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To Scheme for Mortal Thrones...


daffodilkhan
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2 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

It was intended to be ironic, or something like that, but clearly failed.

It’s okay Carol, that happens to me all the time here, lol.

:patpatpat:

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

:D:D

That is very specific guys, I would appreciate it back then but I think I'm more for keyword kind of person in term of trying to search for something.

But I do into things that noone wants to ask me about as well, and I feel you.

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/29/2020 at 2:32 AM, Artemis said:

We had a call from a guy who was 100% positive his father wouldn't last 3 days, so he went ahead and planned everything.  That was almost two years ago now.  His father's folder has been sitting out on our shelf that entire time, glaring awkwardly.

^ We got the call today: The father died.  The folder is coming off the shelf.  It's the end of an era.

 

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The son wasn't necessarily overreacting a couple of years ago.

A hospice nurse once told me they had a patient who had lost the ability to eat or drink two or three months previously, but was still living, whereas normally a person won't last but a week or so after that.  So even the professionals can be surprised by exceptional cases.

 

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15 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

The son wasn't necessarily overreacting a couple of years ago.

 No, I didn’t mean to imply that he was.

 

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1 hour ago, Artemis said:

No, I didn’t mean to imply that he was.

 

Well, I kinda assumed that he had been, till I remembered that other case.

 

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Ohh.

I suppose I don't really have an opinion one way or the other.  It's not unusual at all for an ill person to hang on for years longer than expected, so he may have been jumping the gun.  On the other hand, you never know, and it doesn't hurt to be prepared.  I probably would have waited, if I were him, but that's just how I would handle it.  The idea of planning for someone else's funeral before they are gone just sits a little weirdly with me.

Anyway, I hope I get to be the one to work the funeral.  I feel oddly attached to this case, lol.  His was the first call we got on my first day of work at the funeral home.

 

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I must admit that I wrote Mom's obituary while I was taking care of her.  There were long spells when I had nothing really to do, other than keep an eye on her in case she decided to do something unwise (she had dementia), so I used the time to write the obit, figuring that when "the time came" I wouldn't be able to spend much time fussing with it.  But that's a bit different, I think.  I've seen where some people have written their own obits -- one way to see that it's done right!

50 minutes ago, Artemis said:

Anyway, I hope I get to be the one to work the funeral.  I feel oddly attached to this case, lol.  His was the first call we got on my first day of work at the funeral home.

I hope you get that opportunity!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/9/2021 at 12:41 AM, Carol the Dabbler said:

I hope you get that opportunity!

Sadly, the family chose to forego (or at least postpone indefinitely) a funeral service due to the Covid restrictions.

At least I got to see a picture of him when he was younger from his obit.  He looks like a cocky Star Wars pilot, lol.

 

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4 hours ago, Artemis said:

Sadly, the family chose to forego (or at least postpone indefinitely) a funeral service due to the Covid restrictions.

At least I got to see a picture of him when he was younger from his obit.  He looks like a cocky Star Wars pilot, lol.

I enjoy seeing pictures of people at various ages -- some of them hardly change over the years, and others I wouldn't even recognize.

Too bad about the non-funeral, but I've seen a lot of that this past year.  It makes sense from a public-health point of view, but it must be hard on the families and friends, not having that closure.

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/22/2020 at 3:32 PM, daffodilkhan said:

RL I work in a children's library and read storytime to infants and toddlers - well, I did before COVID. Now, I mostly clean and sanitize things. 

