Monday, February 26, 2007

This Was My Day

This was my day: escorting 14 different people out of the building, one call to the police, five teens calling me a "fucking bitch," two threats from patrons that they would be "waiting for me later," one fight, and three almost fights.

This was also my day: helping a 14-year-old get his first library card. I had to read most of the questions on the library card application to him, as his literacy level was low. Once I handed him his card, his entire face lit up. We then went up to the 2nd floor to find books on dragons. We had a nice talk, and at the end of our transaction he said "Thank you so much! Thank you for today!"

I think I had a good day after all.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

What Do You Mean, It's Not Appropriate for My Four Year Old?

Last night, we had a talent show for teens. We had a wonderful turnout, although I was surprised at how many people brought their entire families with them. Normally we only allow teens at teen events, but I did make an exception last night since everybody wants to see his or her kid perform. I did have one conversation, however, that reminded me of why we normally keep adults out.

Angry Father: That other girl (one of my staff members) told me that this might not be okay for my four year old!
Snarky Librarian: That's true...
AF [cutting me off]: That's ridiculous! Are you telling me that kids might curse? This is a library! Don't you have standards? I'm going to write a letter to somebody!
SN: Sir, all of our performers were given guidelines, and inappropriate performances are not allowed. However --
AF: I'm writing a letter to someone! What if some kid stands up and is all grabbing his junk? [standing up to demonstrate - what the hell?] You going to let that happen?
SN: Sir, inappropriate performances will be stopped. However --
AF: I'm writing a letter! Cursing at the library! I'm writing a letter!
SN: Sir, what is appropriate for a sixteen year old is different from what is appropriate for a four year old. I can't guarantee -
AF: I'm writing a letter to someone! The library is about education! Anything you do should be okay for everyone!
SN: Sir, this was specifically advertised as a teen event. If you feel that it is not appropriate for your four year old, my best recommendation is that you not expose her to it. Is there anything else I can help you with right now?
AF [wandering away]: I'm writing a letter to someone...[mutters to self].

My favorite threat - a letter to the mysterious "someone." Why do people insist on dragging their young children to everything? Who would have imagined that a teen event might not be appropriate for a four year old? I know I'm dumbfounded by the very idea!

Later, the winner of the talent show was a very obviously, openly gay guy who danced to a Christina Aguilera song. I overheard Mr. Appropriate telling everyone in earshot that it was wrong for a "fucking fag" to win. Yes, his four-year-old was right there as he swore.

I really hope that he includes
that in his "letter to someone."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cast of Characters

Meet the strange and wonderful folks who work with the Snarky Librarian. Right now I'm using initials to identify them; but I may come up with fun nicknames later.

J - My assistant. J is an artist who hasn't decided what she wants to do with her life; in the mean time she's beautifying the teen area with her fabulous displays and decorations.

KS - Another staff member who splits her time between the teen area and the Children's department.

KL - Currently works only on Saturdays as he is student teaching, so you probably won't hear much about him.

A - Nearly 18, A has served as a volunteer and staff person for nearly 5 years. She's graduating this year, filling me with both joy for her and sadness for me.

C - Another teen staffer who has served as volunteer and staff member for 5 years. He is the current co-president of the teen advisory board (TAB) as well as working in the teen department.

E - Serves as co-president of TAB along with C. Highly intelligent and deeply strange, he is often misunderstood when his goofiness is mistaken for lack of responsibility and immaturity.

P - The head of youth services, and thus my boss. She has worked in library-land for over 30 years.

This list will almost certainly get added to, but these 7 people are the ones who spend nearly all of their time at the library and therefore interact with me, our customers, and each other the most often.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I've been contemplating starting a blog for some time, so here goes. What you'll find here will be random, semi-anonymous observations from a teen librarian (that's a librarian serving teens, not a teenaged librarian, in case you were confused). I expect to update every week or so; perhaps more if anyone actually reads this.

As you may have gathered from the title, there will be plenty of snark here, because as much as I love my job, there are a lot of really strange and amusing things that happen there. So if you don't like sarcasm and snark, this may not be the place for you. Consider yourself warned!