Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Examples of patrons questioning my knowledge

This past Sunday, 4:45pm, the 15 minutes until closing announcement had just occurred. The public computers had automatically logged off.

A patron approached me at the reference desk........

Patron: "The library closes at 5:00pm today?"

Me: "Yes it does."

Patron: "It always closes at 5pm?"

Me: "Every Sunday."

Patron: "Are you sure that it closes at 5pm every Sunday?"

Me: "Yes, it closes at 5pm every Sunday."

The patron pulled the library newsletter from the reference desk, points to something in the newsletter and says, "What does this S 10:00am to 6:00pm mean then?"

Me: "Let me see what you're referring to."

I reached for the newsletter and the patron pulled it closer to him, out of my reach and said, "Oh, that's for Saturdays from 10am until 6pm."

Me: "Yes, that's what it means."

Yesterday, a woman approached me at the reference desk and said, "The computers still freeze all of the time, something should be done about it! Does IT know about that problem?"

Me: "Yes, they are aware of the problem and this floor is keeping a log of how often it occurs and which terminals."

Patron: "What reason does IT give for the problem?"

Me: "They actually said it's much better than before."

Patron: "You know, every since that virus, the computers haven't been the same. That's when they began freezing all of the time."

Me: "Yes, we are aware of that, that's why we keep a log. We are constantly arguing with them over the problem and we use the log to prove our point.

Patron: "It's not just your floor, it's every floor."

Me: "Yes, I'm aware of that, but our floor is the only one constantly complaining about the problem and keeping a log."

She finally seemed satisfied with my answer and walked away.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shocked is an understatement

This afternoon, I was walking with a patron over to the ESL section. It was his first visit to the library and he was a bit confused.

As we were passing the online catalogs in the International Center, a patron turns to me and yells, "DON'T BOTHER ME TODAY!!!" I turned to him and said, without missing a step, "OH, OKAY!!!" The patron then turns to me and yells, "I MEAN IT, DON'T YOU SAY A WORD TO ME!!!" To that I replied, "I WON'T!!!"

I had never seen that patron before.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Minding my own business

I strolled into work dreading the day ahead. Three of the security officers began telling me how my name was "all up in the incident report, as 1 of 3 witnesses.". I asked them if they were referring to the "angry black man" from this past Thursday.". They confirmed that it was the same individual.
The patron left my floor and went on to yell and scream on the 2nd and then the 1st floors. Mr. Man has been banned for 7 days, but not before he called PoPo and filled a complaint against all library employees involved in his banishment.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

People always want to test you

My last 20 minutes on the reference desk.

A black man leans over and yells at two white men. He told them to be quiet. They kept talking, so the black man yelled at me. He said, "WILL YOU TELL THEM TO SHUT UP?"

At that point, another librarian who wasn't even working reference that hour, stepped to the patron and said, "When you have a complaint, you need to walk to the reference desk and tell the librarian what the problem is. Don't yell at the librarians."

The black man then walks over to the reference desk and asked me to call security. I called security and said, "Can you please send someone upstairs. A patron has requested that security handle this problem."

The security guard arrived and spoke with the black patron and told him that he was being loud and that he needed to sit down.

The patron then asked me to call a manager. I called my supervisor because the floor manager was gone.

My supervisor arrived and told the patron that he had the same problem yesterday. The patron got mad and asked to speak to the head of the library. Well, tonight, the acting chief of the main library is a black woman, and I had a feeling that the patron wouldn't be satisfied with that either.

Throughout all of the mess that the black patron was causing the two white male patron who had been sitting next to him, kept talking at the same low level. We couldn't even hear their conversation at the reference desk and they were sitting not more than 5 feet away.

Friday, October 09, 2009


I try to start each day new and fresh. Why is it that by the second hour on the reference desk, once again, I've begun to HATE LIBRARY PATRONS?

If I answer your question, DON'T respond by telling me that I'm wrong. I've been doing this for 10 years now, I think I know a little bit more than you about the subject at hand.


1) Patron: "There aren't any King James versions of the bible on the shelves with the 200's. I've checked."

I walked with the man over to the section that is clearly marked BIBLE STUDY, and showed him the four copies of the King James version of the bible that were on the shelf.

Patron: "OH"

2) Patron: "There's no call number that starts with the letter B."

Me: That's what is used to identify the biographies. They are shelved in
aisles 8-12.

Patron: "I still don't see where this book is"

I walked with the patron over to the biography section and pulled the book off of the shelf.

No thank you, no nothing.

For those of you in customer service, have you ever had a GROWN A$$ WOMAN give you a sigh and roll of the eyes?

A patron asked my co-worker where the copy room is. My co-worker told her that it is on the other side of the floor and showed her where it is.

The woman looked at her, sighed and rolled her eyes before turning and walking away.

(My co-worker is a Teen Librarian) My co-worker turned to me and said, "Did she just roll her eyes?" I said, "I know you're used to the teenagers and the pre-teens doing that, but yes, she did."

A male patron decided to share his "afternoon delight" with those of us who work on the 3rd floor.(That's a Jeff Lewis Flipping Out reference.)

One of the library pages approached me at the reference desk and said, "There's a man over there looking at porn and masterbating. He has on a green shirt."

No, I didn't go over and investigate. I called security. They came right away. Lucky for us, there was an officer already on the floor. The page went to get her.

By this time, "Ol Boy" had noticed that we were on to him and stopped what he was doing.

The officers escorted the patron down to their office and asked the page to complete an incident report.