My dropping by this board has been very sporadic over the last year, so I missed this whole discussion.  Welcome daffodilkhan, if you are still around!  Love the juxtaposition of soft & hard in your username.  I too am a public children's librarian, now in my 21st year of this glorious employment, and four weeks away from my first anniversary of Covid protocols.  It's been tres fun (not).  I actually find that we are nearly as busy as we were, pre-pandemic.  Our busyness has shifted a bit to different formats . . we are not wrangling in person toddler storytimes  or running herd on mobs of after school tween gamers starting fights on the computers (and can I say I don't miss that at ALL . .?) . .but the types of mental/planning work we have always done vis. programming, analyzing library trends, ordering books, etc. still goes on.  If anything, ramped up because we've had whole other skill sets to learn, like mastering picture book reading and singing via Facebook Live & setting up thematic Google Classroom virtual platforms.  Our story times and other programming is all virtual, but our DIY craft kits to go are monster hits.  It takes a lot more time to assemble monthly craft kits for 50 than it did to do an hour-long library program for half that number.  We are still finding/fetching books for people; it's just about 50/50, in person vs. curbside delivery and some of our patrons enjoy the convenience of curbside pickup just a tad too much.  That will be permanent and and I have a feeling that some of them are never coming back inside.  Why should they, when we've made it so easy to stay in the car and get all their needs delivered to them?  We should start up a pizza business while we're at it as a fund-raiser.

On 9/22/2020 at 11:01 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

There's something I've been curious about for a number of years.  My two main fandoms have been Star Trek and Sherlock, and out of the few members of each fandom whose jobs I've been aware of, there have been several children's librarians, and I can't help wondering why.  (Especially since I don't recall one single librarian of any other type.)  Do you have any ideas?

 

I would have pegged the reference librarians for being the diehard Star Trek fans since the hardcore sci-fi fanatics seem to congregate there.  It's not that the children's librarians have more time, definitely not.  I find the reference librarians tend to have quite rigidly codified duties and schedules to the point where they know exactly when they are eating their lunch every day from now til retirement.  If I have to hazard a guess, I'd say that children's librarians are drawn to the profession and to chatrooms because we view reading as a means to adventures of the imagination, and we learn to view fictional characters as friends.  So chatrooms devoted to our favorite book characters will attract those characters' fans.  As a group, I'd say the reference librarians also read a lot, but they are not reading for imaginative escape so much as for *information/facts*.  One guy I know who worked in reference for years is a die-hard George R.R. Martin fan and theatre nerd . .but I don't think he is *really* a reference type; he just needed a job.  

On 9/30/2020 at 10:23 PM, Artemis said:

Actually, as an introvert, being a librarian is awful.

I had a past colleague (she lasted for two years) who was so introverted/afraid of the patrons and their demands that she'd move her chair as far away from the desk as she could get it while still being in the designated area and, for want of a better description, do her best to pretend that she was invisible.  She'd curl herself into a ball in the chair and pointedly ignore people while reading a book.  Not great customer service.  We thought she was just terribly unfriendly and hated children, but she confessed later (after she'd left) that she suffered from crippling social anxiety and was actually terrified that she'd be asked something she didn't know.  She had a degree in elementary education and interviewed really well, but she just couldn't sustain the daily grind.

I tend to be introverted too, but to a large degree I have had to get over it, or at least fake being over it to do any sort of employment, really.  There is a supreme irony in the fact that so many librarians are introverts and yet are expected to be the fount of all knowledge and lead tour groups or do press interviews at the drop of a hat, sometimes with zero warning.  For several hours each day, we have to project being 'on'--outgoing, helpful, there to serve, and camera-ready as required.  Our Facebook Live story times go out to audiences of hundreds, sometimes thousands--Live!--If you find out later you had something in your teeth the whole time, you can't do anything about it.  My journey from hard-core introvert to Less So, Outgoing on Occasion, has been basically learning to live with embarrassment.  You WILL screw up, that's inevitable.  The trick is to stop caring (much).  Nobody but you is likely to remember any screwups the next day.

As Artemis pointed out, our top questions are not brain trust material.  Where's the bathroom? was leading, pre-pandemic.  Now the top contenders are: Do you have a FAX?  Are you open? and Do you have tax forms?

A reference librarian friend of mine said ruefully that she'd spent $20,000 on her masters' degree in library science and what she does with it mostly is help homeless guys get on the computer.  Yep, that's pretty much it.  And sign people up for the mobile hotspots.  And pass out tax forms.  

