Better than "@ your library"

I just thought of a new slogan for libraries.

The Library: Concierge for Poor People

I need to copyright that.

Research body bags @ the library

Conspiracy Theorist has found that he can ask us questions by phone now so we get frequent calls along these lines:

"I want a picture of the gray body bags."
"Gray body bags?"
"yes, I want to know if the navy uses gray body bags."
"The Navy?"
"Yes, I need to know what color of body bags each branch of the service uses. Does the Navy use gray body bags? I need a picture of them."

I don't really know where to find out such information and it is closing time, so I tell him to ask the librarian on duty the next time he comes in. I'm sure my coworkers love me. (Actually it wouldn't matter whether I told him to do that or not. He would still ask the same question the next few visits anyhow.

Disoriented old man @ the library

So this nice old man came and stood a few feet from the ref desk just looking at us. We asked if we could help him and he grabbed his head like he was in pain. Then he said, "No, I just ate some ice cream. It was good!" Then he pounded the desk and said emphatically, "I want more!"

A little later he came back and stood peeking at me over my monitor. He mumbled something that sounded like "I see you hiding there pretty girl gotta protect herself."

I'm not totally sure that's what he said though. Then he asked about audio books. I pointed to where they were about 5 feet away. He wandered off and stood staring into the computer lab blankly until someone came and helped him pick out some audiobooks.

Poor little man.


parking lot mysteries @ your library

Then some guy came in and told us that the vehicle next to his had apparently been broken into. The passenger door was ajar and things were strewn about outside. The trusty guard was on lunch and didn't answer his phone (wth?) so I went out to investigate. There was a brand new Toyota Sienna and sure enough, the passenger door was open about a foot. There was nothing on the ground outside the van, although the interior was messy as is normal for a conveyance of small children. There was no broken glass and the dashboard looked intact. After some deliberation, I shut door and went back inside.

A few minutes later the guard shows up. We filled him in on the details and later he went out and checked and a different door was open on the same van. He shut it. Then later, he saw a lady leave the booksale and go to the van. He told her about the open doors and she said it must have been one of her kids that left it open.

But she didn't have any kids with her...[insert eerie music]

@ your service @ your library

So we have this old man who calls us a lot who seems to think he is the one-man FEMA Auxiliary. He always has questions about the library's disaster preparedness resources.

He called the other day and said, "I have a job for you." You know that is never a good sign when a customer introduces their request thusly. I should start saying, "No thanks. I already have a job." But whatever. I asked how I could help him.

"Well, here's what you can do. When you have some time today, I need you to make a list of all the books in your library that have to do with disaster preparedness. See, I'm speaking at a community emergency response meeting, and I would like to give them a handout of all the books the library has on the subject."

He went on in a similar vein for awhile before I could interrupt him to inform him that we do not prepare bibliographies for people.

"Oh, I don't want a bibliography. I just want a list of the books you have."

"Sir, that's what a bibliography is: a list of books."

Then he got all huffy with me and basically accused me of being a bad citizen for not helping out with his presentation which would reach "at least 150 influential people in our community." Then came the kicker, "If you do this you will be helping to save lives, and who knows, the life you save might even be your own."

I decided to see if we had alread compiled a list of resources on the subject (it seems like a topic we would already have info on), and said I would call him back. I told my supervisor what he wanted and she agreed that we absolutely do not provide the service he requested, but she said I could run one search and print out a screen shot of the results for him.

When I called him back to tell him that, he acted all smug as if I had caved. Whatever. Then he launched into his spiel again and had the audacity to say "Well, you're too young to know that there are MANY dangers out there that can affect us, so you just don't realize how important this is."

What's that smell @ your library?

The alternatively housed constituents of our library often carry unique scents, but tonight was a first. "History John" smelled like pancakes and maple syrup.

Mass Confusion @ your library

I wish I could adequately convey what a crazy day we have had in library land. For starters, the quarterly book sale just opened, so we have all that madness going on. (If you don't know, used booksellers are freakishly competitive.)

I call from a guy who wanted to know the translation of the title of a French movie.
"It's called V-A space S-A-V-I-O-R"
"Ok, I'll look it up on the internet movie database. It's called 'Who Knows'."
"Huh, what? What's the title."
"Who Knows? That's the translation."
"Who Knows is the title or you don't know?"
"Yes, the actual translation is 'Who Knows'."
Dang, I feel like I'm in that old radio skit.

