Over the years I have definitely created some interesting memories while working inside a library but I never imagined that I would have such funny experiences when I started my career. It was even more interesting when I found out that other librarians were having the same, if not more extreme, situations happening in their quiet environments. Here are a few of my favorite stories collected from a few of my close friends for your amusement.
My friend Rachel works as a librarian in a small town in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She was enjoying her morning when she noticed an elderly man and his grandson coming into the entrance. They marched straight over the her at the help desk and asked about getting onto the research computers. She informed them that you would have to have a library card to have access to these computers. The little boy speaks up and says that he has his number memorized. Well, according to policy they have to have their physical card. The Grandpa throws a tirade and says, “Whatever idiot created that rule, should have been drafted in Vietnam”, and turns around and walks out. Her mouth hit the floor, and we’re reminded that people say the craziest things no matter how quiet their surroundings are.
Angela was talking to me one time about this woman that had come into her branch that was struggling with the copy machine. Upon approaching this elderly woman at the copier, Angela saw that she had a purse sitting in the photocopier. She informed the librarian that she was trying to copy the purse so that she could put it up on eBay. So, Angela asks the woman if she has a phone so that she can take a picture and then upload that picture onto eBay. After a few moments all of that is settled and she sees the woman pulling out money and trying to copy that. When asked what she was doing, she was trying to get money into PayPal in case she needed to have change for the purchaser. This is probably one of the funniest stories that I have heard, just because technology is everywhere doesn’t mean that people actually know how to utilize it.
Another funny story about being a librarian was given to me by my friend Thomas. When he was checking in books collected from the drop box he was approached by a man who looked very serious. This man asked what the penalty was for those that have lost books, because his eldest grandkid was telling the other two that librarians will rip their lips off if they don’t return their books. Thomas, ever on his feet, with a straight face told him that librarians would never cause bodily harm to their patrons and would only require a fee to replace the missing copies. It’s still funny how many people are scared to death of librarians.
These are only a few of the many experiences that my friends and I experience on a daily basis. The next time you go into a library look around you and see what exciting things are happening beneath the surface.
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