Playcat.. one patron’s freedom from shame


So do you notice anything strange about this cat?

Yes, he’s hiding his private parts because he’s ashamed of them.

This is just the first cat in the series of drawings. The rest of them consist of a more shame free and open cat with his hands up behind his head, no longer afraid to show himself to the world. This series of drawings is called.. Playcat, like the magazine, and is brought to you by a new patron here at the public. (Sadly, this isn’t the real one, my co-worker redrew it for me when I told her I wanted to blog about her interesting Saturday interaction.)

It was much more than just the drawing, there was other oddities about this particular patron but , I really wanted to see what this shameful cat looked like so I made her redraw the one hiding it’s junk.  The fact that it’s standing on two legs well.. Me thinks that this is just a way for somebody going through a personal transformation to express themselves, while deciding to share it symbolically through low grade cat art to random library workers. Free yourselves from shame people, then come to the library and tell somebody with a name tag about it. It’s funny, it’s so random and completely off the wall, but at the same time open, and honest, and I understand it and think that it’s kind of nice despite itself. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think that we could all learn a little from this cat and not be so ashamed of ourselves all the time, or uncomfortable with who we really are. Sometimes it’s easy to find inspiration in the most unexpected places. I didn’t even know I had until I started writing this post.


The great coinbox heist

My co-worker friend texts me on a Friday afternoon and tells me that we got robbed. Two young men came into the traditional branch, cased the joint, waited until nobody was around then took the coin dispenser box attached to the printer on the far side of the library. They snipped the wires and ran across the entire first floor out the emergency exit with the box, leaving the exit alarm wailing and everybody, staff included wondering WTF just happened.

People will steal anything, really, anything. After working in real estate with vacant listings I do believe this, it is a fact of life. So these two jerks run off with a 3500 coin box that is literally full of NO coins because it got emptied earlier that day. Would say the joke is on them, but really it’s still on us because that equipment is expensive.

Wow. The worst part of it all is that nobody felt it necessary to relay this information to all the staff via email. There are so many of us that float around between the branches the main communication is email. I stopped reading them long ago because they are for the most part full of nonsense. If you need me I’m here today, or there today, or taking late lunch or make sure you put the scissors back, basically when anybody sneezes BUT nobody in management feels it’s necessary to tell us as a safety precaution about these big things that happen here in the library. NICE management, thanks..

Non-prostitute anger

In the public system I work for there are two branches, 1 that is located in a mall, and 1 that is a more traditional branch in the middle of town. This makes for two VERY different patron bases.

I’m stationed mainly in the one at the mall, here you get the more affluent side of town, more tech savvy population, which is nice, but this often comes with impatience and entitlement (not everybody just generally). Since it’s in a mall the whole vibe is customer service, customer service and often the whole thing ends up feeling like you work in a retail store anyways, bending over backwards to impatient and needy customers.

The second branch has a more laid back vibe, but here is where you get more traditional library feel, much of the population is older, we have more crime… Let me tell you about the coin box theft in another post.. But overall my favorite thing about working here is the weird comments and phone calls, so good.

Today I am covering because I’m desperate for money and I happen to get off early at the U on Wed. and Thurs. for the summer. It’s gone pretty good, I haven’t been at this branch for a solid 6 months, and I get to see some of my library folk that I don’t usually get to see, which is nice and I’m only here for 3 hours which is basically “stopping by”..But I had this interaction I just couldn’t put my finger on..

A well put together middle aged African American woman leaves the computer lab, approaches me at the desk swinging her purse down and asks in a semi-sarcastic tone:

“Do you think that every African American woman who comes in here with make up on is a prostitute?”

(In a very sweet and somewhat surprised voice I respond). NO! Why would you say that?

She jams her wallet into her purse, says “I’m observant” and leaves.

Now. I am confused. I ask my coworker, do you think she was mad at us? I don’t think so. Was there a man in the computer lab trying to pick her up? No, just one guy wearing headphones paying no mind. So now I’m left wondering…. But kind of glad I came tonight. People say the darndest things.

Dead week

Today I spent most of my day eating sugar and working on the summer display wall. Basically making a poster and tearing up pieces of paper to look like sand to display our “summer reads”. Apparently I’m the only one who really has the vision of it, but again, maybe too much sugar.

The University Library is closed to the public this week, so we get a week to breathe after finals, and to get some stuff done around here. One of the main projects being weeding. We are actually just throwing away tons of books. Part of me is sad about that, another part of me likes to get rid of unnecessary baggage. This could be argued, but we just don’t have all the space in the world. Sorry. If it’s not circulating, its leaving.I’ve been having a hard time keeping up with blogging, mainly because things have been pretty even keel, both at work and home. Calm is good. This summer will be calm.