We chose two Stories of the Week this week because they were perfect examples of some of the ridiculous expectations patrons place on librarians. Sometimes, don’t you just want to scream, “I’m your librarian, not your $*@^#!”???
From “Alice” in Colorado Springs, CO:
“We have a quirky printing machine that requires you to print two jobs to get change. We have a very clear sign posted where patrons deposit their money that says “exact change only.” Recently a patron put in a five dollar bill for a $1.90 print job. He then came storming up to the desk demanding that I refund his money. We keep a cup of spare change at the Information desk to give quick change back if the patron is insistent. I tried to pay the patron from the cup but was 10 cents short. I told the patron that I’m sorry he will have to wait or leave without his 10 cents. The patron proceeded to demand that I pay him out of my pocket! We eventually got his 10 cents, but I could not believe he would ask me to pull money out of my pocket to cover the fact that he can’t read the “exact change only” sign. To top it off, I was wearing a skirt and didn’t even have pocket to pull the magical dime from.”
From “Lucy” in Manitou Springs, CO:
“I work in a small, very acoustic library where even the slightest whisper is heard from across the room. One day a man called while I was working the Reference Desk and asked me to tell him what books on his card were overdue. All of the books on his card were overdue, and all dealt with subject matter of a sexual nature–with fairly explicit titles. The man demanded that I tell him the individual titles when I tried to quietly tell him that all of the books he had checked out were overdue. I repeated the titles as quietly as I could, knowing that everyone around me heard every word. Then the man demanded to hear them again. When he asked me to list them all a third time, I became intensely uncomfortable and suspicious. I asked him to hold and had one of my male coworkers take over the call. Sure enough, when the man on the phone heard a male voice, he quickly said he didn’t need any more help and hung up.”
Submit your stories to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org!