Later a gal calls wanting to know the phone number for "The National Association of Spiritualist Churches."
I type that into Google and come up withe the National Spiritualist Association of Churches and ask if that's what she is looking for.
"I don't know. Where is it located?"
I check. "Lily Dale, NY."
"Ok, that must be it."
"So you needed the phone number, right?"
"Yes. Can you give me the address too?"
"Ok, that is P.O. Box 217......Lily Dale, New York..."
"14752? What's that?"
"Um, that would be the zip code..."
"So how did you find all that information?"
"I just typed what you told me into Google."


Unseen Dangers @ Your Library

We have this regular patron who insists that the lights and computers are creating an "electric magnetic field" that does bad things to her. Oddly enough, only the florescent lights in the computer room seem to cause her any distress, and whenever she comes in there to make copies, she insists on having the lights turned off. I was initially told we did not have to accomodate this request (even though she threatened to sue the county), but later, they told us it was a small thing to do, so go ahead and turn the lights off if she requests it.

Computers are another issue. She cannot use one herself because of the electric-magnetic stuff, but she has no problem sitting right next to someone else while they use it for her or standing right in front of the monitor on the ref desk while she tells us what to look up.

Tonight she needed to find out about Crohn's Disease. That is a wonderful subject. Google if if you don't know what it is. I know what it is because I had a friend once who was so afflicted. After she left, I made a sympathetic comment to my coworker: something to the effect that Crohn's Disease is pretty nasty stuff. He then proceded to READ ME the medline description of it! I wanted to hit myself in the head with a hammer.


Angels and Demons @ your library

Roy G. Biv strikes again. Here's my incident report.

About 7:00, a lady called and said her 15 year old daughter was studying in the library with a friend this evening. The friend got up to get something and an adult male came and sat down at the table with her daughter. From the description, I knew immediately that she was talking about Roy G. Biv. He was still in the area, and I had already had several odd interactions with him this evening. He said "Whatcha gonna do when the come for you?" which really creaped the girl out. He proceeded to say that "they" had come for him like 408 times already. I thanked the lady for reporting this and told her we would keep an eye on him.

A short time later, I saw him waylay another girl who was walking by. I was helping another customer, so I told [my coworker] what was happening. At the same time, there were 3 young girls at an adjacent table, and they were watching what was going on and kind of snickering nervously, so I asked them if he had tried to talk to them. The said no, but he did make some faces at them (they demonstrated by raising their eyebrows suggestively).

[Coworker] went to talk to him, and Roy G. Biv told him that if anyone had a problem with them, "they will have to pray to their god because I am an angel" and apparently lots of other things in a similar vein. He was also concerned about demons & such. He refused to agree to stop talking to girls. Then the guard talked to him and eventually Roy left, but not before thanking [coworker] for being a gentleman.

Getting comfortable @ your library

A middle aged man came to the ref desk to borrow the Value Line. A little while later, as I walked through the reference stacks, I saw him reclining on the floor in the 700s perusing the VL.

ROYGBIV @ your library

One of our former "regulars" has returned (hereafter refered to as Roy G. Biv). He creeps me out a bit, even though he is never hostile. He is just too friendly...and he always wants to shake my hand.

Tonight he commented on the startling color of my coat. He asked if he could have 30 seconds of my time to discuss it. So we talked, and then he shook my hand, thanked me for my 30 seconds and left.

Later he passed by again and wanted to talk about my sweater. He debated and finally decided it was "turquoise". He asked if I agreed with that assessment. I told him I just thought it was blue, but he was welcome to think of it as whatever color he felt like.

He told me that color was unequivocally the most wonderful thing in the universe and challenged me to think of something better. I suggested a newborn baby.

Roy agreed that maybe a new baby was better than color, shook my hand and left again.

freestylin' @ your library

Patron: Do you have the number for channel 27?
Me: I might be able to find it for you.
P: See, they called me, or they called for the guy who runs backwards, so I guess they want to talk to me.
Me: ok
P: Yah, smiles for miles. smiles not frowns.
Me [breaking the rules of non-engagement]: so you run backwards?
P: Yah, backwards, forwards, in circles, all around. It's a freestyle run. For smiles not frowns.

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