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The following is another story from The Merry Librarian. Once again, this true story is an example of patron expectations for a librarian’s abilities. As bizarre requests go, this one is definitely a strange need for information. And we’re just curious…why is it that when a patron needs something complicated and bizarre, they always want it within 24 hours? Just curious....
“Here’s a situation I ran into yesterday that I thought you might find amusing…it falls under the “librarians should know everything about everything” assumption that much of the general public seems to have. A man walked into our branch yesterday and asked me the following questions:
“If something were translated from English into Mayan hieroglyphics into Egyptian hieroglyphics, would someone from Iran who speaks Hebrew be able to understand it?”
Umm…I’m thinking not.
“Well, then, could you translate it for me so they could understand it?”
…Why yes, of course I happen to be fluent in ALL those languages. (I am a librarian, after all.)
“Well, do you have a book that translates Mayan hieroglyphics into Egyptian hieroglyphics into Hebrew?”
I’m thinking not…but I’ll check anyway just to appease you…Nope, just as I suspected. Nothing.
“Why don’t you have any books that do that?”
I don’t think there is a book anywhere that does that.
“Well, what can you do? I need it done tonight.” -- Read More
The "Wong Fook Hing Book Store" chose the perfect name:
The following is posted from www.merrylibrarian.com from our Story of the Week archives, dated Oct. 4th, 2009. Check out the site for all of our stories!
"Another Day, Another Taser"
Just in case you haven’t gotten the memo, we no longer live in the cheerful, black-and-white world of “Leave It To Beaver.” The streets aren’t even clean anymore, much less safe. Where the public library was once a quiet, quaint place for study and leisurely reading, it has now become a strange mix of internet cafe/detention hall/day care/reading room/homeless shelter. Don’t get us wrong–we aren’t complaining (too much)! The library is supposed to be for everyone, and we gladly open our doors to any person who may walk through them.
But let’s face it: the whole “libraries are for everyone” thing means we get a lot of unsavory people stumbling past our desks everyday. And with them, we get a whole slew of uncomfortable situations. (It is the Merry Librarian’s humble opinion that librarians everywhere should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize.) But the true heroes of the library are easily the library security guards. They undoubtedly see the worst. Not only do they get the porno freaks and drunks, they get the screamers, irate parents, gangsters, predators, thieves, liars, abandoned children, squatters…you name it. -- Read More
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has an interesting take on censorship and librarian burnout:
One Man's Attempt to get the dictionary removed from schools, and for good reason: "An uncountable number of unacceptable words, of which B*st*rd (p. 45), ev*l*t**n (p. 208), excr*m*nt (p. 210), f**c*s (p. 217), p*n*s (p. 457), s*x (p. 583) and v*g*n* (p. 715) are just a few examples. These are so horrible that you will understand that I cannot write them in full. To expose young minds to such filth is surely to corrupt them for life and to damn them for eternity; Better no 'education' at all than this."
The menace of the public option: Of all the current assaults on our noble republic, perhaps none is more dangerous than the public option - specifically, the public library option. People can spend hours and hours in these dens of socialism without having to buy so much as a cappuccino. Furthermore, not only can anyone read books for free in the library, they can take them home, too.
Courtesy of the intellectuals at Maxim Magazine.
Youtube Video of A Man driving 75 mph while reading novel:
(For Delayed Release)
A small district in Any County, America, is changing the face of public libraries. Introducing AnyBookLibraries™, a new style of library that celebrates imagination, research and solitude. Studies have shown that people who are left alone quietly at their local library are less likely to become assholes and annoy others.
Recent changes to libraries have moved them away from physical books and into econtent. Downloadable materials dominated the menu of traditional library offerings; but AnyBookLibraries™ is willing to move forward to engage readers with solid, tangible, physical resources. Traditionally, libraries have been spending their tax dollars on materials their users couldn't even see unless they carried some electronic handheld device in with them. But the new philosophy surrounding the AnyBookLibraries approach gives readers a world of exploration that they experience with their senses, free of that expensive, electronic crutch.
The AnyBookLibraries™ model was designed to help libraries remain relevant by offering books to their customers. Books and books and more books. They offer programming around books, technology for improving access to books, and a "reasonably adequate" level of customer service so that everyone who walks into an AnyBookLibraries™ feels welcome, so long as they silence their phones, spray a little Febreze under their pits, and can keep their mouths shut. -- Read More