Posts Tagged ‘kids’

2009, Over and Out

In this final week of 2009, we thought we’d gear up for 2010 with a few more chuckles from the reference desk. Nothing says “Happy New Year” like ignorance, accents and a quirky ex-con. 🙂 Thanks for a great 2009! We’ll see you next year with even more outrageous stories (and a few new goodies!) from The Merry Librarian!

As the media librarian in a four-year University in the metro Detroit area, I frequently dealt with English majors who were seeking adaptations of works of literature on video.  My favorite transaction was with one student who was looking for an adaptation of “Oedipus Rex.”  We had two versions, I explained.  One was done in modern dress from the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre and the other was done in the classical style with a Greek chorus.  After a minute’s hesitation, the student asked for the modern version because she “didn’t want to listen to the musical version.”  Keeping a straight face with some difficulty, I explained that a Greek chorus didn’t actually sing.

~”Bethany” Detroit, MI

Last month a young man of about 13-15 years old came up to our reference desk.
“Where are the whores?”
“Where are the whores?  You know . . . like Goosebumps?
Do you mean horror?
“Yeah!  Whores!”
At this point, everyone cracked up including the child’s shocked parental figure.
Ya gotta love an East Texas accent 🙂

~”Brendan” Houston, TX

A weathered man with dreads walks up to the desk and starts rooting through the golf pencil supply. He picks up each pencil and holds it up to the light; he considers it and then returns it to the box. He then begins to sharpen one pencil at a time, with the very loud pencil sharpener at the reference desk.

I say, “Finding what you need?”

He says, “This is just like jail!” and leaves without a pencil.

~ “Jamie”

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When You Ask a Kid A Question…You’re Gonna Get an Answer!

Kids may say the darnedest things, but sometimes, librarians ask the silliest questions! Such is the case with this week’s story. All of us who have worked with children or performed story times know that even the most innocent question on our part can lead to an embarrassingly honest answer from an eager-to-please kiddo. There is just no avoiding situations like this one…unless, of course, you choose to stick to adult reference. Then again, as evidenced by November’s theme, adult reference has its share of embarrassing moments. Guess there’s just no avoiding a little humiliation in the public library!

My favorite “story time” experience was when I had donned a number of animal tails, affixed them to the back of a pair of sweat pants, and pulled each one out at the appropriate time as I read a variety of animal “tales.”  In what can only be called an Art Linkletter moment, I paused, tried to cover the fact that I was having difficulty turning a page, and asked the children if people have tails……
Bad call, story lady……never ask a question you don’t know the answer to…..
One especially adorable, anxious to please, precocious four year old jumped up and said, excitedly, “No, but I have a penis!”
Mom was mortified, all other mom’s were trying their best not to laugh out loud, and I learned to move on, very, very quickly!
~”Wanda” from Wisconsin


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To the Library…and Beyond!

We may be a bit biased, but those of us at Merry Librarian think that Children’s Librarians have the best jobs in the world. Kids are the most exciting demographic to work with: they’re fun, adventuresome, and completely willing to get swept up in any story. Plus, they just say the darnedest things, don’t they? Here’s a sweet story from a Children’s Librarian in Colorado Springs. Enjoy!

On a recent morning, I did a fun story time about outer space at one of our local library branches.  The kids really enjoyed the stories, and afterwards they made “telescopes” out of paper-towel tubes covered with tinfoil and stickers.  Later that evening, I went to my local Target store (on the other side of town) for a few things, and decided to stop in the snack shop for refreshment.  As I stood in line for my cookies, a family came into the snack area and got in line just behind me.  I heard their little girl, who was about three or four, say excitedly, “Look, mommy!  It’s the story lady!”  I turned and she was jumping up and down, very excited.  Her mom said, “Oh, hi, we saw you at the library up north near our house this morning.  My daughter really loved your stories and the craft.”  As I thanked her, her little cutie looked up at me with an expression of awe and said, “Wow!! How did you ever come and find us  WAY DOWN HERE???”

…Moral of the story:  It’s exhausting to be and do everything for every patron.  But sometimes it’s nice, just for a minute, to be somebody’s superhero.

~”Janet”, Colorado Springs, CO

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Attention! The Merry Librarian is looking for stories to feature in an upcoming theme-based series. If you have any true stories about weddings or wedding photography taking place in your library, send them in! Your story could be published on our site! Email us at!

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