Sunday, January 18, 2009

You need a book on what?!

Patron, Youngish: Can you tell me where I can find a book on bootyism?

It didn't take long for me to realize she was doing an assignment on Buddhism.

Inscription of the day

In TM*: Discovering Inner Energy and Overcoming Stress, by Harold H. Bloomfield:

Dear Carmen,
You are a terrific person and a wonderful competent secretary. I want to wish you and your family all the very best and hope that you will consider starting TM real soon!
All the very best,

[unreadable signature that looks sort of like Ernst Stavro Blofeld]

*Transcendental Meditation

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Random encounters @ the ref desk

Where's the nearest payphone?
Near the court house or the 7-11.
Oh, so none here on this campus?
No, sorry.


There's a pencil sharpener @ the desk. One guy chose to sharpen fifteen of his pencils while I was trying to talk on the phone!


I asked a girl about 10 years old what she wanted her PIN to be, and she said, I can't tell you, it's a secret.


A student trying to study for a massage exam asked for Taber's Medical Dictionary. She looked at it and said, like, I have like no idea what I would even do with that book!


A guy asked me how to spell mental health clinic.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Phone call of the day

Hello, this is Amy at the reference desk, how can I help you?

Old Man: Are you a reference librarian?


OM: I want to know if you can tell me how many houses are there on the planet.

I should have said, which planet are you on?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today must have been "yell at Amy" day

Two customers yelled at me today. First, a homeless man wanted names of magazines that he could subscribe. I found a couple of magazines and printed the contact information. He came back to the desk after he picked up the print and said that is not what he needs. I tried to find what he needed, but he got impatient and yelled at me.

The second person who yelled at me was a disoriented 84 year old man who was looking for the back door exit. I explained that there is just one exit-- it's the same as the entrance. He said no, I always go out the back door. I've been coming here for 15 years. Sorry sir, that is only an emergency exit. No, you are lying to me. You mean you are going to make an 84 year old man walk all the way around the building to my car? Liar! Son of a bitch, and lots of damns! And I wondered, where is your caretaker? I hope you don't still drive!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Do you have books on Storage and Organizing? I would have bought it at Target for $4, but my wife is going to kick me out if I bring anything else home…

“Excuse me. COME!” (Young boy, for whom English is not a first language, wanting help at his computer station. He sure has a grasp for the essentials!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

REFGRUNT! On a Sunday afternoon.

-- What is the Summer Reading theme this year?

-- How to get on the computer, and how to get a library card

-- Class schedule for local community college

--DVD of Romeo and Juliet, “both the new one and the old one.”

--Where can I return DVDs, and where are your other DVDs?


--Woman wants The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett (for her son)

-- Can’t find The Falklands Crisis by Peter Calvert—that’s because it’s at another branch. Should I order it? No.


-- Can I download Yahoo Messenger on this computer?

--By any chance would you possibly have some scratch paper?

--Huge drama of getting all the kids to be showing their internet permission stickers

-- Can you cancel my reservation? I have to go home.


--Scratch paper guy needs help reading his reservation slip

--Are there any computers available sooner?

--What is that beeping?

--Where would I find B Douglas?

--Needs a YA book on an event in American history post-1900 (surprisingly hard to find, but we ended up with Uprising, by Margaret Peterson Haddix, about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire)

--How do I know if a computer is available?

--Do you have a bathroom, and are there any tables available for studying?

-- Do you HAVE to have a library card to get on the computer? Yes.

--Books of monologues

--Do you have, like, “Morse Code for Dummies”?


--Needs card looked up and internet reservations explained, at length.

--Deaf guy left the books he was reading in the library yesterday—we eventually find them after much pantomime and writing things down.

--Can’t print class schedule—crashes the browser when we try. Paste to Word, works fine.

--Helping lady on phone figure out the downloadable audiobooks: “I need a 4-year-old to come help me do this!” This goes on for approximately NINE THOUSAND HOURS. Eventually I refer her to HQ.


--Hiya, can I borrow a pencil? Thanks. I’ll bring it back.

--Call from another branch: some lady is on the phone who can't get the downloadable audiobooks to work. I WONDER WHO THAT IS.

--Can you please turn down your music? Times approx. 500.

AND, he never liked our presents!

In the book “The Quotable Dad”: the inscription says

Happy Father’s Day,

Love us.

A signature, or a plea for affection..?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Mystery of the day

I worked the late shift today, so I came in at 11:45. When I got to the desk @ 12, a police man approached the desk. He said, is Marian here? No, she was at headquarters. Is there something I can help you with? No, I need to talk to Marian since she is the one who called.... So he canvassed the building and left.

So I call Marian's cell. She didn't answer, but called me back about 1/2 hour later. She didn't contact the police, and didn't know of anyone who did. Maybe a random customer called the police and said this is Marian?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Curiosity questions from yesterday

Caller: When is Napoleon Bonaparte's birthday?


What's the difference between condensed and abridged?


And my favorite-- how much is this Miss Piggy ornament worth? I said, hmmm, it looks like it is from the 1980's. Then I found on the bottom of the ornament that it was from 1981!