I work at a public library.

Librarian, Needing a

I was in the stacks, helping a patron find a book when I was alarmed to hear someone shouting from across the library.

Man [voice at full volume]: “WE NEED A LIBRARIAN IN HERE!!”

Thinking it had to be an emergency, I immediately left my patron and ran toward the voice, seeing many concerned faces along the way. I came upon a large man standing at the door of the quiet computer lab.

Me [with concern]: “What is it? What’s happened?”

Man [in normal voice and tone]: “Someone in the lab is eating a sandwich.”

Me: “You really, really shouldn’t yell like that. You’ve alarmed many people. Next time, can you please come to the desk?”

Man: “I didn’t want to lose my computer. Say, while you’re here, can you help me with Microsoft Word?”

Filed under 004.16 Computers libraries tumblarians

Repellent, Unholy and

I was walking by the public computers when a woman stopped me.

Woman: “Can you help me? I liked some recipe on Facebook and now it keeps showing up on Yahoo.”

Me: “Do you mean you are getting email notifications that you do not want?”

Woman: “Yes. That recipe was unholy and repellent. I liked it on Facebook but everyone in my house hated it!”

Filed under facebook libraries 004.16 Computers tumblarians recipes

Books, Banning

During Banned Books Week, a special time of the year when libraries celebrate the value of free and open access to information, I had this interaction with a patron:

Patron: “My daughter has to read Fahrenheit 451 for school. Can you tell me about it?”

Me: [short explanation, including that the book is a classic and a main theme of the story is censorship]

Patron: “Hmm. I heard that someone is burned alive in this book. That doesn’t seem appropriate for high schoolers. I think I will call the school and complain. They definitely shouldn’t be reading this book. Thanks!”

Filed under 028.9 Reading Interests and Habits submission 302.2 Miscommunication libraries banned books week

Mail, Forwarding

Today a patron wanted to print 803 pages of an email feed to snail mail to someone.

That would be $120.45 in printing fees.

I told him I didn’t think we even had enough paper on hand and asked if he’d considered forwarding the email to the person who needed it.

This hadn’t occurred to him.

Filed under 004.16 Computers submission libraries tumblarians