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Archive for June, 2012

Women, don’t hate me.

I have worked in seven libraries thus far, some for short periods of time and some for longer. If I remember correctly, three of them were run—from the top of the ladder to the bottom—solely by women. No guys as far as the eye could see. I don’t think there is a discernible difference between the all-female libraries and the co-ed libraries in terms of success or level of service to the community. However, the sorority libraries usually have a different working environment.

Most notably, the women can get pretty catty. More catty, I suspect, than they normally would be if there were some guys around to even out the workforce. As a rule, I don’t speak negatively about any library staff members while in the confines of the library. Usually (except for some cases), I don’t talk about them to anyone outside the library, either, because I like to separate work life from regular life. So, when I have to listen to one woman talk to another woman about a third woman who apparently didn’t buy good enough break room snacks with the library’s cash allowance, I get annoyed.

What shocked me even more was an instance that happened a few weeks ago. I substitute at a library on an as-needed basis and have only worked there a handful of times. I went to the break room to have dinner one night, and these two other women were in there talking smack about another woman (surprise). Not only did they continue their conversation when I sat down, but one of the women actually went out of her way to fill me in on this other chick and why she sucks. Number one: I don’t care!! Number two: You barely know me! I’ve worked in your library for, like, 20 total hours! Why would you openly gossip about your coworkers to a complete stranger? It’s totally unprofessional and, to me, makes the organization as a whole look bad.

So, to all the girls out there, I say: SHUT UP. To all the guys: please come work in libraries so these ladies act a little less crazy!

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Let me just preface this book review by saying that, for the past few weeks now, I’ve been reading Stephen King’s It. I’ve never read Stephen King, or anything out of the horror genre, for that matter. That said, I have become deeply engrossed in the story. When I was around page 700 out of 1,090, I received a call from my library saying that my copy of Fifty Shades of Grey was in. I had put it on hold months and months ago and forgotten about it. I didn’t want to put It down, but I also didn’t want to subject myself to another 3-month hold list. So, reluctantly, I took a short break and delved into the sordid world of the romance novel.

Another preface: I had never read a romance novel. The only reason I was remotely interested in this book was because it’s been the talk of the town. I had to see what all the fuss is about. Here’s my 7-sentence synopsis for those who haven’t read it. ***WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!***

Boy meets girl. Boy introduces girl to the world of BDSM. Girl likes it, a lot. Boy and girl have lots of sex. Boy hits girl with belt. Girl doesn’t like it. Girl dumps boy.

I had two major issues with this book.

Number One. The girl in the book is 21 years old (I think), but the narration reads like that of a 16 year-old, which makes it a little bit weird. Yes, I understand that she’s supposed to be young and innocent, but there’s a fine line between conveying those characteristics and having it sound like sloppy writing. The first quarter of the book is basically her repeating the phrase, “He is so freaking hot.” Come on.

Number Two. Beyond the story itself, I find it amusing that all women want to read and discuss this book. Romance novels have been around for a long time, but they’ve always been taboo because those cheesy little paperbacks always have some shirtless guy riding a horse on the cover. People were embarrassed to be caught with them. But now, just because this is a contemporary story with sleeker cover art, it’s socially acceptable. Is there really that much of a difference between Fifty Shades and My Fair Viking? Really?

That said, I will most likely read the sequel. As a librarian, I feel it is my duty. Plus, I just HAVE to know if Christian and Anastasia get back together. I’m thinking they might.

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Today was my second annual trip to Book Expo in NYC. Last year, I got a free admission with VIP status from Unshelved. This year, I figured I was going to have to pay the typical $65 admission fee, but then one day—out of the blue—I received a mailer from BEA with instructions on how to register as a VIP…again, for free!! Once a VIP, always a VIP, maybe? Who knows.

My employment situation changed after I registered a couple of months ago, so I had briefly considered skipping it. But, even though I am not steadily employed at a library, I decided it would still be worth the trip into the city. Because really, if you let me in for free AND say I’m a VIP, there’s no way I’m NOT going.

I got to the Javits Center at around 9:30 and made my way to the VIP Lounge, an ultra-exclusive seating area with free food and complimentary gift upon check-in. I could have just had the free bagel and coffee, called it a day, and still left a happy camper. But, the freebies only kept coming!

I walked around the exhibition area for about three hours, collecting free books and goodies, and scoping out the best tote bags. My tote bag count was way higher than last year, and there was only one bag that eluded me. It had a really cool design on it, so I’m thinking the supply ran out. I happened upon a table where Geoffrey Hayes was signing books, so I stood on a relatively short line and got an autographed copy of Benny and Penny in: Lights Out, a new title from a graphic novel series for kids. Once my feet started to ache and my shoulder got sore from the weight of all of the tote bags, I took off. Here’s all the stuff I got:

6 tote bags // 5 books // 3 posters // 2 sheets of gift labels // 2 packs of coasters // 2 notebooks // 1 1GB flash drive // 1 mini stapler // 1 bookmark // 1 pack playing cards

Some book samples.

A nice haul this year, I’d say. See you next year, Book Expo!

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