Friday, January 29, 2010

Clear Your Desk Edition

Okay, who sent me the old library magazine?

Last Thursday I decided to stop being lazy and check my mailbox, something I hadn’t done since that Tuesday. Some of you may be wondering why I don’t check it everyday. It’s a logistics issue. I dwell under the stairs like the mole people on the lower level and my mail box is on the 5th floor. The regular elevator doesn’t go up to the 5th when we’re open, and Murphy’s Law dictates I never have mail when we’re closed. And when I do have mail, I have so much I need a cart. Technically I could use the freight elevator, but that elevator freaks me out. It’s padded. No, it’s not as bad as it used to be---remember back when it had ripped dark blue padding, as if someone had tried fruitlessly to claw their way out of there? Still, it’s pretty bad. Whenever I’m in there it makes me think someone is going to lower a bucket from its roof and say, “It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again.

But that’s another story unto itself.

I go upstairs, check the staff room to see if there’s anything to eat, look around for free movie passes, get my mail, see it’s full of magazines and start sorting. One is from December 2009. Half the staff has already seen it. Two are from October. I’m the last person on those lists. Then, in an envelope, I spot the Library Journal dated May 15, 2008.


Do you know what how much has changed since then? In May of 2008 I was still wondering if it would be Obama or Clinton, I could truthfully tell people I was in my 20s, and I had the full spectrum of cable channels because, like a drug dealer, they were getting me hooked before upping the price. May 2008 was over a year and a half ago. An elephant’s gestation doesn’t last that long. This magazine has been sitting around someone’s desk, then they sent it to the next person who, in turn sent it to me. What was the point? Giving me a magazine this late completely disrupted the Library Magazine Ecosystem Chain! This how it’s supposed to go:

Receive magazine. Skim over the library/librarian/architect/award-you’ll-never-get-because-you’re-just-not-that-dedicated of the year section. Skip pages having to do with professional development or the department you work in. Discover an author you like is coming out with a new hardback in 5 months.


Check catalog for the new title only to discover it is not there. Put a reminder in your calendar to check the catalog in another two months.


Two months later, while watching a funny YouTube video involving talking animals and eating an entire box of crackers because some pop culture quack dietician said it was okay to eat as many carbs as you like as long as it was before 5 pm, a reminder pops up telling you to check MillCirc for your book title. You check it only to discover the record is SUPRESSED. Set another reminder for later that month.


Three weeks later you discover the title you want is officially in the catalog and the holds list is now wider than your rear thanks to time/the crackers. Become 301 of 301 holds.


Receive your hold request four months later only to realize you bought the book at CostCo for 40% off the day it was published. Chastise yourself for not having the patience to wait 15 weeks for a book you wanted 9 months ago. Try not to remind yourself that you could have conceived and given birth to a baby in the time that has passed since you first learned about the title.


Rinse and repeat.

So what should you do if you find an old library magazine under the pile of donated disintegrating National Geographic magazines at your desk?

1. Go over the list.
2. Cross off my name. (Trust me, it’s for the best.)
3. Cross off the name of anyone who has retired since the printing of the mailing list.
4. If you’re one of those OMG-there-might-be-something-important-they-need-to-read folks, AND someone has retired in the last few weeks, send the magazine out in a clean envelope. Hopefully the person on the receiving end will assume the retiree cleaned off their desk.

When I got the magazine, after I thought, ‘You’ve gotta-be-kidding-me,” and, “Why do some librarians think it’s okay to wear what they would wear while cleaning the litter box in a professional magazine?” I contacted CDV. They said for something that old they could just file it away. So for those of you who are upset that you have to read the “Going Green” article in Academic OneFile instead of in print form…

It’s all my fault.

(This time.)

I'll explain the video later.

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