War Stories Page 05


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  • Something else funny that actually happened to my friend's mother who was a LA for 20 years at Thousand Oaks, CA. A patron brought in a book that was dripping wet and when she wanted to charge the patron for damages he said, "It was like that when I got it." To which she replied "How nice of you to keep wetting it for us over the past three weeks." Hilarious

  • This morning, a woman called up and wanted me to find a playgroup for her two-year-old. Is this a service I should be providing? Lining up playdates? I passed the buck and sent her to the town's Rec. Center. Let them deal with it.

  • I took a message this morning and told the caller that I could not help them, but would give the message to the proper person when they returned. The same person called, disguising her voice, less than an hour later. I pretended not to know who it was, but the year is 2004 we do have caller id.

  • A girl came up to me with a dictionary and said she couldn't find a word she was looking for. I asked what it was, and she said "Caricature". I asked for the dictionary to see if she was spelling it right, and then had to think of a tactful way of explaining that she couldn't find the word because it was a German dictionary. She was very embarrassed. That is much more amusing than the other incident that stands out in my mind in which a 14-year-old asked me if the United States was a country.

  • When I was an undergraduate student at Michigan State I worked in the shelving unit of the main library. People would always want to know where books were in the main stacks – they didn't know the call number, author, etc., but they did know it had a red (green, blue, etc.) binding. My suggestion to re-organize by color didn't go over well.

    Addent–The New England School of Law has a version of the catalog organized by color.

  • I was once preparing a truck of books to be reshelved when a girl approached me. It seems that she left a piece of paper on a table a few weeks ago and wanted it back, and she wanted to know where she could go get it.

  • I never understood people who would call a library, only to ask the person who answers, "are you open" – do they think we sit there all day answering the phones just for the sheer thrill when we are closed?

  • Someone once asked me where the basement was located, and how to get to it.

  • I had a patron yesterday who pushed a handful of something smokeable right in front of me, and say, "This isn't what you think it is. It's rolling tobacco. I wouldn't be that bold."

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