News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • August 19, 2017, 05:41:38 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Not Going To Happen 'Cause I'm Not Harry Potter (Impossible Patron Requests)  (Read 1379750 times)

1 Member and 3 Guests are viewing this topic.

SlitherHiss

  • Member
  • Posts: 231
Considering what I have seen in my 15 years in state government, I sincerely doubt that the government conspiracies even exist.  There is too much laziness, guesswork, poor decisions, and general loose lips for me to be anything but the cynical cuss I am today.

Oh, they definitely do happen - witness the news about the NSA collecting Americans' phone records en masse and how other agencies now want access to that database.  Obviously that particular situation has been going on for a while (no one will say how long), but it sounds like knowledge about it was restricted to the NSA.

Now, I'll definitely grant you that *most* conspiracies that people worry about aren't happening - we didn't fake the moon landing, we're not implanting mind-control drugs in corn flakes, etc.  But I think it's a bit naive to say that no conspiracies exist, given that we have big scandal exposés probably about once a year   :-\

To me that is more a demonstration that the government can try to keep a secret but doesn't seem to be very good at it. Especially in this digital, everybody-is-connected internet age.

There are secrets that government and public officials have kept for long periods of time before being suspected/found out. But it is generally secrets that very few people know anything about. As soon as people know enough to ask questions, you've lost control of your info.

I do agree with you about the digital age. It is really hard to shut someone up or deal with the fallout when they are tweeting to the entire internet (much to the chagrin of officials who have outed themselves). ;D

The problem with most of the big conspiracy theories out there (911-tuthers and the others with the "truth" about recent tragedies) is that they would require the cooperation of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Man of whom would have no particular motivation to conceal the conspiracy and plenty of motivation to expose it. My favorites are the alt-med people who are insisting that the entire evidence-based medical establishment are conspiring to hide tremendous, earth-shattering truths. Truth be told, it's nearly impossible to get three doctors to agree on a difficult diagnosis, much less keep some major secret. Or that the moon landings were faked. The sheer number of people who worked on the space program through the 60s is staggering -- and someone expects us to believe that they all kept this big secret?

It is possible for the government to keep a secret, but the more people who know it, the greater the risk it will be revealed. The NSA stuff got leaked as did the FBI's domestic spying in the 60s. Sustaining a conspiracy with a large number of people for a long time is nearly impossible.

What's that Ben Franklin quote? "Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead."

See also, Occam's Razor :)

cass2591

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3572
Move on from the conspiracy theories, please.
There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened. ~ Mark Twain

Adopting a pet won't change the world, but it will change the world for that pet.

Shea

  • Member
  • Posts: 3341
Love this time of the year.  School starts next week and we have scores of parents coming to get the required reading for their offspring.  I was helping at the desk and looked up the title Mom wanted.

LD: Sorry, our 5 copies are checked out. I can place a request in the system.
MOM: Well, I'm just going to have to go to (neighboring city) to check out a copy. [This said in a tone that I should be embarrassed at this prospect.]
LD: Here let me check their system.  We cannot get it, but let's check before you drive there.  Oh, their 3 copies are checked out.  I'll be glad to put a request in our system.
MOM: No, so, you're telling me I'll have to buy it.  (Again, disgusted tone of voice.)

We finished our conversation.  She moved into magic thinking by continuing to stand to the side (similar to behavior described in another thread). It was as if I was going to make a copy of the book appear because she was still there.   ::)

You're lucky that all she did. When I worked at a university library, I was subbing at the Reserve Desk one afternoon. There was a run on a particular book for one course that day--the moment someone returned it, someone else was at the desk asking for it.

At about 3 pm, a guy came to the desk and asked for the book. I told him it was checked out and due back at 5 pm. The kid basically threw a temper tantrum at the desk. Apparently, the class was having a quiz on the book that day--and class started at 5 pm. "They can't keep the book for three hours, " he yelled. "They can take the book and copy and then they have to bring it right back!" I believe there was some desk pounding, as well. 

The student demanded the name of the student who had the book, which I was not allowed to give out. So he started a search of the library, all 8 floors of it, looking for the poor student who had the book.

Half an hour later, he was back, without the book. It still hadn't been returned. But, the original student had picked up 6 or 7 of his classmates while on his search, and they were all standing at the desk, getting angrier and angrier.

I don't know where the kid who had the book was holed up in the library, but I was beginning to get worried about what would happen if s/he came up the desk while the mob was there. And I use the word "mob" on purpose--those students were angry.

