Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cake anyone?

Have Your Cake and Kill him Too by Nancy Martin is a great mystery novel. I love this author's way of writing and getting to the point. This series of novels are called the Blackbird Mysteries, which are about three sisters who inadvertently get involved in murder cases. The characters of Emma, Libby and Nora Blackbird are some of the greatest characters I have read in a while. They have their own personalities, but you also get a hint of their similarities as sisters have a way of doing.
Nora is a social columnist for a local Philadelphia newspaper. The sisters are socialites who no longer have any money once their parents take off with the family fortune to escape the tax collector. The relationship between Nora and Michael, a mob heir is fascinating as a way to complicate the plot. This particular book has to do with a murder case that involves a social scandal and sex. The stories that go around the actual murder are so intriguing that I don't want to jump to the end and learn "who did it" because I want to know what happens with the parallel events. As you can tell I am reading all fun reads lately, but that will change. So enjoy it while it lasts.

Patron Update
Remember the weird-o who yelled at me for no apparent reason? Well he has been coming to the library everyday and today he came to the desk asking for some help. I could tell he was totally embarrassed to have to come and ask me for help after his ranting that he couldn't even look me in the eye. I kept smiling at him (remember the comment he made about my smile?) and assisted him like the professional that I am. But I was gloating internally.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Hot Tamale?

Hot Tamara was not a good title for this book. Mary Castillo's book about Tamara, a twenty something Latina and how she deals with her Mexican parents is not what you expect from this title. The title implies that you are going to be regaled by the escapades of liberated Latina and her adventures in single-hood. The book is more about how Tamara had to struggle to leave the nest and make her life the way she wants, rather than how her mother wants it to be.

I really enjoyed the book because the relationship with her mom is so familiar. The point of this story is that Latinas, you have the choice to do what you want with your life. Despite the fact that your parent's are traditional and want to protect you from the world, it's up to you what you make of it. Tamara is the example of the woman who broke away from tradition and survived to tell the story. Yes, your mother will get over you moving out and getting your own career. Tamara's best friend Isa is her counterpart who is a "good" girl and did whatever everyone expected of her which has lead her to unhappiness. I recommend this book is a great example of Chica Lit.

Privacy Issues

I had my first run in with a patron who asked information on his child. As you will learn (you future librarians out there) in Library Class 101, when someone comes into the library and asks information on another patron's library record you are not allowed to disclose said information. I had a gentleman come in today asking one of our pages to tell him if his daughter checked out any books today. Our page directed the patron to me and I explained that we cannot disclose this information. He said that his daughter had told him that she was going to be at the library doing homework and she had been here all morning, so he wanted to check to see if in fact she came to the library. I told him we could not look that up for him. He said, "Why? Doesn't her name come up when you enter the library card number?" I said, "yes, it does. But it is our policy that all library records are confidential and we cannot disclose this kind of information to anybody." He was shocked. He just wanted to know if his daughter had been here. I told him it was a security measure and we had to protect our patrons. We have no way of knowing that in fact he was her father. He was about take out his wallet to prove it, but I stopped him telling him it was not necessary for him to prove anything, because he was still not going to get the information. Just to make sure, I consulted the lead reference librarian and she backed me up. He finally left but I was a little shaken from the experience. I didn't think I would encounter this issue so early in my librarian career, though they do prepare us for this in library school. Having spoken to my collague again about the situation, she was surprised because she had never had to encounter something like that in all her years as a librarian (which have been a lot). I was pretty proud of myself. Bring on the Patriot Act!! (just kidding)

Yeay Reading!

I love it when I discover a new author and find out that they have written more than that one book. Right now I am reading Nancy Martin's Blackbird Mysteries and have found there are several, so I have my summer reading list ready!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yes, another book review

I told you I would have more time to read! I just finished reading Momzillas by Jill Kargman. Once again this book takes place in New York and tells the story of Hannah a new mom who is being ostricized by the momzillas of NY. Momzillas are women who are overly obsessed with being the perfect mom that they are competitive in their clothing, schools, activities, and social standing all in the name of motherhood, while slightly neglecting the actually upbringing of the child. The story is interesting only because of the different stupid things the moms did in this book in order to compete. The ending was kinda too generic for my taste and wrapped up nicely.

I need to start reading more intellectually stimulating books! But not anytime soon, because I am reading two other chic lit books, so be prepared to read those.

Patron Stories

Um...ok. Why do people feel the need to shout in a library? I had this lady today walking down the aisles yelling out her daughters name. I finally shushed her and she's like, "Well I'm looking for my daughter." I said, "Well look and stop yelling."

Monday, May 21, 2007

Why Me?!

Debutante Divorcée
I don't know why I am on this series of books that deal with life of New Yorkers, but I just finished reading The Debutante Divorcée by Plum Sykes. The book wasn't particularly interesting but I enjoy Syke's writing style.
The book is about Sylvie and her friendship with Lauren Blount a newly divorcée. As a newlywed Sylvie is fascinated by her divorced friend's adventures and is concerned about ended up a divorcée herself. The lifestyles of the the NY debutante are interesting but the storyline is a bit slow. Syke's natural flow of language is what kept me going and made the book a fun read.

