Tuesday, March 17, 2020


Considering we're all supposed to restrict contact with each other, it's ironic that yesterday seemed like one of my busiest days ever in the library. The school is having families come to collect belongings and laptops through Wednesday, and though they're scheduled in shifts to avoid having the entire population of the school show up at once, it seems that EVERY SINGLE PERSON visits the library. And I wind up face-to-face with them (albeit across my desk) and passing hundreds of objects back and forth. I'm not complaining, and I still think my chances of infection are slim -- I wash my hands like crazy -- but it IS funny. (Not funny ha-ha. Funny strange.)

I think there's a fear that we may be closed not just for the next few weeks but possibly far longer -- maybe even through the summer. Or that the UK will go into lockdown, in which movement is restricted and people are essentially required to stay home. Parents are checking out STACKS of books. (We removed restrictions on the number of books people can have, like we do for longer break periods.)

One parent asked me via e-mail to reserve 25 books in the Warrior Cats series for her son. This is a massive (and massively popular) series by multiple authors writing under a pseudonym, about tribes of feral cats. But Mom didn't tell me which ones her son had already read. I went back into his checkout history and did my best to figure it out. She later clarified and we set aside a pile, but the whole exercise took me a good half-hour at least.

This is all SO weird. When I go outside I half-expect to see zombies walking around.

Oh, and remember all the books we painstakingly wrapped for the 8th Graders? Well, that event got canceled. So my co-workers unwrapped them all again yesterday morning. I'm glad they did it before I got there because I would have wept.

This is my new t-shirt! It says "ERA YES" bracketed by the words "A man of quality is not threatened by a woman of equality." I ordered it from here, when I saw the most recent cover of Ms. magazine, which touts the continuing progress of the Equal Rights Amendment. It's always been a complete mystery to me why the ERA hasn't been fully ratified and incorporated into the Constitution -- well, I mean, I understand there's conservative, misogynist opposition, but the amendment itself seems so common-sense.

Anyway, this turned out to be the most expensive t-shirt I've ever bought. The shirt itself was $22.50, which is already a bit on the high side. But then the shipping to the UK was $41.70! And then I had to pay a customs duty when it arrived here -- about £21 (or $26). Altogether that comes to NINETY DOLLARS.

Seriously, I need my head examined. I should have just donated a hundred bucks to the Feminist Majority and left it at that.

(Top photo: Graceful shadows on my walk to work yesterday morning.)


  1. You could have got your brother to buy the T shirt for you. Then he could have mailed it to you as a gift. This would have saved you a lot of money. Impressive that you would do the borrowing research for the boy following his mother's special request. I would have said, "Go to hell lady! Slavery was abolished in Britain in 1833!"

  2. And the last paragraph. Yes. You do need your head examined. When I read something like this I know why I don't shop online...

  3. Wow! Yeah, a donation would have been a better idea, but at least it's a good T-shirt. Lots of funny, not ha-ha funny moments. Only necessities are open here... groceries, pharmacies, etc. For some reason hair salons were on the initial list of necessities. Then they weren't. Oh, and tobacconists! Any shop that is open, however, has crowd control. Few people allowed inside at one time. Large personal space is a requirement. And only one person at the register at a time. We had a package delivered today. The doorbell rang. I opened it and the deliverer waved to me from the elevator door. He had left the package on a flower pot. I brought it in, opened it, and washed my hands. VERY strange times.

  4. Our teachers and students are working from home as of yesterday. Office staff, administrators, and librarians are still working....for now. Like you, we had parents coming by yesterday to pick up needed materials, but the school nurses had to meet them at the front door to hand them their items and starting today even that has been stopped. The nurse thinks that the few staff still reporting to work will only be coming in for another day or two. My husband's jobs are gone indefinitely.

    I'm really, really stressed. I guess we all are.

    Stay safe, Steve.

  5. What a kind librarian you are. I think I've said it before, but that school is lucky to have you. And yes, even before I went to the grocery store I hit the library to check out three more books. Lock down without books is unthinkable. And no, I don't like reading on my iPad.

    Thanks for your very expensive efforts on behalf of the ERA!

  6. We are all so confused. At least I am.
    We are stockpiling books now too, I suppose. Or some of us are. We will get through this. I keep telling myself that.
    And it is a nice T-shirt. Wear it with great pride!

