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Friday, October 26, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest...Well, You Know (#4)

It's FRIDAY! You know what that means...it's time for FUNNY KID QUOTES. (Please ignore the fact that the last time I did this was five months ago. I'm really bad at "being consistent.") Anyway, I know we're all stressed and there's been a lot of just terrible, horrible things in the news lately, so here's your chance to read the TOP 25 funny/weird/interesting things I've heard from kid in the past few months. (Some of these have already been Tweeted or Tumbld, so I apologize for any repetition.) In an attempt to be a good, organized librarian, I've separated the quotes into something that vaguely resembles categories. I hope you enjoy!
Here's some miscellaneous fun:

1) Woman (to me): “Hi miss, can you help us?”

Girl (to her mother): "Don't call her ‘miss’! Call her 'librarian.'"

2) Kid (to another kid): “Stop being a jackass!”

Me: “Hey!”

Kid: “Sorry. He just got me mad.”

Me: “Well, use a different word.”

Kid (to the other kid): “Stop being a jackbutt!”

Got me there.

3) Kid (to me): "You wouldn't let me sell DVDs in the library, at LEAST let me put makeup on you."

I am a cruel, cruel librarian.

4) Kid: "Why are your arms so freckly?"

 Me: "I dunno. I guess 'cause I'm part Irish."

Kid: "So do leprechauns have freckles too?

Deep thoughts.

5) Kid (to me): "Smell anything different about me?”


6) Kid: "You know how when a kid eats too much and they vomit? That's what happened to my goldfish."

Thanks for the mental image, kid!

7) Kid: "My home computer is broken. I won't be able to live without it."

Me: "Yes you will."

Kid: "Well, I won't live a life that's HAPPY.”

Pretty much sums up this generation, no?

8) Girl, picking up my water bottle from the reference desk: "Do you care about other peoples' spit?" JESUS GOD YES.

Sometimes kids are just MEAN:

9) Kid (to me): "You smell like flowers."

Me: “Oh. Thanks.”

Kid: “It’s an annoying smell.”


10) Kid, to me, with derision: "You look like a farm girl in that skirt."


(That was the same kid, if you couldn’t tell. And you might also be able to tell that I’m not really good at thinking up original comebacks.)

There were several odd/dangerous questions:

11) Kid: "Do you like sweatpants?"

Me: "Sure, I guess."

 Kid: "Have you ever WORN sweatpants?"

 Sometimes I think they think I'm an alien.

12) Tween: “Can I strangle you?”

Me: “No.”

 Tween: “Why not?”

Me: “It's illegal.”

Tween: “Not if you don't die.”

13) Tween: "Do you think it's possible that I could kill you with laughter?"

These kids have it out for me, I tell you.

And the most challenging question of all:

 14) Kid: "What does MILF mean?"

Me: “Go ask your mother.”

A couple of questions to make Jules Verne roll in his grave:

15) Kid: "Do you have a book called 20,000 Leagues Under the Water?"


(Just kidding, he was really adorable.)

16) Kid: "Do you have 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea?"

Turns to friend: "I hope they're BASEBALL leagues."

That’s one kid who is going to be sorely disappointed.

There were some disturbing media-related questions:

17) Tween Girl: “Have you heard of the movie ‘50 Shades of Grey’?”

 Me: “Umm…why do you ask?”

Tween: “I am VERY concerned about who is going to play Christian Grey.”

As are we all.

18) Kid: “What’s your favorite TV show?

Me (half kidding): "Did you ever see The Golden Girls?"

Kid: "Does it have vampires in it?”

This generation knows nothing. NOTHING.

And there were some interesting/funny/inspiring bookish questions/comments.

19) Kid: "Can you help me pick out some books?"

Me: "Sure! What kind of books do you like?"

 Kid: "That's what I need to find out!"

Touché, kid.

20) Kid (when I asked her if she needed help finding books):"I already read all the books I like."

21) 5th grade girl: “If there was no manga in the world, I'd totally freak out.”

22) Girl (after realizing that the book she just picked might be too difficult for her): "I'm going to just mix up all the words in my head and forget everything I read in this book."

23) Me: "So what have you been doing all summer?"

Tween: "Reading!"


And my favorite:

 24) Girl: "I'm going to read THIS book last because it's the most beautiful."

Wait, no. This was my favorite:

25) Kid: "Do you want to help me look for a book that might not exist?"


BONUS: This last one isn’t a kid quote, but I had to include it because it pretty much sums up every librarian’s experience:

Drunk Lady at the Bar: "So what do YOU do?"

 Me: "I'm a librarian."

 Lady: "A librarian? That's still a 'thing'?"

Yes. Yes it is. Looks like STUPID is still a thing too.


