Tag Archives: moment of cute

Headed for Hoggetowne (Plus Moment of Cute!)

Ahoy, mateys!

I’ve been spending the last week or so in desperate preparation for the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, which starts this weekend and ends next weekend.

Wenchy Bookaneer

I wore a “dress-code-friendly” version of my wench outfit to the library today!

The Faire’s been kind of consuming my whole life outside of work and school and it’s been a little overwhelming! On Saturday we had a wench rehearsal, and had a lot of fun. We love to laugh, and we think we’re hilarious! Then I had a meeting with a producer friend about maybe recording some songs for an EP? Which would be crazy awesome. I think we’re going to see how Faire goes before we think about spending money on professionally recording ourselves. On Sunday the Theives’ Guilde (the troupe that does the Living Chessboard each year) had their dress rehearsal for the City, and it went swimmingly. I also got to sing my song for the other producer of the show, and the actors and I worked out some cues. You can see and hear me sing a song about how great Hoggetowne is at the opening gate scene at 9:45am, just before the gates open and let the masses in. If you’re not inclined to wake up that early, I will be performing as Cherri Tart with the rest of my wenches in Just Desserts at 12:30, 2:00, and 3:30. Come high-five the Bookaneer!

Just Desserts Card

We even got business cards! (/shill)

 

Moment of Cute:

I want to share this story with you because I think it’s a perfect example of why I love my job so much. (Also because everyone likes Moments of Cute.) I had just stepped out of our work area and into the Children’s Department floor, about to head upstairs to the desk. As I walked toward the stairs, a little girl of about nine or ten approached me and said, “Excuse me, ma’am?” I asked her what I could do for her and she said she was looking for the Inkheart books. “Do you know who writes them?” I asked. She shook her head and I said “I THINK it’s Funke. Let’s go check.” I walked her over to the fiction section, explaining that they’re in alphabetical order by author (librarianing, as it is apparently called, though I just think of it as an aspect of bookaneering), and when we got to F…Fu…Fun… “There they are!” she exclaimed happily, and picked up the first book from the bottom shelf. “Thank you!” She looked at me like I was a miracle worker. “I’m glad I was right!” I grinned, and then we high-fived and it was awesome. I LOVE it when kids have so much enthusiasm for reading. I hope she hangs on to it.

 

Tonight I’m going to Cupcake‘s to try on my new bloomers, and then tomorrow is the Faire! Huzzah!

Keep bookaneering, everyone!

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Ch-ch-ch-changes

Lots of big news happening in and around the library the last couple weeks!

First of all, the biggest news: I was chosen for the promotion to Library Specialist in our Adult Services department! I started last week with training, and am now a member of the library’s reference staff. This is my second promotion since I started working for the library district last December, and I’m very excited about it. It’s a new department with new responsibilities, and I’ve already been selected to attend some product presentations on behalf of my supervisor to decide if we want to purchase new software for the library (one of those was last week, on my third day!). I’m really looking forward to learning new things and helping other people learn things too. In this department I get to put on programs of my own choosing every six weeks or so, and my first one will be on Valentine’s Day! I’m planning on having a cool retro Sock Hop, and I really hope it’s successful! Do you all have any ideas about programs you’d like to see at the library? I would love some suggestions!

Speaking of successful, our party to kick of National Friends of the Libraries Week went swimmingly! After a month of meetings and planning and creating posters and setting up displays, the big day finally arrived on Sunday, and everyone loved it. We committee members came in at noon to set up and place the decorations, and festivities started at three. The program was very cool and featured a great slideshow presentation, the food was delicious, the music was perfect (I was placed in charge of music because I had an old CD made by a friend when we graduated from high school, full of songs about friendship) and all of our guests seemed to have a really wonderful time. My friend the Brash Librarian was there, too, as well as members of the Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors, some of our local political representatives, and many of our Friends. The best part was when one of the Board of Trustees mentioned my centerpiece tags in her speech! It was so flattering, and I was a little embarrassed. My fellow committee member GM and I had designed the centerpieces around all the things our Friends have done for us, so each table was unique. They featured pictures of our bookmobile, author galas, book donation bundles, music CDs, children’s books, and more. On each centerpiece we hung a tag that gave a little more information about what each centerpiece represented. We worked really hard on them and all the guests seemed to have fun going to each table and learning about how much the Friends do for us! Some of our Friends were surprised to learn about all the different ways they’ve helped us over the years!

