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.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Actual Conversations Heard in Actual Libraries #76

SETTING— My "Liberry." A male patron opens and walks through the outer door of our building, passing through the open inner door, carrying a pile of books.

MAN— Any reason your book return's locked?

ME— Yes. We lock it during the day.

MAN— (Stares at me for a long moment, perhaps sensing my inner snotty attitude) You lock it during the day?

ME— Yes.

The man shakes his head, drops his books on the circ desk, walks back toward the exit, closes our inner door behind him as he passes through the outer one, doing so quickly so as not to give me time to say, "Actually, sir, that's a door we keep open during the day."

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did he leave the pile of books? I'm treasuring the thought of him "teaching you a lesson" by taking them home and then bringing them back after hours to put in the book drop. Wouldn't be the strangest thing a patron ever did.

Juice S. Aaron said...

Actually, during a previous administration, we used to have a librarian who would do something similar. I'm told by those who were around that this particular librarian wasn't a fan of shelving, so at the end of the day she would take all the books on the shelving cart and cram them in the after hours drop box to be shelved by the staff who opened the following morning. Eventually she got busted by a patron, who ratted her out.

katze said...

I guess he thought it works like Blockbuster, and just doesn't understand why you'd try to prevent the good, rule-abiding patrons from returning their books before the due date.

Julie said...

We lock ours during the day, too. Our theory is that there is less possibility for the books to get beaten up by being thrown willy-nilly into the bookdrop if we make the patrons bring them inside. No one seems to care, though - the only time the bookdrop ever gets used is on weekends in the summer when we're not open. Also, since I work at an academic library, no one ever returns their books.

Del P. said...

Exchange between my friend P. and our local liberry ass.:

P.: I was wondering, why can't you return books in the book drop outside when the library is open?

L.A.: Because, when we're open, the bookdrop is closed.

P.: Um, yes, but why?

L.A.: Because, when we're open, the bookdrop is closed.

P.: Er, right, ok. I'll leave these here then.