I found an excuse to take a book out back and called Security while I was there. The security guard came and watch the group for a few minutes, as they kept talking and yelling and getting madder and madder. Then he called for the other security guard, and they made the group break up and leave the building, with the kids threatening to sue the guards because now they were going to fail their quiz because they weren't allowed to read the Reserve book.

Did I mention that it was the last week of the semester, and these kids had most likely known about having to read that book for 13 weeks? Waiting until a couple of hours before the class and quiz seemed like a lack of planning on their part. Not that I was going to say that to any of them.

Ugh, that sort of thing has happened to me many times (I also work at a university library), though fortunately a mob has never gathered. Students angry and panicking because the book they need for an exam is checked out and oh did I mention the exam is in 2 hours? Lack of planning and all that...


If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, librarians are a global threat.

Library Dragon

  • Member
  • Posts: 1440
Did I mention that it was the last week of the semester, and these kids had most likely known about having to read that book for 13 weeks? Waiting until a couple of hours before the class and quiz seemed like a lack of planning on their part. Not that I was going to say that to any of them.
Their lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on your part, camlan. ;)

I used to have a large poster that read: It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

The attitude that we should be ashamed that we don't have the required reading at the last moment is always amusing. 

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

camlan

  • Member
  • Posts: 9266
Did I mention that it was the last week of the semester, and these kids had most likely known about having to read that book for 13 weeks? Waiting until a couple of hours before the class and quiz seemed like a lack of planning on their part. Not that I was going to say that to any of them.
Their lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on your part, camlan. ;)

I used to have a large poster that read: It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

The attitude that we should be ashamed that we don't have the required reading at the last moment is always amusing.

Yeah, they were a little Special Snowflaky to think they could the book at the last minute.

But that was the one time in 7 years I worked there when I got a little scared. Just a tiny bit for me--I was pretty safe behind the counter. But I was seriously worried about what would happen if the student who had the book checked out decided to return while that group was still at the desk. They were very angry and maybe it was only trash-talking, but they were threatening violence.

Over a book.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Mel the Redcap

  • Scheming Foreign Hussy married to a Good Ethnic Boy!
  • Member
  • Posts: 2173
Did I mention that it was the last week of the semester, and these kids had most likely known about having to read that book for 13 weeks? Waiting until a couple of hours before the class and quiz seemed like a lack of planning on their part. Not that I was going to say that to any of them.
Their lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on your part, camlan. ;)

I used to have a large poster that read: It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.

The attitude that we should be ashamed that we don't have the required reading at the last moment is always amusing.

Yeah, they were a little Special Snowflaky to think they could the book at the last minute.

But that was the one time in 7 years I worked there when I got a little scared. Just a tiny bit for me--I was pretty safe behind the counter. But I was seriously worried about what would happen if the student who had the book checked out decided to return while that group was still at the desk. They were very angry and maybe it was only trash-talking, but they were threatening violence.

Over a book.

And of course if they'd been the ones to get the last copy of the book and be reading it while everyone else fumed, it would have been totally fair and anyone who objected would have been wrooooong. ::)
"Set aphasia to stun!"

Yarnspinner

  • Member
  • Posts: 2767
More "My Kid Waited All Summer to Read the Books He was Supposed To"  parents (and their kids):

A teacher at one of the local academies  assigned his or her students to read two books for the summer.  Two books of their own choice.  One had to be fiction, one had to be nonfiction and both had to have a theme relating to technology some how.  Of course, the teacher did not tell the public library about this, so we have had a stream of angry parents through who want us to find the bestest possible books fo their children.  The children, on the other hand, want the shortest and easiest books.  And, oh, if they could all be sitting in one spot labeled fiction and non fiction books on technology, even better.

One of my coworkers tried to make a cart of both fiction and non fiction books linked somehow to technology.

Non fiction isn't too tough.  But fiction?  I convinced one kid that CHerie Priest's "Boneshaker" had cool steampunk technology in it, so he went with that and something about the industrial revolution.

Others not so easy.  Especially the Mamma who kept holding up two non fiction books and asking which one was fiction.  Or she would pick out two fiction books.  And then asked "What's the difference?"  "Fiction is a made up story."  "Oh, okay.  So he can read Steve Jobs' biography for fiction and this Dummies book on computers for non fiction."  "No, he can't." 

Is the difference between fiction and nonfiction not taught in schools anymore? 

cwm

  • Member
  • Posts: 2337
Yarnspinner, it's not that it's not taught in schools, it's that nobody pays attention to schools anymore. Otherwise you wouldn't have people doing the last minute rush to get books in the first place.