Another sad change is the closing of one of my favorite places in town, the Laboratory. I’ve been going to the Lab since they opened three years ago, and it’s been incredible to watch how they’ve changed and grown over that time. I even had my graduation lunch with all my family members there, and Larry (the owner) opened the place early just for us. Unfortunately, the building is under new ownership, and Larry is unable to afford the much higher rent the new landlord plans to charge, so they will be closing at the end of this month. Last Thursday marked the very last Nerd Nite to occur at the Lab. One of the guys who runs our local Nerd Nite, CD, asked me and my wench troupe (one of whom is my friend Toni) to perform there after seeing us at an open mic night. We were happy to oblige, and managed to gather a bedful (our term for a quorum/majority) of our gang to sing some naughty songs and have some fun. We all had a good time, and I think the crowd did too! Afterward were some very cool presentations, and we even made ice cream with liquid nitrogen! On Saturday, the Lab held its pre-Halloween party (since they’ll be closed by actual Halloween) and I dressed in my Velma costume (which I will be wearing on Halloween at the library!) and went to hang out and bid farewell to such a great venue. Larry gave a very touching speech, and I cried a lot, but in the end it was a beautiful evening and a nice way to put the old girl to bed, so to speak. 😦

Bold Moves October has been going well, I think; I’ve been making positive changes that I would have been otherwise too scared to do. I’ve been thinking about making video book reviews, but I’ve been too nervous to start them. I think with this last week of Bold Moves October I will finally get on the ball and start vlogging! I might do a reading for All Hallow’s Read, too, but I have to pick a story first! What do you think? Should the Bookaneer become a Vlogganeer?

And now, your Moment of Cute: A man with three small boys was checking out across the lobby, and his kids were getting a little antsy and running around. He warned them to stop running, and pointed at me, saying that I am mean and will tell them they can’t come back if they don’t behave. I interjected, protesting his throwing me under the bus but did tell the kids to please stop running. He and the boys came over after they were done checking out, and he said that they were going to apologize for running and they wouldn’t do it again. The oldest one, about 5, said, “But dad, I wasn’t running; I was speed-walking!” His dad says that he’s a future lawyer! 😀

Keep bookaneering!

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In Which I Am A Superhero

We’ve had a busy week at the library! Wednesday we had a retirement breakfast for the lovely and talented Meredith Pierce, who is leaving the library after 25 years to spend more time writing. She is an accomplished YA fantasy novelist, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! Thursday was our “reopening” party because of all the renovations on the third floor; we’ve swapped the collections, opened a new quiet reading room, painted, re-carpeted  and generally changed the layout of the whole adult services areas. It looks great, and all the bigwigs came to celebrate. On Saturday we had our annual Family Literacy Festival, which was a big hit! A lot of kids came to be recognized as part of the Million Minutes of Reading, there was a play, some dance performances, and booths set up by local businesses giving out cool swag. I wandered around on my lunch break (as everyone was breaking down) and ended up with a Publix bag, a Florida football poster, and I got to make a button!

My totally cool Bookaneer Button!

It was a lot of fun and the kids all seemed to love it. The Literacy Festival is a great way for parents to get their kids interested in reading and TH and her staff of amazing volunteers did an incredible job!

The other day I was at  work and patron came up to the desk and asked if I was a performer at the medieval faire. I told her that I was (I sing with a group of women in a wench troupe, we sing naughty songs and tell jokes) and she said that she recognized me! She told me that she thought I looked familiar but then she saw my necklace (a Celtic knot I always wear) and she knew it was me. She mentioned that she loved our act and she can’t wait to see us next year! It was really flattering (and a little embarrassing!) and kind of surreal. Does this mean I’m famous? I’m pretty sure this means I’m famous.

