Saturday, April 30, 2005


A girl wanted any new movie on VHS. Unfortunately, practically all of our new releases are purchased only in DVD format. The conversation went like this:

Do you have I Robot on VHS?
Sorry, just DVD.

What about Love Actually?
No, not VHS. Most of the new releases are on DVD only.

The Incredibles?

Yes, but it is checked out.

Well maybe you have Cheaper by the Dozen?

And, a colleague who works in an academic liberry said she had a frequent customer who would bring in the newspaper and ask for all the movies still in the theatres. Unbelievable!

what a slam

I did some research for a woman who grew up thinking she was the first baby born in the city in 1960. She said she isn't on speaking terms with her mother, so she has no idea which hospital it might have been. She wanted the newspaper article about her birthday.

Her 45 years of life on this planet have been defined by this claim to fame. I looked through the microfilm but couldn't find any mention of the first baby of the year, so I sent the request to the research agency. What a slam, they found the first baby of 1960, but it wasn't this woman! It was a boy...

man in his 40's

Honey, I can't talk now, I'm in the liberry. Yeah, I just got a new card- it is so clean and white. My old one was tan, I lost it at home. This one is so crisp and clean. (Practically screams) Yeah, I can't talk now, I'm in the liberry. Wait till you see this card!

Old Man

I've been coming here for years, but I just wanted to ask, are these books on display (several shelves of NEW books as well as many themed displays) just for looks, or can I check them out?

State of the art

A woman came to the library and said, "Wow, this place is so nice. Air conditioning. And look how many clocks you have- one there, there, there, there, everywhere... except for those people sitting over there." I tell her they have clocks on the monitors, and she just thought it was the most fantastic thing!

8th grader

I'm looking for information about the herbie fish.

Do you have the assignment? I look at the paper, and she wants info about halibut...

and the award for the Most Annoying Customer goes to...

One fellow is contender for most annoying customer. Every week it's something with him. He filed a complaint because our water fountain is not filtered; he filed a complaint because he's not allowed to smoke within 20 feet of the door and we wouldn't take a chair out there for him.

And the topper: Last week he came in to use the computer with a parrot on his shoulder. When staff told him no pets are allowed he said "This is my seeing eye bird. He reads the screen and whispers the words in my ear."

Friday, April 29, 2005

Governor Arnold

I need to write a letter to Governor Arnold. You think I write in Arabic, no problem?

My colleague: Do you have an email address?

Yes, PO Box ...

Colleague: Here's the address for mailing him a letter.

It is very important that I meet him. Can you set up a time for me to meet him? Don't you have the schedule in your computer? It is very important that I meet him. Also, do you have the address for President Bush? You think I could write him a letter in Arabic, no problem? Could you schedule me an appointment to meet him? Very important.


This wasn't the same customer who asked Marian how to write Arnold for assistance in launching a career in Hollywood. That was another classic!


I want the Koran, books about Russian Jews, and plants & animals. I'm going to make an animal-plant oasis in New York City.

Tattoo guy

I couldn't tell the color of the guy's skin because of all the tattoos. He said, can you look up something for me on the computer? I've fried seven computers in the past two years.

Yes, and what about your brains?


Not a fun Friday. An old, paranoid, conspiracy theorist, curmudgeon complained about our weeding policy. While my colleague went to find the policy, he asked for book after book that must have been taken by the government. He kept saying I know how these inside organizations work- you're good at hiding information. For instance, who edits wikipedia, huh?

It took FOREVER for my colleague to return with the policy manual and the director's business card. Why? Because our regional librarian was busy dealing with someone having a seizure.

So, my conversation continues with the man who makes Oscar the Grouch seem like an optimistic, upbeat, and gracious resident of Sesame Street. So, I tell the people behind Oscar that if they are waiting for the internet, just go ahead and take any one available. Oscar said, so what makes you think they are waiting for the computer?

Me: The probability is very high.
Oscar: Oh, so now you think you are a mathematician?
Me: Actually, yes, I have a math degree.
Oscar: Where did you go to school?
Me: I tell him.
Oscar: Oh, I've heard of that.


Slam! Thank you very much...

