(side note: Most of these stats were researched in 2003, so they are a bit outdated. However, they are still pretty impressive!!!)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Which book are you?

I found this quiz through one of the blogs that I subscribe to, Kimbooktu.

All you have to do is answer a few questions and it'll tell you which book you are. It gives you an explanation as to why you are that book.

You can take the quiz here.

Feel free to post your book title and description in the comments section! I'd love to hear from you!!!

And now, my results...

You're Loosely Based!
by Storey Clayton
While most people haven't heard of you, you're a really good and interesting person. Rather clever and witty, you crack a lot of jokes about the world around you. You do have a serious side, however, where your interest covers the homeless and the inequalities of society. You're good at bringing people together, but they keep asking you what your name means.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


It's going to be a great Tuesday!!! Today I've decided that we are going to read stories about dancing. Here are the books for todays story time!!

We are also going to do the Tooty-Ta!! Dr. Jean has a fun version on her Dr. Jean & Friends CD. I heard another fun rock-n-roll version at my children's workshop on Saturday, but I can't remember now who the artist was...hmm, I'll have to look into that. Anyway, I bet you know the Tooty-Ta, even if you don't think you do... Here are the words... It starts off with an echo chant and then you do the actions. By the end of it, you are doing all of this:

Chorus: A tooty ta, a tooty ta, a tooty ta ta!

Thumbs up...
Elbows back...
Feet apart...
Knees together...
Bottoms up...
Tongue out...
Eyes shut...
Turn around...

It's pretty freakin' awesome watching all these little kids dance around to this song!!! You can tell they are having a blast!!! Moms have come up to me weeks later after doing the Tooty-Ta and told me that their kids are STILL singing it!!! YAY!!!

And of course, it's Fabulous Movies Real's Never Seen Night!! Tonight's feature: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

1001 Books

I recently flipped through the book 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Ackroyd.

This book was AWESOME to look through. The books were arranged in sections - Pre-1700s, 1700s, 1800s, 1900s, and 2000s.

It also included a description of the books and for several of them pictures of the authors, book covers and movie poster tie ins (if applicable).

Here is a list of all the books that were included in this book, but if you get a chance, I highly recommend actually picking this book up and browsing through the titles.

It's worth it, I promise!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My last day of freedom

This is it. Tomorrow I start my last semester of graduate school. Papers, class discussions, reading articles... Ahh, school.

It's been a pretty decent last day of freedom. I had brunch with a good friend who I haven't seen in a long time. It was great to see her and catch up a little!!! Unfortunately, 4 hours of my day were spent at work, which wasn't all that fun, but it's was busy and therefore it went by fast.

After work, I decided to be a good little wife and (*gasp*) make dinner!!! I invited the friend who I had brunch over to hang out, and got a great quick lasagna recipe from Tina (check out her blog - A Taste of Tina!). I also picked up a six pack of Corona. My friend is bringing over a lime and chocolate cake. Can you get any better than that?!

We might even get in a movie. I just checked out Zodiac from the library!!

Ahh, good food, good friends, good fun - all on my last day of freedom.

Library question of the day

It's getting close to the of the day on a busy Sunday. The computers are all full, and they all have reservations on them for the rest of the day. When this happens, the computer reservation station won't allow anymore reservations - obviously.

I don't expect everyone to know this, so I calmly explain the process to people when they ask.

It was because of this, however, that we have today's Library Question of the Day.

Patron: Uh, why won't it let me reservate?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Music and More!!

Have I ever told you that I have the best job ever? No? Well...

I have the best job EVER.

Today I spent the day at a workshop called "Music and More: Rhythm, Rhymes & Reading." It was an all day workshop designed to help teachers and librarians use music and more in their lessons and story times. And it was a blast!!!

My first session was led by Katherine Dines. She is a singer/songwriter who originally started out writing country and pop music, but now focuses on music for children. You can read more about Katherine Dines and her music for kids on her website.

In her session, we sang songs, did a couple chants, and learned the importance of music and the young child's brain. (Did you know that sounds, rhythm, rhyme and movement promote reading, language and literacy?)

We also had a make and take session where we made jingle bracelets with chenille stems and bells!