 

I needed to rent a car this week while mine was in the shop, and the Enterprise representative who picked me up made conversation by asking where I work. Great question! I managed to not talk his ear all the way off about the library and how great it is that we offer so many services. He was really impressed by the idea of downloading audiobooks to his phone to listen to while he was at the gym, since he said he’d been listening to the same music for a while now and was getting tired of it. I told him to stop by any of our branches with a photo ID and proof of address and we’d be happy to get him started! I really hope he does, new patrons are my favorite! (Except for my old patrons that I already know and love!) Besides, as I’ve mentioned, September is National Library Card Registration Month!

And now, the meat of today’s post: A young man called the library in a state, and said that he had returned some DVDs over the Labor Day weekend, but one of them apparently hadn’t been checked in! He had received a bill notice in the mail and was panicking, not sure what he could do. He said he was nearly positive that he’d returned it, and he would be willing to pay for it if it came to that, but he’d rather not. I told him not to worry, and that I would take care of everything for him. I said I’d take a look around for it at the library, since it hadn’t been checked out again, but that I couldn’t put it on the “Claimed Returned” list since it had been billed to him. I advised him to look for it at his home just in case, too. I promised to email him within the next day or so with the result. He thanked me profusely and I told him I would fix it. We happened to have a lull that evening and I let my coworker know I was going to go do a quick shelf-search. The DVD was discovered exactly where it was supposed to be, on its shelf; it had apparently just accidentally been skipped on check-in in the mad influx we’d had over the holiday. I checked it in for him to clear his account, and emailed him to let him know the good news. The next day I received an email back saying how grateful he was to me, proclaiming me and the library to be “so awesome”. It was a really nice gesture, and made me feel appreciated, which is not always a feeling you get as a public servant (fortunately my patrons are usually pretty good about that). Never fear, The Bookaneer is here to save the day!

 

Weird, but Funny:

A lady came in holding an infant, and said “Yes, I’d like to get her a library card.” “Her, who?” I asked, bewildered. “Her,” she replied, gesturing to the baby in her arms, who must have been a few months old, at best. “Oh,” I replied, “you have to be four years old to get a library card here. Sorry!” Why does your baby need  a library card? She can’t even recognize faces, much less read or watch anything. RW told me that we used to issue library cards to “unhatched” babies, even, though we changed it when we switched to Polaris in June.

 

Weird, but Cute:

I was balancing DVDs on my head across the lobby, as usual, and a little girl turned to her mother and said “Mommy, look!” “That’s cool!” said the mother to the daughter, “she could be an African!” What? I am clearly a PRINCESS. Maybe an African Princess?

 

Moment of Cute:

A kid of about 11 wearing a red fez came into the library with his mom to return some books. I said, “Hey, a fez! Fezzes are cool,” which is a reference to the popular British television show Doctor Who. He broke into a wide grin and said “Yes! You get it! Awesome!” and gave me a high five. His mother smiled and rolled her eyes, saying, “he loves that show, I don’t get it.” I winked at him and said “We Whovians always recognize our own,” which made him grin again before they wandered upstairs. I love tiny nerds-in-training!

 

Keep bookaneering!

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The Most Wonderful Day of the Year

So, I’m still recovering from the chart-breaking levels of incredibly cool that was Talk Like A Pirate Day! It really was an awesome experience, and everyone had so much fun with it. My costume was a huge hit! All of Youth Services was dressed in pirate garb, and I was shang-hai’d as soon as I got in to get my “pirate booty” from their treasure chest. I scored a skull-and-crossbones bandanna and a Jolly Roger temporary tattoo.

Sweet tat!

This is my sweet Jolly Roger tattoo. Be jealous.

Later, I picked up a couple of pirate rubber duckies, after I saw another kid with one and told KD in Youth Services that I would pay good money for them. She just let me have them! They are especially great because my bathroom at home is decorated with rubber duckies. One came home with me, and the other sits on my desk here at the library.

Ahoy, me duckies!

Pirate ducky on the left now adorns my desk, while pirate ducky on the right is at home in my bathroom.

