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Deleted The Internet!

, , , | Right | October 21, 2021

A patron comes in to pick up a book he requested, and while I’m checking it out to him, he asks if I can help him with a computer question.

Patron: “My wife asked me to log out of our online accounts, but I deleted the Internet instead! Now when I close my email, the whole thing goes away.”

Me: “That sounds frustrating! Can you describe to me how you usually log in to your email, and I’ll see if I can figure out the issue?”

Patron: “What’s the second half of Google? Well, I always just type in ‘Yahoo’ and it comes right up, but I can’t even find the picture anymore.”

Me: *Racking my brain* “The second half of Google… Google search engine? Yahoo mail…”

Patron: “Luckily, my wife has a backup option. Now instead of the circle, she clicks on the one with the E, but I want the old one back.”

Me: “Oh! You use Google Chrome! Can you tell me, was the circle logo down here on the bottom of your screen—” *shows him the taskbar on my own computer* “—and now it isn’t there anymore?”

Patron: “Yes! I deleted it! How do I get it back?”

I wrote out the steps for pinning an app to the taskbar and demonstrated it a couple of times for him. He left, confident that he could emulate the steps on his own computer, and I considered the interaction a riddle well solved!

You Can’t Check THAT Out Of A Library!

, , | Right | October 21, 2021

I’m nineteen, and I’ve been working in a public library for about half a year. It’s one of my first shifts alone at the reference desk. A regular who looks to be in his mid-fifties to early sixties approaches me, so I put on my friendly customer smile.

Me: “Hello! How can I help you?”

Regular: “Yeah, I think I have to make a complaint.”

Me: “Oh, no, what happened?”

Regular: *Grinning smugly* “You stole my heart…”

I didn’t know how to react at this point and just laughed it off, but his comment made me really uncomfortable. Later, I told my coworker about it. She all but dragged me into my boss’s office. My boss was equally furious and promised to kick the regular out if he ever so much as looked at me wrong. Luckily, I haven’t seen him since.

You Being A Doctor Doesn’t Make Us Telepathic

, , , , | Right | September 27, 2021

I work at an academic library. We are currently closed to the public. We have one bathroom upstairs for library patrons only. There is a public bathroom just around the corner on the school part of the building, and it’s actually closer and easier to get to than our library bathroom as it’s on the same floor and has an automatic door. Throughout the day, we see many people from various different departments, nearby schools, etc.

A patron walks in, wearing a mask and dressed very casually. I’m sitting in my office but I can hear everything going on from there. The man clears his throat pointedly.

Male Visitor: “Where is the bathroom?”

Female Coworker: “Let me show you where the public bathrooms a—”

He cuts her off.

Male Visitor: “Is the library bathroom broken?”

Female Coworker: “N-No. But let me show you where the pub—”

He cuts her off once more, deepening his voice.


My coworker finally convinces him to let her show him the public bathrooms. He comes back. This time our boss is also here. The visitor jabs his finger at my coworker.

Male Visitor: “Don’t you know who I am? I’m Dr. [Male Visitor]. I donate a lot of money to this school. I know [Person high up at the school]. Next time I ask you to use your bathroom, YOU LET ME USE YOUR BATHROOM!”

He glares at them both, turns on his heel, probably propelled by the panicked breathing of my coworker, and leaves. My two coworkers are standing there, shocked.

Our Boss: “It’s okay, don’t worry. I’ll let [Head Of Libraries] know what happened in case he reports you. I have your back.”

Maybe my coworker should’ve asked if he was affiliated with the school. But our next visitor after that was a person of the public who was looking for a different building and looked just as professional or authoritative as the rude guy. We can’t recognize everyone. But now we’ll definitely remember him.

Also, apparently, he had told my coworker that he had come from the same part of the building as the bathrooms AND had already walked past them to get to us.

Voicemail Fail, Part 5

, , | Right | September 24, 2021

Me: “Hello, and thank you for calling [Library], how can I help you?”

Patron: “I just tried to call the local government switchboard and no one was picking up; they said they were closed. What’s happening?”

Me: “Well, we’re a part of the local government, but I really have no control over their switchboard. I know they’re closed for lunch between noon and one o’clock, so maybe try to call back after that?”

Patron: “No, I called the number and the voice said that they were closed. I don’t know what’s happening!”

Me: “All right, if you hold for a moment, I’ll try to call the switchboard and see if I can figure out what’s going on.”

I put her on hold and call the switchboard. Of course, I get sent directly to voicemail.

Voicemail: “Welcome to [Local Government]. The switchboard is closed for lunch between noon and one o’clock. Please call back later.”

I hang up and get back to my patron.

Me: “Hello, ma’am? I just tried to call the switchboard and they are closed for lunch right now, just like they said in the voice message. Try to call back after one o’clock and they’ll help you.”

Patron: “And how was I supposed to know that? You really should do something about it!”

She hung up and I was left wondering exactly how I was supposed to stop the lone telephone operator at the switchboard from going to lunch.

Voicemail Fail, Part 4
Voicemail Fail, Part 3
Voicemail Fail, Part 2
Voicemail Fail

When It Comes To Reliable Information Libraries Beat Facebook

, , , | Right | September 19, 2021

In Sweden, we have the Library Act, which means that every municipality MUST have at least one public library. It’s against the law to close down library services permanently. Not everyone is aware of this fact.

This takes place before the global health crisis, so it’s business as usual. I’m at the information desk helping a patron when a lady walks in. She doesn’t seem to have a particular reason for her visit; she just wanders around aimlessly for a bit, looking at the books. I assume she’s new in town, or new to the library, as I’ve never seen her before. Her general appearance doesn’t raise any red flags. She’s maybe in her fifties, well dressed, and doesn’t look much different from our regular patrons.

After I’ve finished helping the patron I’m with, I turn to the lady.

Me: “Let me know if you need any help.”

The lady comes up to the desk.

Patron: “I didn’t know you were still open. I just wanted to come in and have a look before you close.”

I misunderstand completely, thinking that she’s talking about our opening hours.

Me: “We’re open until five o’clock, so you can take your time.”

Patron: “I mean until you close down for good. When is that happening?”

At this point, I’m very puzzled. However, another public library in the area recently had to close one of their branches due to budget cuts, so I think maybe she’s referring to that.

Me: “Oh, don’t worry. We’re not closing down. We’re the only library in this municipality, so we can’t close down.”

Patron: “I read that you’re going to close down. There’s no need for libraries anymore; everything’s on the Internet.”

Me: “Can I ask where you read that? I think you’ve been misinformed.”

Patron: “Facebook said so. No one uses the library anymore because everything is on the Internet, so all the libraries are going to close down.”

I gesture to the room which, granted, is not completely packed, but there are still a lot of patrons browsing the shelves, reading magazines, and studying.

Me: “Facebook is actually not the best source of reliable information. As you can see, there are plenty of people here and we’re not going to close down.”

Patron: “No, everything is on the Internet now. You’re going to have to find another job.”

Me: “It’s literally illegal to close down this library. We’re not closing.”

Apparently, nothing I say gets through to her because she just smiles. Through the whole exchange, she’s been perfectly polite and not at all aggressive.  

Patron: “I just wanted to see what it looked like since you won’t be here for much longer.”

I gave up trying to argue with her. The lady wandered around for a few more minutes and then left, apparently still under the impression that libraries were obsolete.