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There's been some interesting goings on at the library lately.

Our branch manager was sent to another library, so we have a new one. I haven't really met her, but we were told that she actually requested to be transferred to our branch so I'm hoping that's a good sign.

It's been raining a lot lately and the building has been leaking. It's not even 30 years old, but the children's floor (the part which does not have the protection of another floor above it, but a flat deck instead) has ceiling and window leaks. It's a bit of a bummer to have to put down drip bins and stanchions. It's not what you want people thinking of when they think of your library. My library is a part of a larger complex which leaks worse in other places, so I hope people realize it isn't our fault.

The stanchion bases are really heavy, by the way. And awkward to get down from storage. I'd rather use them sparingly.

The head of adult services is on maternity leave and just within the last couple weeks her temporary replacement was hired. She's worked in our library system at other branches for at least a while, and she's Russian! Like grew-up-in-Soviet-Russia Russian. Accent and all! I knew she had to be something other than Canadian because when her appointment was announced I read it as 'Julia', but we were informed that it's pronounced 'You-lia'. With the J pronounced as a Y I thought she would be Spanish or something, and then I couldn't figure out her accent and I was pretty sure it would be rude to go up to her and say "You have an accent! Where are you from!". I asked a couple of the librarians before she came in one day and they told me where she was actually from and how much they like her.

I had a good experience with Julia yesterday, too, so I believe I also like her. She's very gung-ho about making changes to how we have some things organized to make it better. For months and months now lots of people (in cataloguing and within branches) have been putting little coloured dot stickers on our DVDs to identify their genre. We were warned when this started that eventually we would be sorting our DVDs by genre instead of all mixed together. Yesterday we finally started doing that. We got new little separating cards, took everything out of the bins, and got to scrubbing them out. They just tend to collect gunk over time, so my fellow clerk that day and I donned the delightful purple gloves and were scrubbing our butts off. I was certainly pleasantly surprised when Julia asked me to show her where we keep the gloves so that she could help! Sometimes people in higher up positions think that clerk duties are below them, and I really don't think that the person previously in her position would have helped us. I was impressed.

We did run into snags, though. My library has a really great array of non-fiction DVDs. This includes documentaries, fitness videos, concerts, plays, some non-fiction TV series, how-to videos... which are all shelved separately in a space that probably makes it so that a lot of people don't know they're there. They decided that while we were rearranging by genre we should make sections for documentaries and performance DVDs. The major issue here being that we have a LOT of documentaries. We have a healthy section of performances but the documentaries especially were not going to fit. We came up with a temporary half-solution by utilizing the bottom level of shelving, which we don't normally use as it makes it more difficult for patrons, especially elderly ones. But luckily this is all located directly in front of the adult information desk so they're there to keep an eye out for anyone who needs help.

As for whether I'm in favour of this change or not, I'm not 100% sure. I think patrons will like being able to browse genres, but when you look a movie up in the catalogue it doesn't tell you exactly which genre it will be shelved under. It is also going to take about three times longer to shelve them, and to find them when we're looking for holds. As long as we don't get flack for this I think I'm happy.

Another major snag was with the genre stickers. There are three different pinks, and someone used all of them on the documentaries. Then there are a lot of music related DVDs that are actually documentaries that are stickered as performances. Stickers are a huge point of contention for library staff at basically every level. Yesterday morning the head of the children's department told me she put my name forward to be part of a stickering committee. I am super excited about this. It would mean I would get to be part of a committee that discusses which stickers work, which don't, why we need them, and all kinds of things. I really hope I get to be on it.

There's another major change coming to the non-fiction DVDs. They want all the health-related and how-to videos to be interfiled with the normal non-fiction (y'know, books) collection. We're not exactly swimming in extra shelving space in non-fiction. About a year ago we actually removed the top shelf from all of our units which means that each shelving bay has five shelves instead of six. This meant more vertical space per shelf, while raising the lowest shelf and lowering the highest. There was a big weeding project before this so we managed to fit everything even with all the space elimination, but we still run into tight spaces and have to shift big sections around.

Mind you there's talk of moving even more sections around (like large print) so maybe that will result in magical more space.

Basically, in conclusion, we need more goddamn space.


Anyway, I see my psychologist today. I try to go every three weeks but this is the first in a while and I have much to talk to him about. I haven't been very stable lately. I had a very bad freak-out, which I'm not sure what to call. I have panic attacks every now and then and this wasn't like them. I was much more out of control, enough to hurt my neck and back by violently pulling at my hair, as well as some intense hyperventilating. It was pretty scary. I've also been adjusting to a fourth attempt at amphetamines to control my inattentive ADD. I've had bad reactions with little improvement to symptoms with amphetamines in the past. Hopefully this goes better.

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zestofthealleycat

June 2013

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