Mentally Checked Out

, | South Australia | Learning | July 1, 2013

(I am studying in the library, but have brought my own textbook from home, as this particular book is very popular and often all the library copies are in use or checked out.)

Student: “Hey. Are you done with that book? I can’t find a copy on the shelf.”

Me: “Um, actually I’m still using it, and anyway, it’s my copy, not the library’s.”

Student: “You’re not using it! It’s just sitting there closed on the table. Give it to me!”

Me: “I need it for the assignment I am just about to start, even if I am not using it right now. And as I said, it is my personal copy, not a library book, and I wouldn’t lend it to a rude stranger even if I wasn’t using it.”

Student: “You can’t hog all the books!”

(He storms off, only to return with the librarian in tow).

Librarian: “I’m sorry, but this student was saying you wouldn’t let him use a book you were finished with? The books here are for all students to use, so if you’re done with it, could you let him use that copy?”

Me: “As I already explained to him, I’m not done using the book, and also, it is my personal copy from home, not a library book.”

(I show her the cover and the spine, so she can see it has no barcode or sticker and is indeed not a library book.)

Librarian: “Oh, sorry to bother you then.” *to other student* “I’m afraid it is her book, but I can help you look on the shelf for a copy of it, or put one on reserve for you.”

Student: “No! She has a copy of it right there! Why can’t I use that one? Make her give it to me!”

Librarian: “You can’t use it because it is her book. She purchased it. She owns it, not the library. I can’t make her give you her private property to use.”

Student: “Why not?”

Me: “Because it’s mine.”

Student: *grabs pile of library books off table* “Well, then, these are MINE, if you can just claim any book you like!”

Me and Librarian: “It doesn’t work like that.”

Student: “MINE!”

(The student ran out of the library with the books, setting off the alarm.)

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