The Internet: Damaging Self-Esteem, One User At A Time

| Winona, MN, USA |

Patron: “I was trying to go to a website, and a message popped up that said, ‘This website may be trying to harm your computer. Do you want
to continue?'”

Me: “That’s just a warning message. If you know the website, you can just click ‘OK’.”

Patron: “Yes, I know the website. My friend made it. I don’t think that message is very nice.”

Me: “I assure you it’s nothing personal. That message just appears on websites the computer doesn’t recognize.”

Patron: “Well, it’s not nice. That message scared me about my own friend’s website. Do you know somebody you can talk to about that?”

Me: “The system’s warning message?”

Patron: “Yes.”

Me: “Of course. I’ll send them an e-mail about it right now.”

(I pretend to type on my laptop until she leaves.)

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.”)

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