The second session was led by storyteller Lisa Vinson. She is amazing - full of energy and great ideas on how to incorporate music as well as free or inexpensive crafts into lessons and story times.

We also had a make and take session with Lisa - and we got to make TONS of fun stuff!!! Check it out!

All you do is take yellow sponges and cut them in to strips to make these French fries!! McDonald's donated a bunch of those French fry sleeves (free advertising!!).

Then we made microphones! These can be so much fun in so many different ways. You can make 'announcements' if it's someones birthday, if someone got new shoes, or if someone wants to show everyone their newest OWIE!! All you need is a toilet paper roll, a strip of black paper, a Styrofoam ball and a sheet of aluminum foil. A couple dabs of glue - and there you go! Karaoke anyone??

Then we made PIZZA!! Of course, there are some great books and songs about pizza out there, and this is a great craft to go along with those stories. All you need is a brown paper lunch bag - rip off the bottom piece (where it folds on the bag) and roll the edges of the bottom piece in. Then shape your 'dough,' add red construction paper or tissue paper for the sauce and top with whatever!

And what storytelling workshop is complete without a CROWN?!?! I made this fabulous crown out of one of those tin pie pans that you can get at a grocery store or Wal*Mart or wherever. Then I duct taped the edges (careful, they can be sharp!) and then decorated with some bling. Seriously, how cool is that? =)

Everyone got a door prize as well. I drew number 62, and here is what I got in my bag:

The first book in the Travelers Through Time series:

A Biography about George W. Bush (um...thanks?):

A Rookie reader about maps and globes:

A cute little poetry book by Tomie DePaola:

The game Doodle Dice:

And the newest issue of U.S. Toy Company magazine.

What a great way to spend the day!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Catching up with a good friend.

I have this awesome amazing friend, Lil' Jen. We have known each other since we were both active in the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Organization (or HOBY). We were ambassadors from our hometowns our sophomore year in High School, and have been friends ever since. We didn't live too close to each other while in HS, so we didn't see each other too much, but we always kept in touch.

It was the same in college. We went to school a couple hours away from each other, so we didn't get to hang out much, but we always kept in touch by phone and letters and the occasional visit. After college, I moved to Tennessee, and she moved all the way to Seattle, Washington. Obviously, we don't see each other much anymore, though she has made a couple trips to Nashville to visit me!!

The last time I got to see Lil' Jen, she totally took me by surprise. DH and I were in my hometown in April having our At Home Reception to celebrate our November wedding. A bunch of us were out on the dance floor, shakin' it, when the door opening caught my eye... In walks Lil' Jen!!! I had no idea she was even home for her own vacation (she still lives in Seattle)!!! I screamed when she walked in the door, so of course everyone turned to look - BWAHAHA sorry, Lil' Jen!!!

Anyway, we don't get a chance to talk much anymore, because our lives are both so busy. In fact, we usually go a good 4-5 months between chats. But then, when you get us on the phone, you can't get either of us to shut up!! I finally got a chance to talk to her tonight, and we ended up having a 2.5 hour conversation. And I am SURE most of that was spent laughing.

Lil' Jen is such an amazing spirit, and I am so lucky to have her as a friend. It was awesome to catch up with her!!!

Thanks for calling, Lil' Jen - I love you girl!!!!!

Car shopping!!

Last night, my DH and I went car shopping. I have a great car which I love (his name is Wilson. Yes, I named my car Wilson.), but he is getting up there in miles and lately I have spent a lot of money keeping him going.

So, while I am not terribly excited about having a car payment, I am pretty excited about getting a new vehicle. I like being up higher than a car, so we are looking at small to mid-sized SUVs. The major requirement is that my DH, who stands 6'6, has to fit comfortably without scrunching his knees or hitting his head. Other than that, I am not too picky, though I would LOVE a sunroof...and maybe something in red.

Here are the vehicles that have caught our eye.

2004 Jeep Liberty:

2004 Saturn Vue:

2005 Chevrolet Equinox:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Library question of the day

Here I sit. At the library. Behind a desk, situated at a computer. I have the word 'Information' in big letters attached to the wall behind me. In front of my desk, hanging from the rafters is another sign that says 'Information.' And I just finished helping a patron find a riveting book about Greek mythology.

