13 May 2014

A Silly Dog, An Assignment, and a Train Ride

What a morning.  Thunder began to shake the house just after 3 am which meant I was sandwiched in bed between a husband and a nervously panting dog compelled to repeatedly stand up, turn around, and plop down again.  I should just about be able to function for my shift at the library this afternoon but my friends at the pub quiz tonight might need to nudge me every now and again for any participation.

Posting has been scarce to say the least but I have been busily engaged in other bookish pursuits.  Last week I was assigned a VLS (visiting library service) customer as one of my goals regarding performance at the library.  The woman assigned to me still lives in her own home but getting out to the library is proving difficult.  Previously, these customers were known as shut-ins which sounds horribly institutional so thank goodness that term has been updated to something more positive and cheery.

Meeting with the head of the VLS department I was given a sheet of paper outlining my customer's name, the number of books, magazines, or movies she wanted, the name of the volunteer who would drop off the items and which week of the month everything was to be packed up and ready to go.  I had to ask..."What is the chance that my customer is a war-bride, an English ex-pat, a former member of the WI?" which brought the expected howls of laughter from my colleagues.  The head replied "Don't ask me that or I will challenge you and present someone completely opposite to what you want".  Just to show how flexible I am I replied that a Czechoslovakian cheese maker would also fit the bill.  Derailing agendas has long been a talent of mine.  As it turns out, once I logged on to my customer's profile her preferences are light British mysteries and BBC dramas....result!

Those of us on the circulation desk at the library regularly watch colleagues from the information desk appear in batches for monthly book review.  Since the reader's advisory we perform at circ is of the informal nature we are not included in these monthly reviews.  It was time for someone (me) to take the bull by the horns and ask how circ staff felt about a book club of our own and everyone is up for it!  My library circulates pre-packed book club kits containing twelve books and a reading group guide so access could not be simpler.  The majority vote is, so far, in favour of starting with Suite Fran├žaise by Irene Nemirovsky; two votes were for anything other than The Stone Carvers by Jane Urquhart.  My next challenge will be to find a central location for us to meet and to analyze our work schedule for a time when we are all available.  Actually, one of my colleagues has an unhealthy obsession with Skittles candy and favours Japanese anime so my toughest challenge just might be getting him to stay engaged in a book about occupied France.

Lastly, my husband and I took the train to Toronto this past weekend as the weather was absolutely perfect for strolling and a lunch in oh-so-trendy Yorkville.  It goes without saying that we browsed every bookshop we passed.  The cover on Stella Gibbons' Here Be Dragons caught my eye at Indigo...

'When Nell Sely moves from sleepy Dorset to Hampstead she leaves behind a childhood of dull teas and oppressive rules for the freedom of the big city.  Naive and only nineteen, she becomes romantically entwined with the wayward John Gaunt and falls in with London's bohemian crowd.  In this city of seductive, shifting morals, smoke-filled jazz clubs and glamorous espresso bars, Nell must master her new-found independence and learn to strike her own course.'

Then I flipped through the pages and spotted mention of Waterlow Park in Highgate.  It's a lovely park, even if the pathways and my sense of direction don't work well together, and I am really, really, really missing London so that sold me.  My husband enjoys anything considered a bit quirky so he brought home a copy of The Dead Father's Club by Matt Haig, a new favourite author since he thoroughly enjoyed his latest work The Humans.

That's all from me at the moment.  I have a date with a lint brush and my bed linens...oh that dog.

7 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you changed the name for your Home Services patrons (that's what we call them here). I agree with you, shut-ins is awful! Just as well you've been matched with someone who shares your interests, you'll have no problem finding tempting items for them. I love the cover of the Gibbons. I still have Westwood & Starlight to read but I'm tempted by several more. I loved Suite Francaise so I hope your book group enjoy it too.

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    1. I remembering buying Westwood while at the Waterstones in Hampstead *sigh*. Since that is where the book is set it made the perfect souvenir; it's a light read but a fun one! And thanks for letting me know you loved Suite Francaise...our kit came in yesterday. Such a lovely cover, speaking of beautiful cover art!

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  2. Such fun to read about your library life. My partner is a supervisor at a library here, and I've always fantasized about life in a library (and heaven knows I'm spent a good portion of mine in libraries as it is), so it's always interesting to get the inside perspective. Love the cover of your copy of Here Be Dragons--mine is the generic red one they did originally. The novel has been working its way up my "to read" list, so I'll look forward to hearing what you think of it!

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    1. When my daughter was very small she said Daddy went to work to make money but Mummy went to work to have fun. Libraries are one of the best places to work, although, sometimes my fantasy is being inside for a whole day without customers. I am so bad!

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  3. what a great service your library offers!! Not least the care with their visiting library service patrons, and what a fortunate person snaffled you! All your readers are nodding happily in agreement
    I have just joined a library based reading group and I quite blown away by the quality of the selections and the care they take to facilitate so many varied groups Hats off to librarians.

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    1. Such lovely things to say, ana! We have a Books and Beans program and there is a core group of ladies who go to great lengths to make sure they're not separated. It's such a nice way to socialize and meet new friends. Enjoy your reading group and thanks for supporting libraries!

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  4. This is a lovely post - wish I still worked in a library!

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