Saturday, February 27, 2021

Our two kinds of library patrons


As I replaced her at the front desk, one of my colleagues at the library was running down the list of sins a regular patron had committed that evening. She had come in without a mask. She butted in line for something "quick". She didn't want the surgical masks we provide, she wanted cloth. She didn't want the first cloth one offered because it "touched the desk". She yelled at a teen for not standing far enough back in line behind her. She wanted a service the library doesn't offer in the pandemic because our story is inconsistent about whether we do offer it or we don't. She left and came back, just for a quick question, without the mask she was just given.

I have dealt with this patron for many years. I even sort of like her in the way I have always felt an affection for some of the deeply troubled people of our constituency. But even for her this above litany of monstrous acts was a pretty rich one. And it caused me to reflect upon a library truism:

Only two things ever happen with problematic library patrons; they disappear, or they get worse.

That's pretty sad, so you might like to know then what happens to non problematic library patrons:

Nothing. They're already perfect.


  1. Still haven't installed the trap door in front of the desk, the one that drops troublesome patrons into the alligator pit?

    1. I don't think there's an alligator pit down there. I think it's digital services... which!


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