A patron walks up to the desk.

Patron: Do you work here?

(Ok, I probably shouldn't make fun of this person - and the several other people who have managed to ask the exact same question - but seriously? Do I work here?)

Real Librarian: No, sorry. You might try asking the giant stuffed Tigger if he can help you.

I work in the Children's department at the reference desk. Patrons also tend to make this statement:

Patron: I doubt you can help me since you are a children's person, but I need a book.

(Um, excuse me? I can't help you find a BOOK because I work at the children's desk? WHAAAA?!?! I can help you. I am a smart educated reference librarian. I am skilled in the searching. I can find you what you are looking for based on the COLOR of the BOOK!!! But, you know what, never mind, I take that back - you are probably beyond help. But instead, I say...)

RL: *smile* I can certainly try to help you.

It's all actually pretty amusing. Some of the things that come out of the mouths of patrons really crack me up. More on that some other time!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Capstone Experience

In less than a week, I will be starting my final semester of Graduate School!!! I am taking classes online through the University of North Texas, and have actually loved (almost) every minute of it.

I have been trying to get through the program as fast as I can. Some people called me crazy when I took three classes while I worked full time and planned my wedding last fall. Maybe I was, but because I have been working my ass off, I will be able to graduate this December!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Just think - I will have my Masters degree in Library and Information Science! I'm going to be a REAL LIBRARIAN!!!

I don't have to write a thesis or a dissertation or anything like that. My 'last step' before graduation is called 'Capstone.' I have to write three major essays 'designed to synthesize knowledge from my coursework and educational experience.' And I have one week to do it. And this is in addition to the two classes I am taking.

I'm a little nervous about this. For one, I am not a fabulous essay writer. And these essays are going to be graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. If ONE of the three essays is rated unsatisfactory, I fail. Yikes.

The other reason that I am nervous about this is because of the 'Capstoners' before me. I have talked to other students who took Capstone in previous semesters and asked them how it went, if they have any advice or whatever they can tell me. Apparently Capstoners are sworn to secrecy because the ONLY thing they have told me is...

"They don't call it the Capstone Experience for nothing."


I just registered for Capstone this morning. My Experience will happen the week of September 17-24.

OMG - that starts in less than a month.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

WOOHOO! New books!

Oh, wait...I'm not actually excited about these books.

I just got the books for my last semester in grad school! This semester I am taking a class about Academic Libraries, and an Advanced Management class. While I am getting my degree in Youth Librarianship, I decided that a Graduate Academic Certificate in Management would also be a pretty good idea. And now that I have taken all of my fun Youth Services classes (like Storytelling and Literature for Youth), I have to finish my management classes.

Looks like I'm in for a fun semester, huh? It all starts on Monday...

That's right - it's TUESDAY!

Once again, Tuesday! I decided that today's story time theme would be games and playing, so here are a couple fun books I found!

And of course, it wouldn't be Tuesday without Fabulous Movies Real's Never Seen Night!! WOOHOO!!! We watched A Chorus Line last week, but decided against the cream cheese drama of Old Yeller this week. Instead, we'll be watching a mystery by Agatha Christie - Murder, She Said.

Monday, August 20, 2007

My newest reality obsession

I have to admit, I have a problem. I used to be able to say that I'm not much of a TV watcher. I would much rather have a book in my hands, snuggle up in a squishy chair with a blanket and a mug of coffee (yes, even in the summer!) and get lost in whatever world I happen to be involved in at the time.

I have always been addicted to American Idol. I have watched that one religiously since the premier season when Kelly Clarkson became the first. Hell, I even remember Brian Dunkleman!!

In addition to American Idol, I am also addicted to America's Next Top Model (Cycle 9 premieres on September 19!) and So You Think You Can Dance (Congratulations to Sabre!).

But the newest addiction is called On the Lot. It's a reality show produced by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett that give aspiring film makers the chance to earn a $1 million development deal with Dreamworks pictures.

