I know it starts with j

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Saturday, March 21, 2009
Today I worked at one of the larger library branches with a girl named Jessica. Normally I wouldn't mention this, but it was funny because Jessica and I are about the same age, both have longish dark hair and dark eyes, both were subbing today, and of course have a J name of similar length. One of the regular staff members at the branch couldn't keep us straight, even though we've both worked there separately on many occasions. It was just TOO MUCH -- she was mortified at her mistake so I only corrected her twice; it obviously distressed her to keep getting it wrong. I didn't care, and I don't think Jessica really cared either. (You get used to these things with a name like Jennifer/Jessica. I actually love having a name I share with MILLIONS. it's like a disguise! I have an unusual middle name though, so maybe I'd feel differently if I was one of the many Jennifer Lynns I went to camp with.)

Speaking of getting the name not quite right, one of my favorite patrons of the day was this guy in his 90s who came up to the circ desk and said: say, can you tell me if you have this book? I think it's called Shanghai.

I started to type that in, but realized there would be a million titles that come up from that search, so I asked him if he knew the author's name.

him: no, but he wrote another book.

me: do you remember the title?

him: peking.

me: (HILARIOUS!) out loud: I bet they can help you with that at the reference desk.

later on he came back to the circ desk and told Jessica (!) that they did help him find it, and it wasn't Singapore, it was Saigon!

me to Jessica: didn't he say it was Shanghai when he was up here before?

Jessica: yes, yes he did.

my other favorite patron was an 8 year old girl dressed all in purple. She came sidling up to the desk, half shy, half bold. "can you tell me if you have a book on the shelves?"

Me: maybe, what are you looking for?


I'll look, but I'm pretty sure those are all checked out. Do you want me to put it on hold for you?


(in the meantime I find the book in the catalog and show her the picture.) Is this the one?

No, it's the scary one with vampires and stuff. the dvd just came out.

That's this one.

oh. you don't have it?

We don't have it right now, I'm sorry! (and I really was)

I guess a lot of people like scary things to read, don't they?

I agreed and tried to send her to reference so they could find her a scary series we have sitting right on the shelves (I'm sure there was SOMETHING she would have liked, and this kind of problem is the kind librarians live to solve), but we got busy and I'm not sure if she made it over to the ref. desk. I hope she did!
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