Thursday, April 28, 2005


I'm not a fan of animals, except ANIMAL. Today this girl and her dad came in and asked for information about the big, creepy, fat, ugly, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad lizard-type animal she had on her shoulder. I wasn't feeling well anyway, and I seriously thought I might throw up! So I called my colleague to the rescue to deal with the situation. Thank God I wasn't alone!

Almost blew it

Everyday the same man says, what's your name? I'm John. (names changed to keep anonymous of course).

I'm Liberrian.

Nice to meet you. Today he added, you're not single are you?

Long silence, I almost blew it, but said no, I'm not single. I happen to be married.

John- Figures.


And he looks at me all starry eyed
As I say that's not a service we provide!


Man: I'm looking for some obits.

Me: Do you know the dates?

Man: Yes, the first one is Harriet. She kicked the bucket on September 17, 1986.

from a colleague...

An old man (80 if he was a day) toddled up to the Reference desk and said, "You don't look like you're getting enough exercise. Let's go outside and I'll chase you around the building!"

Thanks just the same... :)

Space Cadette

Mork from Ork's relative came in and wanted "space race. Space race. Space race."

So I showed Mork's relative books in the 629's. He said, that's not where they were last time. Did you move them? I'm looking for the publication by National Geographic.

I go back to the desk to do some more searching. He sees the set of World Books behind me with a spacey design on the cover and says that's exactly what he's looking for. I tell him he can't check it out; it is just reference, but I give him the edition from 2000.

Now wait a minute, what year is this?


200, or I mean 2000 even?

Yes, 2000 even.


A girl in high school and her mother came to look for books about mare-mutts, the ones on Vancouver Island.

I typed in marmot and found a reference for woodchucks. The girl said she's not interested in birds (I think she was thinking woodpeckers). The book I found wasn't acceptable because she wanted the words Marmots in Vancouver Island in the title.

Twenty minutes later she asked Marian for help because she switched the topic to chinchillas!


An older man told me that he took a clerical test and got a 37 on it. He said, "If a chimpanzee studied for it for 2 weeks, he would have done better!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Men Like Me

Every so often, a gentleman with long, pointy fingernails and an entirely unbuttoned shirt comes into the library. He always wants help making a photocopy from the unabridged dictionary.

"I'm gonna send it to [local congressperson]," he says. The page has a picture of a bat skeleton on it, and he mutters something about mummified bats.

I make the copy, then go to take the dictionary back to the shelf, but he stops me.
"Let me carry that for you. Men like me can lift 600 pounds!"

And to live by the Girl Scout Law

A woman in her 80's came to request three books, the official limit. I requested just 2 because the 3rd was something on the shelf. I asked her if she had another title and she said, "No, I was a Girl Scout for six years and I don't ask for more than three titles."


Woman: My pills, I lost them here two days ago and you called to tell me they are here.

I know that calling the customers is not a service we provide, but I went to lost & found to look for them. They weren't there. The woman insisted that we called her 2 days ago to say we found them. This conversation went on and on. Eventually she left.

I hope they weren't memory pills!

What does that mean?

Girl in her 20's is trying to send a Yahoo message.

Girl: It says "message is empty." What does that mean?

Me: That means you didn't type any message- you're sending a blank message.

Girl: You are soooo smart. Huh. Thanks.


Man- I want pictures of historical flags of England. I had a book with the picture, but I lost it. You know England? The flag is in the olympics. And the 1940's and 1950's with the Beatles? The flag would be in a book about them.

So I show him the encyclopedia of flags. Apparently, not the exact book he had seen before.

Man- I don't know what happened to that one, but that's not it.

I find a similar book.

Man: Do you know Matthew? He's going to paint me one so I can hang it on my wall. I lost my poster. Matthew is a great painter. Thank you miss, young girl.

minutes later

Man: So where do I register the book?

Me: You take it down to the check out desk.

Man: So I just put the registration in up there? I'll bring in Matthew's painting when he's done. Thank you lady.

All in one book

Woman in her 60's: I want a timeline of the history of mankind.

Me: Can you narrow that to a specific time period?

