Posts Tagged ‘Merry’s Favorites’
Book drops. It seems simple, doesn’t it? A name like “book drop” doesn’t leave much room for mystery…you’d think.
A recent poll of librarians has proven otherwise, however. Across the nation, patrons of public libraries have confused a book drop with trash receptacles, a donation box, urinals, chicken coops… The list goes on and on.
While we may never understand how or why this confusion occurs, we do know that the result of patron confusion–though sometimes disturbing–is frequently amusing. So, until the government provides libraries with several billion dollars to launch an education campaign on proper book drop use, we have taken it upon ourselves to provide you with this useful list of book drop dos and don’ts–all based on the true stories that have been sent in from around the world.
1. Situation: You work at a library in the city of Las Vegas, NV. As you approach the book drop, you hear the sound of squawking and scratching.
Don’t…Assume you’re crazy. You may be miles from the nearest farm, but there actually are chickens in your book drop…complete with food and water. Hey, it happens.
Do… Tell your coworkers to fire up the bar-be-que, baby!
2. Situation: Upon opening the book drop, you are pummeled by the stench of garbage. And on top of the rubbish heap in your book drop? A used maxi pad.
Don’t…Toss your cookies into the book drop. You’d only have to clean that up, too.
Do…Consider dumping the contents of the book drop into the yard of your most obnoxious patron. While you daydream about this, fetch your rubber gloves and trash bag, and hope that the old saying, “what goes around, comes around” is true.
3. Situation: Under all of the returned books, you find a photo album with a note scribbled across the front: “My best return.” You open it and discover it’s a wedding album…with the head of the groom cut out of every picture.
Don’t… Display the album on your library’s “recommended reading” table.
Do…Hand a picture of the bride to your single coworker and say, “Hey, this hottie’s single.”
4. Situation: Every book you pull out of the book drop has a Breath Right strip stuck to it.
Don’t… Put your “Reduce Reuse Recycle” mantra into practice.
Do… Use hand sanitizer to strip the strips. That stuff works like a charm in so many sticky situations!
5. Situation: Mixed in with the regular DVDs in the book drop is a DVD of hardcore porn…with instructional diagrams stuck to the front cover.
Don’t… Shout across the library to your coworker, “Dude! That video you wanted came in!”
Do… Use copious amounts of hand sanitizer after you toss this special find into the trash.
6. Situation: Because the book drop at your library is both ancient and enormous, you are forced to crawl inside of it in order to get to the books in the back corner that have fallen out of the cart. While you are inside, a patron deposits his lunch leftovers–including an unfinished soda and partially eaten sandwich–into the book drop. You emerge, covered in turkey and Diet Coke, and face the culprit.
Don’t…Expect an apology. It’s your fault anyway. You were the one on all fours inside the large receptacle marked “BOOK DROP.” Clearly you had it coming.
Do… Give the patron a big hug and thank him for his generosity.
And our all time favorite find in a book drop is…
7. Situation: The police are called after a 13-year-old boy sets off motion sensors when he “falls” through the book drop slot and into the library after hours.
Don’t…Forget to take a picture of this memorable event!
Do…Consider setting up raccoon traps inside the library. Hey, if a teenage boy can get in, who knows what other wildlife is wandering the stacks at night!
More fun surprises found in book drops include…
* baggies of doggie poo
* car keys (how did the patron drive home…?)
* Black widow spider
* a birth certificate
* money (our favorite!)
* pay check
* the flowers the library had just planted
Send in your stories at email@example.com!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
This week’s Story of the Week is one of the rare stories that is genuinely heartwarming (though we’re sure there are more out there!). As librarians–as with any public service profession–we so often see the sad and traumatic family interactions. It is refreshing to witness powerful and positive relationships like this one. Thank you, “Diane”, for this great story!
I work at a small library in an area of town that tends to house the lower-economic demographic. It is not unusual for things to be stolen from our library on a regular basis–most frequently our DVDs. One day, I was at the reference desk when a man came in with a young, teenage boy. The man looked pretty haggard. He had tattoos everywhere (even a cross between his eyebrows! Ouch!) and lots of piercings. He looked like he’d had a pretty hard life. When he came up to the desk, he set a very tall pile of DVDs in front of me–at least 20 DVDs.
“I found these in my son’s room,” he said. “He didn’t check them out. He stole them.”
I didn’t quite know how to respond, so I (rather stupidly) said, “Oh. Okay. So none of them are checked out?”
“No, ma’am,” he answered. Then he knelt down on the ground so that he was eye to eye with me. His son knelt beside him, looking deeply humiliated and angry.
“Listen,” the man said quietly. “I spent the first ten years of my boy’s life in prison. I screwed up a lot when I was younger, and I’m not proud of the man I was.” He put his arm around his son. “I want so much more for my boy than I had. I want him to be a man of integrity. So I brought him with me today because I wanted him to be accountable for what he’d done. Son, do you have anything to say?”
The boy looked at the floor and mumbled an apology at me.
I thought things would end there, but I was wrong. The dad continued talking.
“I am really proud of my son, ma’am. You need to know that. I love him so much more than anything in the world. He’s a great kid. A really great kid. I just feel bad that I was such a bad example to him. He has made some decisions lately that reflect how much I failed him, and I regret that. But I love him. I want him to be a better man than me.”
He then looked at his son, who had tears in his eyes, and said, “I love you, son. I love you.”
Then, the boy who had looked so tough and stubborn when he’d walked in, put his head on his dad’s shoulder and cried like a child. His dad held him, and wiped away a few of his own tears.
It was the most powerful thing I’ve ever seen. I, too, had teared up and had to fight to keep my voice steady as I thanked them both for their honesty. I told the boy that he was welcome to come back and get a library card when he was ready, and I returned all of the DVDs. They left, and I have never seen either of them again…but I will never forget them.
-”Diane” from Colorado
Submit your stories to us at: email@example.com
After a long silence, the Merry Librarian is back in business! As a celebration of our grand re-opening, we are featuring a story from Fountain, CO as our Story of the Week. This one proves to be yet another example of patron expectations for a librarian’s abilities. As bizarre requests go, this one is definitely a strange need for information. And we’re just curious…why is it that when a patron needs something complicated and bizarre, they always want it within 24 hours? Just curious.
“Here’s a situation I ran into yesterday that I thought you might find amusing…it falls under the “librarians should know everything about everything” assumption that much of the general public seems to have. A man walked into our branch yesterday and asked me the following questions:
“If something were translated from English into Mayan hieroglyphics into Egyptian hieroglyphics, would someone from Iran who speaks Hebrew be able to understand it?”
Umm…I’m thinking not.
“Well, then, could you translate it for me so they could understand it?”
…Why yes, of course I happen to be fluent in ALL those languages. (I am a librarian, after all.)
“Well, do you have a book that translates Mayan hieroglyphics into Egyptian hieroglyphics into Hebrew?”
I’m thinking not…but I’ll check anyway just to appease you…Nope, just as I suspected. Nothing.
“Why don’t you have any books that do that?”
I don’t think there is a book anywhere that does that.
“Well, what can you do? I need it done tonight.”
…Luckily, I it was close to the end of my shift and I was able to pass this patron along to my unsuspecting coworkers…who had no idea what they were walking into and may not be very happy next time they see me…”
- “Julia” from Fountain, CO
Submit your story to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org