Saturday, October 22, 2016


I was the Saturday Librarian (yes, it has its own hashtag) at Small Town Library today.

First, a woman was massively rude about a book she requested that was sent to a branch other than what she wanted (investigation revealed that, surprise, surprise, the problem was user error, but she still wrote a nasty note to our supervisor). She was so rude that our normally-very-nice circ lieutenant said after she left: "Good thing the thing she was waiting for was a book and not, you know, a kidney."

Also today, I approved a purchase order for $6,000 worth of magazines. That's about how much money I have in my savings account. Between that and being the sole representative of my department in the building today, I'm positively drunk with power.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Shush, you!

Today a man was kind of agitated because his new employer was having him fill out his W4 form online and the instructions weren't very clear, so he came up the desk and described his problem to me and asked for help. When we went back to his computer, which was in the back row of our public PCs, far away from the desk, his girlfriend was waiting for him. The first thing she said was "You need to shush! I could hear you all the way from here!"

It's funny how I love it when loud people's friends/family members/caseworkers shush them at the library so that I don't have to, and yet when strangers do it, it never ends well.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Triple Crown (at least)

It's only my first hour on the desk, but I already helped the ultimate library patron today. He was a man who needed help getting an online legal form (legal help) because he'd never even touched a keyboard before (computer illiteracy). He was so excited that I helped him get it and released his print job for him because he didn't have fifteen cents to pay for it (no money) that he started telling me about his prostate surgery (TMI medical talk AND genital talk) and asking me to pray for him for it to go well (religion).

In case that wasn't enough for the entire day, it's been a morning of phone abuse as well. So fare I've had to shush a man with his phone on speaker and to tell a man threatening to "shove my foot down her f***ing throat" that he was welcome to talk quietly on his phone, but to please keep it clean in the library. I also almost had to intervene in a young woman telling another patron that surely he was supposed to be in school and the truancy officer had better not catch him, but fortunately the security guard got there first.

Where are the cameras?

...please tell me there are cameras.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Odyssey

A guy with a lot of facial tattoos asked me where he could find the Odyssey. I showed him our editions and left him and his friend to pick out the version they wanted. As soon as I walked away I could hear him saying to his friend, "Dang, bro. Feel these pages! They weird, am I right?"

I think I noticed which edition he was picking up, and now I'm just dying to go back there and take a look at the second copy.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Today's conspiracy theories

Patron 1, when I tell her that a copy of Vatican Assassinsa book with asserts that the Jesuits killed John F. Kennedy, costs $125 on Amazon and the publisher is no longer in business: "Well, I guess that's not really a surprise, that they're no longer around. You hear about people who reveal these things that they don't want to get out, there is poison in their food and so on."

Patron 2 (totally unrelated 'question'): "Is there anything about medical capitalism, making people sick for money?...You're not allowed to talk about the elements in food. We have a periodical table of elements, but it's illegal to talk about it. The nutritionists who make the supplement catalogs, they can't publish anything about the geological elements that you need."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

This morning

Can you give me the application for a Belizean passport? How much would that cost?

How long should I cook a 3-pound beef roast, and at what temperature?

Can you access scholarly articles on these computers?

We want to know in how many states Republicans control the governor, the senate, and the house. We looked it up on our smart phone but we couldn't find it.

If you'd like to read more infrequently asked questions, Mo Willems (author of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and other excellent children's books) has an excellent list.

Monday, September 26, 2016


The reference desk has been quiet lately so I've started to get whiny about how little entertainment I have. I had to give myself a reality check by reading this article on the worst things librarians have been accused of by patrons:

My personal answer: Ms. Opp once called me a Nazi because I told her I could not answer her question because she had already used the allotted 3 phone calls per day.