Moments of Cute and Weird, But Funny:

I had a bunch of kids say “ARR, MATEY” to me, bedecked with eyepatches and bandannas, and they were all thrilled when I said “AVAST” back. One kid asked me why I had feathers on my hat, and I told him it was because I was the Captain of my pirate ship! He was very impressed. One adult patron asked me the name of my ship, and I replied with “The Magpie”. He then asked what year my ship sailed? I gave him a straight-faced answer of “1607.” He seemed to find that acceptable and moved on. Several people asked “why are you dressed like that?” Sometimes I answered truthfully. Sometimes I answered, “Dressed like what?” I also got to spend the day threatening patrons with walking the plank and being keelhauled unless they brought their books back on time, which is something I wish I could do all the time!

 

One of my coworkers told me that she heard an ad on the radio for free donuts for pirates from Krispy Kreme, so I stopped by on my lunch break. I walked in and the gentleman behind the counter just handed me a dozen donuts without uttering a word! I told him thanks and happy sailing, and brought back my prize to share with me librarrrry crew.

Of course, not everyone could enjoy the levity of Talk Like A Pirate Day. I had a couple patrons ask me why were celebrating criminals. I had another say that Krispy Kreme should be giving those donuts to homeless people instead of people dressed in costumes. To them I just shook my head, because they obviously don’t know how to have fun. On the other hand, one young man said I shivered his timbers! I told him to come see me at the medieval faire, where I am a performer in a singing group, and I would be able to respond to him then, since it wouldn’t be appropriate at the library. 😉

That evening, I went to my other singing group rehearsal, and as soon as I arrived, the others decided they should dress as pirates too! We had a pirate-y practice, then I took one of my mateys and we went to get MORE donuts. I took these to my favorite venue, which was having a fundraiser, and the donuts and I were welcomed with open arms. Nothing like attending a dance party dressed as a pirate!

Anyway, this year’s Talk Like A Pirate Day was beyond compare, and I’m so glad I got to share it with everyone at my favorite place.

The Bookaneer in her natural habitat

The Bookaneer in her natural habitat!

 

Keep bookaneering, mateys!

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Welcome to Crazytown

I was thinking on Wednesday that nothing weird had happened for a few days. ‘How will I update my blog?’ I thought, despairing. Fortunately, the fine patrons of our lovely public library never fail me, and this week they DELIVERED.

A young man came in to the library to pick up his holds, he had eight CDs. He didn’t recognize one of them, and we confirmed on his account that it was supposed to be another album (CCR’s “Green River”. Good choice!) I thought maybe the slips had been swapped, but when I checked the wrong CD in, it turned out it was still checked out to someone else, despite being on our shelf! I told the guy he could come back another day when he came to pick up the rest of his holds (he had several more being shipped), and hopefully I could find it in the meantime. I looked for it on the carts in the work area, no go. Finally, I went to the shelf, and found it right where it was supposed to be, if it wasn’t supposed to be trapped for our patron. I discovered that the culprit of this comedy of errors was a coworker who retired that same day, so I guess we will let it slide. 🙂

Speaking of retiring, we had a really nice party for GY on Wednesday, who has retired after 22 years of service at the Alachua County Library Headquarters Branch. She got a sweet plaque, a lovely plant, and a nice card signed by all of us in Circulation. Her family came to the party, and some other friends who had retired already or moved to another branch. She was really happy, and when asked what she planned to do on Thursday, she said SLEEP, then READ. Good luck and enjoy retirement, GY!

Also on Wednesday, my dad came to visit! He was in town for a meeting (he works for DCF in Jacksonville) and stopped by the library afterward. He wandered around for a bit before I was able to see him, then I took him downstairs to our work area, since I had phone duty and couldn’t leave. His comment about coming to the our work space was “I’ve never been inside the guts of a library before!” I told him it was pretty much like every other office! (Of course I didn’t show him the secret room where we conduct our black library magic rituals. He’s not an initiate.) We got to chat for a bit while I trapped holds and he told me he’s going on a trip to Brooklyn in a few weeks to talk about setting up a partnership between their library and social services department like we have here in Gainesville. Apparently some of our Library Partnership Branch staff is going to be there too, and the branch be used as a model! Our Partnership branch is award-winning, and combines the services of a library with the Partnership for Strong Families, which helps families sign up for food stamps and WIC, claim unemployment weeks, and other services for those in need. He could not stop singing the praises of our library, which always makes me feel good. Libraries are awesome!

