8.29.2007

The opening of an 8/29 article by a college sophomore, Cassie Gentry, on her job at the library:

"A nun, while waving a two-foot crucifix over me, called me an immodest and sinful dresser. A strange man of questionable intentions and even more questionable body odor proposed marriage to me. A ten-year-old berated me for refusing to page his brother over the PA system and ask where his Playstation memory card was. A father insisted I harshly scold his five-year-old son for breaking the binding on a book to 'teach him a lesson.'

And yet, people constantly remark how easy it must be to work at the library. They envision the circulation desk staff sitting at expansive desks, flipping through literary journals or thick leather-bound novels and pausing only to exchange intelligent conversation with academics who have decided to check out something along the lines of War and Peace.

Not so much."

Check out the rest--it's a fun, quick read. Oddest patron request I ever had at a library? A phone call from a man who'd left his glass eye in the men's room and asked if I could retrieve it and hold it at the desk so he could come pick it up (I did).

3 comments:

Anne said...

Oh my. The glass eye request should get some kind of librarian award. :) At my academic library we don't get as many off-the-wall questions, but I did have a young man (wearing very baggy sweat pants) approach the reference desk one afternoon this past summer and ask if we had a piece of string or something that he could use to keep his pants up.

(We didn't have string, but we gave him some rubber bands, which he was able to use to fasten his pants and shirt together -- think how you bunch up a shirt you're going to tie-dye.)

Matthew said...

Once my wife, who is the healthier one in our relationship, settles into her career as an accountant (hopefully sometime in the next year or so), I plan to eventually return to school in order to head down the road toward becoming a librarian. The stories Cassie relates only intensify my desire to do so; such tales, retold later, are what make life interesting, for me, and I am now already looking forward to the first time someone asks me to announce something ridiculous over the PA system or retrieve something unmentionable from the restroom. Fantabulous post :)

Emily Lloyd said...

Anne--that's a riot. And Michael-- that's great! And it's true: I'd trade this job for no other, ever. [grin]