One of the reasons why I think this show is so cool is because they don't have a separate results show. They do last weeks cut in the first 5 minutes of this weeks show. None of the hour long blah blah blah, we'll find out who gets kicked off 'after the break' crap that all of the other shows do. It's awesome!! And, of course, I have to mention the short films that these contestants make every week - some of them are unbelievable!!!

I caught it about mid season, but am officially addicted. The season finale is tomorrow night (Tuesday, August 21) at 7 pm Central on FOX.

It's probably too late to get involved in it now (though you can watch full episodes of On the Lot online!), but you should definitely check it out next season!

Adventures with the in-laws

Well, the in-laws are gone!! We had a great time with all of them!!! I LOVE my new sister-in-law - she is pretty much the bomb diggety smack. And SUPERWOMAN. I don't know how she takes care of her 3 kids (a 5 year old girl and twin 2 year old girls) and works 50-60 hours a week as a physical therapist! DAMN.

Anyway, we had so much fun! We went to the Nashville Zoo, Cheekwood Botanical Garden (where they were having a special "Once Upon a Garden" exhibit), and of course took the girls swimming!!!

Here are some pictures from the Zoo!

A Meerkat:
The girls' dad and two of the kiddies in the meerkat area, checking things out.

My dear husband goofing around.

At the petting zoo.

One of the twins pushing her daddy in the stroller. Those twins are TOO CUTE!!!

We had a great time on the carousel!!

My SIL and I decided that we needed some girl time, so we left the kids with the guys and got pedicures! It was so great to be able to relax and I am pretty sure SIL enjoyed the time without having to push strollers around! We went to the mall and walked around for a minute before we stopped off at Ruby Tuesdays where I had the BEST pomegranate martini EVER!!! The guys also got some time to themselves - they went to see Transformers (my hubby has now seen it in the theater 4 times!!!).

I gotta tell you - kids are exhausting!!! It was a blast, and we all had a great time, but when they left, DH and I collapsed on the couch and could do nothing but watch movies for the rest of the weekend! (Moms - I applaud you. I can't imagine doing what you all do day in and day out!!! Y'all deserve some major credit!!)

It's all of a sudden really quiet in my apartment... No little voices asking for milk or little feet running around. I had to read Little Pea and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus to myself this morning. Now that I'm back to being caught up on my sleep, I miss those little girls!!

Auntie librarian

Well, we had a great time with the in-laws this past week!! Those kids (a 5 year old and twin 2 year old girls!) are SO cute, yet SO exhausting!!

I have some good pictures, but I can't seem to find the cord for my camera, so you are going to have to wait for those.

Anyway, being the fabulous librarian auntie I am, I brought home some fun books to read to the girls while they were here. They loved them!! I read them over, and over, and Here are a couple of their favorites.

Stay tuned for pictures of the weekend!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

30th Anniversary

Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.

The library is celebrating by handing out leis (like Blue Hawaii), making large belt buckles and Elvis paper dolls, and serving Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches. Oh, and an Elvis party wouldn't be an Elvis party without an impersonator, so Elvis will be in the building today, too!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The in-laws are coming, the in-laws are coming!!

I'm actually pretty excited about this week/weekend! My dear husband's (DH) sister, her husband, and their three little girls (a 4 year old and two year old twins!!) are coming for a visit!!!

They are staying with us, in our two bedroom apartment... Five extra people... OMG what have I signed up for?!?!

I'm just kidding - it's going to be awesome. We are going to take the girls swimming, to the zoo, to the wave pool, and to a couple other really cool for kids places. And then, my sister-in-law (SIL) and I are going to leave the kids with the hubbies and have some girl time. I'm thinking pedicures or something equally fabulous. WHOOT WHOOOOOOOT!!!

The point of this is that I might not be posting much this weekend. All those people around doesn't leave much time for blogging.

Anyway, I'll leave you with a thought or two from my new favorite book - Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid by Lemony Snicket.

This one is from the section entitled 'Family.'

"Siblings who claim to get along all of the time are most definitely hiding something."

This one is from the section entitled 'Literature.'