Woman: No, I want it all in one book. From the year 4026 BC to the year 8000.

Me: We haven't reached the year 8000 yet. (Come back in 6000 years- you still won't be able to find such a book).

Woman: Just tell me where the timelines are and I'll find it.

Me: We probably don't have books specifically with timelines, but I bet I can find one about the history of the caveman, etc. in each era.

Woman: No, it has to be all in one book. Events that took place every day from the year 4026 BC until today.

So I showed her the area where World History books are, and she seemed happy as a clam. I wonder what's so special about 4026 BC?

Monday, April 25, 2005

National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month I wrote this poem about my job I wanted to quit before I got used to it:

Life of a Liberrian

Working in the liberry isn't scary;
Quite contrary.

I'm an Internet cop
And I tell running kids to stop.

I order patrons to turn off their yell phones
And to mute all those crazy, annoying ring tones.

I help kids find Mother Goose
And Dr. Seuss.

And computer class
Is always a gas.

I explain these books aren't for sale
To all those who are beyond the pale.
And serve those released from jail:
No, I won't be your bride,
It's not a service we provide!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Clip Art

I can't find "respiratory therapist" in the clip art! Why?


Patron: I want pictures of cat and dog fingerprints.

Me: I'm thinking about 636 (pets) and the books in the 500's about the field tracks guides. I showed him a couple, and he said

This is perfect for my next tattoo!

Friday, April 22, 2005

UPC Hacks

Marian and I discovered that if we go to google and scan the barcode (or key it in if we don't have a scanner), we find that a box of golf pencils (crayons de golf) costs $8.50. We think the customers eat the pencils!

Do the math, about 17 cents a pop...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A Good Size

On the phone with a gentleman who is hard of hearing:

Him: Do you have a 35-mm microfilm reader?

Me: I think so...

Him: Sorry, can't hear you. Do you have a 35-mm reader?


Him: And how big are the reels? 100 feet? 400?


Him: Okay.

I go look at the machine--no info at all. I grab a reel and bring it back to the desk, where I have to hunt around for a metric ruler.

Me: YES, IT IS 35MM.

Him: But how much film can you put on there?


Him: (impressed) Oh, that's a pretty good size! You could probably put about 500 feet on there.


Him. All right, thank you very much.

I hang up

The Liberrian: Wow, for a minute I thought you were going to unspool the whole thing and measure how many feet long it was.



Later, The Liberrian [who majored in math] gets all dreamy-eyed, imagining the calculus problem you could do to find out how many feet of microfilm would fit on a reel, if you take into account the thickness of the film and the increasing spiral, etc. etc.

Still later: OMG dude!
Someone asked this very same question on Ask Metafilter!
So I will definitely be figuring that out in my copious free time.

Every other word

Every other word to Marian is I'm Blogging This!


Have you been to Chicago? When I used to live there I could buy a hot dog for just ten cents. But if you wanted the fixins it would be fifteen cents.

Another classic from a colleague

My colleague was checking in books when she found a cookbook with a little plastic baggie of "oregano." She showed the treasure to colleagues, and they said "this is no oregano, we need to call the cops." And it was marijuana!

Classic from a colleague

My colleague answered the phone-- "Hello ... why are you whispering?"

The liberrian at the branch -- "The woman is laying on the ground."

C- "Does she need medical attention?"

L- "No, everything is ok. She says she won't move until she gets an answer."

So they decide how to answer the question and hang up. The liberrian gives the woman the answer. The woman stands up and walks away as if nothing happened.

Thank you very much!


Patron: I want to get a migration seat on the internet for appointment.

(i.e., she wants to register for an immigration appointment)

Court reporter

Today there were two men who came together and left at the same time, but that was the only evidence of a friendship. They sat down next to each other @ the internets. One of them provided a constant monologue about the things he found on his screen. The other paid no attention and said nothing. It wasn't busy today because it was a perfect day outside, so I felt like a court reporter recording the monologue:

Huh, Barnes Noble Com, did you know you could buy textbooks from there and get free shipping? Spend twenty five dollars or more. Huh.

What's this? Be rich? Boy, I went, where is it?

