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Library situations

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Library situations
The Passing Parade mentioned an unusual incident–a man dying in the men’s room at the library.

I can top that! At least dead patrons do not pee on the upholstered couch or expose themselves to children in the stacks.

One patron we called Dudley Doright used to sit at one of our tables playing chess, either with or without a partner. He also smelled. This was not the problem. The problem was that he did not wear a belt, and his trousers were continually falling down until–how can I put this delicately?–the crack in his ass showed. A fearsome sight.

Joan Jones used to monopolize the ladies’ room, putting on makeup and washing it off, then crying and repeating the process while the bladders of the other patrons, waiting outside the locked door, were about to burst.

We also had a library child. Not a cat, but a child, three years old. Her parents ran the Chinese restaurant around the corner and never noticed that she was missing. When I spoke to them about it, they suddenly became monolingual, and not in English. Eventually we gave up and set Lisa up in her own corner, with her own crayons and paper and let her make the library her home. It was better than sending her out to play in traffic.

There was the lady from Chicago. We knew she was from Chicago, because she complained that we weren’t as nice and efficient as the librarians in Chicago. She would call up and ask us to print out all the information we had on, say, nuclear weapons, put it in an envelope, and leave it at the main desk. The Chicago librarians would do it, but we wouldn’t.

One of our Board members was going to college. We were glad indeed when she graduated and we no longer had to do her homework.

There are plenty more stories where these came from.

In between these nuisances were the very, very nice, grateful people who made it a joy to work there.

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About Miriam

  • Ah the joys of working with the public.

  • one time in the library i…

    …wait, i can’t talk about that!

  • Mark — Please don’t tell us you were studying long and hard…

    Public librarians are forced into acting in a role akin to social workers. It’s a strange phenomenon.

  • The librarians in my library, Milwaukee Central, tell me they always wanted to look at what Jeffrey Dahmer had been checking out, but never did. This was in the course of a discussion on the Patriot Act.

    The approach they now take, and perhaps many other libraries do too, is that the record of issue is kept until the book is returned, or fine paid, then it is erased.