I work at a public library.

Up, Listen

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.

Filed under 809.9339 Volumes of Gratitude 153.733 Listening In libraries tumblarians submission

Cake, The Case of the Lost

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.

Filed under 745.5 Found Objects submission cake happy birthday libraries

Cholera, So Much

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:  - 

Filed under 025.52 Reference Work 302.2 Miscommunication submission 028.9 Reading Interests and Habits libraries

Goodness, Thank

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.”

Filed under 808.879083 Children's Humor 153.733 Listening In libraries not fiction humor

Referrals, Patron

An elderly gentleman called the reference desk this afternoon. 

Man: “Are you a librarian?”

Me: “Yes, I am. How can I help you?”

Man: “Well, I need some help researching an old painting in my house. Before I tell you about it, would you like to know who referred me to you?”

Me: “Sure.”

Man: “Well, I had a vision from the Holy Ghost. He told me that this old family painting was very valuable and that I needed to get some help with it. He said that a librarian could help me!”

Me: “That’s great! You’ve called the right place. Tell me about this painting of yours.”

Filed under 031.02 Curiosities and Wonders libraries tumblarians holy ghost 621.385 Telephones

Songs, Musical

A regular patron was having trouble with her computer’s headphones.

Me: “Do me a favor and go to YouTube.com. Just click on the first video you see, it doesn’t matter what it is.”

She navigated to YouTube and hesitated before clicking on an Eminem music video.

Me: “Go ahead and click it—it doesn’t matter what it is, I just want to see if the volume will work.”

As the music video played, I adjusted the volume controls on the computer as well as on the headphones themselves.

Me: “Hrm…it does seem a bit quiet even when it’s turned up all the way, but I think it might be loud enough to hear what’s going on.”

Woman: “Can we try a Whitney Houston song?”

Me: “Um…sure!” 

She searched and selected a Whitney Houston music video.

Me [handing her the headphones]: “Yep, same problem. But see if you think it’s loud enough.”

Woman [holding it up to her ears]: “Oh yeah, that’s not loud enough. Should we try Aretha?”

Filed under 004.16 Computers libraries eminem whitney houston tumblarians