I LOVE public libraries and I LOVE public librarians, as long as I do not have to work in one, or be one.
I have worked in public libraries and I could go my entire life with never having to answer questions like these again, and yes, all of them were asked of me while working as a public librarian.
Hi. Can I help you?
“Have you seen my daughter”
What does she look like ma’am?
“Well, she’s two. (as if there is a template ‘look’ for all two-year olds)
Where did you see her last ma’am? (Like the kid is a fucking set of car keys)
“I left here an hour ago and told her to not leave the children’s area.
Me (internally): WTF! You LEFT a two-year old in a public space where MOLESTERS can roam freely and told her to stay and now you wonder if I have seen her? Holy Jesus I think I am having an aneurism.
Me (out loud): Ok ma’am why don’t you check the children’s room again and I will make a call (to CPS you fucking idiot) to get more help in looking for (your obviously unimportant progeny that you left here and hour ago) your little girl.
Where is the bathroom?
I point and smile to the HUGE BLUE BATHROOM SIGN WITH AN ARROW hanging over our heads.
Repeat 5 to 4,098 times a day.
“Do you have any good books?”
Sadly, no, all of our books are shit.
“Can you tell me my password?”
Sorry, don’t have access to patrons’ passwords, but you can request a new one by clicking on this link
“I don’t want a new one- I want to know the one I already have.”
( Oh! You mean the one you can’t fucking remember?)
“Can you tell me what time you close?”
(Why, it’s not like you’ll get off the internet by then. You inconsiderate shit-hound)
We will close at 9 p.m. ma’am.
Questions About Local Business’
“Where is the nearest Pizza Hut and do they have any specials tonight?”
(oh god I hate you diabolically. Did you really just get UP from the computer, where you were Facebooking, to come ask me a question that you could find the answer yourself? Die.Die.Die.)
According to their website, the nearest Pizza Hut is on 4th Avenue…
Detailed Reader’s Advisory
“Do you have this book, my sister told me about it, it has this guy ummmm and this girl- I think. Anyway they live in Vermont, or is it Maine…well the cover is blue’ish. Do you have it?”
Can you remember anything from the title?
Can you remember anyone’s name in the book?
“I haven’t read it. (Said with an exasperated sigh)”
Can you call your sister and ask her for the title?
“I don’t want to bother her.”
(Oh, really? But you have no problem bothering me with this useless game of “Guess what fucking book I am talking about, when I don’t even know myself?” How very thoughtful of you.)
My absolute favorite reference question from being a Children’s Librarian:
Little Boy: “Do you have any of those movies- you know the ones, you can hear (he cups his darling hands behind his ears) them, and you can watch the words (puts his fingers like binoculars on his eyes)”
Me: Oh, you mean closed caption videos. We have a lot of them.
Little Boy: Oh good! I love those hose and captain movies.
When he found a few ‘hose and captain’ movies he liked he came by the children’s reference desk and said “Thank you!” and then gave me a sharp salute.
I still love that kid and that happened 9 years ago.