Not dealing with a full deck

I was berated by a patron today for no apparent reason. Being in the service sector you sometimes have to deal with people that just want to yell for no good reason. This man just came to the desk and accused me of having a problem with him and I (not knowing what he was talking about) apologized and said, "I'm sorry sir, but I did not mean to be rude to you. I apologize." He responded, "Stop calling me Sir!! My name is Joe and if you have a problem with me you need to tell me cus this is so rude. You with your fake smile. I can see right through that!!!" Um...ok. And he walked away. How's that for a Monday morning? Lucky for me there were two of us at the desk and my colleague witnessed the whole thing, so I have back up.

Pet Peeve #3- I don't need your life story
People always feel like they have to give me their life stories when they ask for a book. I don't need to know why exactly you need it, especially when it's disease information. Also, if your computer has run out of our paper, just ask for more. Don't come up and tell me, "There is something wrong with the computer, it won't print cus it's out of paper." or "I was trying to print out a report for homework, cus I need to write a term paper for school and I think I ran out of paper." Just ask me for the paper!!! Put a complete sentence together, "May I please have paper for the printer?"; "May I make a reservation on the computer?" "May I kiss your feet?" YES!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pet Peeves


When dealing with unruly teenagers who a)will not stop talking b)stop using their cell phones c) share the computers with 4 of their friends to be on myspace; I have to chant my mantra to make me feel better about dealing with them:

"At least they are not on the streets. They chose to come to the library. They are not bad, just like to share. Ahh oooohhm"

I swear, it's like shooing a flock of pigeons in the park. I walk through the computers and tell those who are standing behind their friends watching their monitors to disperse, they do. But as soon as you are a good distance away, they flock right back. I had to kick three of them out last week, it felt good. But I don't want to do that too often for fear it may lose its power.

Pet Peeve #2: Trying to "Shock" the librarian
I have had kids come up to ask for material just to try and see how I would react. Hustler, Kama Sutra and Porn Industry 101 will not shock me. Be warned I will give you the material if we have it, so be prepared to be embarrassed.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The NY Scene

If you want a quirky book to read that will show you how the other half lives, then Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes is for you. The other half being the Manhattan socialites who's biggest worry is making sure to get invited to the next preview sale by Valentino. The book is narrated by Moi a character who's name is never given but is fun to read about. She is best friends with the Bergdorf heiress and their zany adventures will make you wonder if girls in New York really get engaged so that they can be part of the engagement party scene and not really to get married. I find it interesting to read about the lives of others especially those who don't have money worries. Though the characters seem a bit superficial at times, you become attached to their plight in finding a PH (perspective husband) and hilarity ensues.

I picked up this book during my recent travels to Puerto Rico where I needed something to keep my mind off the turbulence. It's very quirky and fun to read just for the sheer entertainment value of being in the inside track of this elite social scene. It is handy to know some names of designers just to know what they are talking about. Watching Sex in the City should be sufficient training.
There is nothing like the feeling you get when you kick out a ranting patron. This particular patron decided we needed to hear the 10 commandments be recited. At first I thought she was talking on the phone, but the closer she got to the main hallway the louder she got and started yelling towards our patrons. As soon as she saw me approaching she quited down and walked out. I wasn't sure what I was going to do when I reached her, but I'm glad I didn't have to find out.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

General ramblings

Hello! Is there anybody out there?
If you read my blog can you please leave a comment to say that you exist? It's pretty disheartening to think that I am writing this for my own enjoyment. Just a little anonymous "Hi!" would suffice. Thanks!

Now on with the show!

I just found my new favorite comic strip. Yes, it has to do with librarians. Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum is totally hilarious. Here is a link to a nifty one. For some reason it is blocked from me to save the images and upload them here. Drat those copyright laws!! Most of the themes covered in the strip I have encountered in our library: rude patrons, computer problems, civil liberties, and public apathy. Check out, so you can have a clearer picture when I describe my experiences to you. :0)

I still love my job:
You know all those useless facts I give you guys whenever I think they are relevant? Well, I used one today to help a patron. He wanted to know what it referred to when someone described "milk money". It was awesome!!!! It's fun being a historian and a librarian, because I find that they overlap more than people think.

Pet Peeve #1
When people come up to the reference desk and ask, "Can I ask you a question?" or "Do you work here?" Don't start a question with asking me if you can ask me a question. And if I or any other person in your life is sitting behind a desk with a giant sign over their heads that reads "INFORMATION" it is pretty safe to say they work there.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Margo Candela

May 16, 2007 @ 7pm
Meet the Author

Margo Candela author of Underneath It All will discuss love, life and getting published.
Book signing and Q&A session after the program.

East Los Angeles Library

4837 E. 3rd Street

Los Angeles, CA 90022



Patron: Can I make a reservation for a computer?
Me: Sure for what time?
P: The earliest available.
M: The next available is @ 7pm.
P: You don't have anything earlier?
>:[ (oh, i'm sorry. When you said "earliest" available I decided to ignore your request and just pull a number out of the air and give you that one....YES! That is the earliest!!!)
M: No, that is the earliest.
....um, yea.