Posts Tagged ‘Sacred Code’

An Affair to Remember

This Story of the Week is officially one of our all-time favorites. When this one was submitted, Merry laughed out loud–and received a few glares from patrons. Stories like this one are the reason The Merry Librarian exists…and why she’s so merry! Hopefully you’ll enjoy it as much as we did…

I sympathize with the librarian in “Lost in Translation” who was asked to translate Mayan hieroglyphics into Egyptian hieroglyphics and so forth. My previous organization produced a commemorative poster of Gerardus Mercator (1512 – 1594), the famous cartographer, and it included an old woodcut with a Latin inscription surrounding the image. A woman called up our public inquiries center and asked for a translation of the Latin. Her telephone call was referred to me in the library.

Since we had produced the poster, I went ahead and–after a great deal of difficulty, an old Latin dictionary and some schoolboy church Latin–I was able to call her back and say the inscription more or less said, “Here is the great Mercator, in his study, surrounded by all his instruments.”

The woman was obviously heart broken and began sobbing.

When I asked her why she was upset, she stated that she thought it was a coded message from Mercator to her, through all the centuries. She was so disappointed that it wasn’t a love note addressed specifically to her from the famous man. She knew he loved her.

Cue the theme from the old Twilight Zone TV series.

Well, I ruined her day. But she sure made mine!

~”Richard”

Send us your stories at submit@merrylibrarian.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 submit@merrylibrarian.com!

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

Does this story remind you of something that happened to YOU? Tell us your stories! Send them to us at submit@merrylibrarian.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 submit@merrylibrarian.com!

Rebel Librarians? Yes, please!

Library patrons are, by nature, very delicate clientele. They enter our doors with all kinds of requests and needs, but we, being the stodgy librarians we all are, sometimes forget that they are to be treated with absolute sensitivity. Sometimes, we blunder. We inadvertently step on someone’s toes with cold-hearted requests such as, “Please use headphones when listening to your death metal music on your laptop,” or “We’d appreciate it if you’d leave your flask of whiskey at home next time.” And we may slip up occasionally and ask difficult and alarming questions, such as, “What’s the title of the book you’re looking for?”. But hey, we’re only human…right?

Librarian: What can I do for you?

Patron: Can you check to see if a book is in your library?

Librarian: Sure!  What book are you looking for?

Patron: I knew you were going to ask that!  I just had it…and when you asked me that I forgot it right away!

…pause…

Librarian: Oops…sorry about that, is there anything you know about the book that I can possibly use to find the title?

Patron: No!  You shouldn’t have said anything!

Librarian: …

Conclusion: She remembered the title had “wind” in it, and it was by the same author as Misty.  “Something about A Winded Friend.”  It was King of the Wind.  In spite of my terrible faux pas of making her spontaneously forget titles by talking to her, I was able to deduce the appropriate title and provide her with the book she was seeking.

Another thing librarians sometimes forget is the simple fact that we are, above all else, librarians. Therefore, we must live up to the stereotype of too-tight buns, wool skirts, grandma shoes, and beaded glasses chains. Under no circumstances are we allowed to vary from this appearance: if we did, patrons might not recognize us, or may confuse us for things such as bartenders, nannies, or psychologists. We owe it to our patrons to minimize confusion about our professions. Oh, we also owe it to them to have the answers to everything…

Today I was working at the library and this is the jewelry I was wearing: Two “permanent” earrings in each ear, one empty piercing in each ear lobe (sometimes I forget to put my “fancy” earrings in…or maybe I just don’t want to!), and one nostril screw on the right side of my nose.

So a patron was seeking assistance from me.  She wanted me to provide her with an internet directory, much like a telephone directory, that listed websites for specific companies.  When I tried to explain to her that, to my knowledge, this doesn’t exist because the contents could change on a daily basis, she couldn’t believe that a print version of the internet was not available!  So she gave me specific terms to search, which I did to please her, and then she said:

“I don’t know why someone would bother wearing an earring in their nose, if they aren’t going to put them in their ears where they belong!”

I calmly responded (and I’m totally not lying):

“The book your looking for does not exist and it is a waste of time to continue to search for one.  My choice of jewelry is not any of your business.  Is there something else I can do for you today, or are we finished here?”

She made me show her the computer books…..

We’re glad these stories were sent in so we could share them with librarians everywhere who may have inadvertently forgotten their rightful place in the universe as quiet, unfashionable folk whose sole purpose is to serve the masses. We hope you find these stories as helpful as we did!

Do these stories remind you of something that happened to you while working in a library? Send them in! Your story could be published on our site…and may even receive the honor of being featured as a Story of the Week!

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 submit@merrylibrarian.com.


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