Friday, October 12, 2012

The Librarian's Plea

If you happen to see the librarian at the reference desk during a quiet moment, please do not
approach her and bellow "Well! YOUR job certainly seems easy!"
The librarian realizes that you're probably kidding around. But every time you accuse her of having an easy job, she feels like what she does all day holds little value.
And what you don't know is that not five minutes before, the librarian had been dealing with something.
That "something" could have been any number of things. She might have:
- helped a patron look up homeless shelters for the winter
- quieted a screaming child by holding an impromptu picture book reading session
- talked to a teenage girl about her school/home/boyfriend troubles
- assisted someone with filling out an application for unemployment benefits
- assisted someone with filling out an application for disability benefits
- assisted someone with faxing a form so that he won't get evicted from his apartment
- gone upstairs and then downstairs and then upstairs again to find that ONE PERFECT BOOK for a kid who needs it
- had a run in with that old, creepy "Ref Desk Romeo" who won't leave her alone
Etc. Etc. Etc. Infinity etc.
So, yes, in that rare quiet moment, the job may look easy. But it's really not easy. And it's not supposed to be easy. The librarian knows this, and she loves it anyway. But sometimes, when she's TOLD that it's easy, she wants to put her head down on the reference desk and weep.
This is easily preventable. Just go up to the desk, smile, say hello, talk about the weather or the ball game or did you see that on TV last night my goodness and then politely ask your question. The librarian will be happy to help you.
This is the librarian's plea. She thanks you.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mackenzie Update

Here's a short update on Mackenzie's Letter! After all the tweeting and Facebooking and blogging and whining (on my part), Mackenzie received a package from 13 Management (Taylor Swift's management company) containing some sweet Swift swag.

According to Kenz's mom Christine, the package included a t-shirt, a CD, a world tour book, some jewlery, and an autographed picture. As you can see, Mackenzie loves all of it!

Photos provided by Christine Lentz

I'm not going to lie and say I'm not a TINY bit disappointed that Kenz didn't actually get to meet or talk to Taylor Swift or even get a letter (yes, it was a long shot, but, you know, DREAMS) but Mackenzie's mom said that since Mackenzie's expectations were so low about all of this (she wasn't even really aware of the campaigning behind it), she was "beside herself with excitement" about the package. To me, making Mackenzie happy was all that matters. So, thank you to 13 Management, and thanks again to everyone who supported Kenzie and her story. Now go out and do something nice for someone! Go on, go!

(And Taylor, if you ever happen to read this, I'm sure Kenz would still love to hear from you.) :)

Friday, October 5, 2012


People who know me personally can attest to the fact that I'm a very honest person. In high school, for example, I once told a waitress that she left a soda off of the check when I was out with my friends at T.G.I. Friday's or whatever. My friends, bless their hearts, rolled their eyes and were like "GOD, Rita." Even the waitress was like "Okaaaay. Um, thanks for telling me?" I would have been called a square, if the term "square" were being used by Long Island teenagers in 1995.

Anyway, I'm saying this now to reiterate the fact that the things that I present on this blog are true. I don't make any of it up, which is probably why I don't post as often as "highly effective" bloggers do or worry about page views or creating daily content. I really just try to deal with moments as they happen - good moments, bad moments, moments that make me think or laugh or want to cry (or even vomit, depending on what's been going on in the public bathrooms).
The other day, after a series of frustrating moments, I had a good one - and as I've said in the past, they always seem to come just when they are needed.

I had hopped on the circulation desk to help out because the line had gotten really long and the reference desk wasn't too busy at that moment. A woman and her young daughter came up to me with a bag full of books, and the mother started putting them on the counter to be checked out.  

Me: "Wow, that's a lot of books!"

Kid: "I love to read!" And she actually clapped her hands. I don't know if I can stress to you enough how much it NEVER gets old when a kid tells me he/she loves to read.

Me: "That's great!"

Mom, continuting to remove books from the bag and rolling her eyes good-naturedly (there were SO many books. Like, clown-car proportions.): "She reads so much she can't even remember WHAT she's read."

Kid, almost protesting: "But it was still an adventure!"

I wasn't sure I had heard correctly. Did this kid just call reading an adventure?

Me: "Did you just say 'it was still an adventure'?"

The kid nodded.

Me: "That's true. Reading IS like an adventure. That's very true."

She smiled.

And that is the kind of moment that lets me know that I'm still in the right place. And it also makes me wish I had a tape recorder so that I can show people that YES, kids still love to read and YES, libraries are still providing a great service. Because there are other moments when I feel like people forget, and sometimes, admittedly, I even forget myself why I am here (like those moments when the Phantom Defecater hits the public bathrooms. I mean, COME ON).

But then a good moment occurs and I remember. If only all of our moments could be good moments.