Daft Ruth

It’s my birthday!!! YES what better way to celebrate with some reference questions and scanning in the archives. Really though I had fun doing it. Especially when I came across a folder of correspondence from good old Ruth Frantz. Sometimes when you are just looking at handwritten correspondence for hours you kind of just tune it out, don’t really read it, rock out on your music instead. The something catches your eye.

It was something like this:

P.S. I wonder how many stamps it will take to mail this manuscript.

Hahahahahaha I was cracking up so hard. Why on earth would you write that? It’s like just thinking out loud at the recipient for no reason. It reminds me of writing notes in high school that went something like this:

I’m so bored, 10 more minutes. I am so tired. Don’t you think Jake is cute? Ouch I just stubbed my toe.

All those things that really don’t need to be in the letter but remind you it was probably written by somebody with a relatively short attention span.

Either way in the very same letter I read about a young lady who married a French man who worked at a printing press. He lost his entire right hand in an accident and was offered either 15,000$ up front or 100$ a month for the duration of his employment at the press. WOW. That sucks. I can’t help but think of what it would be like if I lost my hand while looking up scholarly research articles, and how much I would miss it. Sometimes I think I could construct an entire universe of these characters. Although I’m not sure how interesting that would be. I think that’s why I like archives and histories. I like stories. And truth is so often much stranger than fiction, however cliche that sounds.

Back in the summer one of the student workers that was helping me found a folder of letters from a man whose wife was dying of cancer. Like a month after her death he was already writing about his new marriage, and how this new wife got him through the troubled times watching his other wife die. Old Tyme scandals. I tried not to judge but was like offended by how fast he moved on. We read them aloud to each other in old tyme voices and it was so amusing. Men, just can’t be alone, no matter what historical period.

And now it’s a 3 day weekend. Signing off…

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Am I obsessed with cheese?

I spent a lot of today complaining to my associates about how I’m at this point in my life where things just aren’t working like they should so I have to change something, or choose a path, or make some sort of move.. The universe demands it. Anyways. I drew this snazzy little demonstration.. Look, that round thing in the middle is me. And all the paths that I can choose, moving out of state, going back to school, trying to find a third job, going back to live with family, saying screw it all and driving my car off a bridge (not really, well maybe?) they are radiating out like sun beams. See the questions?? All the questions??? Don’t mind Francis Archibald she’s not part of the life map deal.. I was helping a student try to find a court case…

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I’m not an artist clearly.. But sometimes it feels good to turn your confusion into a tangible thing you can see. So as I’m explaining it I get my mind blown.. Put it on a 3D plane and imagine you can take all the lines and they eventually converge right back to the same point. I can do all the things. Or multiple things, and it would look something like this…

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A 3D life map. Or, a spider eating another spider. Makes me realize that even planning is futile. And yeah, a lot of people I know are in this boat, floating, struggling trying to make sense of it and become what we want to be, and know we should be fighting even if we want to give up. It’s rough this life stuff.

And I also learned that I may or may not be obsessed with cheese. This verdict is not out on this yet. A pretty slow day on the professional front, just scanning and helping researchers find test instruments. Until tomorrow think about your own 3D life map. Bet you mine is cooler.

My lenghty absence..

Due to a long 3 day weekend in Palm Springs, and slow spotty internet at the public on Monday, I have been neglecting my biggest fans I see. So here’s an update on what you have missed.

So yesterday I was in the tech lab for the AM, telling people every 5 seconds “our internet is slow and spotty, city IT is aware and they are working on the problem”. “no I can’t do anything to speed it up”. AND “no I mean it I can’t do anything to speed it up”. For a solid 3 fucking hours. How dare our FREE internet service not be performing to your speed standards I know its a crime against humanity. But somehow we all got through it. I helped a lady who tried to tip me 5$ and my favorite homeless drifter tells me on his way out: “I’m not your slave, I don’t work for you”.  Which made everybody look at me funny, in which I just shrugged.

I also did about 4 hours of desk time after tech lab.. Passports, standard questions. Where is this or that? Can I have a book about the wixels? The what? The wixels??? Took about 10 solid minutes to figure out this kid meant the Lego Mixels. Nobody really knows what they want in this life do they?

Well, I did notice though while cataloging they wrote a book about how to better examine my current life status:

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Maybe I can learn a thing or two from this.

 

 

Happiness Index?

So this happiness index..

 

Apparently this company http://www.theharrispoll.com/ has been collecting US consumer’s appraisal of their own happiness levels with a corresponding score. I’m not sure how this all works, but notice the dip in the middle. The second adolescence, the mind boggling decade when all your preconceived notions of the world and what you thought your life was and would be, when your body takes a dive on you and you have come to the complete conclusion that you are so wise but happen to know nothing at all. Half your friends are married with kids and the other half are trying to figure out if marriage and kids is even a thing they want in their life. Maybe a career, maybe lots of cats instead? The decade is.. Your 30s. Seems about right to me. But wait.. There’s hope. It gets better! I’ve been hearing that a lot. But I guess all us 30 somethings will just have to keep trying to get it right in the meantime. The struggle is real, and so are the semi-mid-life crises.

 

*By demographic, the Happiness Index in 2013 was as follows:

 

Age

 

18-to-24: 31

25-to-29: 30

30-to-39: 28

40-to-49: 30

50-to-50: 36

65 and older: 41

 

*Courtesy of the Consumer Behavior Report 2015-2016. Published by Richard K. Miller and Associates.

