Monday, April 30, 2007

My French Whore: a Love Story

By Gene Wilder is a wonderful book. I know, the title sounds scandalous but the actual story is endearing. It's a short book that takes place during World War I in the French/German trenches. Paul Peachy is the main protagonist and he shares his story during the war in Germany and his relationship with his french whore. I listened to it in my car and found that it was very captivating and full of emotion. I highly recommend you pick it up for a quick read.
Patron Stories
Working at the reference desk we also deal with telephone reference questions. Our particular library has two patrons that call weekly just to be on the phone. There is one lady who always calls when we are the most busiest and keeps whoever she is talking to on the line forever!!! We try to be as patient as possible but when you have a line of patrons in front of you and the patron on the phone is just expressing her point of view on how she hates living in the city and how she will be moving soon, it's kinda necessary to cut her off. I am good at this, but there has been times when one of my nicer colleagues was on the line with her for over 30 minutes. And this was at 9pm when our library was closing. I'm sorry but at this point you just have to cut some people off. Lesson for today, don't call the library just because you are bored.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


It's easier for me to write about a book I don't like or hold in high regard, than writing about one that I fell in love with. But I will try and explain why this book is so great. Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros is the most recent book I have finished and I am in love. It's hard for me to explain what were the best parts I liked about this book. Maybe it was her intertwining of stories through different generations, or her graceful manner in which Cisneros mixed in Spanish-Mexican dichos. Or maybe it was how she so accurately described the relationship between a Mexican male and his mother. The book was all around fun to read.

Caramelo is narrated by Celaya "Lala" Reyes, who shares her life experiences and intertwines them with those of her family. The book starts when Lala as 4 years old and spans through her late teens/early twenties and the stories take place in Chicago, Texas and Mexico. Her family is full of characters and storytellers which consists of her parents, six brothers and her "evil grandmother" just to name a few. Cisnero's touches on mother/daughter relationships and as it relates to mother/son relationships. My favorite quote of the book is:
"It's amazing how blind Mexican sons are to their mother's shortcomings. A meddlesome, quarrelsome, difficult, possessive mother is seen only as a mother who loves her child too much, instead of the thing she is - an unhappy lonely person."

Maybe for this quote alone, you should pick up this book.

I am addicted to blogs! Not mine specifically but to blogs in general. Most of you already know, I am nosy. So it's no surprise that I like to lurk on and check out random blogs that come up in the roll down list of newly updated blogs. I have found some interesting ones, but most are pretty self absorbing and don't contribute anything worthwhile to the internet. (unlike mine of course:)

I came across a blog called "And baby makes three". I don't include a link to it because it's not particularly interesting. It's just a blog set up by a new mother which features new pictures of her baby. What is interesting is that she writes her blog like it's for her baby to read when he gets older. She assumes that this blog, website and technology will be available in the year 2017 when her child will be at least 10 to read her blog. What she doesn't realize is that in ten years this technology of blogging will be obsolete. Not necessarily the internet will be gone, but the system of blogging and the blogger website will no longer exist giving way to the most recent program that makes "blogging" easier, whatever it may be called. Once blogger creators or Google decided that blogs are no longer popular and they decide to shut it down, they will not give you enough notice to save your entries. Most people will not have the foresight to transfer the information to update formats or whatever is going to follow the blogging sensation.
I just state this so you, my reader (tee hee) will be up to date and know that things online aren't forever. If that mom-blogger would want something for her child to read in the future, and ensure that he gets it and is able to read it, paper is the way to go.
(This has been a public service announcement made by your local archivist/librarian.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I have completed my ePortfolio for the Masters in Library and Information Science degree from San Jose State University. I am so excited. I have free time now! Here are a list of things I will be doing with my free time:

  • Read.

  • Work on my garden.

  • Take up knitting again.

  • Participate in organizations and book clubs.

  • Read.

  • Exercise.

  • File away all of my school stuff and allowing my husband to use the office for his business. (Thanks for your patience sweety!)

  • Sort my closet and sending a lot of stuff to Goodwill.

  • Organizing the downstairs closet.

  • Finally measuring and ordering blinds for the office. (sorry, nosy neighbor.)

  • Possibly redecorating my bedroom.

  • READ!!