Someone queried on the next page I think, what makes people gravitate to this career?  For me it was an entirely lateral move.  I was an unemployed English teacher and I needed a job with benefits that was not retail.  There are transferrable skills.  I love books . . I just never thought that this would end up being my career.  It was going to be a way station.  I had a 5-year plan.  But in any given year there are still a glut of English graduates for available jobs and so, here I still am.  In my 21st year I have to admit that for better or worse, this IS my career.

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45 minutes ago, Hikari said:

... some of our patrons enjoy the convenience of curbside pickup just a tad too much.  That will be permanent and and I have a feeling that some of them are never coming back inside.  Why should they, when we've made it so easy to stay in the car and get all their needs delivered to them?

Dear me, where's the fun in curbside pickup?  You can't browse the new-books table.  You don't even get to *smell* the library.  I mean, seriously!

45 minutes ago, Hikari said:

If I have to hazard a guess, I'd say that children's librarians are drawn to the profession and to chatrooms because we view reading as a means to adventures of the imagination, and we learn to view fictional characters as friends.

Ah, that makes sense!  Children's librarians have retained the sense of wonder.  So you like discussing books and shows from an in-universe perspective -- and not just as an academic exercise, you enjoy "being" there.  And even if reference librarians might have a greater tendency to be, as you say, die-hard Star Trek fans, they're not likely to engage in certain types of fannish activity, certainly not the silly stuff.  Thank you for your insight!

 

 

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Just as a side note ... our county libraries did an interesting thing recently. After reopening for several months, they've decided to close again, with only a skeletal staff on hand for curbside pickup ... while the rest of the staff will man the telephones and do data entry, etc. for the massive vaccination effort now underway. Apparently they volunteered to do this instead of their regular jobs. Pretty cool, huh?

By the way, that's one thing I love about Virginia (at least, the parts of it I've been to) ... they have ample, well-stocked, and usually beautiful, libraries. Must be the Thomas Jefferson legacy, or something. :smile: 

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When our new library was built a few years back they put in a drive thru pick up window which at the time I thought was odd. However since they've been closed to walk in traffic twice it has proven very handy. 

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2 hours ago, kimber8ada said:

When our new library was built a few years back they put in a drive thru pick up window which at the time I thought was odd. However since they've been closed to walk in traffic twice it has proven very handy. 

Your library board and architects were prescient!  I know drive-up windows have been a thing with bigger systems for some years now; others also offer pick-up *lockers* where patrons can pick up their preselected items after hours.  We are an urban location and for a variety of reasons, neither of these is feasible for us.  We don't have the space to add either of these features which are very nice but have to be added at the construction stage.  Also 'urban' is synonymous with crime and undesirable elements loitering around the library already and we don't need to give them more incentive.  We had to remove our public pay phone some years back due to vandalism and several threats of mayhem to local schools called in on that phone.  Anyplace where the public could have access to lockers after hours would be problematic for us.  We are across the street from a bank and a gas station, both of which have had robberies in the past.  We are fortunate that we've never had that sort of violence in our building but I wonder if a drive-thru window might encourage something like that.  This is how we have to think in a 'downtown' library.  But I imagine that drive-through facilities will be a part of all new construction going forward, or existing buildings that can adapt to one will.  Thanks to corona, I think our curbside and virtual services are here to stay because people have gotten used to them and we are able to reach more people this way.  But right now, our staff has to go outside to deliver items to cars and a drive-thru would be a lot more comfortable for everyone concerned.

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19 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Just as a side note ... our county libraries did an interesting thing recently. After reopening for several months, they've decided to close again, with only a skeletal staff on hand for curbside pickup ... while the rest of the staff will man the telephones and do data entry, etc. for the massive vaccination effort now underway. Apparently they volunteered to do this instead of their regular jobs. Pretty cool, huh?

