Odds and Ends

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Just a post of odds and ends today to start off the new year.

* My Coworker K in adult services was inventorying a book of Jewish traditional music, and called me in to help her pronounce some of the words. We spent a good five minutes going “Chhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” just for fun. I never thought I’d be singing the tune to “Maoz T’sur” in the adult services room.

* You know what I hate? When patrons don’t use their eyes. Case in point: a patron recently said, “You know what you guys should have? Little pencils that patrons can use to write things down.”

Ma’am, have you seen how freaking overrun we are with golf pencils around here? They breed like rabbits. We started off with two and now we find them EVERYWHERE. Under tables. At the backs of shelves. In my shoes at the end of the day. Sometimes after a shower, when I’m Q-tipping my ears, they fall out. But if you had looked on the desk, right under your nose, you would have seen them.

* We had an incredible turnout of kids for our Sunday STEAM Team program, building circuits from a kit. Amazing! And mostly girls!

* I love when books that I adored as a kid are still being published. Case in point. (Also, as a child, I never got how meta it was. I mean, right? Grover was aware he was in a book, that the book would eventually come to an end, and that his fate was controlled by the reader.)

*Most importantly, and what this post is really about, is that I am floored on a regular basis by the differing attitudes of parents to the library.

One day, recently, a parent left her children alone in the children’s room (none of whom were of the age or above to be left alone), while she went to get books for her school project. I realized she was gone while I was mentally matching up the kids to their adults, and had to call security in a slight panic. She was brought back by security, irritated, because security had interrupted her – how dare they! – and her kids were fine. She was mostly irritated because security only should have come to find her if there was a problem (and in her eyes, unattended children were not a problem!) When I tried to talk to me, she kept walking away, giving me more and more attitude, telling me that she absolutely had to get her books because someone else could take her books while she was standing here talking to me.

What I was saying: “Ma’am, I understand that you want to get your books, but the security officers and I are very serious about your children’s safety. Let me get you a copy of our rules so that you have them handy for the next time you visit the library.”

What I was thinking: “”Oh, I’m so sorry. Are we bothering you about the welfare of your children? Clearly your books are more important.”

Look, it’s admirable that she’s in class. It’s admirable that she’s in the library looking for books. The children, luckily, were mostly engrossed in their books and didn’t even notice her absence. But she saw the library as a babysitter – not the librarians, luckily.

One the complete opposite end of the spectrum, a parent came in with her elementary-age children to have them redeem their winter reading sheets for prizes. Burrito prizes. Free burritos.

(In other news: )

This mother could not have been prouder of her kids, the kids could not have been more excited, and she could not have been more grateful to us – and we’re just the librarians; we don’t make the rules – and insisted on taking a picture of each child with his/her completed form and Chipotle card. Where most kids would have “Aw, mooooom”ed, they were grinning from ear to ear for the snaps.

These weren’t kids who needed the incentive of free Chipotle to read. These were kids who love to read, who we see here often, who now have learned that if you read, not only do you have the pleasure of reading and learning something, but sometimes you get burritos out of it. This is a mother who sees the library as a place of learning, a place that rewards her children for doing something they love anyway, and a place that engages them and challenges them even when they’re not in school.

How about a little more of the latter and less of the former, huh?

Links:

I believe the children are our future. #whitneyhouston

Stolen from Coworker W’s Facebook page. Also, Sister A has a massive NDeGT thing – he once spoke at her school – and I just think he’s the coolest.

This is funny, but also hits an awkward truth.

Some book-to-movie adaptations (attention, Hardy fans!)

From Coworker C:

“They didn’t actually hop on pop until about two-thirds of the way through the book, and when they did, the author never explains why it was happening.”

From Friend D:

What do I have to do to see a Bronte ghost?

The Baudelaire one is spot on.

From Friend E:

Diversity popped up in 2014, not surprisingly, in sci-fi and fantasy.

Mark your calendars, chickadees, and get out your lists of books to read.

From Mama Bear:

Literally the best article I’ve ever read. (Not really; I just had to throw the “literally” in there in the spirit of the article.)

From Sister A:

Yeah, this is our life.

More books you’re just going to have to read in 2015.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, my first book finished in 2015 was Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers, which I recommend to any Downton Abbey fan – wealthy American girls marrying poor titled English men.

And now, for my favorite Daddio joke, which I have been waiting WEEKS to use:

Q: What’s a buccanneer?

A: A high price to pay for corn!

I’m here all week, folks. Don’t forget to tip your servers.

Next, to start with my resolution of reading more YA and JUV lit, I picked up a YA book about an Amish community battling vampires. My intentions were good, at least, even if the book wasn’t. And then, while weeding a shelf of G-initialed authors, I thought, “Hey, Julie of the Wolves. Man, I haven’t read that since fifth grade. And its sequel. Gotta read that.” So I picked them both up. Let me say this: I got nothing out of Julie of the Wolves when I was ten, except that Miyax got married at 13 (ewww!) and then vomited when her husband tried to have sex with her (ewwwwwwww!!!!) and there were lots of wolves in the book. This time around, I appreciated the beauty of the writing and can easily see why it won the Newbery award.

But still: vomit. Ew.

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