Needs More Help Than The Student Help Desk Can Provide

, , , , , | Learning | June 4, 2018

(I work at my campus library. This girl comes in at five, and I see her log into a computer and print a document. She then comes back in at nine, distressed.)

Me: “Hi. How can I help you?”

Student: “I can’t log on. I lost my password. Can you give me my password?”

Me: “I am sorry, but the library doesn’t give out passwords. I can log you in as a guest, if you like. Otherwise, I would check with Student Help Desk, since they are in charge of accounts.”

Student: “No! I want my password. Why can’t I get it?”

Me: “I do apologize, but our system doesn’t tell us student passwords. Those are handled by the Student Help Desk. You would have to go there for assistance. I can log you in on a guest account, but I cannot retrieve individual passwords.”

Student: “Where are they located? What are their hours?”

Me: “They are located in the science building. Here are their hours.”

(I hand her a sheet with their listed hours.)

Student: “They are closed at nine! They aren’t even open now. Can you go over there and open it for me?”

Me: “I am sorry, but I didn’t make their hours, and I do not work for them. You could always check with them tomorrow.”

Student: *glares* “That’s so stupid. If they are closed, why can’t you just go over and open it for me?! Now I can’t print my paper!” *storms out*

The Definition Of Bad Student

, , , , | Learning | May 28, 2018

(I work at the circulation desk at the library. A demanding student comes in every day with a bad attitude and tends to look down on us workers. One afternoon, he comes to my desk.)

Student: “I need an example of [a certain type of poem].”

Me: “Okay, here is what I came up with.”

Student: “I want a book that tells me how many syllables each line needs.”

Me: “Okay, if you read the poem you will find out, and then follow the example.”

Student: “Ma’am, you are not understanding me. Forget it.”

Me: *a few minutes later* “I found the definition for you; it is right here in this literature book.”

Student: *in the most condescending tone and yelling* “I HAVE TOLD YOU I know the definition; are you stupid or deaf?”

Me: “Neither. The definition tells you how many syllables you need per line, and that is what you asked me to find; maybe you don’t know the definition as much as you thought you did.”

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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.

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