Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I feel like I'm in a Dickens novel or something

10 AM: One of our regulars comes in, looking clean but smelling rather strongly of gin. I request something for him, and when he opens his wallet a bug crawls out. He squishes it on the desk, then once we've finished the transaction says "I just really appreciate your help. Thank you so much."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mazel Tov!

A nice old man came to the ref desk.

"Maybe you can help me. I'm trying to figure out if my bank will be open tomorrow since it's a Jewish holiday."

I ask, with curiosity, "Which bank?"

"Bank of America."

I told him I was certain they'd be open tomorrow (Rosh Hashanah).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thurday Night Movie

Every Thursday night our liberry shows a movie. Yesterday the movie was Speed Racer, and the total head count was 135. Anyway, people came with pizza, kids were running through the aisles, etc. Kelsey summarized it well: "It was very smelly and loud in the room and most people didn't stay the whole time."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can I help you?

An older man comes by the desk and I ask him can I help you?

He answered, Well I think I can help you!

He proceeded to explain that he volunteers @ a local museum and that the museum is willing to share their non-circulating collection with us.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Refgrunt from the other day

I need books on how to commit someone to a mental institution.

I need to email an inmate (2 separate requests for that website).

I need books on surgery. What type? Any.

One girl absolutely needed the computer and couldn't wait. When she finally got on, I looked over and saw that she was doing facebook.

One woman was wearing a long cattail, down to her ankles. She wore it as if it were nothing odd.

Science Fair Project season

my favorite time of year... Science Fair time!

Yesterday a kid wanted to research fish traps. The question for his project = which fish traps work better: store bought or man made? His mom wanted me to find information on how the Indians fished; the boy was no help-- he wouldn't even think about changing the topic.... We found some information in a book about how to survive the wilderness.

Of course he needed more books immediately; couldn't wait for anything to be ordered.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Broken Foot

Background: A few weeks ago Marian broke her foot. She's been walking around with a blue boot.

Yesterday a man walks by the ref desk and asks me how's your foot?
I told him that my colleague's foot is getting better.
He said no, how is YOUR foot.
My foot is fine.

Then he realized I'm not Marian!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Last night at the ref desk

Enthusiastic Patron (after I helped him): "What's your name?! Give yourself a raise, an office with a window and a private parking space!"

Me with Big Grin: "Working with the public is reward enough for me!!!"

And later in the night...

Old man at the Ref Desk: "I sure hope you can help me. I wrote a 286 page autobiography, and i'm writing to all of the libraries to see if they'd be interested in buying it. But the phonebook doesn't list zip codes."

He proceeds to put his personal (well-used and underlined) copy of the white pages on the reference desk and, indeed, only branch names and telephone numbers are listed.

I gave him our standard brochure listing branch addresses (with zip codes) and he was so excited he gave me a pen with his name on it ("This is your prize for a job well done! And it's the last one!").

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wrong Number

Today in the office I answered my phone, "Hello, this is Amy."

The caller said "hey kiddo."

Me: who are you looking for?

He: I'm trying to reach Barbara.

Me: Sorry, this is the wrong number.

He: Bye Amy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Once upon a time...

Less than 5 minutes to closing, a middle-aged patron who was presumably an English-language learner rushed up to the desk. Through labored breaths she managed to frantically say "Please help me, I need to find the meaning of this words!"

I responded with "Sure! What are they?" and began to walk toward the dictionaries.

She cautiously and deliberately pronounced them syllable by syllable: "Huff... Puff... and Brick."

How. Precious!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Is it wrong of me?

I've been spending a lot of time on the children's desk lately, and the thing I really get a lot of entertainment out of is this:

A kid is playing games on the literacy computers, wearing the headphones and generally having a good time.

Mom: Jaden! Time to go home!

Jaden: Aw, Mom!

Mom: NOW!

Jaden jumps up, forgets he is still wearing the headphones, goes about 3 feet, then is pulled backwards and falls down.

Me: HAHAHAHAHAHA, um, I mean, are you okay?

This totally happens like once a day.

Worst Library Book Ever

Why? Well, the keypad on there is a REAL keypad.
If you press a number, it goes:


If you press many numbers in succession, it goes:


If you happen to press 9-1-1, it goes:



I decided it should go in the storytime collection, in my office.

Marian's foto of a local store's display

Woman with neck brace

Woman wearing a neck brace was asking about Sylvia Browne books. She had already been to the adult desk, but she approached me @ the kids desk. When I asked for the title, she couldn't give it to me. Would you like me to order something for you?

She went off on how rude the other liberrian was to her, telling her that all the SB books are checked out. Later I talked to the other liberrian, and she said that the woman threatened to never come back again!

Bobby come to the circ desk; your child is waiting for you

Yesterday a four year old was lost for about 30 min. We made several announcements-- Bobby, come to the desk, Johnny is waiting for you...

The very minute when one of the techs called the police Bobby showed up. He left his child and went to Kinkos. Johnny's mother left the liberry too because her foot hurt. She assumed Johnny went with Bobby. A huge miscommunication. Poor Johnny.

Thank God it was just a phone call and not in person!

Yesterday I answered the phone and the woman on the other end screamed at me for about 5 minutes. She was angry and couldn't understand if she = #18 on the list, why wouldn't there be 18 books for 18 people. I asked for her card number, and she screamed it to me, all 14 digits of it.

Then she had me look up an author (Thomas Perry) and read (more than once and chronologically) the list of books he wrote about a woman named Jane who disappears.

So obnoxious!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Incidents I've been meaning to blog...

Do you have anything on laws no one tells you about, like how I could get in trouble? A big book of all the laws. Like when someone has you on a leash and they won't let go. That old Chinese guy, what's his name, oh yeah, Confucius.


Old woman: Mary Mary quite contrary... what's the next line? .... What's a cockle shell?


People with electric scooters ride them in high gear through the liberry. We need a speed limit.


Kids with razor scooters cruise through the liberry.


Why is it so hard to read the computer reservation receipt? Just look at it: time, computer #. I guess that gives me a job to interpret the receipt.


Friday, September 05, 2008

Giggly women

Two giggly women walked by the desk looking lost. I asked them if I could help them, and one of them said, do you have a fork -- we want to stab ourself.


Why do people draw such a blank when I ask them what four numbers do you want your PIN to be? Yesterday this teen said, I dunno, you choose.

I said, how about 1989? (the year he was born)
He said no. (Then why did you ask me to choose?)
Then what would you like your PIN to be?
I don't know. Hmm. After a long pause as if it were a life changing decision he suggested 4 numbers.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Usually when the liberry opens, the public literally races to the computers. Today Ryan unlocked the door and said, everyone, follow me. We are going to walk to the computers. If I see anyone running or speed walking, you'll have to go back to the beginning and start over.