Hi everyone! It's been a while. Well, I am still at the library and things are chugging along as usual. Summer Reading is finally over, thank the Lord! Seriously, it's been a long summer. Kids everywhere and no parents in sight. Teenagers making out on benches in the fiction area. Homeless people sleeping at our study tables. Or worse, yelling profanities at all the other people trying to study. I think I'm getting really burned out. The general public as a whole is just mean. Horrible, cranky, complaining people who make our jobs suck.
Here, general public, have some tips on how to be better patrons:
Don't come up to the circulation desk and toss your card on the counter in front of us. It's rude. And don't complain to the manager when the fed up clerk tosses it back at the end of the transaction. Also, don't hand us your card wordlessly, and then when we politely ask if you have a reserve to pick up, instantly and sarcastically berate us for guessing wrongly. Speak. Don't make us guess.
Do not bring your dog hair filled, moldy books to the library and generously 'donate' them. I'm allergic to dogs and I can do without my hands itching all afternoon after touching those books. If the boxes you bring in have mouse poop, live or dead bugs, including bed bugs, spiders, roaches, or TAMPONS, just do everyone a favor and throw them in the dumpster instead. That's where they're headed anyway. Save me the trouble. Oh yeah, same goes if they are mysteriously wet. Uggh. All of that has happened, by the way.
Keep your shoes on. And shirt. And if you are a girl and wear a shirt that's split all the way down both sides, but no bra under it, so the world can see pretty much your entire boob, you either don't own a mirror or have a common sense deficit.
Along that line, please, I beg of you, wear deodorant. We can't open the windows, so we're stuck smelling your funk for sometimes the entirety of the work day. How do you stand yourself? Can't you smell? Can't you tell your shirt is soaked in sweat and sticking to you? Yet you sit at a computer, letting your sweat soak into the cloth of the chair, driving other patrons instantly away, and you don't care? Of course you don't care. You're not normal. That's why you're at the library every single day instead of out getting a life.
When you ask a question at one of the reference desks, and it takes longer than 2.5 seconds for the librarian to find the answer, DO NOT start drumming your fingers on the desk. There's a row of computers right behind you. Go find an empty one and look it up yourself. I'm not Google.
I cannot read your book to you. Yes, someone asked. It was an adult, not a child, and they were serious.
If you are having trouble with the computer or printer, do not snap your fingers at me, and then when I come over, threaten to put your fist through something if I don't fix the problem. How counterproductive. I know it's frustrating, but really.
Turn your cell phone off. It's a library, not your living room.
Don't bring your switchblade and set it on the keyboard while you type or show it off to other patrons. We'll probably notice.
Bring headphones. It's a library.
When your kid poops, change them. Poop filled diapers in a closed room are nauseating.
If I have to talk to your kid for any reason, don't come storming up to the desk later, misquoting me and yelling about how I should have done this or that instead. Where were you when your kid ran by the desk half a dozen times? Or when he or she rode up and down in the elevator screaming? Or left their younger sibling alone while they ran off with friends? I hate you, horrible parent. Would it kill you to come to the library with your child? We are not babysitters.
Don't come up to the desk with a smashed laptop and swear at us when we tell you we don't fix laptops.
Finally, I cannot be expected to know the ins and outs of every single phone, iPad, or e-reader. It's your device. Shoving it at me and telling me you can't download books and then getting impatient at my questions and even more impatient while I attempt to figure out what went wrong will make me angry and mentally fatigued. You asked for help so I'm trying to help. A sliver of gratitude or a simple thank you would be nice.
Here's to a better couple of months.