Archive for May, 2010

A Vision for Service

We were impressed with the heart behind this story. It’s just more proof that librarians and libraries and an integral part of our communities. We’re also confident there are hundreds of stories just like this one out there that haven’t yet been told! If you or a librarian you know has served your community in a unique and quiet way, we want to know about it! Send in your inspirational stories of library service to us today at submit@merrylibrarian.com. And thank you to all of those working so hard in NM to provide a better quality of life to your patrons through the library!

“The New Mexico State Library is the last state library to operate a bookmobile due to the rural geography of our state. New Mexico is the fifth largest state, ranked 36th in population and 46th in population density with an average of 15 people per square mile. The Rural Services Program for the NM State Library receives federal support through IMLS – Library Services Technology Act, State of NM and various counties, towns and villages throughout New Mexico.

Regularly, during my travels on Rural Bookmobile East based out of Tucumcari, NM, library patrons will come on the rural bookmobile and then exclaim, “Gee Whiz, I left my reading glasses at home (usually back at their ranch quite a distance from the bookmobile stop). In an effort to better serve our patrons, I searched around my ranch house and brought a few pairs of reading glasses for those patrons. Now, I keep 175 and 200 on the bookmobile so they can select their own books. Perhaps others will donate some reading glasses.

~”Jill” in NM”

**If you are interested in donating reading glasses to this cause, please send an email to info@merrylibrarian.com with the subject “Reading Glasses.”

Another Day, Another Demon

We’ve all encountered at least one patron looking to learn more about demons, witchcraft or exorcism. It seems like every encounter is a story worthy of The Merry Librarian! The attitude of this particular librarian made us smile, however. Perhaps she should write the first book on the subject…it’s bound to be stolen from library shelves across the country in no time!

“In the early 90s, I was working as an adult reference librarian at a public library in a small city and was approached by a perfectly normal looking and sounding man (and yes, we had more than our fair share of crazies – this guy wasn’t one of them). The following dialogue ensued:

Patron: I need to find a book on demons.

Librarian: (sighing to self because nearly every book in the library on witchcraft, astrology, demons, etc., had already been stolen) Well, what type of information do you need on that?

Patron: My stepson is being visited in his sleep by some type of demon.

Librarian: You mean like a succubus or incubus?

Patron: Oh, not for sex like in that movie Succubus.

Librarian: Are you looking for a book on how to exorcise it?

Patron: Oh no, I want a book on how to control it and make it do things for me.

Because I could not find a book on How to Control Demons for Fun and Profit, I directed the patron to the Man, Myth and Magic Encyclopedia set we kept behind the reference desk because the first set had been stolen.”
~”Kaitlin”

We need more stories! Please send your stories to us at submit@merrylibrarian.com today!

Are there no stories to share?!

Sadly, we have very little to post for you today. The fact of the matter is…we’ve run out of stories! At least, we’ve run out of your stories. Luckily, Merry is not just a pretty face…she spends most of her days behind the desk at her own library. So here are a few strange encounters from Merry herself.

Hurry and send in your stories today! As you can tell, we need your submissions!

***
A few weeks ago a young woman came up to my desk and said,

“Excuse me, but where are the, like, umm…the normal books? You know, the books normal people read?”

I was a little confused, since I work at a public library and we have all types of books and patrons.

“Do you mean fiction books–like novels, mysteries, and that sort of thing–or non-fiction books–like biographies? Or something else?”

She stared at me for a moment. “I mean, like, you know. The normal books.”

Ah, yes. Very helpful.

“Well,” I said, feeling a bit ill-equipped for this one, “I would be happy to show you to our fiction section. We also have a section of New Books, where you might find the more recent NY Times best-sellers.”

“Yes! That’s what I want! The normal books on the NY Times list.”

I led her to our New Book section and couldn’t help but chuckle as I walked away. Who knew the NY Times best-seller list was just for “normal” people?

***
My library district recently underwent a major change in technology. Instead of using the bar-code system, we are now proudly using RFID technology in all of our material. The change has been great–but it was certainly not easy to implement.

In order to accomplish this daunting task, branches throughout our district closed on a rolling basis for one week at a time. As it happens, our branch was closed during tax week. Though this would be a slight inconvenience to our patrons, it was absolutely necessary for our successful conversion to the new system, and had been planned, advertised and prepared for for many, many months.

About two days before the closure was to take affect, a well-meaning patron approached me at the desk.

“I see you’re going to be closed next week,” he said, holding up one of our flyers.

“Yes,we are. We are converting our collection to a new technology.”

“Don’t you think the timing is bad? Could I suggest you wait until after tax week? It will be very hard for people to get their taxes done if you’re closed.”

“Well, sir,” I said, “we’ve been planning this closure for a long time now, and have advertised it to the best of our abilities. Every other branch will be open during the week, so you are welcome to use one of the other locations.”

He shook his head. “I’d rather use this one. I don’t understand how you can prioritize library things over tax day.”

“You are welcome to use our computers now to do your taxes if you’d like,” I suggested.

He laughed. “Are you kidding? I never do my taxes until tax day! That’s why I can’t believe you won’t reschedule this RFID thing.”

The conversation continued in this fashion for a few more minutes before he finally realized that he couldn’t talk me (and subsequently the library district…because I’m that powerful…) into rescheduling our district-wide closure calendar to suit his needs. Ah, well. The library can only go so far, I guess.

Do you have a story to share? Send it in! Submit your stories to use at submit@merrylibrarian.com today!

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