Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It’s about a girl who gets cancer so they take her to this island. It’s supposed to be really sad.

Can you look up a movie for me? Antwone Fisher? Sorry, our copy is lost (actually, half of all the copies are lost) but it’s in at another branch—let’s put it on hold for you.

Restart a messed-up catalog computer.

How many things can you check out at a time?

Little girl is walking around lingeringly eyening all the library technology. She looks like she might be trying to check out books. I ask her if she needs some help, but she says no.

Lady holding a piece of paper: I don’t know how to pronounce this book. It’s for my book club…Molo…Mola…
Me: Do you have it written down there? Can I see it?
She hands over the paper. I can’t read my own handwriting on the last letter there. (I can) (While I’m looking up the book) It’s about a girl who gets cancer so they take her to this island. It’s supposed to be really sad.
Me: All our copies are checked out right now and there are a few people on the hold list; do you want me to add you? Can you wait a few weeks for it?
Lady: Sure. I have plenty of things to do.
Thanks for that less-than-enthusiastic book recommendation, lady.

The wandering little girl comes to the desk: Where are the Bluebonnet books? All checked out, I’m afraid, was there a particular one you wanted? Zita the Spacegirl. Place a hold for her.

Lady: “The printer, when it prints…”
Me: “Did you release your print job?”
“If it’s black and white, the big printer right there [is where it prints].”
“So, where do I release my print job?” (Called it.)

Is there any way I can put money on my [printing] account? I only have a credit card.
Aww, this is a public library, we don’t have credit card machines and stuff…

Books on Greek mythology for a teenager. I don’t usually ask why a patron wants something, but this time I did and she said it was just for her own amusement—she is a big Greek mythology nerd!

Do you give temporary IDs for people from outside of the area to get on the computers? Not unless you’re from a lot further outside the area than that, sir.

Help an adorable kid with her geometry homework at the request of a coworker, who says, “Are you good at math?” and then “I knew it! I can just tell.”

Give out a prize from Star Wars Reads Day to the world’s quietest child.

Cinderella books for the prize winner.

Beezus and Ramona, the movie. Then Sailor Moon, books AND movie.

Books about fairies. The additional specifications are revealed painfully slowly over a long series of searches.

Ma’am, you know you can see the regular catalog on that computer too, right? Not just the children’s one. Patron launches into a long monologue about how she teaches (“teaches” one-year-olds). It takes a while to extricate myself.

Do you have another of these? Sometimes it is hard to explain to kids that not every single book is part of a series.

I want to play the Wii.

Um, do you have a pencil I can use?


  1. Today the one I love the most is the woman who claimed she had released her print job when she really hadn't. When I first starting working as a librarian one of my problems was that I believe everything patrons told me.
    Last week there was a law student who told me she went to the shelf and a journal she needed wasn't there. "there weren't ANY of them there!" I said, "Well, I suspect this journal isn't with the regular HV call numbers--I think it's in the Human Rights library. Is that where you were?"
    Student: Yes, it is.
    Me: Well, let me check the catalog for a second. // Okay, this is showing that there should be 20 volumes in the Human Rights Library...that's on the third floor...is that where you checked?
    Student: Yes.
    Me: Well, I see from your piece of paper that you wrote "2nd floor" next to the call number...is there any chance you were there and not on the third floor in the Human Rights library?
    Student: Um....
    Me: Let me just show you where it is on the library map.
    Student: Um...I'll look again.

  2. (and I saw from the catalog later that she had found and checked out the volume she needed)