"If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[ pasdlgkhasdfasdf."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The perfect quote at the perfect time

You know how you coincidentally come upon a quote that sums up everything you are feeling at the moment you find it? Well, that happened to me, not more that 10 minutes ago.

A new book just came to my library by Lemony Snicket called 'Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid.'

You may know the name Lemony Snicket from the fabulous children's series called 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' starring the Baudelaire orphans. This is his newest accomplishment.

Anyway, as I was saying, the perfect quote...

I was flipping through this new book before we have to check it in and send it to the first person who is patiently awaiting some knowledge when I came upon the quote of which I speak.

To really understand WHY this is the perfect quote, you have to read the post directly underneath this entitled 'Tactless and Unprofessional." I'll give you a moment to do that...

And NOW, the moment you have ALL been waiting for...

"Fetching objects for people who are too lazy to fetch them for themselves is never a pleasant task, particularly when the people are insulting you."

Ahh, the wisdom! The bitterness of truth!!

I've just decided that this is my new favorite book. In fact, I think I will devote an entire post at a later time dedicated to Lemony Snicket's Bitter Truths - I mean, there is some serious wisdom in these pages!!

I know you can hardly wait...but you have to. And that is yet another bitter truth.

Tactless and Unprofessional

Yup, that's me!! I don't usually get a lot of complaints about me, but the past two days I guess I have just been a giant pain in the ass! Maybe I should reconsider public service - maybe I'm just not cut out for this!!

Honestly, though...I don't think it's me.

Here is the latest fun phone conversation with a fantastically wonderful professional woman.

Professional Woman: I need to put a video on hold, but I don't have my library card with me.
Real Librarian: I'm sorry, it's library policy that we need to have your library card to put things on hold.
PW: But I don;t have it, it fell off my key chain and I am at work and it's at home.
RL: I'm sorry, it's library policy that we need to have your library card number to put things on hold for you.
PW: I don't see why this has to be such a big ordeal, can't you just hold it under my name?
RL: (deep breath) I am not supposed to do that because of library policy, but I will do it for you this one time. Next time you will need to have your library card (just because I didn't want to have a huge problem).

She tells me the video, I go get it and come back.

RL: Can you spell your name for me please?
PW: (spells name huffily - like I should already know). I'll be in after I get off work, around 7.
RL: Ok, we close at 8, so if you are not here by the end of the day, the video will go back on the shelf.
PW: You don't have to be so rude. I'm a professional woman.
PW: Are you a college graduate?
PW: I asked you if you are a college graduate?
RL: I don't see how that is any of your business.
PW: Well, I am a professional woman, and as a professional person, you should use a little more tact and say something like "policy states that if you are not here by......."
RL: ((fuming because she had NO TIME for policy 2 minutes ago))
PW: I just think you are being rude and unprofessional and could use more tact when dealing with people.
RL: Thank you SO much for your thoughts. *click* (ok, so maybe that was a little tactless...)

My first mistake was doing this woman a favor. Here is what I should have said:

You know, thank you for reminding me that I am a professional person. As a professional, I really feel that I need to comply with library policy. I am sorry, I will not be able to put this video on hold without your library card. (I would like to add certain expletives here, but being that I am full of tact and professionalism, I will leave these out.)

I'll have to remember that for next time.

Once again - TUESDAY!

Love me some Tuesdays!!

Today's story time theme is Cars and Things that GO!!! Here is what we are reading today:

And Tuesday wouldn't be Tuesday without Fabulous Movies Real's Never Seen Night!!! We have two choices for this week - a musical or a drama.

I can hear you ALL saying "You've NEVER seen Old Yeller?!?!?!" No, no I haven't. But that's the point of The List, so I can get a well rounded movie education!!

So, leave a comment and vote which movie we should watch tonight!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A visit with my brother

When I was in MN last weekend, I was fortunate enough to be able to sneak in a couple hours visit with my brother, his wife and my niece, Sarah June!!! My sister-in-law just sent me this picture of us!

Ok, so I don't really understand the look on my face, but it's a precious pic of my niece!!!

And she just LOVES her wagon!!!

I wish I could spend more time with them. I wonder if they'll ever come down to visit me?!?! **HINT HINT**

I am so subtle...