Oh, that guy was on Desperate Housewives. There's Days of Our Lives!

How we got to that? Moviestars, they are people, not a company. Hey, I should go to LA and find some moviestars. Other people have done it. I bet I could. Someone's going to if they haven't. Hmmm, actors and actresses. Huh.

I wonder if the baseball game has started yet.

You know platinum 60000 meter?

Oh, this is that game on xbox, a pinball game. You can really ask for anything. That would be cool.

There's rock climbing, tasteless. I wanna see it.

That's cool, a little more racy. Look at these guys.

Oh, this is a racing car that has excess on it. I love racing car. That's cool.

What's this? Look at this little kid, ... huh ... huh...

That's cool (a picture of a parrot with a piece of paper in its beak). I want to sign up.

Huh ... eh .... huh. Excess.

Michigan State University mascot, that's cool, heh.... wow!

Hot Rod Grill in Las Vegas, how's that? Woah!

Look at this, this is huge!

Fire department or something, you know. Where's the local fire department?


Today one patron had a unique fashion statement- a hooded sweatshirt (with the hood up) + a matching khaki baseball cap just sitting on top of the hood.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Muppet Pepe

HS Freshman: I want to find out what happened to people who lived in Victorian England when they couldn't pay their debts.

Me: Okay. Hmmm, did your teacher give you any hints about how to start this project?

HSF: The people went to prison. I want to compare how the system has changed from then.

So I found a book about the history of crime/punishment, and sure enough, there were several pages (in the INDEX- see post about "role model") about debtors in Victorian England.

As Pepe would say, "UNBELIEVABLE!"


College Student: Do you have Journal of Forensics?

Me: No, you would have to visit an academic library.

CS: I'm doing a project about fingerprints on mummies. What do you have here? I don't want to drive across town. I want to find something here. Today. Now.

what a difference a month makes

Last month a woman shared all her problems with me. Yesterday she returned to the library -- happy as a clam -- and said guess what? I'm going to be a social worker!

fanny pack creep

It's never a good sign when a patron knows my name. One guy who always wears a fanny pack (I remember when I had one in the 80's) is one of those people. He usually spends his internet time researching sites like "how to impress a girl dot com." The font size on one of them must be at least 36- quite amazing I can see it from the distance.

Recently one of my contacts ripped so I had to wear my glasses to work. So, fanny pack guy says, "Hey (my name), you sure look smart in your glasses. "

Do you think I wore my glasses the next day? Not a chance!

Voice modulation

One regular patron has no concept of voice modulation. One day he asked an older man a question- maybe something about the weather forecast. The man responded- "Don't ask me, I lost my mind eons ago. Ask those young girls." So the regular patron said what's eons? What does that mean?

go easy

A guy was absolutely pounding on the keyboard as he was playing a game. Since he was disturbing his neighbors, I made signals in attempt to communicate with him despite his blasting headphones. I said would you please go easy on the keyboard?

repeat request

Lots of repeat requests, like
--where's my biography
-- do you have the books about Indians?
-- do you have the CD of Schoolhouse Rock?
- - where's the purple book, it was just here yesterday, do you think it has been stolen?

and this one----
Do you have the lyrics for "Joyful Joyful We a Dorothy?"

close to the heart

Me- OK, I'll just need your library card to place the hold.

The woman pulls the card out of her bra and says, "I always keep it there."

Me- You always know where to find it!


Patron- I'm looking for a book written by L. Ron Hubbard.
Me- Here's the call number- the book is just down the second row on the left.
Patron- Huh?

So, I show him the book on the shelf. He doesn't pick it up, just says I have an itch (and won't stop scratching his shoulder- big time). At that point I walked away.

phone call

Caller: I'm looking for a book called British Literature.

Me: Do you mean you are looking for a textbook?

Caller: No, I need a paraphrase of a poem written a really long time ago. Like, I could sit down and try to read it, but it would be easier if I could find something written by someone who has done all the work for me.

Me: Do you know the title of the poem?

Caller: It is British Literature.

Me: Do you know the author?

Caller: I went to google and typed elegy written in a church courtyard, but nothing came up.

