Monday, May 5, 2008

Work notes, plus sleep despair

* I created a science fiction section in the library on Friday. Our adult fiction collection consists largely of romances, manly thrillers, cat mysteries and James Michener, so it always shocks me when I go dowsing through there and suddenly come up with a Star Trek novel or the complete Foundation series. And if it surprises me to find science fiction, I'm sure our patrons don't know it's there either, so it seemed worthwhile to pull it out and bring it blinking into the light for everyone to see.

This might have stayed a laudable yet unmet goal since one thing I don't lack for at work is projects, but then we got a huge donation of sci fi and fantasy. It was also largely two authors (Piers Anthony and Terry Brooks, not exactly my first choice, but beggars and all...), so adding them to our pretty tightly packed stacks would have been a nightmare of reshelving. Instead, I used it as an excuse to mine our stacks for science fiction and set them up on an empty set of shelves. Some of the gems included all of the Star Trek readers by James Blish (favorites of my childhood) and some particularly groovy Lando Calrissian novels from the early 80s.

I got a start on cataloging the new books, although I'm not sure if I'm going to add all of the Piers Anthony. It's fantastic that they gave us the entire Apprentice Adept series and the early Xanth books are cool, but there's also a glut of late Xanth books, from after it turned into a skeevy children's series with rather disturbing dirty old man tittering over the underwear of young girls. I am a staunch advocate of free speech and as a librarian strive to always serve the information needs of my patrons without judgment. This means I have cataloged any number of books that I didn't like or even found utterly antithetical to my beliefs. But I'm not sure if I can bring myself to catalog a book called The Color of Her Panties. I'm just not sure I have it in me.

* I briefly had thoughts of taking my mother's 1988 Britannica home with me to donate to the library, but then I discovered that we in fact already have an Encylopedia Britannica. From 1988. Something of a lateral move. So much for beefing up the reference section through family charity.

But yesterday, I reaped the benefits of nepotism when B called me up to let me know he was withdrawing a three-year-old World Book, which is now free for the taking by any other city agency. Like mine, just to pull an example out of thin air. An encyclopedia for the children's section! From this century even! Well, we do have the Charlie Brown Encyclopedia, but it, um, lacks in intellectual rigor.

* It's after midnight. K is STILL awake. I don't know what the hell is wrong with her these days. Either she falls asleep late and sleeps through the night, or she falls asleep at a reasonable hour and then wakes up for a couple hours in the middle of the night. I would think that it was a sign she needed to give up her nap, but it hasn't worked so far. I tried several times to skip her nap only to have her fall asleep on top of me at 5 after a major meltdown. She skipped her nap a couple times last week and fell asleep right at 8, only to wake up at midnight and stay awake until 3. Tonight, it's like someone slipped her speed. We've alternated between letting her play quietly and taking turns going in to try and get her to fall asleep. I almost had her down a couple times, but those eyes will. not. stay. closed.

Okay, she's finally asleep. At 12:30 in the fricking AM. We've tried helping her fall asleep, which doesn't usually work until it's late at night. We've tried letting her play in her room until she's ready to go to sleep, which usually lets her keep herself awake. We've tried melatonin. Short of clubbing her over the head, I don't know what to do any more.

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