A-Z Challenge

A-Z Challenge
So this is my first blog- and my first attempt at this challenge. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

(H)ow do I...

Most problematic questions start that way.  Today, a lady came in asking for my help submitting an assignment to an online class.  She told me that she already submitted it, but her teacher didn't have it.  I helped her submit it (it was assignment 1) and then I told her to go through the steps again to show me she knew how to do it in the future.  When she went to click "view dropbox" it said "Assignment 1 already submitted."  I said "Well now you can see that whatever you did before wasn't right because it let us go in again.  Now that it's been submitted you can't go in again."  She said "well because I was having trouble with the assignment 1 dropbox, I used assignment 2 dropbox.  I suddenly had a terrible feeling and asked her to go into assignment 2 dropbox.  Sure enough, once she clicked "view dropbox" it said "Assignment 2 already submitted." 
So it would seem the reason the teacher never got it is because it was in the wrong dropbox.  AND to top it all off, she can't hand in assignment 2!!!
"Well how do I put a new assignment in assignment 2 dropbox?"

Other wonderful "how do I" questions...
"How do I retrieve an assignment I saved on my home computer?"
"I TYPED THIS ENTIRE PAPER IN CAPITAL LETTERS.  How do I put it in lower case?"
"How do I change what I just emailed to my professor?"
"I go to a different school and need different software.  How do I put new software on your school's computer?"

Friday, April 8, 2011


Everyday I get requests to either type or edit someone's paper.  Now, I love my job.  I love showing students how to conduct research, the format to write a paper, and the proper way to cite their resources.  However, I will not type or edit anyone's paper.  Why?  I was (for a short time) an English major, have tutored others while I was in college, and I can type at almost 100 words a minute.  So it would seem a piece of cake to fix up students' papers.  The reason I refuse to edit papers simply comes down to grammar.  I don't know what has happened to people's grammar, but the few papers I've read do not use apostrophes, misspell words, and sometimes leave out words completely!  I'm sorry but I just cannot bring myself to type something that makes no sense.

The most recent paper I looked over had the thesis of "Success is something new.  Barack Obama first black president is success."  Well I think I know what the author means but to make it read smoothly, I really think it would suddenly become my paper...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

(F)our fifty five on Friday

Well this would seem more fitting if I waited until tomorrow to post this, but as letter F is due today, I'll put it up now.

We close at 5:00 on Fridays.  These are things that a librarian does NOT want to hear at 4:55...
"I need to print this paper out to hand in before tonight.  I don't have my print card and I only have a $20 bill" (the print card machine only takes dollar bills...)
"I need your help to put together my bibliography to post before tonight."
"I need to get a copy of (fill in title here) so I can read it this weekend."
"I need to check my email.  I'll only be a few minutes."  (Yeah right...they are NEVER "a few minutes.")
and my real favorite:
"I need to save this paper but I don't have my flash drive.  I'd send it to my email but I forget my password.  What should I do?"


I missed a day!  Ahhhh.  Sorry about that.  So today you'll get E and F.
At my library I get people from...pretty much everywhere.  This has introduced me to a lot of different cultures.
Generally people come from Trenton (where the library is) or other parts of New Jersey.  Sometimes they come from Pennsylvania.  (Actually this makes me think of one interesting time: People who are Mercer County -NJ- residents can use the library.  If a resident comes and would like to use the library, I ask for some sort of ID -generally a Driver's License. One time someone provided me with a Pennsylvania license... which somehow they thought would be satisfactory ID!)
So I've had lots of people from other countries.  I find these people interesting because clearly they are used to a different way of life.  One guy was raised without any respect for women (which provides for an interesting situation as this library is run by all women).  He used to snap his fingers to get us to come over to him.  More on him later.  It's also interesting to see other people's reactions to policies in this library.  I've had people react with anything from "You mean I actually can take this book home with me for a while?" to "Well isn't it your job to do research for me?"
It's all very interesting. :-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


So there is this guy.  The first time he came into the library, he requested all the books I had about school shootings, the weapons that were used, the plans they had, details of what exactly happened, etc.  Well I don't know about you, but this sent red flags up for me.  So I told my boss (who told security).  And what did security do?  Told the patron that *I* found his actions to be suspicious.  I mean, naturally.  Why shouldn't they go and tell the person I found scary that I found them to be scary.  Honestly what was I thinking?
So this guy disappeared for a little while but recently has been coming again.  He generally comes in and says something to the degree of "Remember when we first met and you thought that I was scary?" and then gives a little chortle.  (Just between you and me, he still scares me...)
Ok I'm getting to why I titled this "Bring your Degree".  So this same guy recently asked me "So you have your Masters in Library?" and I replied that I in fact do.  He then said, "Will you please bring in your degree for me?  I have met too many people that have tried to fool me that I don't believe anything people say anymore." 
Riiiight.  Well I don't really care if you believe me.  You can take my help as a librarian...or not. 

Monday, April 4, 2011


Ok so you are going to read this and think "These patrons don't really exist.  She's making this up."  But I swear to you, these are really the people that come in here!

One guy who used to come in (I'm not sure if he just doesn't or if Security has requested he not return...) would sit at a computer and then try to strike up conversations with me.  Now I'm not really one for talking, but I don't mind a little small talk.  The only problem with this guy?  He never made any sense.  Most of the time, I had no idea what we were even talking about. 

This is the last conversation we had:
"Would you help someone if you could, but you don't really want to?" 
"That is a little vague.  Why don't you want to help?  Is it difficult?  Illegal?  Immoral?" 
"So you are saying that as long as it is legal, I should do it?"
"No I'm not saying that at all.  What would happen if you DIDN'T do it?  Would the person be physically hurt?  In danger?" 
"So you are saying that I should do it because the other person might get hurt?"
"Umm I'm saying that you really need to decide what you are comfortable doing or not doing and just going with that decision." 

And then on his way out he said, "Oh and just to let you know who I'm with...well let me just give you this." and he hands me a piece of paper scrap paper that he wrote CIA on.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


So you can't use a cell phone while i my library (which always struck me as relatively obviously but maybe that's only me...)

Well it seems to me that whenever you have a rule, people try to get around it- which provides me with interesting stories:

Patron is on phone and I walk up and say, "You need to take the call in the hall."  I turn to walk away and realize she is not getting up.  I turn back and say in a louder voice, "Please take the call in the hall."  This time I don't move and after a second say, "Excuse me..." and she finally turns and says, "I heard you the first time."  So we've verified your ears work...how about your brain?

Patron is on the phone and I walk up and say, "You need to take the call in the hall."  He gets up and walks into the hall and about a minute later, returns...still on the phone.  "Um...when I said take the call into the hall I meant please finish the call in the hall."

And my favorite cell phone encounter (and the reason for this title): Patron is on the phone and I say, "You need to take the call in the hall."  He looks at me and responds, "But I'm on Bluetooth!"

Friday, April 1, 2011

(A)KA...Mr Sir

Ah our most favorite patron of all times!  We affectionately refer to him as "Mr. Sir" as he comes in and always calls us "sir."  I don't mean he calls all the men here "sir" and all the women "ma'am".  No...he calls EVERYONE "sir".  When asked why, his response was, "I was in the military.  I learned to show respect."  When told that this was disrespecting (and annoying) us, he replied, "This is America.  As long as I am not being offensive, I can call you anything I want."