Next Time They’ll Make Sure She Can Hear Them FROM California

, , , , , | Right | December 18, 2020

I work in a public library where the majority of our patrons are elderly, so they can’t hear as well. With the current health crisis, we are wearing masks and have plexiglass around our work stations, and thus, we have to speak up because lots of our patrons can’t hear us.

It is a Saturday afternoon. The library is fairly quiet and the patron in question has been working on a computer and received help from my coworkers already.

Patron: “Excuse me. Do you sanitize stations?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, after every use, we wipe down and clean the computers.”

Patron: “Well, I’m finished at my station. But I wanted to tell you something…”

I’m gearing up for a complaint about the masks or sanitization methods.

Me: “Yes, ma’am, what can I help you with?”

Patron: “I’m originally from California, and I’ve been to two libraries here now, and nobody knows how to use their library voice.”

Me: *Surprised* “Okay…”

Patron: “Yes, I know that with these—” *gestures to her mask* “—it can make it difficult, but there is no reason for people to be yelling in the library. You should go to a training or refresher on how to use your library voices in your library. Who can I speak to about creating a course for staff?”

Me: “Well, we have some comment cards that you’re more than welcome to fill out, and those will go to our supervisors.”

Patron: “Great, I’ll take two. You really should use your library voice in the library.”

Honestly, I don’t know how much quieter we could’ve gotten, but apparently, that’s not enough for her California ears. Oh, well. Some people will never be happy.

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