  7. I hope you wear that thing for a long time, expensive threads!

  8. These are indeed crazy times. I've done similar things - ordered something without thinking about the ancillary expenses & then had a whole whopping helping of buyer's regret. Ha! But it's a cool t-shirt, nonetheless :)

  9. Your library is very active in keeping the kids reading. I would think most kids would be glued to their device for the whole time.

  10. After I left work yesterday, the decision was made to have us work from home. I'm going to go into the the office this morning to pick up my work papers and my laptop. I never work from home because I need contact with users so I'm a bit nervous about getting things hooked up correctly. I may work in IT but I'm pretty much useless trying to figure out how to hook things. up.
    That is a VERY expensive t-shirt but I have to admit I'm happy you have it. It's a better message than some logo from a luxury brand.

  11. Wow, I've never had a $90 tee shirt. Enjoy it! I don't get into feminist things. I just try to treat everyone the way I'd like to be treated. Fairly and honestly. I agree, the school is lucky to have you in their library. Pogo and I stay in a lot so we're doing okay except for getting in supplies now and then. I have lots of books on my Amazon Kindle app. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  12. Happy to hear you got an ERA Yes tee shirt - and you can wear it with pride. However, I'm sorry that the shipping and fees were so much.

  13. You'd better treat that new tee shirt with care. It seems it would be a tad expensive to replace.

  14. Paying that much for a tee shirt is sort of like buying one at a concert but without the fun.
    Does your library offer Kanopy? I have not used it but have heard good things about this service. Seems it would be a great service at this time.

  15. You are a good citizen, trying to figure out that kid's borrowing history. You go above and beyond. Stay safe, my friend.

  16. It's going to be interesting to see how this terrible pandemic changes our daily lives. Here in California, those of us over 65 are in self-isolation mode per a request by our governor. My twin brother is in the bay area where 7 counties affecting 7 million people are in "shelter at home" mode. Many businesses and schools are closed already. I just hope everyone stays safe and healthy.
    Nice tee-shirt, but a bit on the expensive side!

  17. Again you are lucky to live in a walking city, you can get to the shops and pharm if needed without having to get on a bus or worse, the tube. We are shut down up here, for real, Grocery and drug store and banks remain open. Crazy t-shirt price! Next time have me order it and i will send it to you as a gift, no question about that, sorry that was not thought about earlier.

  18. Chalk that T-shirt cost up to experience, I guess :) Last spring we had two bows (as in bows and arrows, old fashioned type) shipped to our daughter and her husband on the west coast of the U.S. Because of the odd shape, and despite the light weight, it cost $400, and then they ended up back in Nova Scotia last October after all, while their bows remain in Seattle. Cue gnashing of teeth here, too!

  19. YP: I did have that impulse, I must admit.

    Alphie: Well, I could easily have abandoned the transaction when I saw the shipping cost. I don't know why I didn't, except that I'd already filled in all my information and I felt invested! I never even thought about the customs duty.

    Mitchell: We're not quite to the same point you are, but I think it's coming.

    Jennifer: I really think our school needs to reconsider the way it's handled this event. We're not nearly that restricted. And we probably should be.

    Marty: I agree -- lockdown without books is unthinkable! I would be lying if I said I didn't grumble about having to do all that work on behalf of that kid. So, outwardly kind, but inwardly grumbly!

    Ms Moon: We will indeed get through this.

    E: I'm never taking it off! LOL

    Bug: Well, live & learn. The shipping cost was the really insane part. There's no earthly reason why that should have cost $40.

    Red: Well, it may be the PARENTS who want the kids to read, and the kids, meanwhile, will be on their devices!

    Sharon: This whole event is going to take a lot of adaptation!

    Edna: I would say that treating everyone fairly and honestly is exactly what feminism is all about! I'm glad you and Pogo got home safely. I did worry about you flying right now.

    Colette: Well, I really wanted the shirt, so at least there's that.

    Catalyst: Hopefully by the time it wears out the ERA will be law and I won't NEED another one!

    Penelope: I don't know what Kanopy is. I'll have to look it up. Is it for online books or something?

    37P: Well, we got him sorted, and that's the important thing!

    Robin: Strange times indeed. I still can't wrap my head around it all.

    Linda Sue: Yes, it's so nice to be able to get out and walk around in the open to do what we need to do. As long as we don't need anything complicated or unusual we'll be able to survive in our neighborhood. My photography might get boring, though!

    Jenny-O: Shipping can be a rip-off. As we've both learned!