Friday, May 12, 2023

Misinformation times three


I hate misinforming people. I did it twice this week, and the incidents haunt me.

Being haunted by giving misinformation is probably a helpful trait for a person working at a library, but it's all a bit much for a person living... life.

In the first episode, a library patron was idly curious about some small colored dots on the books in The Friends of the Library Bookstore. They wanted to know if the dots had any meaning. The books in there have default prices or, rarely, price stickers. The dots don't mean anything about price, and I told the person that the dots are left over from other collections and had no meaning.



Get this: It turns out that the tiny dots are part of The Friends of the Libraries secret code system denoting how long the books have been for sale!

The second episode occurred this afternoon. A man came into the library with a medium sized German Shephardish dog. There was a bit of a yelp from the dog as he came in. He was on a leash. The man walked with him to the elevator. I asked a nearby manager what our official policy was on confronting dog wielding patrons, but all we could remember was that the policy was a bit... complicated. I walked back out to the desk, looked towards the man and he quickly left the library. Several minutes later the man and dog returned, and as they crossed in front of me I said "You can't bring a dog into the library."

The man replied "He's a service dog."

I said "He needs to have a vest of some kind."


I learned that a dog does not need to have a vest. 

We can only ask two questions. 

1. Is that a service animal?

If they say yes we must accept the answer even if it is obviously not true. We can also ask:

2. What service is your animal trained to assist with?

It is not advised to ask the second question.

I also learned that only two animals can be service animals- dogs and pygmy horses.

Pygmy Horses!!! I was super excited, and somewhat insulted that one could have a pygmy horse as a service animal, but not a cat or a bunny.

But then I learned that the pygmy horse loophole was closed and one can only have a dog as a service animal.

Later in the evening the man with the service dog (who the man almost certainly lied about being a service animal, even though after the one yelp the dog turned out to be pretty well behaved) was on the public phone yelling angrily at someone.

So I went up to the dog and said "I'm sorry, but you can't bring a person into the library."

Actually, I didn't do that.

I misinformed you.

And now I will have to pay the price.

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