Trying To Corral The Answer Out Of Them

, , , | Right | June 19, 2017

(I am working the reference desk when I get a phone call from a patron.)

Patron: ” Hi, sorry about all the noise. We are watching a tv show. I wanted to put a book on hold so I can come pick it up tomorrow.”

Me: “Okay, What book are you looking for?”

Patron: “Oh, I don’t know the name… I put it on hold at [Other Branch] but I never got around to picking it up, and they said that you have a copy on your shelf, so I need you to pull it and hold it for me.”

Me: “Do you know what the book is about?”

(Reference librarians have fantastic deduction skills. We can normally figure out what you are looking for if you give us some clues…)

Patron: “Oh, um… it’s about Wyatt Earp’s wife. It’s for my book club.”

Me: “Are you looking for a biography about Josephine Earp, or a fictional story about her?”

Patron: “That’s not her name!”

(Uh… yes, it is.)

Me: “Okay, are you by chance looking for ‘Lady at the OK Corral’?” *biography about Josephine Earp*

Patron: “No. That’s not it. Can’t you look it up in my account? I had it on hold but I never picked it up.”

Me: “No, our system doesn’t keep expired hold requests; it’s a privacy issue.”

Patron: “Well, how am I supposed to know what book I want?! I have the name of the book in an email, but my Internet isn’t working, because [Cable Provider] is the worst company ever and they always turn off my Internet when I need it the most…”

(This goes on for about two minutes, with her complaining non-stop about how her Internet is out and how I am not being helpful. While she is complaining, I search our entire system, but ‘Lady at the OK Corral’ is the only book about Josephine Earp that is not at the main branch in the reference collection… I am at a loss of what to do next when…)

Patron: “…oh! The Internet is on! I’m pulling up my email. Do you have a pen? The name of the book is ‘The Lady at the OK Corral.’ Do you have that?”

Me: “Yup… I will put that on hold for you. You have until tomorrow close to pick it up.”

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