Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Puppet show preview?

This one from Kathleen in Texas. Pretty sad that sometimes the parents are worse than the children.

When I managed a small branch library, a young, over-earnest (and very entitled) mother came to me before the puppet show scheduled for that afternoon. She wanted to know if she could pre-screen the show for appropriateness for a 2-year-old. With a very straight face, I explained that this was a live performance and therefore could not be previewed at all. I also explained that this would be a capacity crowd and that it was not appropriate for a 2-year-old, and more suited to a 5-8 year-old audience. She was adamant that she pre-screen the puppet show until I had to just say “no.” I was busy handing out tickets to children and explaining to parents that the show would be very full and that if they could, please send the child in alone.

Most parents were very understanding and went to sit elsewhere in the branch. As I was helping another customer just before the show started, I saw uber-mom sneak into the show with her 2-year-old who promptly began to scream when the lights went out. The puppeteers actually had to stop the show and ask her to remove her child before they could be heard over the poor toddler’s cries (and these ladies had some good lungs on them, too). Of course, no one involved in this got an apology from the mom; not the staff, the puppeteers or the other members of the audience. Some folks got no ‘couth.  Nope, no ‘couth at all.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chat rooms @ the library.

Another one about the Facebook stalker I've mentioned previously.

Long before the Facebook stalking incident occured, when I was still a fairly new employee, she came up to me asking if I could help her with the chat program on her computer, as it wasn't working. At this point I wasn't familiar with her antics and figured she was trying to use the Ask A Librarian feature. As I get to the screen I realize it is in fact one of those creepy hookup/dating/"meet your soulmate" chat rooms (I can't remember the name) with some flashy graphic featuring all kinds of nice, lurid pictures.

My response? That the university has probably disabled the chat room because the computers are meant to be used for research and studying only (not 100% true, but whatever). To which I get the incredibly displeased and snarky reply of "OH, WELL THAT SUCKS."

I've never understood why so many people insist on looking at porn or doing other similar weird stuff on public computers...maybe its time to invest in your own computer and internet connection at home so the rest of us don't have to watch in horror. Oh, and not to mention all the other hundreds of people waiting in line to use the computers for legitimate purposes.

I've seen it all: porn and sex chatrooms (men have actually been busted masturbating under the table at our city's public library!), gambling (and other similar scams), and of course the ever-popular farmville addiction.
What kinds of strange/gross computer usage have you all had the pleasure of witnessing?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Canadian Government = Nazis?

A patron just compared the Canadian government (asking him to provide details about the equity in his recently sold home) to the nazi's pulling out gold teeth in extermination camps during World War II. He went on to give an incredibly graphic and detailed description of this. This somehow relates to him seeing me at a bus stop several months ago (this was his conversation starter), but I have no idea how and am now just thoroughly confused.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The day a patron CLIMBED THE LIBRARY

I should start with a description of the library: my city's main branch has 4 floors. One wall is composed almost entirely of windows with a type of design similar to scaffolding that extends outwards on the inside of the building over the reading terrace. Similar to this:

One day last year I came to work and shortly after the entire building was being evacuated. I looked up and there was a young man STANDING ON THE SCAFFOLDING on the fourth floor. Hence why we had to evacuate; one misstep and he could have fallen four floors down as around the reading terrace it is an open design. Shortly after the building was emptied the police and emergency services showed up and had to climb up and rescue the guy.

Apparently he and his girlfriend had gotten into an argument in the library earlier that day and she had broken up with him and told him "he should kill himself". So he climbed the scaffolding intending to jump off. But of course once he got up there, he decided that he wanted to live, but couldn't figure out how to climb back down!

Crazy library patrons: at least climb the OUTSIDE of the building. Or even better: avoid having your crazy break up arguments inside the library altogether.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Feces @ the library.

Has anyone ever been walking around in the stacks only to come across a steaming pile of human feces on the floor? Not even far from the public washrooms?
I have.

I also once had a mother come up to me while I was shelving and ask if it was okay to change her baby's diaper on the floor inbetween the stacks. I informed her that there was a changing table in the ladies room that she could use. She said she didn't want to do that because "he might fall off". But she was also worried that someone might walk by and see her changing her baby (duh). I told her she could do whatever she was most comfortable with, but that I couldn't guarantee that no one would walk by. I am almost 100% sure it wasn't in my job description to "stand guard" over mothers who don't want to use the proper changing tables provided.