So please stand by for more reviews of books I will be completing soon.


Don't miss out on the Los Angeles Times Festival of books being held on the UCLA campus on April 27th - 29th. The event is free, but parking is $8. It's a great opportunity to meet authors, book vendors and take part in discussions. They have tons of programs for children and new books featured. Click HERE for more information. Of course the Los Angeles County Library will have a booth, where I shall be working. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

THEY are coming!!

Ok, I finished listening to The Taking by Dean Koontz and it was very fascinating and spellbinding. I had no idea that Koontz wrote horror. I just grabbed this title because I see that he is very popular with our patrons, so I decided to give him a chance. I don't usually like to read the back of the book with the summaries because I like to be surprise and not expect things to happen. So I just picked up this title at random. When I listened to it on my way home at night I was spooked on several occasions and would run to my front door from my car because I was so frightened. I actually had a nightmare the first night I listened it, and from there I was hooked. I really enjoyed how the narrator read it, Ariedne Meyers did an awesome job.

This book is about an attack on earth by foreign invaders and how Molly and Neil deal with the attacks and the events that happen to earth. I really enjoy these stories that portray how an alien attack affects individuals. This is not written like your basic Sci-Fi books and does not make you feel like you are watching a B-movie about aliens. It is so captivating that you are drawn into this world. Koontz's descriptive ability allows you to understand fully the experience of his protagonists. Also it makes us question our own humanity and purpose on this earth. I am not a sci-fi person, but like I said before I am try out new genres when it comes to my audio book selections, and I am now a Dean Koontz fan. I really recommend this book and hope that you will pick it up at your local library.

In my past attempts to give popular authors a shot I have read several that seem to be very popular and below are those I have picked up that have proven to be a bit of a disappointment.

Authors that are overrated:
John Grisham The Chamber,
James Patterson The Jester, 1st to Die
Michael Crichton Airframe
All of these authors are hailed and movies are made of their books. But all three authors have proven to be a disappointment. They tickle your senses but when it comes to pay up they lack in the climax. Don't believe the hype.

Dear Patrons:

Public libraries mean exactly that: they are here for the public in general. Not just for you. Remember that next time you go to the library. We are not Barnes & Noble where you can sip your cup of coffee, nibble on your croissant while you browse and drop crumbs into a book that you don't even own. Sorry, we don't allow you that kind of luxury. You are not the only tax payer who uses these books therefore, you may not do with them as you please.

Oh and by the way, we love it when you show up and your assignment is due tomorrow. Yea, that is the greatest time ever!! Just to let you know, all of your classmates came before you and took all of the relevant books to your assignment. So yes. All of our books relevant to your topic are checked out. So you will be going home with an encyclopedia. sorry!

How about putting a sentence together? Throwing your library card at me isn't the international sign for "may I reserve a computer?" I can't read your mind.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Oh, the perils of a library student

Sorry, I have not finished reading any books yet so I can not not write a review this week. I am on the last lap of what is my academic career. I'm pulling my hair out, not sleeping and stressing out those around me. My ePortfolio is due next week. I vow to have it done by Saturday so that I can have some time to breath soon. My biggest fear is that when it's all said and done no one will look at it. What if it's all a dark ploy by our advisors to mess with our minds and make us sweat out our last semester of the program?! Or even worse, they do look at it and determine I am not worthy of the degree?! AARGH!!! I have ordered my hood and gown yesterday, I hope I can get a refund.

I am still reading 4 books at the same time. I am on a tight schedule for the Savage Garden by Denise Hamilton because she is coming to speak at our library on Wednesday April 18, 2007. I wish we had it in audio. Anyway I can't wait to get back to reading regularly. Right now I am only reading during my lunch break at work and listening to my audio book on my way home. (Yes, that counts as reading!) I usually read at home, in the park, at the book store, or when I am waiting in line somewhere I just pull out my book and read. This has helped me a lot because I am usually an impatient person and having a book distract me I am less liable to yell at the cashier or person ahead of me. Try it out. Books help relieve stress and road rage. This has been an important life lesson. Use it. :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Is it just me? Or do I love my job?

