About judgement calls
: What Merkay said. I hate the way the computers are used. I despise the fact that nine times out of ten the child is printing out his or her twentieth picture of Fifty Cent...but as long as he pays for the pictures (that ink is expensive...) I can't tell him or her not to do it.
I also live in horror of the c*r*a*p we have to purchase for our major clientele. All the people in this neighborhood carry on about is how they are seen as thugs, gangstas, druggies and h-rhymes-with rows.
But what books do they insist we buy--Zane's various sex addict series, Thugalicious, Thugs R Fun, and every other variation you can imagine which follows the same plot: young girl is molested by adult male, grows up to be sex addict as well as drug addict as well as gold digger. Meets her older male lover's attractive younger drug dealing son/nephew/cousin/partner and schemes to do away with older lover. They do. And take over his drug business. Happy ending. I buy this stuff, but I hold my nose while I do.
I've been trying to get back to answer this thread since I posted it and, well, life kept getting in the way. (Also, though she doesn't mind if I read threads at work, my boss doesn't like to see me answering them at the main circulation desk
)About the security guards
: city doesn't think it is a priority to hire them for us. We have special officers on loan from the schools. Who don't show up. So we complain about them and guess what--deaf ears.
My boss calls HER boss, HER boss calls the Board of Ed and Board of Ed says something on the order of "Not our problem." Or similar.On nipping it in the bud
: We have nipped it in the bud so many times our garden shears are ruined. When the problems began this year, Boss took it to the streets and the community. She went to the schools, talked with the head of school security (see above), spoke with the local community group...and got lots and lots of promising lip service. (MAJOR DIGRESSION: I have to explain about this community association: everyone likes being on it and talking to each other and sounding important...what they don't seem to like is getting off their collective hinies and doing anything about what they constantly complain about. This summer one of them came to the branch, saw all the kids, left and returned with sign up sheets for my boss. "Have them fill out these permission slips and we'll take them and their guardians bowling this Friday." So, boss takes him at his word, spreads the info to the few parents who show up, has the kids sign up, has parents fill out permission slips, ferries them over a block to the association's office.....and they wait there for two hours before going home. Seems the guy forgot he had promised this and had gone off on some other project he presumeably didn't finish, either. There is also a big, burley man on the association who routinely asks us to "Call him" when there's a problem. So we call him and he says he will be there right away...and shows up five hours later.) I speak with the teachers, I talk with the daycare providers and I've been known to call parents and complain. The parents will say "Call thepolice and teach the little so-and-so a lesson." Great...use the police as nannies. Excellent.On offering alternative programming
: Every. Single. Bloody. Youth. Program. has been shut down due to lack of funding. There is no place for the kids to hang out...so we are IT.
Over the years we have asked the kids for their ideas on programming they would be interested in (just like they tell us to do at all the continuing ed seminars). We get answers that range from rude ("get out of my face") to impractical ("Can you get the Cheetah Girls to come here?") to astronomically impractical ("Just get us fifty computers.") One parent said she thought it would be wonderful if we got rid of the books and had nothing but wall to wall computers. So that the kids could print pages of of wiki and turn that in as a report presumeably.
Most programs aimed at the 11-15 element fail because the kids don't want to miss their turn on the computer. We tried shutting the computers off during the programs, but then the adults complained.
One success (of sorts) My book club is really a film club/game club/food club. We never actually read books...we kind of bring in related movies, offer healthy snacks and hope for the best. While we haven't turned them into lovers of the written word, we HAVE gotten them to think outside their little bubbles. (Favorite programs: the author who read from her work and brought her old homework in for the kids to read; the amazing discussion and insights generated by three girls who kind of hijacked the club with Bebe Moore Campbell's picture book "Sometimes Mommy Gets Angry"--about living with a bipolar parent; our anime programs which are always popular...and which open the door for me to sneak in some fantasy and horror novels...hey, we haven't done so bad now that I think about it. What we are really doing, we figure, is giving the kids attention they don't get at home and that's probably a good thing.about unsupervised children
We have the laws for our state prominently displayed and got cursed out by parents who see us as unpaid sitters ('cause we sit around on our asses all day doing nothin'" yes, and since I KNOW you don't have a job, describe to me why it is you need a baby sitter?) I have threatened one mother with calling DCYS because her 16 year old daughter drags her own year old son to the library, then sets him free while she plays on myspace. Momma told me she was getting custody of the boy--her grandson. Well, she may have custody of him, but she still allows daughter to take him with her. When her older son (14 years old) was suspended from the building for a month--but kept coming in anyway, we called and were told "He's asleep in his room". We told her to check his room since he appeared to be practicing astral projection. She wouldn't do it.
This is the kind of mentality we're up against. It's a place where, if you act with respect toward your elders or like to read or study you are "acting white" and you get beat up for it.
(I'm always amused how these kids are all about respect, but when someone shows actual, real respect, they are "acting" white and need to be beat up. I'm also disturbed by a mindset that equates things like common courtesy, common sense and behaving in a responsible, intelligent manner as being a "traitor" to your race. What does that say about YOU and your image of yourself and your race, if you spurn manners and self improvement? Are you actually trying to prove bigots, racists and like idiots CORRECT in their own illogical rantings?
(Sorry, the Boss says I am like a border collie in that I believe if I use logic and post enough signs and chase after everyone they will fall into line like sheep...I guess I'm just very naive and need to slapped with a clue by four.)
And having re-read this, I realize that I am beginning to ramble. I didn't intend to and apologize. It's late, tomorrow's another day (we're closed and I get to do PAPERWORK! YAY!!
) Anyway, if you actually made it all the way through this whine, rest assured, I actually like a lot of my patrons and my job...but this latest tribe of rugrats, their entitlement minded parents, and the do-nothing government system we have in place is just making me a teensy bit crazy...
Thanks for listening....I remain
Lily "we need an emoticon for mad, hysterical laughter" Such
Next post I promise not be a drama queen anymore....