A patron had been seated at a public computer for several minutes when I saw him get up and reach around to fiddle with the cables at the back.
Me: “Excuse me, is there a problem with this computer?”
Patron: “Oh, yeah, but I know computers. I fixed it.”
Me: “Okay. In the future, please get one of us if there’s a problem with the cables.”
Patron: “It’s fine. I know computers. I took care of it. See, this website said there was a problem with a plugin, so I fixed the plugs.”
An eighty-five year old woman sent us her library card in the mail with a handwritten note that read:
“I have had to move, here is my library card. You were wonderful. Thank you.”
Patron: “Do you have books by the author David Goliath? I saw him interviewed on 60 Minutes.”
Me [thinking fast]: “Could you mean Malcolm Gladwell? He wrote a popular book called David and Goliath.”
Patron: “That’s him!”
Patron to library assistant: “Can you hold my baby while I go across the street to the post office?”
This morning I was sitting at the public service desk and I recognized an older gentleman as an occasional patron.
Man [friendly]: “Good Morning!”
Me: “Hello! How can I help you today?”
Instantly his eyes welled with tears.
Man: “You can’t help me. No one can. I’ve just been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. I just need someone to talk to.”
So I listened. We talked about his life, the diagnosis, and the power of a positive attitude, and then we switched the topic to Harlan Coben vs. Vince Flynn. After he left, I cried.
I hope I helped him.
Patron: “If I choose the color printer, does it print in color?”
Upon returning to the building from my lunch break on Friday, I was approached by a young patron and her family.
Girl [holding up a store-bought “Happy Birthday” sheet cake in perfect condition]: “Excuse me, we found this in the parking lot.”
I took it inside, and asked my co-workers if anyone had asked about a cake. They said no.
Not really knowing what to do with it, I put it in the refrigerator in the staff lounge, with this note attached to it: ”Found in parking lot, do not open.”
When I returned Monday, the cake was half gone, the note still attached.
No one ever came forward as the cake owner and no one fessed up to eating the lost and found cake.
In a library’s Instagram feed.
I was passing our community puzzle table and saw several unrelated library patrons of various ages and races hunkered over the table, wordlessly working together to finish a jigsaw puzzle.
I called a cab for a drunk patron. I saw her trying to get into a car with a pizza delivery sign on top.
Patron: “Can you tell me if you have a book in stock?”
Me: “Sure! What are you looking for?”
Patron: “It’s by Garcia Marquez, or something like that…I think the title is One Hundred Years of Cholera.”
Me: “Do you mean either One Hundred Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera?”
Patron: “Yes, that’s the one!”
Me: “ - ”
It was particularly quiet in the library this morning when all of a sudden, we heard the cutest, squeakiest 5-year-old voice calling from the stacks:
5-year-old: “Hello, mother? I can’t see your feet! Are you in the not fiction section?”
Mother [from an aisle over]: “Sweetie, I’m over here!”
5-year-old: “Thank goodness because I found a fairy book you’ll just love.”
A man just brought a box of wet books to the desk.
Man: “I have a box of books to donate!”
Me: “But. Are they…wet?”
Man: “Yeah, sorry about that. I thought you could dry them off and sell them.”