When there is inclement weather, the library will close early. This is for the safety of our staff as well as our patrons. Apprently, this does not sit well with some of our “everyday” patrons. A recent encounter with one of them went a little like this…
Patron: Are you closing early tonight like you did last week?
Me: I’m not sure. It depends on when the snow starts.
Patron: … (stands silently then lets out a “mm” and walks away)
Well… sorry that we want to keep people safe by sending them home early instead of when the snow is already piling up and the roads are slick.
Getting ready to close one night and one of the Children’s Librarians comes down and says:
Librarian: If anyone calls tomorrow and says I was rude to a child, they are absolutely correct!
I’m sitting at the AV desk, checking in DVDs and putting the discs away and notice a patron looking around. Finally, he comes up to me.
Patron: I need help looking for something. Do you work here?
Knowing this guy has seen me working behind the desk, I take a second, look down at my badge, then back up to him and answer.
Patron: Oh, okay. (starts walking away)
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Just so you all know I’m not that horrible of a person, I did catch him and tell him that I do work here. I did not think that he would believe me, but… I was wrong. Though part of me wishes I left it at that.
I also need to add that I get this question a lot… especially when I’m behind a desk. I mean, I’d understand if they asked me this question while I’m in the stacks putting books away, but when I’m behind a desk? Really?
People never cease to amaze me.
Patron comes in to renew book for son.
Patron: How much are books here?
Me: The books in our Used Book Nook are $1 for paperback and $2 for hardcover.
Patron: But you can’t buy this one? (holds up renewed library book)
Patron: Oh, because my son is going to need it for a while…
Me (Thinking): That’s what bookstores are for.
Patron: I’d like to use the computer.
Me: Okay, do you have a library card?
Patron: No, I’m from out of state.
Me: Well, do you have a photo ID? I can issue a guest pass for you.
The patron shows his driver’s license and I issue a guest pass, giving him the instructions on how to use the Guest ID to log into the computer.
A few minutes later the patron comes back up to my desk and says he cannot log in and the ID is invalid. I go over to his computer to help and before I can help, he is already typing in his Driver’s License number for the ID and when it fails, he looks at me asking why it didn’t work.
Me: Sir, you have to enter the ID that’s on the guest pass I gave you.
Checking out books to patrons is one of the easiest tasks of being a Librarian. It can also be one of the more enjoyable aspects of the job when you begin to talk about books with them. Sometimes the process is interrupted by having to renew a patron’s account or they have to pay a fine, but usually this part of the job goes without issue.
However, there is one thing that really bothers me when a patron comes up to check out.
There are times, and this happens way too often for my liking, when a patron places their books (or DVDs) on the desk and will stand there staring at me for at least a minute before they ask…
“Oh, do you want my library card?”
Um… yes! That’s why you have the damn thing! To check out items!
I mean really, you don’t go up to a register in a store, place your items on the counter and once the cashier rings them up you ask if they want you to pay for it. Granted, the process is reversed in a library – you give us your card, then we check out the books – but it’s common sense people! You are in a library! We need your card to check out your items.
Again, that’s why you get a card in the first place.