A Selfish Use Of The Book

, , , , , | Right | May 2, 2018

(A patron approaches me at the circulation desk in our public library.)

Patron: “I have something awkward to tell you.”

Me: “I won’t judge. I promise.”

Patron: “Well, you might.” *she shows me a heavy coffee table book, “Selfish,” Kim Kardashian’s selfie book* “The pages are all stuck together, and I thought you should know I found it like this.”

Me: “Well, it’s in no condition to circulate.”

Patron: “The thing is—” *lowers her voice to a whisper* “I know this smell and it’s a man’s… you know.”

(It took a moment to register, before I nervously called over my more senior coworker for moral support. We chucked the book because it was clear the damage was done within the library, since there was no way we would check a book out to anyone in that condition, nor would we return it to the shelf like that. Neither of us could be sure the sticky stuff was what the patron suggested it could be, but we were taking no chances there.)

Checked Out A Long Time Ago

, , , , , | Right | April 26, 2018

(I’m a librarian, working at a college library’s reference desk. This happens in 2008.)

Patron: “Where’d the lending library go?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Patron: “You used to have a lending library: a cart with books to take and read on the honor system.”

Me: “That sounds like our entire library.”

Patron: “No, you could take a book without checking it out, then bring it back later. Where’s the cart? Did you move it?”

Me: “I’ve been here for two years, and I don’t think we’ve had anything like that in my time here. When did you last use it?”

Patron: “1987.”

A Ballooning Sense Of Security

, , , , , | Working | April 24, 2018

Our library has a security system with motion detectors that we set every night as we lock up the building. Like most security systems, you always set it hoping it never goes off… but early one morning, the day after a large party was held in one of our big meeting rooms, my boss gets a phone call from the police, saying they got an alert that the security system has gone off and they need to search the building.

The boss goes and unlocks the building, and watches the officer do a walk-through of the building with his gun drawn, getting more and more nervous the whole time. When the walk-through of the building is complete and they’ve found nothing, she starts to fret even more. She wonders out loud if someone attending the party hid in the library and is still hiding somewhere.

At which point the officer gives her a look and says, “Party? Balloons?”

As it turns out, the decorations for the party are still up, to be cleaned up by the opening shift… and among said decorations are balloons. When the furnace kicked on in the wee hours of the morning, the balloons were blown about by the warm air, setting off the motion detectors. Red-faced, my boss thanks the officer and sends him on his way.

We haven’t had balloons in the library since.

They’ve Mentally Checked Out

, , , | Right | April 20, 2018

(I work in a library.)

Patron: “Can I have [Book]?”

Me: “It’s checked out, sorry.”

Patron: “So, can I have it?”

Me: “No, it’s checked out.”

Patron: *confused stare*

Me: “Someone else got it, I’m afraid.”

Patron: “All of them?”

Me: “We only have one copy of this book.”

Patron: “So I’d like this copy, please.”

Me: “It’s checked out. Another person has it at the moment.”

Patron: “So, I can’t have it?”

Membership Is Totes Pricey

, , , | Right | April 19, 2018

(Some cities in one Canadian province charge $5 for library memberships. My city, in a different province, does not charge. Nonetheless, we get a written complaint:)

Complaint: “In [City], where I used to live, they give you a free tote bag when you join the library. I was disappointed not to get a free bag with my purchase of a library membership.”

(That tote bag is worth $1, so they just complained about saving $4.)

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