By the way, that's one thing I love about Virginia (at least, the parts of it I've been to) ... they have ample, well-stocked, and usually beautiful, libraries. Must be the Thomas Jefferson legacy, or something. :smile: 

I'm in Ohio, and our governor was one of the first nationwide to institute a state-wide lockdown in the spring.  Our area schools closed on March 13th or something like that.  We carried on working for that following week, but on the Friday about an hour before the end of the day, our director called a staff meeting and told us all to go home for the indefinite future.  We were given an hour to finish things up and collect stuff to take home.  In all we were home for 6 weeks.  Then we did six more weeks of PT curbside only service.  Since June 22nd, we've been back to work full-time.  Our operating hours have been shortened by 3 hours, so we don't have a night shift any more, but we still get our 8 hours.  Our director teased possibly closing again when things got worse, but he never did--though about half the staff has either been through quarantine or had Covid by now.  We've had some losses, relatives of colleagues, but we carry on.  We had a snow day this week, but we are here!

Back in the spring I thought, if I got laid off, I could become a contact tracer . . that never became necessary.   It would make a change to help run a vaccine clinic, but I doubt this will ever be a thing here.  We are directly next door to one of our two  major hospital systems and the giant medical campus takes up most of the two blocks behind us.  So there will be lots of sites.

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14 minutes ago, Hikari said:

We don't have the space to add either of these features which are very nice but have to be added at the construction stage. 

I've heard of someplace (maybe a library?) adding a drive-through window this past year, apparently in response to the Covid restrictions.  So it's not impossible to retrofit an existing structure.  But there would need to be a suitable place for such an addition, including room for a driveway immediately adjacent to the exterior wall -- though if not, a walk-up window might still be possible, either outdoors or in the lobby.

 

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1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I've heard of someplace (maybe a library?) adding a drive-through window this past year, apparently in response to the Covid restrictions.  So it's not impossible to retrofit an existing structure.  But there would need to be a suitable place for such an addition, including room for a driveway immediately adjacent to the exterior wall -- though if not, a walk-up window might still be possible, either outdoors or in the lobby.

 

I'm sure buildings that can be retrofitted are considering this possibility since a lot of the Covid restrictions will be the 'new normal' from now on.  Those businesses that could not adapt their services to encompass takeout and curbside failed in large numbers in the last year.  Our patron foot traffic into the building is about 10% of 'normal' after nearly a year, but our statistics look a lot healthier than we had anticipated, since so many people are taking advantage of curbside pickup and all our digital offerings.  If we have 200 kids watch a FB Live story time (that is an average number), we can count those numbers as a program.  Previously, those numbers would only be seen at an in-person event once a year during our Summer Reading kickoff launch.  Now we get those numbers weekly.  A normal story time in the building is 20 kids, plus parents.  So that's a win.  But the interpersonal aspect of our service is severely curtailed . . but we are open and available to the public for everything except extended hanging out time in the building.  They are *choosing* not to visit the physical plant, even though not a single case of the virus happened here.  Everyone who has gotten ill has gotten it from school/daycare kids or a spouse working elsewhere.

We have a one-way drive and book drop boxes already, but there'd be no way to install a drive-thru lane next to the building without removing our front sidewalk and ramp to the second floor which is enclosed in glass.  The least cost-prohibitive option would be to build a little sentry hut next to the main doors where a staff member could be positioned with a space heater and they could pass books through the car in one designated space.  Though a core group of families prefer curbside and never use anything else, the numbers have dropped way off since the building reopened, so our current system is working OK, except during major weather events.

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3 hours ago, Hikari said:

The least cost-prohibitive option would be to build a little sentry hut next to the main doors where a staff member could be positioned with a space heater and they could pass books through the car in one designated space.

Oh, now that's an idea!  Maybe it could be designed to serve some purposes in addition to books in & out?  Information booth?  Tax forms?

3 hours ago, Hikari said:

Though a core group of families prefer curbside and never use anything else, the numbers have dropped way off since the building reopened...

That's good news!

 

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I have a cousin that works at the library but haven't talked with her lately about customer volume. Several people use the website to download ebooks apparently because every time I select a book there's usually a wait list. They are usually pretty quick about getting your books together. The last time I ordered actual books I was called back in about 30 minutes. Our library is located on the outskirts of town with the pick up window around back which also leads to the return box. They want all books left in the drop box where they are collected, sanitized and "quarantined" for several days before being lent out again .

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