Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?

Which side of the turkey has the most feathers?
drum roll please....
the outside.

But wait, there's more! Here again, as promised, we have our traditional Thanksgiving shaggy dog story, the almost true, ok, not at all true, story of the library parrot at Thanksgiving, first posted in 2010

The Library Parrot at Thanksgiving

Some libraries have library cats as recounted in Dewey, the Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, or aquariums in the children's room like the one at the New Providence Library down the road; one library where I worked had a Guinea Pig in a cage on the big oak library table in the reading room. The G.P was low on entertainment value as he hid in his cardboard tube most of the time during daylight hours. By far, the most remarkable library pet I've ever heard of was a parrot: Decimal.

Decimal, the parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird's mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. Decimal swore like a sailor and could peel the wallpaper off the wall at thirty paces with his salty vocabulary. The library staff tried and tried to change Decimal's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and modeling proper library behavior in an attempt to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary, but to no avail. Decimal continued to offend everyone, including the library's patrons. The library Board of Trustees had received many complaints about the parrot's behavior and the Director felt pressured to rehabilitate Decimal or give him away.

One day, the Library Director was fed up and yelled at the parrot. "If you don't clean up your act, you're gone, I mean it, gone to that perch in the sky!" The parrot yelled back. The Director shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. "@!!??""**!!!"
In desperation, the Director grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer in the staff kitchen. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.
Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, the Director quickly opened the door to the freezer. The parrot calmly stepped out and said,
"I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions.
I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully
intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable
The library staff was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude and wondered what had made such a dramatic change in Decimal's behavior, but before anyone could ask the reason, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

Thanks to my college roomate for sending me the email that is the basis for this story.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, like most holidays, has many traditions. Here in library blogville, the tradition is to post the infamous Thanksgiving shaggy dog story, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.That's coming next week. Another tradition is to put up displays of Thanksgiving themed books for patrons to browse and check out. In the Children's Room, there are picture books explaining the origins of the holiday. Upstairs we put out cookbooks to address the menu bewilderment of our patrons. We used to keep the Butterball turkey hotline number front and center, but now many people look online for the answers to their turkey-roasting questions. Still, we'll keep that number handy next week and have the FAQ's for how not to poison yourself with old stuffing kept at bacteria-friendly temperatures overnight.  The image is a collage of books we have on display on the slatboard display upstairs featuring a cookbook, a history of the holiday, a general Thanksgiving instruction/history/FAQ book and a 'Murder She Wrote' mystery based on the TV series with a Thanksgiving theme. Oh that Jessica Fletcher, what has she gotten herself into now? It may be difficult to find the time to read with the holidays coming up, but maybe you could just browse in a spare moment. This year marks an incredible confluence of holidays: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah coincide, so we have added Hanukkah books to the mix in our displays.

Related websites:
Hanukkah information
Butterball's turkey and trimmings information
FDA Food Safety tips and information
USDA Turkey Basics

The FDA Food Information Line
1-888-SAFEFOOD (1-888-723-3366)
The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)
TTY 1-800-256-7072
Butterball Turkey Talk-Line 1-800-butterball

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tracking blog usage: how did you get to our blog?

You may have been searching for some random factoid on the internet and ended up on this blog. Why would that be? According to the Blogger statistical/analytics tool, the most common search phrases recently used which led to our library blog are:

spanish in action
george r.r. martin new book
how many trees does it take to make a book
if you liked a thousand splendid suns you'll love

mutant message down under controversy
kenny george shoe size
the calligrapher's daughter discussion questions
the watchung reservation weird story
authors in the style of agatha christie
berkeley hights train station

Is the Dewey Decimal System still used?
Cialis bathtub meaning
Onion snow
Gloria Guinness

Some of these search phrases lead to posts which are among our perennial favorites, such as Ellen's post about how many books can be made from a tree ? Also, Ellen's post about the famous black and white party always turns up in the top ten posts of all time. My post about books similar to Agatha Christie's mysteries is a biggie too. And of course, that ace reporting bit where I actually called the makers of Cialis to ask why they have people in bathtubs in their advertisements brings us a lot of blog readers, at least in passing. The telephone operator at the drug company seemed to expect the question but had an unhelpful scripted answer from which script she refused to budge.That was an actual reference question. Reference librarians always have a store of weird reference questions they have been asked in their careers. If you know any reference librarians, you have probably heard some of these stories. It's fun. It might not be fun to help people over and over and over how to use the copier or print out an email, but it is fun to get an unusually challenging question. So, fire away with your questions, but don't feel as though you have to think up questions just to keep us busy. We have one patron who thinks he needs to keep us hopping so he gives us riddles to solve. Meanwhile, if you landed on our blog 'by accident' or by a whim of Google's search algorithm, welcome, we hope you stick around to find out about what's going on in libraries these days.

Inspired by a post from 'Always Order Dessert'

Tuesday book group to discuss 'The Aviator's Wife' and 'Gift from the Sea'

Tuesday, November 12, the library's evening book group will discuss Melanie Benjamin's 'The Aviator's Wife' and Anne Morrow Lindbergh's 'Gift from the Sea.'
'The Aviator's Wife' is the fictionalized account of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's life from the time she met the great aviator Charles Lindbergh in 1927 until his death almost fifty years later. The book brings to life the fact that Mrs. Lindbergh was an accomplished aviator herself and published author. Lindbergh's book 'Gift from the Sea' has been a bestseller and inspiration for women since its publication in 1955. By reading both books, we hope to be able to compare Melanie Benjamin's portrayal of Mrs. Lindbergh with her own words about her life as expressed in 'Gift from the Sea.'

Take a look at our Anne Morrow Lindbergh book discussion Pinterest board for some images of the author's life.

Discussion questions:
Litlover's discussion questions about 'The Aviator's Wife.'