Our library is large and departmentalized (we have an Art department, Business dept., etc.) and once while working in the Business department I had a patron come up and ask to use our copy of the local newspaper. I informed the patron politely that this department only has the Wall Street Journal; all local papers are on the main floor. The patron became very irate and accused me of lying. LYING. Sigh.
Another time, a mother came in with her young son to make copies. She inserted a $5 and proceeded to copy a whole book (annoying in itself) when she turned away for a bit to talk on her cell phone (even more annoying) and failed to see her son begin punching away at the copier button. She came up to me with a handful of messed-up copies and demanded to have her money back because her son played with the machine. Like that's the library's fault. I gave her the money just to get rid of her.
This was told to me by an Art & Music department librarian…
Someone came in wanting a copy of the Taco Bell Cannon. She'd heard it on the radio and the announcer said it was the "TACO BELL CANNON" she insisted, even spelling it out. After many questions and confusion, the librarian figured out that this young woman wanted the Pachelbel Canon. That just made me snicker.
I was just at lunch where the children's librarian was talking about a creepy patron who regularly hangs out in their department who always wants her to hug him. Today she told him she would shake his hand and when she did he pulled her up and kissed her. UGH. She was laughing about it, but GEEZ, I think if it were me I would have slapped him, kicked him, then gotten him banned from the library. GROSS.
We have a patron who has mastered the "foot in the door"–this father demands to have his child's favorite books read at story hours and has gone so far as to try and make one of our librarians turn a story hour into a birthday party for his kid
oh yeah, and the library provides the food and we read only the kid's fave books.
Over the summer, one of my least favorite teenagers came into the Branch library, and made numerous copies from a book on face painting. After she had finished the verso page, she was quiet for a minute and then came over and asked me the following question: "I had to turn the book around to copy the other side of the page, and now the copies are coming out upside-down. Can you help me fix it?" I, of course, told her that this kind of thing happens, and that if she grabbed the copies as they came out, and turned them around, everything should be okay. Worst part: She was baby-sitting at the time. Other people trust this seventh-grader WITH THEIR CHILDREN.
Both undergrad and grad students often come to the reference desk to ask if we have their course textbook(s). I usually attempt to convey that while some textbooks make their way into our collection, one should not, as a general rule, expect to find their textbook in our library (or any academic library). Well, I had a grad student about a week or two ago who was just appalled that we didn't have all the textbooks for this university's courses. "JUST, all the courses at THIS university," he said, as if I'd thought he meant all the textbooks for every university in the country!
I had a (college-age–this was no elderly person) patron who was very quick to tell me what to click and where to go and what to type as we were going into Lexis-Nexis. And it was not that she was highly familiar with the database–she wasn't at all. I could barely keep up w/ her orders for "click here" and "type that" when I suggested we move to the computer behind the reference desk, where she could work through the database on her own. Very reluctantly, she complied. It turns out she was not very computer literate and in fact, quite afraid of using the mouse. With some time and patience I got her to very slowly access the item she was looking for. It just irked me that she would be so impatient with me when I was going into the database for her, and yet so slow when she went into it herself.
"I am looking for this book. I don't remember the author or the title, but I know it is red, and has the word 'research' in the title."