Textual Discrimination

| Melbourne, Australia |

(A customer approaches me holding an audio book.)

Customer: “What’s this?”

Me: “It’s an audio book.”

Customer: “What’s that?”

Me: “Well, it’s books read aloud so people can listen to them instead of reading the text.”

(The customer looks horrified.)

Customer: “Do you have more?”

Me: “Oh yes, those shelves behind you there.” *pointing*

Customer: *looking at the rows of audio books* “That’s disgusting! People who can’t read shouldn’t be allowed in libraries anyway! You shouldn’t pander to them!”

Me: “Well, it’s also for people who have low or no vision.”

Customer: “They have no right to books, either!” *storms out*

LOL OMG Grandma, Read The FAQ

| California, USA |

(We have an older patron who comes into the library to use the Internet. She’s around 65 and not computer literate, so we help her out whenever she needs us.)

Patron: “Miss, could you help me? I don’t understand what is happening.”

Me: “What’s the problem?”

Patron: “I think I had a stroke or something!”

Me: “Oh my God, what do you feel?”

Patron: “Well, I can’t understand the words on the computer. It doesn’t make any sense! I’m so confused!”

(She seems fine, just aggravated, but I call over my co-worker who is in a nursing program.)

Me: “Can you check her out real quick?”

Coworker: “You’re fine. What did you feel?”

Patron: “Well, nothing. But, all of a sudden, I lost my ability to understand writing. I opened an email from my granddaughter and I didn’t understand a word of it!”

(My coworker and I read the email:)

Hey grandma! I’ve been having a gr8 time in Ny with mom and dad. we’ll b back in ca on the 4th. I miss u! c u l8r!”

Coworker: “Um, I think she just wrote in a hurry and didn’t realize that you didn’t understand her shorthand. It’s teenspeak, so it’s a little hard to understand.”

Patron: “Oh, thank God…such a stupid girl! I’m going to tell my son to throw her TV and computer away and make her read some books!”

Me: “Ma’am, you’re preaching to the choir.”

Much Ado About Nothing

| Iowa, USA |

Library patron: “How much is this book?”

Me: “Well, according to the price on the back it looks like it costs about $27.00. However, the actual price may vary depending on where you buy it.”

Library patron: “Wow, that is a lot of money.”

Me: “Yea, kind of.”

Library patron: “Okay, well…I’ll take it,”

Me: “Okay, I will need your library card and I can check it out to you.”

Library patron: “Oh, I want to write a check.”

Me: “Ma’am, we don’t sell books here. This is a library, so you borrow them.”

Library patron: “So you are not going to sell me this book?”

Me: “No, but I will gladly let you check it out if you have a library card.”

Library patron: “What kind of store is this?”

Me: “It isn’t a store…it’s a library.”

Library patron: “So you really won’t sell me this book?”

Me: “No, I cannot sell you that book.”

Library patron: “Fine! I’ll take my money elsewhere!”

Me: “Nice doing business with you!”

An Offering To The Literary Gods

| Melbourne, Australia | Top

(I’m sitting at the reference desk when a lady walks in with a beautiful bouquet in one hand, a bag full of freshly-baked loaves of bread in the other, and a ferocious scowl on her face. She comes to the desk and slams down the flowers.)

Lady: *growls* “Flowers for librarians!”

(She slams down the bread, then growls again.)

Lady: “Bread for librarians!”

(She then puts both hands on the desk and leans forward.)

Lady: *snarling* “Now find me a book!”

May Contain Scenes Of Gratuitous Bowie

| London, UK |

Customer: “Yes, I’m looking for this movie for my daughter: Pan’s Labyrinth. I heard it was very good.”

Me: “Yes, it was very good.”

Customer: “Do you think the girls would like it?”

Me: “I don’t know, how old are they?”

Customer: “Nine.”

Me: “Uh, ma’am, Pan’s Labyrinth isn’t really a kids movie. It’s about the Spanish Civil War.”

Customer: “The what?”

Me: “The Spanish Civil War. General Franco. There’s a scene where a man gets his face beaten in.”

Customer: “But in the previews it looks like a kid’s movie, like that other movie with puppets.”

Me: “Do you mean Labyrinth?”

Customer:“Yes!”

Me: “That may be a better choice, trust me.”

Customer: *leaves*

Coworker: “I don’t know if David Bowie’s giant crotch is really safe for kids either…”

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