Me: Let me try- Oh, here it is- a site that critiques the poem. It's the first link.

Caller: How come when I try that, I don't see it?

Me: What did you type?

Caller: Eulogy written in a church courtyard paraphrase help.

Me: Just type "elegy written in a church courtyard" and click on the first link listed.

Caller: OK, I did that, but I don't see the poem.

Me: Scroll down.

Caller: How? My computer doesn't do that.

Me: Use the down arrow to see the whole page.

Caller: Oh, I see it! You are awesome! Fantastic!

mistaken identity

Old man- “Hello Miss America, I’m looking for Sue Grafton’s books.”

I should have said I am Sue Grafton. (A woman at our Women of Mystery program asked Marian and I if we were the authors- Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller, or Sara Paretsky).

no more pencils

A guy wearing a “Got Beer?”cap said, “Do you guys have those little golf pencils, or are there no pencils in the library anymore?


A patron had an interesting solution to keep the line of people waiting for the internets moving. He yelled-

“Hey everyone, free beer in the parking lot!”


The application for a library card has a blank for email address. Today a patron wrote “no no” on that line.


The patron said, “Do you have an illumination machine?” For once, I translated for Marian and said, “No, we don’t have a lamination machine.”

OCD guy

There used to be this man who would sit down in front of the computer, turn off the screen, and stare at it forever- even when people were waiting in line for their precious internet time. Once I went over to his terminal and asked him if he needed any help. He said, "if I need help, I'll ask."

If Mark Twain was on staff, he'd say "Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"

Role Model con't

Marian helped the student find the book that mentioned Puff Daddy in the INDEX- brilliant idea. Minutes later he came back and asked for help on the book's "biblical" information! The poor teacher who gets to read the report tomorrow...

Role Model

I'm eavesdropping on my colleague "The Liberry", who is helping a kid with his paper on Puff Daddy.

Kid: I don't need a whole book about him [which is good since the only one we have in the system is all the way across the county and the paper is of course due tomorrow] --it just needs to have his name in it somewhere.

The Liberry: Okay, well, try the books in this section--one of them will probably have it.

Kid: Okay, but how will I know if his name is in there? Do I have to read the whole book?

Me: You could try looking in the index...

Kid (to me): You're smart!

I know, that's why they pay me the big bucks.


A nice older gentleman with a bizarre accent that sounds like a cross between Scottish and Russian:

Him: "I need a book on [impenetrable group of sounds]."

[a few seconds of processing].....Oh! Oscilloscopes?

Him: Yes! Oscilloscopes! Can you believe it, the owner of Radio Shack had never heard of an oscilloscope! Radio Shack! The owner!

Me: He should be ashamed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Fiction v. Nonfiction

So what's the difference between fiction and nonfiction?

Before I could answer, a kid using one of the internets yelled out nonfiction books are true and fiction ones are make believe!

Thanks for your help! I'm sure JD Salinger, Jack London, et al would like their work called "make believe."

Tax Forms- just kidding!

A patron needed a tax form (after 4/15), but didn't know the name of it. We went through the LONG list about three times. When she finally found the form she wanted, I showed her the pdf image. She said, oh that? I have that one at home!

Where's my biography?

The "where's my bio" guy returned today. He said he's been told that there are 64,000 pages about him on the Internet.

I asked him what he is known for, and he replied lots of things. I've even built airplanes.

So, if he knows how to engineer a plane, why doesn't he understand the concept of the Internet? I guarantee he'll return!

Interesting Things People Have Told Me Lately

"It's difficult for a man to make it as a wedding planner, but I enjoy the work."

"All my phones were destroyed in 9-11."

"I'm not a racist--I'm Asian." --after quizzing me extensively over the phone about whether there were any creepy old Hispanic men around.

"My roommate is listening through the wall and copying down my poems and recipes. I think she's sending them to Oprah."

My Favorite Patrons, Part II

An older gentleman comes in once a week or so to check out movies from a list he keeps on the back of an old due-date card.
I'm wildly curious how he comes up with the list, since his choices don't seem to have any unifying theme whatosever, but I've never gotten up the courage to ask.
Typical day's list:
Do you have Bad Boys II?
Do you have The Ten Commandments?
Do you have Bring It On?

