Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Library stories x 2

I am in a perfectly fine mood, and if these two grumbly library stories make me sound touchy or irritable, please know I take them fully in stride. One might even say I liked them, odd as that may seem...

1. It was a quiet night, deep in Winter, at the library. An old lady came to the front desk to ask about last month's issue of a local free newspaper. I offered what help I could and the woman strolled away from the desk. Halfway across the giant main floor of the library she turned back to me and, conversationally, but also in a more or less yelling voice, asked "QUIET NIGHT AT THE LIBRARY IS IT?"

The response "It was until you asked." Came to mind.

But I held my tongue. "Yes it is" I replied.

She took one step towards me.

"WHAT?" She called.

Well, I've never really had a projecting kind of a voice.

2. A woman had called from another library to have a book put aside for her. There is an important protocol to this. The item is requested on the patron's card, checked in, and promptly shelved on our request shelves. Unfortunately the librarians have too often forgotten to bring the item down to the request shelves, or have even left it on their desks upstairs while going to lunch or home for the evening. These mistakes can cause a lot of problems. So when we could not find the item this woman came for on the request shelves I went to the second floor to inquire of
the available librarians. One librarian knew exactly the book I was talking about, and, with the affronted air of one who this time has handled the transaction in a manner above reproach, she told me she had indeed processed the item and put it on the request shelves as per the protocol.

What could I say. I went downstairs to have another look. The patron and I scanned the shelves for the item and, dedicated, we finally found it, eleven alphabetical items out of order.

But hey, no big deal, it's not like she put the book in one of our gas fireplaces or something.


  1. Stop it about the gas fireplaces. Surely you are making this up. No, don't tell us. It's turning into some sort of Shangri-La in our minds.

    1. Okay then, I shan't tell you about the two fireplaces, or the martini lounge, or our collection of Grant Wood paintings, or the Tiffany windows. Nope, my lips are sealed.


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