I think I am the only person in this library who genuinely likes her job. Maybe I am still a bit "wet behind the ears" fresh out of library school, but I like my job. I have had my share of worthless, pointless, mundane, stressful jobs full of egomaniacle bosses who really didn't care about you or what you did. Ever since I started working at the age of 18 I hated going to work. Because of this, I would always call in sick. Not too much where it qualified for me to be fired, but whenever I sneezed a little or my stomach had a pang of soreness, I would immediately decide I wasn't going to work the next day. I am a pro at sounding sick over and phone and thinking up of great stories that boss will believe. (Maybe I'll share those later. Since those days are gone.) But now, I love my job! I hated calling in sick when I was with a cold earlier this winter. I can't stand it when people talk smack about our organization or our supervisor. Maybe it's me? I feel such a great sense of fulfillment and purpose in life.

A patron came up to me at the reference desk and asked me if I was a librarian. When I responded to him with a yes, he said, "Really? You are so young. And librarians are usually old with glasses." LOL Well I think we all start off young and full of ideas. Come back in 40 years and that is going to be me.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tax Season, RUN!!!

The smell is in the air. The scent of panic stricken people who would normally be on time with their projects and assignments but who managed to forget to file their taxes when they received their W2's in January. The library is full of them. People coming to us to print out their W2 or somehow miraculously pull them out of a hat. It's hard for them to understand that we cannot access their income information and must contact their HR department. Contrary to popular belief, all the information you ever need is not on the Internet. We do try and help them with what we can and print out forms from the IRS and CA forms website. But the refuse to believe that we do not have all the answers and file their taxes for them. Remember folks, we are here to help you and are not conspiring against you and not provide you with your forms. If we have access to them, we will print them out for you.

Patron Stories
Did I ever tell you the time a patron accused me of placing "out of order" signs on the Internet computers because we didn't want people to use them and not because they were in fact out of order. I had to hold my laughter and anger in and try not to strike him. This was after I dealt with a deluge of like 10 different patrons requiring different services at the same time, so he caught me at a bad time. I sardonically responded, "Yes. We like to keep them to ourselves and not let anybody use them." He said, "Really?!" NO!! His friend that was with him accurately called him a dumb ass for asking. We have 22 computers, 3 of which were out of order. Oh yea, we are really trying to inconvenience you, buddy! (ok, done venting)

Sometimes people forget they are in a library. Maybe it's the shinning bright atmosphere or the absence of "shush-ing" signs, but when did it become ok to yell in a library? I have stopped people from doing the following; yell down each aisle searching for someone, shouting into a cell phone with bad reception, eating/drinking/listening to music in our study rooms, playing soccer in the story time room and no we do not allow you to sleep(and snore loudly) in the library.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

April Events @ the Library

APRIL 10, 2007 @ 6:00pm
Special Story Time "Let them eat books"
performed by We Tell Stories

APRIL 14, 2007
All day long at the library.

APRIL 18, 2007 @ 7pm
Come meet the author!!
Denise Hamilton will having a small discussion and book signing .

East Los Angeles Library
4837 E. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90022

Mystery Reading

I usually don't read mystery books, mostly because I get too impatient and think I have solved the crime and skip to the end to see if I'm right. So I ruin it for myself either way. So I have found a solution. I listen to mystery fiction in my car. :0) I have an hour commute everyday so I pick mystery novels to help me get through the grind of LA traffic. I highly recommend this to anyone who has a long commute. Either getting a fiction on CD or self help audio, it really makes the time go by faster and you are too busy trying to figure out who "did it" that you are not easily perturbed when somebody cuts you off.

I just finished "reading" Blacklist by Sara Paretsky, a V.I. Warshawski novel. I never even heard of this P.I novel and in doing my research I found that it's a very popular series. There is even a movie made in 1991 based on this sleuth, portrayed by Kathleen Turner. So I will be checking this out soon. This novel takes place right after 9/11 and in addition to dealing with the mystery of a murder in the rich suburbs of Chicago it incorporates the issues of censorship, the Patriot Act and McCarthyism as it applies to the life in America today. It is a fascinating book, though the narrator on my CD didn't do a good job of giving V.I. Warshawski a tougher persona that I think the author was trying to convey. But overall I do recommend the book. I will be looking for more V.I. Warshawski mysteries to listen to in the car and so should you.