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    You’ll Find That In The Irony Section

    | BC, Canada |

    (A customer is looking through the non-fiction section of the library, and approaches me.)

    Customer: “I’m looking for a book by [author's name], and I can’t find it on the shelf.”

    Me: “Okay. The non-fiction section isn’t sorted by author. What’s the subject of the book you are looking for?”

    Customer: “It’s about the dewey decimal system.”

    In Urgent Need Of A Monolith

    | TX, USA |

    (A patron has called about extending her borrowing time on a DVD. She is renting “2001: A Space Odyssey”.)

    Caller: “I’d really like to get this for a little longer. I live far from the library, and won’t be able to get it back on time.”

    Me: “Well, the staff member that handles the loans is not in today. I can take your name and phone number, and have her get back to you.”

    Caller: “Oh, that would be just great. I really need to watch this movie because I’m going into space.”

    Past The Point Of No Return

    , | New Zealand | Top

    (We have both a bookshop and library. They are divided by a wall and accessible only from outside the building or through a staff only area. I am working in the bookstore section.)

    Customer: “Hey, I was looking for a book for my niece called The Tomorrow Code.”

    Me: “We definitely have a copy of that. I was shelving it this morning. Follow me.”

    Customer: “So, when is the due date?”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “You know, for the book.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can sell it to you right now.”

    Customer: “Yes, I know that. I want to know when I have to return it. My library card number for you guys is [number].”

    Me: “You don’t have to return it, ma’am. This is a bookstore, not a library. You keep the book once you’ve bought it.”

    Customer: “That’s great, but when do I return it?”

    Me: “I, uh, just need to check that on the system.”

    (I run to the actual library to check they have a copy of the tomorrow code. They do. I go back to the customer.)

    Me: “Ma’am, just to make this very clear, this is a shop not a library. You never return books.”

    Customer: “Of course I know that. Do you think I was born yesterday? Now, when do I have to return this book?”

    Me: “Actually, I just found out the copy of the book you’re holding is reserved. I can go get a copy of it from the storeroom if you want.”

    Customer: “Just hurry up. This place shouldn’t hire people as thick as you!”

    (I run back to the library and issue the book as ‘borrowed’ to her card number.)

    Customer: *speaking very slowly* “Thank you, girl. I’m sorry to have told you that you were thick. I should have realised you were special.”

    Educational Programs Have Never Been More Needed

    | Toronto, ON, Canada |

    Me: “[Business library], how can I help you?”

    Caller: “Yeah, so, I want to know about the educational programs you offer.”

    Me: “Oh, okay. That’s actually not conducted through the library. I’ll have to find you the phone number for the coordinator.”

    (The caller asks a dozen questions about the differences between the programs we offer. I answer the best I can while continuing to tell him I’ll need to have him call a different number. I put him on hold to find the number.)

    Me: “Hi, sir. You’re going to have to call this number and speak to the program coordinator.”

    Caller: “Fine, okay. What’s the number?”

    (I give him the number.)

    Caller: “Okay. Transfer me.”

    Me: “Actually, I can’t transfer you because they’re in a different building. But if you want to call the number I gave you, they’d be happy to help.”

    Caller: “So, you can’t help me?”

    Me: “Not with the information you’re looking for.”

    Caller: “What are you again?”

    Me: “The librarian.”

    Caller: “I don’t understand. You need to explain that to me. Can you also tell me about the educational programs you offer?”

    Cause Of Bad Education Is Ap(parent)

    | Melbourne, Australia |

    Patron: “Why won’t my library card work?”

    Me: “Let me see. Okay, you have $30 in fines on your card. You won’t be able to use it until those fines are paid.”

    Patron: “I wanted to get some books for my daughter.”

    Me: “I’m sorry. Until the fines are paid, you can’t use the card.”

    Patron, to daughter: “Come on honey, let’s go home. The lady doesn’t want you to learn anything today.”


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