An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Yeah, I've got your 14" book wrap, right here!

At work, Mrs. C told me I should go look at the book lying in the back of the circ-desk area. It was a copy of the Theodore Geisel Award winning book N0t a B0x, by Antoinette Portis.

Attached to this book was a note that read: "Did not know if this needed a cover or not? Ms. S"

Those of you in libraries who've added this to your collection and have handled this book will know that this book, though a hardback, does not come with a book jacket. It's meant to look like the outside of a cardboard box. So what Ms. S appeared to be concerned about was how exactly she was supposed add book jacket book wrap to this particular volume during processing when it had no book jacket.

Below Ms. S's note, Mrs. C had angrilly scrawled "IF there is no jacket to cover then there is NOTHING to cover. Just tape."

"I had to write that note on there," Mrs. C added, "because if I have to tell her in person I might have to hurl the book at her head."

As with all lessons, this is not the first time we've had to impart this one to Ms. S. It wasn't even the first time in that book processing session. She'd actually had the same question about an oversided paperback book. Granted, it was the kind of paperback with covers that are folded over inside to form kind of a faux book jacket look, but again there's nothing there to cover with book wrap in the first place. Ms. S later explained that she'd asked about N0t a B0x thinking that someone had somehow run off with the jacket, so she didn't know what to do about it. (Nevermind that the person who'd typed the spine labels—someone always other than Ms. S, who is not to be trusted with a typewriter—had already affixed it TO THE FRICKIN' BOOK, adding a further clue as to its natural uncovered state.)

How, I cannot say, but Mrs. C was able to prevent herself from hurling any books at any heads.

3 comments:

Julie said...

So when is Ms. S going to be fired? If I were her boss, she's be long gone by now.

Woeful said...

It's book processing madness I tell you.

Juice S. Aaron said...

Julie, I dunno. My boss is hardly one to avoid confrontation. In fact, she regularly confronts Ms. S about her training lapses. However, I think she's just willing to give Ms. S more chances to get it right than most. (After all, she's not stealing us blind, like some former employees.) Also, there's something to be said for allowing Ms. S enough time to get her sea legs in the job. Our other former Newbie Greenhorn, Ms. M, was a collossal screwup who drove us insane for most of her first year. Then one day, she turned a corner and became a competent employee who we all genuinely like. There's always a chance Ms. S could too. I doubt it, but I doubted the same thing about Ms. M.