My Favorite Patrons, Part I

I'm not being sarcastic--I really do like these people.

Every few weeks or so, a woman and (possibly) her mother come in and look for pictures of Keanu Reeves on the internet.
Slowly but surely they are learning to do this on their own--kudos to "the most beautiful man in America" for providing the inspiration for people to learn to use the internet!

Monday, April 18, 2005


A few months ago, but nowhere close to Halloween, a couple wearing Halloween headbands came to the Reference Desk. The woman's headband looked like a cat, and her boyfriend or husband had one that was like a devil. Nice tattoos too.

Woman (Cat): I need to look at the Time Life books.
Me (no headband): What kind of Time Life books?
Cat: Any subject. You know those books, big with lots of pictures?
Me: Yes, but you just want to see any one?
Cat (to Devil): I told you she would ask!
Me: Well let's just go browse the shelves and I'll show you any I recognize.

Happily ever after, I found a few for the cat and devil!

Stressed-Out Lady Part II: Do Not Try To Be Funny

Stressed-out lady: There were over 20 books on stress here last time!! Where did they go?? I want the Time-Life book that has the list of the over 200 stressors we have in our lives!!

Me: (calmly) It looks like most of them are checked out, but let's go look at the shelf just in case.

We go to the shelf. The only book I can find is about stress in lions. (Where do we GET these books?)

Stressed-out lady:
I don't want a book about LIONS. I want the book with the list of 200 stressors!! Did you see that movie Fahreheit 411? Where they burned the books? That's how the Nazis started, you know. Do you think the government took the books off the shelf?

Me: (ill-advisedly trying to be humorous) Well, you know, if they did, we couldn't tell you about it.

Stressed-out lady:
WHAT?? You mean the government comes in here?? Don't you know about the Freedom of Information Act? I can write to them and get any information I want, they can't stop me!! I can't believe they would take all the books on stress!!!

(very, very calmly, using Jedi mind breathing techniques) The government. Has not. Removed any. Books from. This library.
Why don't we try to order you a book from some other branch?

I don't know, what are you famous for?

Guy: Can you help me look up my name on the internet? I can't get it to work.

I go over and see that he is trying to use the biography database.

Me: Why don't you try looking in Google?

After some difficulty, we finally pull up a list of hits on his name. There are a lot.

Guy: So, which ones are me?

Saturday, April 16, 2005


A woman in her 20's couldn't remember her Yahoo ID. She frustrated herself for 90 minutes- went around in circles on those pages to answer the "what's your pet" questions. She thought I could tell her the ID. I guess my answer wasn't sufficient, because she asked 2 of my colleagues if they could tell her the ID. Then, she thought someone must have erased all the info. (Yeah, it must have been hacked by aliens).

90 minutes, unbelievable!

If God had a name...

I need a video of Genesee, the Bible, cartoon... (then the question turned into) I want a video of the entire Bible, 3 hours.

a long line for the internet

I made a couple announcements (to deaf ears) about the time limit for the internets. One guy who heard and complied came to the reference desk to tell us that we do an awesome job, because these people are really pains in the neck!

Right on!

Liberry Officer

A kid was running around the liberry was a park. His mom said, "She is officer here. She can discipline you."

Friday, April 15, 2005

What's your subject?

What's your phone number? Does it have a 487 in it, the Dewey # for Greek Grammar, or a 364, you'd be in the slammer (true crime)!

Totally off the wall, but the area code for NYC = 212, which corresponds to the Existence of God! I'm going to write a book about it called A completely new librariana way of thinking about numbers...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

New around these parts?

There are several patrons who visit the liberry daily. Today a man in the frequent visitors club asked me are you new here?


I didn't know mole rats have clothes!

Mother: My daughter and I are making a triorama of a naked mole rat and we need some pictures.
Daughter: It has to be naked.
Mother: Yeah, it needs to be naked.

And they repeated naked about 10 times.

Movin right along

I was pushing a cart of boxes full of weeds (withdrawn books) today. A patron asked are you moving?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

9 or 10?

