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King Arthur's round table

Here's your spot to post and discuss history-related news items.
User avatar
Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Fri July 30th, 2010, 10:31 pm

I've never been there, but I hear it's actually quite a pretty place. It's on Santa Catalina Island, not far off the coast from Los Angeles. The company I'm employed with does work there, which is what made it pop into my head today!

That's pretty funny about someone saying their ancestors came from Avalon and wanting a map. I guess when you work with the general public you run across all types, huh? :p

What did you say to her, by the way? Just curious as to how you'd handle someone like that.....
Last edited by Michy on Fri July 30th, 2010, 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Ariadne
Bibliophile
Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Postby Ariadne » Fri July 30th, 2010, 10:50 pm

For all I know, she's right. This woman calls us every few weeks with an equally outlandish question so we're used to her. I explained how I found Avalon in a reference book and read her the definition, that it was a legendary island, etc. To which she responded "You mean it's not real? Hmm. Well, maybe I'm not real." Okay then.

User avatar
Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Sun August 1st, 2010, 1:35 am

That is hilarious! I guess people like that ensure that your job never gets dull!

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed August 4th, 2010, 7:04 pm

Posted by Ariadne
To which she responded "You mean it's not real? Hmm. Well, maybe I'm not real." Okay then.


Lol! Not for real, maybe. Amazing how cranks and people with mental illness issues automatically gravitate towards libraries :)

User avatar
Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Wed August 4th, 2010, 7:30 pm

Perhaps because it's a free space - ? (as in, doesn't cost anything). I was at a library in Long Beach a year or so ago, and it was a gathering place for homeless people. There were a huge number of them on the grounds outside, and inside the library at the entrance they had a sign listing all their rules. I can't remember what they were, only that they were quite obviously aimed at the homeless. The homeless here don't seem to gravitate to the libraries, so maybe it's only in certain places.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Thu August 5th, 2010, 6:32 am

InI library where I work we get a large number of latch-key kids, the elderly and unemployed, largely because ,as you say, the library is a warm, relatively safe, comfortable and free space. I like to think it's also the friendly staff, but that might be wishful thinking :) . The long term unemployed do come with a few issues- lack of hygiene- unwashed clothing and bodies is particularly unattractive on a wet day --and drug/alcohol dependency. Not that long ago I had to quietly call the local community policeman to remove a very drunk man who was upsetting customers and loudly insisting to me that he was a truck! Contrary to popular belief, work in a library is rarely boring.

User avatar
Ariadne
Bibliophile
Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Postby Ariadne » Thu August 5th, 2010, 12:27 pm

Ugh, Annis, I'm glad I don't have to deal with many drunks!

We don't get many oddball characters in person at my library (although some of the faculty, now retired, have been pretty eccentric) though there is the occasional odd phone call like the one I described.

User avatar
Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Thu August 5th, 2010, 2:35 pm

"annis" wrote: I like to think it's also the friendly staff, but that might be wishful thinking :) .


This is something that I often find puzzling. That is, in the old days when librarians had to do everything for their patrons, they seemed to be friendlier. Now that libraries are increasingly self-service, when I do have to ask a librarian for assistance with something that's supposed to be self-serve they seem annoyed. Not all of them, of course, but quite a few.

I can see how the library would have a huge attraction for the very young and very old -- I could see myself hanging out there someday when I don't have to go to work every day! For one thing you don't have to buy anything -- Starbucks is a great place to hang out, but I don't feel comfortable going someplace like that if I'm not going buy something. And they usually play the music a bit too loud for enjoyable reading. :)

The newest library branch in my city is a big, beautiful space with a huge reading room -- no talking allowed. For a long time they didn't even allow computers in there, but they've now eased up on that. I hardly go there because it isn't close to my house. But when I was in college and wanted out of the house but needed a nice, quiet place to study I spent a lot of time there!

User avatar
SarahWoodbury
Avid Reader
Location: Pendleton, Oregon
Contact:

Postby SarahWoodbury » Thu August 5th, 2010, 3:33 pm

We live in a little town, which might make the library more homey, but instead, for the first 7 years we were here, it was peopled with grumpy librarians with identical frown lines around their mouths. The only poster on the wall in the children's section was a giant photo of a grumpy librarian from the 1950's! I kid you not!

We got a new librarian 2 years ago and her attempts at hauling the library into the 21st century were initially met with kicking and screaming by the staff, but things seem to be better. We actually have computers now (thanks to he Bill and Melinda Gates foundation) and more new books. They redid the carpet from baby-poop yellow to brown and blue tones and got white flourescent lighting instead of yellow. Little things can make such a huge difference in how much time you want to stay there.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Thu August 5th, 2010, 8:51 pm

In a small rural community like ours, the library plays quite a large unacknowledged social role- information centre for tourists, drop-in centre, a place where kids can come after-school and the elderly sit down with a newspaper and maybe have their only daily contact with another person. We know many of our patrons personally, and there is a really nice atmosphere. We're often to be found printing off pictures for kids to colour in, or helping someone write a CV, or set up a Facebook account. And apart from sorting out kids fighting over computers, we rarely have to channel the grumpy dragon librarian :)


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