Tuesday, April 24, 2007

At the Library

I like being a librarian. Mostly, I think it's something I'm good at. But there are two things that happen all the time that drive me nuts. Our library doesn't have wireless on every floor right now. It's only available on the top two floors and we have signs everywhere about this. But it never fails that someone will come in, sit at a table for awhile and then come up to me and complain that their laptop won't connect to our wireless on this floor -- which is not one of the top two floors. I've gotten very good at saying patiently, "I'm sorry. Wireless access is not available on the bottom floors of the library yet, although we are working on it. If you go to the top two floors, you can use the wireless. Let me know if you still have a problem." No one ever comes back to say that they can't use wireless Internet on the top two floors. What I want to say, even though I know they don't read the signs, is, "See the signs? What do they say? What floor are you on?"

The other question that drives me crazy is, "Do you have such-and-such a book?" And it's not so much that question, it's the follow up I dread if we don't have the book. It's always along the lines of repeating the question (sometimes endlessly), or saying something like, "Did you look it up by author as well as title? What about keyword?" As if repeating it would somehow make the book magically appear in the library. I'd be happy to get it on interlibrary loan for them if it weren't either their textbook or a book they need that day, but it's inevitably one of those two.

11 comments:

Kristina said...

I'm laughing, cos I feel your pain, even though I'm not currently working at a library.

Another favorite (along the lines of what you were saying) is when people would ask me if we had a certain book, but didn't know the author OR title. So they had just a guess to either/or. And they would get impatient with me because I couldn't find it in the system...

Katya said...

Oh -- and I forgot to mention the other -- when they ask for a book that they know they've read but all they remember about it is the color!

sari said...

My son told me yesterday about a video game he wanted.

Me: What's it called?
Him: I don't know, my friend told me about it.
Me: What is it about?
Him: I don't know, but it sounded like I'd like it.
Me: Well how do you know, if you don't know what it's about? What do you do in the game?
Him: I don't know.

So, I feel your pain.

Katya said...

You would think they'd at least know vaguely what it's about!

Lisa Jean said...

Ain't libraryland grand? I miss working at a library, but there were days when you just wanted to smack someone. My favorite: You are so lucky you get to read all the time.

Katya said...

lisa jean: I don't know how I could possibly have forgotten that! I hear it all the time and I mostly work with computers.

sari said...

It's as good as "Oh, you're a stay at home mom? I bet you get to sit and watch tv all day" (or: "since you stay home and do nothing all day, could you do me a favor?").

I get both. It's a wonder I haven't ground my teeth to nubs, ha ha.

nutmeg said...

Katya, isn't your other title Magician? "Let me just pull that book right out of my #@%$!@# for you right now!" Said with a smile of course ;-)

Katya said...

sari: when I was a stay at home mom, that was the one thing that drove me nuts!

Nutmeg: I love that -- I think I'll get a name tag that says "Magician." :)

BabelBabe said...

MY HUSBAND believes that I sit around all day and eat bonbons, I swear!

at work recently I had a grad student tell me, "It's a lavender book, about this big..." How does one expect to write a dissertation if you can't even remember the title and/or author of a book?

Katya said...

bb: I think my husband used to think that until he needed help with his dissertation. Now he knows better!