Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday at the library

I walked to work this morning. On Saturdays I take the bus. Except today. I guess I just wanted to be moving. It takes me about 40 minutes to make the trek. The bus, frankly, isn't much faster, especially once you add in the time waiting for it and the ten minutes it takes to walk to the bus stop.

The morning fog kept me cool though I shed my overshirt just after crossing campus.

When it's quiet on the Information Desk I will shelve DVDs or new books or clear away a pile of books abandoned on a table. Saturday can be crazy. It's not been bad at the Info Desk but I think the circulation desk got slammed, as usual. When the delivery arrived - boxes of books from other BPL branches - I brought a couple boxes over to the Info Desk to check in.

My boss this week sent an email reminder to those of us who staff Info. No cell phone conversations at the Info Desk. No online shopping. No homework.

Hm. What about poems?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fante, etc

I processed 12 more paperbacks. Tuesday, March 9. The batch prior I solicited guesses on which would go first, right? But one of the other things I was curious about was how long it would take for the first to go out. It took ten days.

That batch was made up of the sort of popular fiction you see by the supermarket checkout counter. There are readers for it here, but not a lot.

So what about the 12 I put out this week? It's been three days and already three have been checked out:

Ehud Havazelet - Bearing the Body
Ursula Hegi - Stones from the River
John Fante - The Road to Los Angeles

The Hegi book was an Oprah book club selection from a few years ago. But the John Fante? Fante was a writer long out of print until the small press Black Sparrow took notice (presumably at the urging of Black Sparrow house writer & Fante fan Charles Bukowski) - Black Sparrow Press was acquired by a New York publisher, so Fante now has a New York publisher. I don't know Ehud Havazelet.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Margolin goes first

So two weeks ago I added a batch of paperbacks to the browsing collection.

I made a couple guesses and David (in comments) left a guess, and Kent (offline) made a guess. None of us were right.

The first book from the batch that got checked out was:
Phillip Margolin - Executive Privilege

The next day another went out:
Amanda Quick - The Third Circle

And two days later:
Daniel Silva - The Mark of the Assassin

Thursday, March 04, 2010

3 copies of P&P

I think we're shorthanded today. That wouldn't be unusual. I've already had my lunch - I ate at House of Curries, a chicken tikka masala with rice. This afternoon's break I will eat homemade chocolate chip cookies as I slurp my coffee. I am looking forward to it.

No hassles at the Claremont branch so far. I haven't smelled any homeless people. Maybe the sunshine has them out wandering.

The Info Desk is near the corner where we keep the DVDs and new books. If nobody needs reference help I'm often shelving in that corner.

The DVDs come in & out so quickly - I wonder how long we had them before I realized there are three copies of the 2005 movie version of "Pride and Prejudice"? Two are on the shelf right now. One is out.

I just fetched another batch of new books from the circulation desk. Are there any that I'd like to read? Not Now, Voyager has a clever title. It's by Lynn Sharon Schwartz, says it's a memoir. Seems to be a series of essays on travels - to Rome, to Jamaica. Chapter titles like "Hotels and Soap" and "Borders or Cabo Tormentoso".

"One day our doorbell in Rome rang," writes Schwartz, "and we discovered two strangers, an American couple in their fifties who introduced themselves as neighbors of my parents. They were vacationing in Rome and my mother had asked them to look in on us. ... My parents knew we had a furnished apartment but couldn't quite picture the details. So they sent this couple. ... [After a tour of the apartment they could] reassure my mother that we were living in some semblance of decency."

Looks okay. But I think I won't add it to my current pile.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

goodbye Chinese books, hello cafe

Last Tuesday I put 14 new paperbacks onto the browsing racks. They're not new, as in brand new from the publisher; being as they were all donated, they are pre-read, but they are new to our collection. Last post I asked for guesses on which of these 14 would first be checked out. In the week since, not one has been checked out. Hm. That's not what I usually see. Usually one of the new items goes right out. The 14 books are just about all by bestselling authors of the supermarket wire rack variety. The readers here don't seem to go for that sort of bestseller. Dunno why. Anyway, you can still guess which will go first! If anybody gets it right, they'll get a prize! Or maybe a no-prize. An air kiss? We'll see.

The Claremont branch library is facing renovation. It's looking like there will actually be less shelving in the library after renovation than we have now. That's not making me happy. Even though I'm all into weeding and everything. Speaking of weeding - the Chinese books are out of here. We no longer have an employee who speaks (or reads) Chinese so we don't have anyone who can review the collection for currency and quality; the books are getting old and aren't often checked out. So we're deleting them. It's not a big collection. Six or seven shelves. Down to two. I spent an hour earlier today deleting.

When it rains we put a big roll of paper towels out on the returns desk next to a sign: "Please dry your books! Thank you!" If people bringing their books back don't use the towels, we certainly do.

There's a new cafe in the neighborhood. Just what the neighborhood needed? It's only been open a few days and already it's busy. The cafe takes over what used to be a soda fountain in a drug store. The rest of the old drug store has been taken over by the expansion of the independent bookstore, Mrs Dalloway's. Yes, an independent bookstore successful enough to expand. Who'd thunk?