A mighty legend of my Library is now gone. Retired. I feel wistful, nostalgic and strangely untouched. But I have one last story about her before all stories about her are strange reminiscences of other times. One last contemporary story, related out of the day to day to me, at the front desk, by a favorite co-worker who keeps a devoted finger on the pulse of my Library. I won't use the overly disdained G word. She is an Information Provider, just like me! Ahem.
At the service desk are black pads, RFID readers. If you put tagged items (which is to say all library materials) on them they will input things into our computers. It can be a bit annoying when patrons come up and put books on these pads because things start entering sort of randomly into our computers. It's a minor problem, but irritating. Most people know not to put items on these pads, but the people who don't know really can't be faulted. Unless you're pretty familiar with our technology or with new technologies in general, or are just really good at reading subtle layout and body language signs, it is pretty easy to figure that the black pads are just a sensible, even helpful, place to put your books. As staff we must temper or even dissolve our irritation with this understanding. Or not.
As the story goes, the legend, just in her last few days at the Library, so, last week, was sitting at one of the service desk computers when a patron came along for help. The patron placed a stack of books on the black pad. The legend swept the entire stack of books off her pad and onto the floor. The patron said "That was incredibly rude."
The legend replied "Well, it was rude of you to put your books there."
I can hear her voice in my head.
To those of you who quailed at the sheer ice in my "She is leaving" post I invite you back there now, with this sweep of her arm in your mind, and that farewell to the patrons comment to guide your way.