Every Day The Same Old Storytime

| NC, USA | Right | June 30, 2015

(I’m the manager of a small public library. Every Saturday morning, we hold a program for infants and young toddlers where our children’s librarian leads everyone in simple songs and nursery rhymes, then reads a very simple book. The babies are so engaged that they rarely cry, and they usually laugh, which even I think is the most adorable thing in the world. My coworker (who is a pro) and I are working the circulation desk when this happens. A woman storms up to my coworker as the program is beginning.)

Woman: *clearly annoyed, waving at the babies and parents* “How long is this going to be going on?”

Coworker: “Story time lasts about 30 minutes.”

Woman: *sputters* “How often do you do this?”

Coworker: “Every Saturday at 11 am.”

Woman: “Well, you should really post a sign about it! In bold type!”

(Note: There is such a sign, literally in bold type, 80 pt. font, four feet to her right on our “Events” bulletin board. There are two other copies of the same sign elsewhere in the building, in addition to the program being advertised on our website and the local paper’s events calendar. My coworker is naturally polite, though, and just stares at her as she stalks off.  She sits back down at the computer where she’s been working and huffs loudly for several minutes while the children’s librarian and parents sing “Jack Be Nimble” and “The Grand Old Duke of York.” Two minutes later, she’s back in front of my coworker.)

Woman: “They’re not even reading stories! They’re singing!”

(The group is currently singing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat.’)

Coworker: “Yes…”

Woman: “Singing!”

Coworker: “Yes…”

Woman: “You let BABIES in the library? BABIES!”

Coworker: “Yes.”

(She threw her hands up in the air, made a sound of disbelief, and stomped off again. She was lucky she got my incredibly chill coworker and not me, who would have pointed out the sign beside her and tried to give her a lecture about the importance of helping children get an early start in developing pre-literacy skills like syllable recognition.)

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The Cheating Type

| Oakwood, GA, USA | Learning | June 22, 2015

Student: “Hey, are you any good with computers?”

Me: “Um, sometimes? What’s wrong?”

Student: “Can you come and look at this?”

Me: “Sure.”

(We walk over to her computer where there is a typing test pulled up as part of a job application. The student doesn’t sit down. After a moment of silence…)

Me: “What’s the problem?”

Student: “I have to take this typing test… for a job…”

(We stare at each other for about thirty seconds.)

Me: “I can’t take your typing test for you.”

Student: “Oh… Why?”

The Inattentiveness Of The Contrarian Librarian

| Norfolk, VA, USA | Working | June 20, 2015

(Our library has recently started a new policy where you have to physically bring in the person you want to allow to pick up your books for you to put them on your account. My dad and I dutifully go in one day to that. Also, inter-library loans are books that come from outside of the city’s system and have extra rules.)

Me: “Picking up.”

(I hand the library assistant my card, which she scans then heads into the back to retrieve my book.)

Librarian: “This is an inter-library loan. I need to see your ID.”

Me: “No problem.” *I hand it to her*

Librarian: *looking at my ID* “I’m not really allowed to do this. [My Name] is supposed to pick up her own books.”

Me: “Uh… that’s me.”

Librarian: “Well, it’s just for security reasons. You aren’t listed on her account to pick up her books.”

Me: “But this is my account…”

Librarian: “I’ll let it go this time, but you need to tell [My Name] that in the future she has to come in and pick up her own books or come in with you to put you on her account.”

Me: “That’s fine, but that’s my book. I’m [My Name].”

Librarian: *finally scanning my book to finish the check out* “Remember to tell [My Name] about the new procedure.”

Me: “Thanks.”

(I haven’t seen this woman since and what’s really funny is that the other librarians know my dad’s and my name and face, and head to the back to get our books before we even get to the desk.)

Fall Of The Contrarian Librarian
Transformation Of The Contrarian Librarian
From NotAlwaysLearning.com:
Return Of The Contrarian Librarian
The Case Of The Contrarian Librarian

Can’t Use That Trick In The Book

| KS, USA | Right | June 12, 2015

(I am working at my town’s library over the summer when the phone rings. I don’t normally answer the phone because they often need something done on the computer, which as a part-timer I don’t use, but since my superior isn’t around, I answer it.)

Me: “[Town]’s Public Library, how can I help you?”

Caller: “Hello. I would like to return a book.”

Me: “Okay, then, there’s two ways you can do that: you can bring it in while we’re open and we can check it in then or you can come and put it in the drop-box bin which we will check it in as soon as we clear it.”

Caller: “Can’t I just tell you the name and you could check it in now?”

Me: “No, ma’am. We have to have the book to check it in.”

Caller: “That’s ridiculous! I have the book right here so you can check it in!”

Me: “No, ma’am. The book has to be back here at the library for me to be able to check it in.”

Caller: “You lazy workers, making me bring the book there when you could just check it in from here!” *click*

(At this time my supervisor comes back.)

Supervisor: “Were you just on the phone?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, and I’m am never answering that thing again!”

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Handily Not Available

| NY, USA | Right | June 8, 2015

(I am working alone at night at a small town library. The town also has a prison nearby. A customer approaches the desk.)

Customer: “I’d like to order a specific book.”

Me: “What’s the title?”

Customer: “‘How to Use Your Hands as Lethal Weapons.’ The prison librarian would never order it for me.”

(I was relieved that I couldn’t find it for him either!)

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