Just a thought for the day..

*** Here’s the update for 2016, appears our happiness levels are at an all time low?

http://www.theharrispoll.com/health-and-life/American-Happiness-at-All-Time-Low.html

I don’t think I’m too surprised..

Monday, Monday..

Mondays and Tuesdays are my least favorite days, when I work at the public. I start Monday with 4 hours in the tech lab, which means essentially glorified babysitting. Currently there are 5 Mormons in the middle row, 2 folks in the back, and 1 in the veranda on his cell phone basically screaming into the receiver.

People don’t really understand what please silence your cell phone means, actually I think he may not even know how to do this. Anyways, I’m cranky anyhow so my tolerance for this usual crap seems low. I know him anyways, and he needs work, I assume it’s for a job, because of the rate he jumped up. He sits in the tech center almost every day, looking around for jobs, and makes noises every so often, throat clears, sighs, I think he’s just trying to project himself out into the human race, reminding himself that he is indeed, real after all these years.

Public is a sad place sometimes, and it is there to be open to all kinds of people, for the benefit of the whole human race. But, public libraries are often where the downtrodden go, look around yours. Outside and around it especially in big cities, take note of the homeless and elderly populations, it is a place for the public, we are all part of the public. As I type one of the homeless men who comes in an listens to metal has decided to strike up a conversation with the 5 Mormon kids, speaking at the top of his lungs in an otherwise quiet computer lab, makes sense doesn’t it? So as usual I have to go over and ask that if they are going to have a conversation to please take it outside, although the kids have no intent on talking with him and just want him to go away. At least he’s nice and stops. Now, I will have to overhear Rammestein through this guys earphones for the next 2 hours, peeking every so often at his screen to see that he is researching string theory or some other weird cosmic or religious crap. Apparently today, he’s watching Taylor Swift interviews, that’s a new one. He calls himself Lionheart. I don’t know if he’s crazy or know something I don’t, today he has a sign. I didn’t read it though, but now I’m curious as to what it says. His account says he’s from another state, I think Idaho. I call him the drifter, although I know his real name I won’t say it here. Thank god for that 2 hour limit, he laughs to himself loudly and often, and the tech center, not having much in terms of ventilation is now full of his musty dank odor. Another plus.

I pass the time in here mainly by cataloging the children’s material. Today it’s been music CD’s. And I’m almost done. Nobody has asked me for much today, how do I log on? Is there something wrong with my card? How do I print? Are these things working today? Just the normal questions. Boring, old questions.

 

Sunday before spring break

Working at the University today, it’s the Sunday before spring break and it’s dead. One of those lovely days when I just get to sit here and read, and wait, for somebody to ask me something, anything.. anyone?

So, end of shift updates. I have helped via chat 3 people. I can’t remember the first one. But I told somebody our hours, and helped another student find facts about the cultural climate and economy of Pakistan. Here’s a tidbit I found especially grim:

“Pakistan is a patriarchal Islamic society where men dominate in all areas of public and private life. Pakistani women and girls are particularly prone to acts to violence from men. Such acts can include beatings, mutilation, having acid thrown on their faces, murder, custodial beatings, rape, and the practice of “honor killings,” where a woman who deviates from established social and cultural norms is killed, ostensibly to protect the family’s honor.”

-Global Road Warrior database, Pakistan: Women in Culture

Makes you think about how scary of a place this world can be. I feel for the oppressed and hope that one day women in Pakistan can be seen as equals, at the very least not murdered for being different or progressive. OK, rant over, sorry for the bring down. Sunday funday once again.

 

You look like a Librarian..

Is it the glasses? It’s the glasses huh? I assure you I have always kind of just looked this way, no matter what job I have. I’m not trying to look much like anything. I woke up this way?  Maybe I look like a librarian because I am sitting at the reference desk? Or grabbing a book for a young child about Newts? I don’t know what it is. But I am enjoying this whole “hipster librarian” idea. My friend sent me this meme the other day and I was ROTFL. Yes I am using that acronym. Despite my age I am fluent in meme, and emoji, and shortening every phrase into acronyms. So there.

elderly

 

Ok, not all Librarians.. Just me

So why am I doing this? Every time I tell somebody what I do, they ask me, do people still go to libraries? Do you think we need libraries, can’t people just Google it? What exactly do you do tell people to be quiet all day long? Do people actually still read books, won’t everything be digital in another couple of years? Why? AH! It’s annoying. Even at both of my jobs I have to keep stats, questions answered, instruction sessions taught. It’s like I am constantly justifying my existence as a librarian, and as to WHY and how libraries serve their patron base. So this is mainly for me, to remind myself. What DO I do on a daily basis?  Is my existence really justified?  I’ll start with a background…

I’m 32, and just starting out really in the field. Like every other good librarian I dragged my butt through a grad program, came out on the other end with a mountain of debt and shiny happy hopes and dreams for the future of information services. I have been a reference assistant for 2 1/2 years at a public library, and a reference and instruction librarian at a private college for a little over 1 year now. So, I run into a great mix of people, and questions that range from.. “what is my email password?” to “I am researching the use of pornographic materials in married couples”. I mean, each day I learn something new, which is great. But some days, especially on the public side, I have all but lost faith in humanity all together. So this is just kind of a journey. And it’s not just about a profession, it’s about a lot of things, people, manners, technology, public spaces, education, etc. Hopefully by logging this all I can determine if I really made the right choice here, and if librarians really do make a difference.