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.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Liberry" Glossary: Basket Cases

Basket Cases
-noun (plural)

  1. Mentally unstable or otherwise crazy patrons.

  2. Patron parents, often with multiple children, who check out the full available limit in books on each of their children's cards, their own card and often on the linked cards of non-present family members. They do this in the mistaken belief that this will somehow keep their brood occupied reading for the longest possible amount of time, freeing they the parent from having to entertain or otherwise deal with them. The name for this patron type stems from their habit of hauling away the dozens of selections their children have made in a very large wicker basket or, alternately, a colorfully-painted washtub. This is actually all right with us, for we do like those circulation numbers. The only trouble is, that Basket Cases very often accomplish these mass-checkouts, which take upwards of five minutes for our staff to accomplish, on story hour day when the desk is overrun with OTHER basket case families doing exactly the same thing, creating a gigantic Basket Case clog. And because massive amounts of books are difficult to keep up with in the best of circumstances, Basket Cases are perpetually in hock to the "liberry" for overdue books. Often they insist that they returned said books and raise a stink about it and check our shelves to no avail, only to find them hidden at home, months later. Because of their perpetual indebtedness, Basket Cases, often insist on returning their books on Fridays, a day on which our branch traditionally does not charge fines. This would be perfectly acceptable to us, except that Basket Cases almost always insist on returning their hoards of books at approximately five minutes before closing time. And because it's never simply ONE Basket Case family that does this, the Friday closing staff member present (i.e. me) always has to spend an unnecessary amount of time shelving all those damn books after closing and is always late for his dinner.
(See also: Bag People)

6 comments:

Sheila Rene said...

Hey now. I'm a Bag People.

HCPL Techincal Trainer said...

There is an addenda to the "basket case" patron.

I am sure you have seen the "Stroller Strainer" using the basket of their offspring's stroller for books not stuff for their baby/toddler. Even better is the parent/caregiver that uses the seat for library items while trying to corral their little person and check out at the same time.

Where's Ro said...

Apparently these basked cases have children of reading age because if they didn't, they would only bring home one book maybe two. Just ask Thud how much he enjoys reading "Go, Dog, Go" and "Glasses for D.W." about 20x a day right now... He described the joy on our daughter's face as to the joy one would expect on Christmas morn when she "found" her books again this morning. And yes, they are all kept in a basket in the den. We are thrilled she love books, but are about to have a few of them memorized...

Kevin said...

It's not easy carrying that basket when you're preggers w/ your 4th/5th/6th bundle of joy. Maybe you should check out wheel barrows.

Gardenbuzzy said...

"Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam-I-Am!"

Yes, ro, I've memorized a few myself.

Kate said...

I'm a basket case. I apologise and will do my best to mend my ways.