Saturday, April 25, 2009

Catalog/reference headaches

A lot of times, after 1 hour on the reference desk, I need to talk a walk, go outside, something, just get away. The following interaction is an example of what I'm referring to.

Patron: Can you help me find out if the library has a book?

Me: Sure, do you know the title?

Patron: No.

Me: Do you know the author's name?

Patron: No.

Me: Do you know the any of the subjects, that the book might fall under?

Patron: No. Can you just show me how to find a book?

Me: Do you want me to show you how to locate a book on the floor, or in the library
Patron: Can you show me how to find a book online?

Me: Do you want to know how to locate a book in our system, or on the computer itself?

Patron: Yes, can you show me how to find a book in your system?

Me: Is there any particular topic that you are interested in?

Patron: (She is with her husband) No, we just want to find a book.

This went back and forth for about 5 minutes, before I took them over to the online catalogs. I had the woman sit down, and showed them the basics. I then gave them a schedule of the free computer training classes offered by the library. I also pointed out to her that they need to take the Basic Online Catalog class.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Appearances can be deceiving

1:00pm, as I approached the reference desk, a hot pink mohawk caught my attention. The owner of the mohawk, a guy in his twenties sitting in front of a laptop, with buds in his ears. Nothing odd or unusual about anything I described, right....He was KNITTING a scarf.

Monday, April 06, 2009

This one had folks laughing this afternoon

This patron yelled, and motioned with his hands, "Hey Miss! Can you come here please? I need help." (I gave him a pass because he has OCD and some other type of disorder.) I walk over there and he says, "I want to go to and the computer isn't responding."

He had already typed the web address in the browser, so I simply pressed the enter key, and walked away. As I approached the reference desk, he yelled, "Hey, how did that happen, what did you do?" With my back turned, I said, "I pressed the enter key." The other librarian and the other patrons who were paying attention began laughing.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

He was salty because my response wasn't timely

Midway into my shift, I usually get a mild stress headache. It always seems to lift once I return to my cubicle.

So this patron who was using a computer two tables away from the reference desk, yells, "Hey, um yeah. Hey. I'm not on the phone, I'm talking to you."

I looked at him, turned my head, paused for a minute, and then decided to get up. I go over to where he is and he's complaining about the government websites being too slow. Well the computer was frozen, and I decided to reboot it. The patron said, "Well, I was through using it anyway!"

Tuesday's biggest missed moment

I was told by my co-workers, that just before I came to the reference desk, a patron had punched another patron in the face. He was punched in the face because he refused to let the other man use his cell phone. The man decided that he wanted it anyway, grabbed the other man, reached for the phone and punched him in the face.

The victim chose not to report the incident to security, or file a police report. He felt that his attacker had mental issues.

I missed one of the best incidents this week

Two of my co-workers went off on each other, while sitting at the reference desk. They are both on medication, it's just that one takes much more than anyone I know.

The Heavily Medicated one told me about the incident two hours after the fact. She accused the other of being an embarrassment to not just her co-workers, but the profession. She also told her that she is tired of listening to her give patrons incorrect information, because she is too lazy to search(our jobs) for the answers. She told her that she cuts patrons off and doesn't listen to the reference questions.
Lastly, she told her that none of her co-workers want to sit at the reference desk because of her ineffectiveness.

Ms.Lazy's counter argument.

She told Heavily Medicated that she is never on time to cover the reference desk. She often misses work, without proper notification.

What I told heavily medicated is that she should have told Ms.Lazy that they were discussing her faults at the moment.

Heavily Medicated said that once she left the reference desk, she went to Ms.Lazy's supervisor and told her about the incident. All the supervisor said was, "I think she needs to hear about her faults from her peers, maybe she will listen."

This was Monday afternoon.