Weird, but Funny: On Friday, we got a DVD in at the desk, and when AC and I looked at the back, we discovered that someone had added notes to it. One said “How is a person to read the back of the box if stupid people cover it up?” Another, smaller note above it said “Like this” with an arrow pointing to our barcode, which was covering up part of the DVD description. Not only were these notes taped on, but they were taped to the INSIDE of the plastic covering. As I said to AC, people are never as industrious as when they are being passive-aggressive!

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Moment of Cute: On Thursday, a big “I SPY” book was checked in through the book drop. I opened it to check for condition, and I saw that someone had carefully written in a shaky print in the “This Book Belongs To” bookplate the words “All people in Gainesville”! I thought it was adorable so I didn’t erase it. Even I have room for adorableness in my black little librarian heart! Look how cute:

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I also had an interview on Friday for a Library Specialist position in the Adult Services department! It pays a little more and means that I would be working at the reference desk and doing programs instead of in Circulation. I should find out in a couple weeks if I got the job! Fingers crossed!

 

Keep bookaneering!

 

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Bizarre Tales from the Library

Here we are, as promised, and I got another bizarre tale yesterday that will round this set of stories out to three, which is the best number, of course.

Story One:

This one is from my supervisor. He said he received a phone call from a woman saying that she’d checked out a book for her elderly mother. While reading the book, her mother unfortunately passed away. She had been enjoying the book so much, though, that her family decided to send the book with her into the afterlife, put the book in the casket, and buried her with it. Is your jaw on the floor yet? Mine was, too! My supervisor told me that the woman said, “I guess I owe you something for the book, huh?” Really? At least she offered to pay for it. I was so baffled that I was struck speechless (which is a feat!) Have they never heard of the saying “You can’t take it with you?” Do they adhere to the Ancient Egyptian belief that what goes in your tomb goes with you to the spirit world? Is she going to read the book to God? Utterly bizarre.

Story Two:

A woman came in to see if she had any holds to pick up. She didn’t have anything ready, but when I took a closer look I saw that one of her items had been on hold since April of 2009. Yes, that is 2009. My coworker AC and I started an investigation to find the book in question. We discovered that the book was checked out to an internal account that we haven’t even used at the library in over a year. The book has been checked out for THREE YEARS. So where is it? I went to the shelf, to see if it could have been put back without getting checked in and just hadn’t been checked out in all that time. No luck. We talked to JW, the supervisor, and she said that all the books still checked out to that account need to be marked “Missing/Lost” and withdrawn, since when we switched to Polaris the account was searched and what’s left could not be found. (She said it was originally over 300, and is now down to about 60. So that’s good!) We sent an email to Tech Services to see if another copy can be purchased for this poor woman who’s been waiting to read this book for over three years. I hope she still wants it!

Story Three:

Starting with the switch to Polaris, we decided to make our security measures a little stronger. We now require either a library card or photo ID in order to check-out or pick up holds. Doesn’t seem too stringent, right? There are some complainers however, including Mr. P, (whom I don’t actually know at all) who came to pick up some holds yesterday. He started grumbling when I asked for his ID, and I joked, “Well, you know how we like to follow the rules at the library!” He said “Oh I know” and informed me that he believes the Nazi-socialist movement must have been started by librarians because we need to check on people even if they’ve been coming to the library for ten years and then muttered something about Big Brother and keeping tabs on people as he wandered off with his books. Yes, you are correct, the library is a place where we keep tabs on all our citizens and we have a giant database dedicated to our Nazi-socialist movement. You figured it out. What?

