Reader's Exchange

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Please, thank you, and mine!
Ever worked a customer service desk? Then you're familiar with the Conflicted or I Hate to Bother You, But... Complaint. This nice library patron was even conflicted about the reason. With hands apart, palms up (the universal "this is probably...
Triple-digit scores for trio
Oh, good. The annual Triple Digit Temperature Anticipation is over. We can proceed to more vital topics, say, air conditioning and novels. On weekends when I interrupt yard work at intervals to duck inside for a hat or water, to check on the dogs or whatever...
Solid proof that readers are winners
Guess what we figured out? People of all ages appreciate free stuff (interesting, high-quality free stuff). Who knew? The library's youth summer reading programs have long been identified with favorite performers, activities, story times. Oh, and...
Heaven and Hell's Kitchen
"Such an amazing place," the customer observed dreamily. "But I don't suppose I could ever get in." Nice to know that the Book Expo America photos I posted online conveyed the energy and special-ness of the event--noted authors...
Sharing: an Empire State of mind
I don't have a photo of Dr. Ruth on my phone. But the gentleman behind me in the Sue Grafton autograph line at Book Expo America (New York City, last week) does. He'd spotted her in the cavernous Javits Center exhibit hall, asked if she could...
Butch Cassidy and the Goblet of Fire
People are so quick to draw conclusions. So what if The Sting, The Natural, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid top my "10 Best Films List"? I also love Quiz Show and Ordinary People, for which Robert Redford was behind the camera. So there...
Go ahead, make...
Forget Rumpelstiltskin's debtor spinning straw into gold and Cinderella's fairy godmother devising a coach from a pumpkin. This project demanded creativity. Michelle , our library director, requested that fellow reference librarian Chris and I...
Support your local EM
Boinnngggg. You could practically hear last week's topic hitting a nerve, one in-house English major at a time. After I inquired which staffers claimed English as an academic concentration, "No" replies landed in my inbox; "Yes"...
Not that you asked...
Not everyone who works in the library is a librarian (technically, that's only the folks with MLS or MLIS degrees). And among the librarians, library assistants, and library associates in the building, a smaller percentage than you might think were...
Think you've heard it all?
Quick: name the greatest country song of all time. According to a Country Music Magazine poll, honors go to "He Stopped Loving Her Today" written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putnam and memorably performed by George Jones . Listen , and you'll...
Pearls before Spam
"You know who June Cleaver is, right?" the library customer inquired, "You remind me of her, sort of put-together and calm." So, June--AKA Barbara Billingsley in vintage TV's Leave it to Beaver -- and I can both act. At the reference...
Very very very fine houses
This week, I found myself tracking former residences the way some people Google their old flames. Leave 'em and love 'em: that's my motto. Of a dozen former homes, we've owned two. We were fond of them then, but they've acquired nostalgia...
Here's your hat; what's your story?
Like all parents, I ponder the Generational Divide some days more than others. And this week? Well, it occurred to me that J.K. Rowling's great gift to humankind-- the Sorting Hat --might represent the issue nicely. If the hat assigned generational...
Oh, don't be so modest (just be accurate)
The customer isn't always right. On those rare occasions, it's fortunate if someone else has already said so. That's what happened with the recent job hunter who slid his resume across the reference desk, sighed, and related his situation...
The quality of mercy
Not an ardent reader of Science Fiction, I approach it like a child lectured that eating vegetables is a Good Thing and should be undertaken frequently: I'm always glad afterward but rarely pursue the experience. Predictably, when an advance copy...
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