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    At Least He Can Tell Time

    | Ithaca, NY, USA |

    College student: “Do you have any stamps?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry. This is a library.”

    College student: “But I need to buy some stamps.”

    Me: “I can’t help you. We don’t sell stamps in the library. You should try the post office in [college building] tomorrow.”

    College student: “But I need the stamps now. Can’t I just have some stamps?”

    Me: “Listen, libraries don’t sell stamps. The post office will sell you stamps tomorrow morning when it opens. But right now, in this building, I can not sell you stamps.”

    College student: “So you’ll sell me stamps tomorrow?”

    Me: “Listen, you can’t even mail anything on a Sunday evening. Why don’t you come back later?”

    (Not surprisingly, he came back at 8 the next morning demanding stamps.)

    You Say Vacation, I Say D**nation

    | Louisville, KY, USA |

    Me: “Do you need some help?”

    Young Teen: “Yes, I’m looking for a book on a country.”

    Me: “Do you want a travel guide, or a book about the history of the country?

    Teen: “A travel guide, I guess. It’s for school.”

    Me: “OK, then. Where would you like a travel guide to?”

    Teen: “Hades.”

    Me:“…you mean, Haiti?”

    Teen: “Yeah, I guess that’s the way we say it here.”

    When Library Virgins Attack

    | Melbourne, Australia |

    Library patron: *hands me a DVD* “Why don’t you have the first season of this?”

    Me: “We probably do, let me check…” *looks it up* “…yes, we do have it. It’s out on loan right now but I can reserve it for you.”

    Library patron: “On loan? What do you mean?”

    Me: “Someone borrowed it.”

    Library patron: “Borrowed it? I don’t understand.”

    Me: “They took it home.”

    Library patron: “Oh. Why?”

    Me: “They wanted to watch it?”

    Library patron: “When are they bringing it back?”

    Me: “Well, it’s due back on the 20th.”

    Library patron: “Yes, but when are they bringing it back?”

    Me: “I… don’t know.”

    Library patron: “DVDs are overnight. They should bring it back tomorrow.”

    Me: “No, DVDs are loaned for three weeks, same as books.”

    Library patron: “Three weeks?! I’ve been watching them the day I take them and returning them the next day! No one told me it wasn’t an overnight loan!”

    Me: “So… shall I put a reserve on this?”

    Library patron: “Yes, I’ll pick it up tomorrow.”

    Me: “…”

    Do As I Shout, Not As I Do

    | Ottawa, Ontario, Canada |

    Supervisor: “Well, it says here that you have five books that are overdue. Would you like to renew them?”

    Patron: “What do you mean, overdue?”

    (The supervisor shows the patron the overdue titles on the monitor.)

    Patron: “We returned those books! I can’t believe this kind of stuff happens! What kind of library is this anyway?”

    Patron’s young child: “But Papa, I saw one of the books at home, remember? In the–”

    Patron: “Shut UP!”

    (Ironically, one of the books he claimed to have returned was, “Teaching Your Child Good Manners.”)

    Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

    | Fernie, British Columbia, Canada |

    (I was sitting behind the counter drinking coffee when a woman walked up to me.)

    Me: “Hello, miss! How can I help you today?”

    Customer: “Give me that!”

    Me: “Um, what?”

    Customer: *points to my coffee cup* “Give me that! You don’t deserve it. Only rich people like me deserve coffee and tea!”

    Me: *sighing and pointing towards the coffee machine* “Miss, if you want some coffee you just need to show me your library card, and you can get some from there.”

    Customer: *whips her card out and glares at me* “Here! Now give me your g**d**n coffee!”

    (I point to the machine again, then go back to my book and coffee. Out of the corner of my eye, I see her run to the coffee machine, grab the full coffee pot and run out the door.)

    Me: “HEY! Give that back!”

    Customer: *shouting behind her while running out the door* “You don’t deserve it, you poor little b****!”

    (Later on, another library patron who had seen it all came up to me. He told me how the same woman had stolen roses from his flower shop, and said that it was because no one else deserved them.)

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