We made the mistake of designing a lobby that can be entered from the north or the south, and within a week we were watching replays on the security cameras of the young adults riding bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc, up the walkway, through the lobby, and back through the other side. Our signs, big three-foot tall massive stone things, also became part of the afterschool skateboarding/biking Olympics once they were put up. Some fancy riding, in some cases, I must say.
Man. I worked in the Bronx for a year and a half. For those of you who don't know New York City, lets just say every day was a war story – I think my strongest memory was being farmed out to the XXXXXXX branch; which is a VERY bad area (drug gangs, etc.) the only rational thought I remember from that day was "god almighty I hope this desk will stop 9mm bullets!"
A woman came up to the desk and asked for some information about some kind of parasite worm – roundworm or something like that. So as I'm doing my thing on the internet she proceeds to tell me about how she has this intestinal worm that she contracted from her new studio because there were stray cats everywhere (I later found out you can get it from stepping barefoot in animal waste) and blah, blah, blah. She explained to me how you can spot them on your clothes because they make a puffy spot on the fabric and how she was going to UCLA the next day.
Needless to say I was very creeped out when she handed me some info she already had (although she claimed it wasn't contagious). Once she left (20 minutes later) the other librarian at the desk said she thought the woman was crazy and was making it all up. I didn't care. I washed my hands with scalding water immediately afterward and when I got home at 9:30 at night I took two very long and hot showers in a row. So it's been about 9 months and I'm still roundworm free!
Thank the Lord.
There's a little boy that comes in all the time and he loves me, and he's a little "different". He comes in one day, points at one of my co-workers (the one I don't really like) and says "You ARE the weakest link." He was about 6 at the time. It was great.
So yesterday a parent calls and starts out wanting to know if we have midday programs for young children. Turns out her 9-year-old daughter is in camp in the morning and her mom wants her to be in the library for the rest of the day. So I explain that, while her daughter can legally be on her own in the children's department, it really isn't the safest place to leave her, etc. This goes on for a while, with the mom telling me that the child will check in every day, that she (the mom) grew up in the library and knows how it works (sure she does), and so forth. I finally at least manage to get her to hear that if the child comes she absolutely has to have phone money and bus fare (the number of kids who think we're a free token station is amazing), and the mom says, "Bus fare! I won't let her go on the bus! Strange people ride the bus!"