Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Library Kind of Life

I don't think I've done a library post in a while. As with any other kind of job, there are highs and lows, positives and negatives.

Here is a negative - The Crazies

When you have a public place, like a library, you are going to have crazies. It is inevitable. Last night we had a doozy. He started over at the Adult Reference Desk. He wanted to leave some flyers he had written up about our "Founding Fathers". I don't really know what that was about, but there is an area where people can leave free handouts for others, so he was told he could leave them. But that wasn't enough. He also wanted to have some signage placed on the door of the building that would direct people to his handouts. Um, no can do. Our directive when people get confrontational is just to ask them to fill out a comment card so that we can have a record of their concern and can respond to them in writing. He refused and said he would simply tell his story on a call in radio show. Fair enough. And over there at the Ref. Desk, they were done. But HE was not done. He wandered over to the Children's Room and started perusing the display cases. He found something which did not please him. One of our cases has a Halloween display. Half of it is "books that will scare you" - Halloween stories from our collection. The other half is "books that scare us" - Featuring books that have been defaced in some way, with instructions and suggestions on how to properly treat library books. His objection was to this image:His fervent belief is that showing a book with the first President all colored on was disrespectful. We explained that defacing books is, yes, disrespectful, but that the point of the display is to help people understand how to treat books. He just wasn't having it. He wanted the book taken out of the display. Again, he was asked to fill out a comment card so that his concerns could be addressed in writing. Again, he declined. Was it over? Not quite. He came back again this morning to complain about these affronts to his person. He spoke to the administrative secretary...comment card....no... His next step was City Hall where he demanded to speak with the City Manager. He didn't care to leave his name or contact information, quel suprise. Anyway, end result? Lots of time spent on this guy. But no signs for his very special handouts and George stays.

I could write a bunch of positive stuff easily. I just got through doing a storytime and that is enough positive interaction to make everything worthwhile. When I see parents and kids sitting and reading together, or kids excitedly choosing books with their eyes all shining and smiles on their faces, wow! It is awesome. It is why I love the library. Even with the crazies.


Mrs. Hairy Woman said...

Gotta put up with the crazies in order to have the positives..
when I use to take LHm to the Library for story time he loved it.. But then he got bigger and started walking er.. running/bolting and I stopped taking him.. there were always a couple of crazies there and it makes for some uncomfortable situations..

dmarks said...

I used to work in a bookstore, and there was this guy who came in who looked like Elmer Fudd. He used to rant about conspiracies, and also about how if you go to college, it makes you stupid.

laura b. said...

Mrs: I keep hoping for all good with no bad, but I guess life doesn't work that way :-)
I am in charge of Toddler Time and there are a few who like to roam around. We are lucky to have a nice separate room for storytime...they can't escape!

Dmarks: haha! I think I know that guy! :-)

Churlita said...

I think boyfriend needs a job, so he deosn't have so much time on his hands to harass people.

Our library is full of whack jobs too.

Tara said...

Sounds like everyone would like to hide when they hear him coming, right? I'm glad you love working at the library, though, and that the nutter doesn't bring you down too much.

laura b. said...

Churlita: A job. Imagine the poor person who accidentally hired him. haha!
All libraries are I suspect.

Tara: We are hoping with his defeat he will ride off into the sunset.
There are so many things about working here that make it all worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

It takes all kinds to make this world go around. This guy seems like he's only happy if he's complaining about something. He really needs to get a life.

laura b. said...

AlienCG: I suspect that he does get his kicks being disruptive. And he must know there is something wrong about it, since he won't give anyone his name.