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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Conversations at the Reference Desk

Me: "Why is your arm in a cast???"

Scrappy Tween Girl: "I punched a wall."
Me: "Whyyyyy did you do that?"
Scrappy Tween Girl: "Because I was mad."
Me: "Well, can you maybe think of a more constructive way to express your anger?"
Scrappy Tween Girl: "Yeah. Punching softer things."

Touché, scrappy tween girl. Touché.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Day in the Life

Several months ago I was asked by documentary filmmaker Julie Dressner to be a part of an advocacy video featuring different library branches and library workers in the BPL, NYPL, and QBPL systems (which are all awesome, but separate). Being an advocate for libraries in whatever way I can be, I jumped at the chance.

The goals of the video were two-fold:

1) To show the reality of working in a public library and the positive effects that libraries have on actual people living in the city.

2) To help NYC libraries get better funding.

I'm proud have been involved (a small segment of my interview pops up at minute 8:43, as well as shots of some of my library kids) and I think the entire video came out very well. Watch it here:

Libraries Now: A Day in the Life of NYC’s Branches

The video is also being featured on The Atlantic and other outlets. With all the misinformation and ignorance about libraries swirling around out there, I hope the message gets spread far and wide. People need libraries. Libraries help people. It's that simple.

Also! Julie had asked me if I knew of anyone from my branch who should be featured in the video, and right away I thought of my wonderful (now former, *sob*) teen volunteer, C.R., who wrote this amazing essay and allowed me to feature it on my blog a while back: "Why The Library Saved My Life." Read it if you get the chance. It's important. While her interview didn't make this particular video, you can see her in the background during many of the shots. Thanks for being awesome, C.R.! And thank you to Julie and Jessie Hicks for making such a powerful, true-to-life piece.

And just for fun, the photo below is a still of me from the advocacy video sent to me by my sister. In this segment, I was talking to C.R. (who is highly charming and amusing) but for some reason I was trying to maintain a serious, business-like expression. My sister noted that it looked like I was trying very hard not to laugh. She was correct. An actress I'll never be. Oh well. Guess I'll stick with the librarianing. It's pretty cool anyway.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Reference Question of the Day

Sometimes the best reference questions are the ones I barely even answer:

Lady: "How do you spell 'chauvinist'?"

Me: *spells it for her*

Lady: "Thanks. I used to know that word soooooo well."

Me: *raises eyebrow*

Lady: "Now, the phrase 'voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir.' I know what it means. I just don't know how to spell the 'ce soir' part."

Me: *spells it for her*

Lady: "You know, I knew that phrase even before the song came out."

Me: *raises eyebrow again*

Lady: "I once dated a man from Canada and he said that phrase to me one day. I didn't know what it meant, but I found out soon after. When I saw him again, I slapped him right in his face."

Me: *raises both eyebrows* *eyebrows freeze that way forever* *never needs Botox*

I love my job.