Bonus Mini-saga:

The main staircase in the lobby that leads up to our adult and teen area is currently being tiled, which means it’s been closed off all week and patrons need to use the elevators to get to the third floor. This combined with the rearranging of the collections has caused a panic amongst our patrons, who are, to say the least, resistant to change. We’ve received looks of confusion, despair, rage, and everything in between. We’ve been asked if the whole upstairs is closed. We’ve been asked how to get up to the next floor. We’ve had angry accusations that the elevators aren’t working, when they were actually just pushing the wrong button. (The children’s area is the first floor, making the lobby floor two, and the adult/reference/teen area floor three. Most people push ‘2’ and don’t go anywhere.) One man today became agitated and began shouting. A few patrons have chosen not to use the elevators and walked back out the front door. And the worst part? When I got to work on Tuesday at 12:30pm, the stairs were blocked off with hand-written signs that said “PLEASE USE ELEVATOR’S”. I almost cried. That kind of grammar abuse is just unacceptable at the library! But then I sat down, opened Word, and made new signs to replace them. One of the guys who was doing the tile said they were great and wanted extra for when they close off the children’s stairs. We’re hoping they’ll be done with it by next week, so we can all return to our normal lives without the sounds of people cutting tile interrupting our nice, peaceful library (haha).

Double Bonus! Moments of Cute:

A woman came in to pick up her hold, and she was VERY excited about it. I went to fetch it, and noticed it was a children’s book, called Superheroes: The Adventures of Max and Pinky. She said that it’s for her son, and they’ve read the first two in the Max and Pinky series and he can’t wait to read this one too! Her plan was to put it under his pillow and surprise him with it at bedtime. Adorable!

Another lady came in yesterday to pick up her hold, and it was a BIG BOOK called The LEGO Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination. She said her five-year-old grandson had been anxiously waiting for it. She said she’d never seen anyone so enthusiastic about something. I hope he builds something awesome!

My super cool friend DR came in today! She told me that she’s enjoying school (her mom home-schools her and she’s in eighth grade) and they come to the library on Fridays because she has fencing beforehand. I asked if she stabbed anyone today and she said she fights with sabers, so it’s more like beheading. I high-fived her. She is a totally great kid and I’m so glad she likes reading so much (she got another armful of books today)!

It took a long time to get this post together because I was working on it during my breaks today, but it’s done! I hope you enjoy it, and keep bookaneering!

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That Awkward Moment…

I was talking with my coworker (whom we shall call LB) and swapping silly patron tales. She’s been doing this a LOT longer than I have and has some really great stories! I was telling her about my blog and she gave me a story to share.

In the first few weeks of her employment as an LA (self-professed to be about a zillion years ago), she was answering the phones when she got a call from a patron who asked her quite seriously, “What books do you have?” LB very politely told the caller that they had many different kinds of books, could they be more specific? I told her that I would have said “All of them.”

We have lots of delightful patrons at the library (both in the sarcastic sense and in the genuine sense) but I feel closest to the ones that I bond with over books, music, or other topics. There is a young girl (we’ll call her DR) who comes in on a weekly basis with her mother and brother. The first time I saw her, I complimented her on her book choices. The next week she was back, and she very shyly asked if I was there every Friday. “Tuesday through Saturday!” I replied cheerfully. She said that she remembered my necklace. I asked her about the books she was checking out, since they were mostly about art. DR told me that she was taking the art class they were offering at the library. Now whenever she comes in, we wave at each other and talk about books and art together. She’s only 13 or so, and she reminds me a lot of myself at her age: shy, unsure of herself, but with a hidden awesomeness that is just waiting to burst through. As I told LB, I was really awkward in middle school, and in high school. Then I laughed and added that I guess I am still pretty awkward!

Last for the day, the ever popular Moment of Cute: I had a little girl, probably around age 8, and her mother come up to the check-out desk with a basket filled to the brim with books. They were all Juvenile fiction, and I asked the girl in an impressed voice if all those books were for her? She nodded vigorously, but didn’t say a word. I said, “Wow! You’re going to read all these books?” Another vigorous nod. Her mother added, “probably in a couple of weeks, too.” “You must really like reading!” I said, with a smile at her mother. Yet another fierce nod, lips still sealed. “Me too,” I replied, a big grin on my face. She smiled back. I wanted to tell her to read all should could, to devour everything she can find, that it would give her knowledge and knowledge is power and the more she reads the more powerful she becomes. I didn’t though, because I think that might be a little intense for an 8-year-old,  much less her parent, and the result might be a little TOO awkward! (I really hope she keeps that love of reading for life)
Stay tuned for more bookaneering!

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