Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Buddy's Surprise

I've only written about Buddy a couple of times here. He's one of the clients of the local Unobstructed Doors center for the mentally handicapped and is in the library at least twice a week, often accompanied by Harry the Killer Midget. Usually there's not much to write about when it comes to Buddy and Harry. Usually, that is. They almost visit us on Mondays and Wednesdays, around 1:30p or so. And every time Buddy comes in, he calls me by name, tells me "Hi" and then asks where Mrs. J is at. Buddy loves Mrs. J, who I imagine he sees as a grandmother-type. (She is a grandmother-type, several times over.) Mrs. J, in turn, likes Buddy. So when Buddy comes in she is always his focus.

Our weekly ritual, therefore, is that every Monday Buddy comes in and asks where Mrs. J is and every Monday I tell him she's already left for the day, because she has. Then, every Wednesday, he comes in and asks where Mrs. J is and every Wednesday I tell him she's upstairs, cause she's almost always upstairs shelving books by that time of day. This pattern has repeated itself for well over a year now with few alterations and I'm more than willing to play my part in it because we all really like Buddy.

Today, Buddy came in, said Hi to me, and then Asked where Mrs. J was at. Mrs. J happened to be downstairs at that moment, but Buddy couldn't see her due to his line of sight being obstrutced by our bulletin board that's attached to a support post.

"She's right there," I said, pointing to where she was standing.

Buddy was pleasantly astounded.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Actual Conversations Heard in Actual Libraries #46

SETTING: My "Liberry". A late-middle-aged female patron approaches the circ desk.

PATRON: I need some help. I don't know nothing `bout computers, but I need to help my granddaughter with her schoolwork. She's got a report to write about Sweden and I need information about it. You know—the people, the government, the culture, the history. Maybe some recipes.

ME: Okay. I think we can help you out. (I search the OPAC for a bit.) Well, we have a Scandanavian travel guide that will have some of what you're looking for in it. Other than that, we do have some encyclopedias that can be checked out that will have more information on the history, and such.

(I write down the call numbers for her.)

PATRON: Also, I need something else. I got into a disagreement with this fellow a while back...
(Upon hearing just this much, I am immediately terrified to my soul that I'm about to be asked some kind of major legal question and will have to go cart volume after volume of the state code of law to the desk to look up some obscure regulation about how many deer carcasses are permitted to be strung up in a
front yard at any given time, or something similarly absurd

PATRON: ... and he and I was arguing over what the real history of the Illuminati is. So I'll need some information about them, too.

(Long pause)

ME: Um. Okay. (I do some more OPACing) Well, the only thing we have that's coming up is Dan Brown's book Angels & Demons.

PATRON: (Disdainfully) Uh huh. Well, I don't want none of that. I wouldn't read that anyway, cause I don't hold with Dan Brown.

ME: (I then search the records of our entire consortium.) The only other thing available is a book called Emp0wer the Pe0ple: a 7-Step Plan to 0verthrow the C0nspiracy that is Stealing Your M0ney and Freed0m. We don't own that, though.

PATRON: (Sighes) I'll just take the Sweden books, then.

An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.