A mom comes up to my desk one day and she asks me if I can help her find a book for her son. I’m like, “Sure, no problem. What’s the title?” She tells me she doesn’t know. So, I ask her for the name of the author. She doesn’t know. I ask her if she can tell me what the book is about and again she says, “I don’t know.” However, this woman actually expected me to find it even though she has given me zero information on what book she is looking for.
News flash for those that don’t know. There are millions of books in the world! According to google it’s 129,864,880. That’s almost 130 million printed books in existence. I am not a magician. No, I don’t know what book you are thinking of and I don’t care that the title is on the tip of your tongue. I am not a freaking mind reader and flipping out on me for being “useless” is not going to solve the problem here.
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.