Monday, October 29, 2007

Actual Conversations Heard in Actual Libraries #98 (a.k.a. "No, seriously, we STILL don't take those!")

SETTING: My "liberry" as a lady approaches the circ desk with an open topped box of books.

LADY— Where would you like donations?

ME— (Points to lower section of circ-desk) Right there would be fine.

(I see in her box a number of text books along with sundry study guides.)

ME— Oh, um, ma'am, I'm afraid we don't accept text books.

(The lady huffs and looks flustered in a way rarely seen outside of cartoons.)

LADY— But I'm... but they're not text bo.... They're not ALL text books.

ME— Actually, ma'am, it looks like quite a few of them are text books. We can't accept text books.

(And now that I look at her, I am unconvinced that this is not the very same lady who tried to bring in a box of text books a couple weeks back. Strange that she would so openly attempt it again without even covering the box. )

LADY— But I'm not even bringing them for myself. I'm bringing them for someone else.

ME— I understand that, ma'am, but we still don't accept text books.

(The lady fumes at this, flashing her eyes and huffing some more.)

LADY— Well, what am I supposed to do? Throw them away myself?!

(She snatches up her box of books and begins hauling it toward the door. Not wanting her to go away angry, I stop her.)

ME— Ma'am, if you like, I can have my library director look at them and see if there's anything we can take there. But we don't accept text books.

(The lady suddenly becomes very calm. She turns and puts her box on the desk.)

LADY— I'll be back.

(The lady then proceeds to haul in two more enormous boxes of text books from her car and sets them down on the desk next to the first box. Once they're all in, she turns and exits the building without waiting for me to first fetch Mrs. A to examine her wares. I let her go. I'm pretty sure she was indeed the same patron from before. This time we'll just throw her books away for her.)


Anonymous said...

Boy, you're nicer than I would have benn. She has a lot of gall!

Ordinary Janet said...

She should have taken them to the Salvation Army or something, I'm sure there are places that take textbooks.

Did you think of finding out her address and putting the boxes of books on her front lawn at 3 a.m.? I'm sure with your ninja stealth you could do it and get away before the police arrived.

Anonymous said...

Honey, why doesn't your library accept textbooks? I am assuming the textbooks are of the college variety. As you may or may not know those textbooks are always overpriced and people are forced to buy new editions every year despite the fact that the editorial changes and additions don't amount to constantly chunking out the same rules of physics and whatnot.

librarianne said...

Maybe everyone who leaves a box of books should be required to take a box of books? A couple caught me in the alley, pitching a box of moldy Reader's Digest Condensed that had been donated. When they finished scolding me for throwing away "perfectly good books," I cheerfully offered them the whole box to take home. They didn't want it, but what could they do?

Juice S. Aaron said...

Though I've not officially asked, I believe we don't accept textbooks because of the eternal headache caused by having them around.

Every Fall we are pestered by the parents of community college students looking to check out all the text books their child is required to have for community college that semester. These people have seen how expensive those books are and want them on the cheap with no intentions of returning them until their child is finished with the class, if even then. I guess the amount of fines we'd make them pay is less than buying the book.

We can't afford to keep current editions of the required text books for all college classes, so we don't keep any of them. At all.

Plus, if someone is trying to donate textbokos to us, it's only because they couldn't sell them back to the local campus bookstore, which means they're old editions that aren't being used in the first place.

Seed Of Roy said...

Be Green. Donate them to these folks in Wisconsin where the books are pulped and turned into various recycled products. These products are wide ranging, from pizza boxes to office supplies.


Be Creative and Green. Keep collecting them and make something useful out of them like this:


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.