Saturday, April 20, 2019

Good (well, decent) Friday patrons

I'm not even supposed to be on the desk this hour. I came out to talk to a crabby patron who wanted to dispute a fine and then got trapped. The patron is mad because we charged her for extensive highlighting and underlining--the book was so bad when it was returned that we took pictures and then withdrew it on the spot. She keeps saying "But you have the book! How are you still charging me if I gave the book back!?"

Are you going to be closed tomorrow?

Can I ask you a wishy-washy question? What do you personally think the phrase "capture the narrative" means?

Kids: We found the Easter eggs you hid. Don’t worry, we hid ‘em again in new spots.

I wanna return these 10 movies, then I'm gonna get 10 more.

How do I print, x3.

How do I get on a computer, x10.

How old do you have to be to get a library card? Can I sign my sister up for one or does my mom have to come?

Can you help me request these books? I wanted the whole series but I only got two because the computer didn’t like me.

Is it possible for me to use a phone anywhere around here?!

A kid has an AMAZING tantrum when her mom won’t let her use the computer. I hand her a board book and she stops just long enough for me to get my hopes up that I'm secretly the Toddler Whisperer, then lets out an eardrum-shattering scream.

Oh, gotta go. I think I just spotted our security guard walking Not a Service Dog past the front door. Boundaries, SG! Boundaries!

Monday, April 15, 2019

I own this library

This weekend I finally had to ban one of our regulars from the library, not for one egregious incident but for a bunch of little things that just weren't getting better despite constant warnings from staff and one-day 'bans.' I felt kind of bad going to do it because she definitely has something aytpical going on mentally, and I don't know how much she really understands what we're saying to her. Here's how the conversation went:
Security guard: So you need to leave this library, and you won't be allowed to come back here for three months. Do you understand?
Patron: I'll be back next week.
Security guard: What?...But, the manager and I will be here and we will know you are not allowed.
Patron: Oh, you won't be here anymore. I own this library, and I will replace you. I just need a week to bring on some new people.

After we escorted her out, I found that she had glued a bunch of random objects to one of our wooden tables with a huge glob of super glue, so I didn't end up feeling too bad for her.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Great week

Chatty security guard: Hello, Emma! How are you today?!
Me: Fine, thanks. How are you? 
CSG: I'm great! This is a great week! Do you want to know why?
Me: Why?
CSG: Because the police and the EMTs have not been here a single day this week!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Patron of the week (and streets)

A patron called in and self-identified as an old lady. She asked about our book club and then said "And do you have any other activities that would help keep me off the streets?"

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Why did you come in, then?

Today a patron came in to 'sign up for a library card,' but when we checked her name in our system it turned out that she used to have a card a long time ago and owed us about $50 for lost books, so we couldn't issue her a new card until she paid her fine down most of the way. I was helping someone else so I didn't hear most of her discussion with my coworker. All I knew was that a couple minutes later, she stomped past my desk muttering angrily "I didn't want to read anyway!"

Friday, March 15, 2019

Not Thursday

Today at Walnut Bluff:

A man needs to print off some paystubs and doesn't speak any English at all. 20 minutes of help conducted entirely in Spanish, which goes better after I get him to write down "talones de cheque" so I can Google the translation and finally figure out what he is asking for. He and his dad are very patient, and Dad insists on introducing himself and getting my name on the way out.

Middle-aged patron: Is there a card catalog computer where I can look up books for myself?

Spend half an hour moving tables and chairs around for a program, no one comes.

I wear a button on my ID badge lanyard that says "My preferred pronouns: She/her/hers." I'm a cis woman who wears skirts to work, so I don't think it's really needed to help people figure out how to refer to me--it's more for trans or non-binary patrons who can see a signal that I'm probably not going to be awful to them. I was helping a teenager print a PDF that was causing them problems for some reason and they saw my button and asked where I got it. They thought it was so awesome that my library system had issued it to me. Then they asked me about an LGBTQ event that our neighboring branch is hosting next month, then they gave me a fist bump on the way out. Patron of the week for sure.

Do you have any books about BPD? Or general mental health, that would be good too.

While on the desk, I spend a lull running circulation reports, and then another lull trying to translate some of our flyers into Spanish.

Our heating is still out and our heating/cooling system is just a bunch of fans spread around the library. One of my coworkers goes to snap at a patron who reaches out to adjust one, I jump in and say "Go ahead, ma'am." I love being the manager today.

Man: I am here for the English class.
Coworker: I'm sorry, that class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Man: It not Thursday now?! 

A kid wants The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey--I love those books. 

Do my half-hourly walk around, picking up trash and refilling the toilet paper in the bathrooms. I wonder what our annual toilet paper expenditures are.

Children's librarian needs to talk to me about summer reading. "These people say they will come for free, but I've heard they are really unreliable. If it's okay with you, I'm going to put in a funding request to get someone else." 

Sorry, sir, you need to leave your Uber scooter outside. Those things have been causing us enough trouble lately as it is.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The last straw

My most laid-back coworker (the one who gave me a Sandra Boynton board book about dinosaurs when I was having a stressful day) comes from a long career in food service so he's seen it all and normally doesn't bat an eye when patrons are awful to him or to the library. However, today he was walking across the parking lot to his car after a long shift and spotted a half-empty bottle of Coca Cola sitting by itself in an empty parking space. He walked over, seemed to take a deep breath, clenched his fists, looked up at the sky, and shouted "Motherf*****! People are animals!" before picking it up and stomping over to the dumpster to fling it inside.