Patron: 9 or 10?
Me: You can take either internet, they are both open.
Patron: No, 9 or 10?
Me: Oh, we open at 10 every day.
Patron: Goes to the calendar and points, 9 or 10?
Me: Today is Saturday, April 9.
Patron: Why says 9 and 10?
Me: It's the weekend, there's just 1 page for Saturday and Sunday.
Patron: Why?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Seat assignments

Woman: I need to see the 747 and all the other jets that might be going to Spokane the day I go. I want to print out diagrams of the seat assignments. I want to know if I should sit on the right side or the left side of the plane.

I'm sure we have it

Patron: I need some information about the elements in the human body. Like, when a human eats a piece of fruit, I'm sure there are elements. I wonder what they turn into... I'm sure we all boil down into the same elements, if I could just figure it out I could write my book. Can't you help?

Starting at Square One

Mother: We need books about Molly Brant for my daughter's project.
Me: I ask the daughter what she knows about Molly Brant.
Daughter: Nuttin.

I hope she knows it

Patron: Do you have any videos or audio tapes about learning to speak English? I have this lady friend who speaks Russian. If I can get her to speak English, I'm going to marry her.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Cheese and Bees

The caller wanted to know the difference between goat and sheep cheese. I did a little research and learned that milk also comes from buffalo, yaks, and camels! Then I came to a site about vegans. When she asked me what is a vegan, I read the definition that explained vegans don't eat any animal products, including honey.

Caller: Honey is an animal product?
Me: Yes, it comes from bees.
Caller: Bees are animals?
Me: Yes.
Caller: Really?


The guy who "shushed" me yesterday came today to ask for Indian books. My colleague told him where he could find the books, but he knelt down and made the Sign of the Cross and said, please will you help me?


I was helping a patron find some books about Indians. He "shushed" me, then started talking to the woman behind him in line. I said, oh, are you together, and his response was, no, she's not my type!

Page number?

I showed a woman a book about finding scholarships. She didn't understand the concept of an index or table of contents because she asked how she would find the pages she needed in the computer.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

a nice, positive, healthy self image

A girl who was wearing HUGE bunny rabbit slippers came to the desk to ask for books with tattoo designs.  When I showed her the books, I noticed the slippers said YOU'RE UGLY!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

What do you mean not every hour on the hour?

Patron- I want to take the bus from here to Tucson.

I found 2 departure times- something like 7am and 7pm. I explained this to the patron, and he asked if the times would be different if he left from downtown. I researched it to find that his choices would be either 6:30 am or 6:30 pm. He just didn't get it.

Patron: So if I miss the one at 7am I have to wait until 7pm? There's only 2 buses to Tucson a day?

After we worked through that, he asked where the box office was in Tucson. Silly me, I was thinking about theatre tickets. However, he wanted the post office. I should have told him that we are about two blocks away from a post office- no bus required and he can leave any time!


Me- Can I help you sir?
Patron- No. (& wanders away but turns back) Well maybe you can. I haven't been here in 26 years. Same building, can't believe it. I bet you are 26. Well, listen, if there are any women out there lookin for me, let them know and I'll ah, ... thank you sweetie!


I can't stand being called sweetie. After this encounter the next 3 patrons called me either sweetie or sweets!

order doesn't matter

"Book. Tape. Citizenship."

Sorry, we don't have that.

"Today. Tape. Small."

Sorry, we don't have that.

"Small. Tape. Citizenship. Today."

Um, we still don't have that!

doesn't work

An 8th grader gave me the R volume of World Book and asked why she couldn't find Robert E. Lee.


Why is it that the volume of the patron's question (and hearing ability) directly proportional to the level of embarrassment for me to repeat again and again? i.e. What's irritable bowel syndrome, or are you married? ... the list is endless!

a big help

Yesterday was a very busy day at the liberry.  As I was trying to help two kids spell various words the patron next to me saw the long line at the desk.  She said, "I bet I can help, I mean, I know the alphabet if that will be any help."

Talk about a lifesaver!

Friday, April 01, 2005

car repair, or something

I want books about the crack and torch specifications of my car.  (i.e. crank and torque)