Friday, May 16, 2008

Info Desk Blogging

Hm. It's some kind of warm today. 85 degrees F.

I walked to work. And that was okay. Rather wish I'd worn shorts but I don't quite feel comfortable wearing shorts to work. Forecast says room temp tomorrow (72 degrees).

It is cooler in the building than outside 'cept outside the air does move a little bit.

Quiet in here. Only two people at the internet stations. I see two people in the magazine lounge. One person just passed talking on his cell phone, but he was on his way out the door. Yeah, I hear ringtones a few times a day, but most people are good about taking their conversations outdoors. I've only had to ask 4 or 5 people to hush or exit. That's over the course of a year or so. You know how people talk LOUD on cell phones.

This Monday I stopped in at North Branch to view the Quilt Show. Some really handsome work. As a tribute one quilter is represented by 10 quilts. Dorothy Vance's quilts are "witty takes on presidents, political activists, doctors and others," says the press release about the show. Here at Claremont I helped Ms Vance find images she could use in her quilt creations, especially a quilt of odd couples -- Harpo & Karl Marx, Bette & Jefferson Davis, etc. Sorry to learn she is no longer with us.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Info Desk Blogging

I'm in charge of the browsing paperbacks collection here at Claremont. The collection consists mainly of books that come to us as donations. Whenever someone drops off a bag of books I hop over and paw through it. Usually there's a book or two worth adding to my to-be-processed stack in the workroom.

It's simple processing. A barcode and radio frequency ID tag (RFID), a label to indicate genre (nonfic, fic, sf/fantasy, romance, mystery), a little plastic to reinforce the cover. Unlike the majority of the items owned by the library the browsing collection doesn't have to go through our cataloging librarians; you can't look them up in the catalog; what you see is what you get.

General fiction is popular. Nonfiction does fine. Mysteries? Yes, more or less.

But romance and sf/fantasy? Not so much. There are some name romance authors who go out but many paperbacks on the spinny racks go round and round and round, year after year. I've long had fewer sf/fantasy but the rate at which they go out is about the same. The other problem is that people just don't donate romances and sf/fantasy, so it's hard to keep the collection from getting tired. Maybe readers tend to resell the genre stuff at Berkeley's used bookstores. Dunno.

Anyway, I finally got a bagful of goodlooking romances so decided to refresh the collection. I reviewed everything that'd been swinging about the carousel and found many that hadn't been checked out in 2 or 3 years. I threw those away. I've reduced the romance collection by about a third. As I also obtained some more sf I'm going to equalize the romance and sf collections. See if they really do have about the same size audience.

I'll let you know.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

the foot measure

Berkeley's been rather cold lately. I judge temperature by how cold my feet are. They are cold right now. Even though I'm wearing socks with a snowflake pattern on the sole. (I should wear socks with flames?)

But it's not just how cold they are, it's how quickly/easily they can be warmed up. I expect once I get up from the computer and walk around my feet will warm up. It's really cold when I have on thick socks, big shoes and go walking around and my feet refuse to warm up. It's never that bad in Berkeley. We don't have ice or snow.

The big test is at bedtime. Will socks and blankets be enough to warm my feet? In winter the answer is no. Sometimes a foot massage will warm them enough. But when it's really unpleasantly cold I have to soak my feet in hot water, stuff them in warmed socks, then dive into bed before they cool off again. It's been like that once or twice since we got back from Mexico.

And I don't like it.