Thursday, January 18, 2007

Miss Information is annoyed by a bad speller

A kid approaches the adult reference desk. He’s about 7 and mumbles. He wants to know how to spell a certain word, but Miss Information can’t figure out if the word is “crater” or “creator”. Miss Information asks for clarification. Can the kid use the word in a sentence?

The kid obliges. The sentence he offers is this one: How do you spell the word crater (or creator)?

Hm...Miss Information needs a bit more help with this. She asks the kid if the word is “creator”, like when you invent or make something, or “crater” like the holes on the moon. The kid, who has started to get a bit annoyed himself, replies that it’s “crater (or creator)" like the website.

Oh. Amazingly this doesn’t help. Miss Information writes down a couple of options and the kid goes away. He returns to tell her that neither of them was the word he was looking for. Miss Information realizes that there is an almost endless combination of letters that could be used and she tells the kid to use a website whose address he can spell.

It is yet another example of why Miss Information is not cut out for children’s services.


At 3:43 PM, Blogger No one asked us said...

I once had a young patron (about 10-12 years old) who said he wanted information on pollygamy. I had no idea what he was talking about until I had him right it down - then I realized he meant polygamy! Yikes. I asked him if this was for a school assignment and he said "Yes". I gave him the call number and let him find it for himself - I did not want to be there when he found the information.

At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Todd said...

Well, at least he didn't ask you how to spell "TVO" or "YTV" (for and respectively). I've had requests for both.

...And by the way, it was "crater" as in This is how I know that I've been working at the Children's desk for far too long.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

I most often have to spell "disneychanneldotcom" and "cartoonnetworkdotcom" for the young people. Once, I was helping two or three people at once, so I wrote it on a piece of paper for the kid, rather than walk over to the PC. "I can't read cursive" he said. Only, I had printed it. So, an A in name-brand recognition, but an F in reading.

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Miss Print said...

Miss Print laments that library staff, who at one time put their valuable skills to use encouraging the love of reading and helping people find information, now spend their days supervising digital arcades and clearing paper jams.

Did children in Ptolemy II's time expect to be entertained at the Great Library of Alexandria? Methinks not.

Game sites should be blocked on computers in research institutions. Youth who want to play digital or video games should hang out at arcades in creepy corners of the mall like their parents did in the good old days (and trudge five miles through the snow to get there).

At 3:13 PM, Blogger Misanthropina said...

Miss Print makes an excellent point: when they rebuilt the Library of Alexandria, did they include a children's room complete with story time?

At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to our bloody stupid pain-in-the-ass library kiddy computers, I once had to spell "Barbie," as in "," for a girl WAY old enough to know! (Of course she wanted to play the Barbie video games -- and our wonderful library computers are educational in WHAT way? Hmmmmm.)

OK.... I can't help but notice licensed Barbie apparel and backpacks and notebooks and other strange and varied items being worn and toted around by multitudes of kids around us every day, all the time.... AND, if you ever watch kiddy TV, there seems to me to be alarming numbers of commercials for good ol' Barbie and her friends 'n stuff (accessories not included, haha) -- as one would expect, 'most all of these items prominently proclaim the name "Barbie" in big, bright, bold letters with hearts and flowers and WHATEVER for all the world to see and be awed....

Now, here we have this PRETEEN girl who has perfectly good eyes (she can sure spot her mom coming from miles away and slip away from the computers when Ma hasn't given her the OK to use them, LOL), and this kid's an after-school regular so I know full well she can read AND I've even seen her check out some of those little books about Barbie's wonderful adventures, or whatever Barbie books would be about LOL.

How can this kid NOT KNOW how to spell a six letter name she sees all over her school and library and TV every day?!?!

I've had to spell some pretty crazy and/or dumb stuff when I'm stuck on the kiddy dept. desk, but I have to say that my mind was incredibly, and horrifically, boggled by this one!!

Just when ya think you've seen it all.... scary, eh?



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