Woman [returning a DVD of Field of Dreams]: “Wow, that was good. Do you think it’s a true story?”
Me: “Isn’t this the one where the ghost of a man’s father comes out of a cornfield in Iowa to play a quick game of catch?”
Woman: “Yes, that’s the one!”
Computer user: “Will this blinking thing print?”
Me: “Sorry, will what print?”
Computer user [pointing to the cursor on the screen]: “This blinking thing.”
Me: “No. No, it won’t print.”
Patron: “I want you to help me put a little dot maze on the bottom of my website.”
Me: “Could you mean a QR Code?”
Patron: “Yes, that’s right!”
Me: “Um, do you want it to link to your website?”
Me: “But the person will have to be on your website to see it…so…”
Patron: “Hey, the more clicks the better.”
I was sitting at my desk when a man of about eighty poked his head into my office.
Patron: “Hi there, I’m Rip Van Winkle.”
Me [slightly confused]: “Oh, hello.”
Patron: “Tell me, does Ruth still work here?”
Me: “No, she does not.”
Patron: “Well, what about Helen?”
Me: “No, they both retired some time ago.”
Patron: “Hmmm, I must have been asleep for a long time.”
The patron then turned and walked out of the library.
Patron [staring at me intently]: “Are your eyelashes real?”
Patron: “Do you know how many women would kill for those? No extensions, no false lashes, really?”
Me: “No, they’re mine.”
Patron: “They make me want to get a tweezers and see if you’re telling the truth.”
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.