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Archive for May, 2008
One last storytime on my plate…
Found elsewhere on the internet, and reposted.
10. If you are going to come to the library, you may want to bring your library card with you. If you don’t have a card, then you should probably have some sort of ID with you. In a similar vein, if you need to print of copy something, you may want to bring money with you. What type of person goes out to a public building with the intentions of acquiring a product or service from that building, without money or ID on them?
9. I am a librarian. I know about books and computers. I do not know how to do your taxes, what the wacky growth on your elbow is, or how to get free money for you to get new gutters. I cannot and will not do the work for you. I will point you in the right direction and provide you with whatever resources I know of that can help you, but it’s ultimately up to you to do the work. I am also not a social worker or a lawyer, so don’t assume I can tell you how you can get your kids back from your ex-wife or how to what steps are necessary for you to apply to get low income housing three states away.
8. When you come in needing help finding something (or someone) please have at least the most basic details about what you are looking for. When you come in and say you need a book about “a religion” and I try to do a reference interview with you and you keep shrugging your shoulders or saying “I don’t care” then we aren’t going to get very far. Likewise, if you want to look up that old flame of yours online it would probably be helpful if you knew their last name, roughly their date of birth, or at least one place they have lived in the past 10 years. I can’t magically pull up all the information you want when all you can tell me is she had brown hair and her dad was a mailman.
7. Don’t come in here with some get rich quick scheme or some “the government gone and gave me $10,000” nonsense and then get mad when I try to smarten you up to the scam. No company is going to randomly send you a gift card for hundreds of dollars to shop online. You are not going to win a free laptop or an Olive Garden gift card just because the pop up said so. If you can’t operate a computer and you don’t have one at home, it’s probably not a good idea to get involved in a “start your own online business and pull in six figures in your first month” venture.
6. If you can’t figure out how to get to “that game” you played the other day, don’t blame me. I don’t remember every online game that every patron plays. I also don’t know “that website” that your friends’ uncles’ fiancé told you about where you can look up information about people. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a mind reader. And believe me if I was, I sure wouldn’t be spending 40 hours a week babysitting, er, working, here.
5. I am sorry we don’t have the new release that you so covet. It’s checked out and there is a long waiting list for it. You see, that’s the magic of the library. You get your books, DVDs, CDs, and internet for free here; but the catch is sometimes you might have to wait a little while. If you don’t like it, by all means go to Barnes and Noble or Amazon. If you feel as though you don’t have enough time with your book, or your CD, or you computer… too bad. It’s FREE. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
4. Please use some common sense when you come into the building. Everyone knows the stereotype that all libraries are these quiet sanctuaries where you get scolded for breathing too loud. Granted, we aren’t nearly the ogres you may think we are, and our rules have been relaxed quite a bit over the years, but you still can’t bring a boom box in here playing profanity laced music at a decibel level that would surely rattle the fillings in my teeth. We don’t mind if you bring in a water bottle or even a Coke, as long as you have a lid for the bottle. But don’t bring in a bowl of soup with no cover on it in a flimsy container that looks like it’s made out of loose leaf paper. At least at this library we are even pretty lax on cell phone usage, except when you get to be too loud or your ringtone goes off every 7 seconds at full blast. Just use some common sense.
3. When you come up to the desk, please ask me for what you need. Again, I am not a mind reader. Do you need to check out books? Return books? Find a book? Reserve a computer? Use the bathroom? Get change for the copier? It’s extremely annoying to try to help someone who has a blank stare on their face and if they speak at all, it’s only in a low mumble that can’t be understood. Additionally, don’t be in the middle of a conversation with someone on your cell phone (talking OR texting) during our transaction. And if you must be on the phone, at least tell the person to hold on while we complete our business. Another hint: don’t come up to the desk being loud and rowdy, dropping vulgarities left and right to your friends. This will likely get you no service (on a good day) or an automatic one way ticket out of the building (on a bad day, which because of people like you are most days).
2. I don’t care if you like porn. I enjoy porn too, but here’s the difference – I don’t look at it in the library. Every day. For 12 hours at a time. With my fly down. And don’t think we are “signaling you out” because staff frequently walk behind your computer. We tend to think something odd is going on when a person in their mid 50s spends a lot of time on MySpace browsing the 16 and under set. And if you are going to look at porn, at least do it on the designated porn terminals. Trying to watch it at the computer right in front of the desk is probably not such a hot idea. And no, turning the monitor to the side and then minimizing your windows as staff walk by doesn’t seem suspicious at all! You surely have outsmarted us with your clever tricks, because it seems quite natural for a person to stare at a blank desktop wallpaper while pointing and giggling.
1. If a librarian tells you something, listen and obey them. If I tell you the printer is broken, that doesn’t mean try to print something anyway and complain when it doesn’t come out. If I tell you a book is checked out, I will not go look for it on the shelf “just in case.” IT IS CHECKED OUT. Sure there is the remote possibility that my computer might be wrong, but I’d rather not waste 5 minutes of my precious time looking for a book that has a .0000001% chance of actually being there. And when I tell you the rules, don’t question them or ask me to bend them “just this once.” The second I bend the rules for you, I will literally have to bend the rules for about 500,000 other people. On a related note, I can’t make the computer do things that the software doesn’t support. I really can’t look up the book you checked out and returned 3 years ago – those records are purged the moment the book comes back in. I also can’t look you up by your social security number (and by the way, why would you give that to me anyway?). I promise, I am not picking on you or just being difficult. But when you come into my house, you have to listen to my rules plain and simple.