MommyPenguin

  • Member
  • Posts: 4128
    • My blog!
What age are the kids, Yarnspinner?  I remember a fun series about a girl who wanted to be a reporter and was a reporter at her school.  She tried to do an Internet search on the school library computer and was very annoyed and all up in arms about the computer having a parental block on it.  The injustice!  Until she went home to try her search, received some *very* inappropriate results that she couldn't unsee, and realized why the library computer had such a block.  More of an older elementary/middle school age book, though, not HS.
Emily is 9 years old!  1/07
Jenny is 7 years old!  10/08
Charlotte is 5 years old!  8/10
Megan is 3 years old!  10/12
Lydia is 1 year old!  12/14

Luci

  • Member
  • Posts: 7551
Is the difference between fiction and nonfiction not taught in schools anymore?

Teachers and librarians attempt to. Some student's heads are more like sieves than steel traps when it comes to some things. And as parents grow up, more stuff seems to fall out of their heads if it isn't used.

Don't despair! Most of the kids know a lot of things. It's the just the thing they forget that calls attention to itself!

MommyPenguin

  • Member
  • Posts: 4128
    • My blog!
I remember it taking me the longest time to remember the difference between nonfiction and fiction, and between autobiography and biography, when I was in elementary school.  It took much repetition of needing to figure out which was which (occasionally I'd look at the shelves of biographies and autobiographies to figure out which shelf was obviously written by the person and which was obviously written by other people) before I really had them straight.  I ended up becoming a librarian.  :)  That said, that was elementary school, when kids are still solidifying their knowledge of left and right.  It wasn't high school, and it certainly doesn't absolve parents (who presumably either graduated high school or at least got GEDs) from having picked it up at some point.  I think it's indicative of a non-reader.  It isn't important if you don't read.
Emily is 9 years old!  1/07
Jenny is 7 years old!  10/08
Charlotte is 5 years old!  8/10
Megan is 3 years old!  10/12
Lydia is 1 year old!  12/14

Carotte

  • Member
  • Posts: 1744
I remember it taking me the longest time to remember the difference between nonfiction and fiction, and between autobiography and biography, when I was in elementary school.  It took much repetition of needing to figure out which was which (occasionally I'd look at the shelves of biographies and autobiographies to figure out which shelf was obviously written by the person and which was obviously written by other people) before I really had them straight.  I ended up becoming a librarian.  :)  That said, that was elementary school, when kids are still solidifying their knowledge of left and right.  It wasn't high school, and it certainly doesn't absolve parents (who presumably either graduated high school or at least got GEDs) from having picked it up at some point.  I think it's indicative of a non-reader. It isn't important if you don't read.

But, they're good old regular words!
Don't tell me the entire english speaking world doesn't use the words fiction/fictional beyond the fiction shelf of the library?

I know that kids and adults  sometime have trouble knowing what is fiction and what is not ("so, did unicorns ever exist? what about Narwhals?", "we sent a robot on Mars, did we sent people too like on the moon?") - but they should still know what fiction
means.

Just to add, we were visiting friends of the family who are hosting other friends, amongst whom is a 6 y/old boy. We were watching the BBC Who's the new Doctor show extravaganza, and the boy kept asking if it was real or not. I was thinking "if only ><"
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 02:02:59 PM by Carotte »

MommyPenguin

  • Member
  • Posts: 4128
    • My blog!
We don't use those words much outside of books, though.  People don't often refer to movies as fiction and nonfiction much (they do sometimes, just not commonly).  As for talking about unicorns or whatever, people often say "imaginary," that sort of thing.  Or they say something is "made-up" and didn't really happen.  I've rarely heard people say "fiction" or "nonfiction" unless they are referring to a book.
Emily is 9 years old!  1/07
Jenny is 7 years old!  10/08
Charlotte is 5 years old!  8/10
Megan is 3 years old!  10/12
Lydia is 1 year old!  12/14

Twik

  • Member
  • Posts: 28750
Is the difference between fiction and nonfiction not taught in schools anymore?

I once spent half an hour trying to convince a clerk in a bookstore that autobiographies would *not* be found under Fiction.

(Yes, I thought she was joking until she dragged me over to Fiction and would brook no argument.)
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Slartibartfast

  • Member
  • Posts: 10740
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Quote from: Carotte

Just to add, we were visiting friends of the family who are hosting other friends, amongst whom is a 6 y/old boy. We were watching the BBC Who's the new Doctor show extravaganza, and the boy kept asking if it was real or not. I was thinking "if only ><"

Google maps says it is!  (Click the double arrow toward the police box.)