Tales From the Library

Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind of day that seems to give the adage “when it rains, it pours” meaning? Yup. Me too. I think that library patrons get a little more crazy in the summer. I think it’s partially the heat and partially people who have school-aged children going off the deep end. Just at the library I see kids regularly running around screaming, banging on the glass of the fish tank that has a sign posted “Do Not Touch Glass,” or parents yelling at their children from across the library about not yelling. Ah, the joys!

People tend to get sloppy with their excuses too. I mean, come on, if you’re going to make up an excuse or blatantly lie to my face at least make it a good one.

For example:

Me calling a patron: Hi, this the public library –

Patron: It was like that when I got it!

Me: Erm, well, sir, it’s actually graffiti on the cd case of your name and phone number.

Patron: Well, there are a lot of people in the “why not club.”

Me: ??? Ok….I just wanted to let you know that it’s unacceptable to deface public property and that the next time it happens you will be asked to pay to replace the cd case.

Patron: There will be another cd in the book drop that has the same message.

Me: Ok…thanks for letting me know.

Patron: I’ll be sure to tell the person responsible that it’s not okay to do that.

Me: Thank you, sir. Have a good day.

And it was okay with you to both tell a bold faced lie about the cd and allow whoever did it to do it in the first place?? *sigh* I wish I was making this up!

So not only has there been a ginormous influx of the library crazies, but then we’ve started getting summer returns in our book drop too.

Such as:

Books filled with sand

Books still wet (“The person who had it before me did that!” “It was like that when I got it!”)

Random photos in books from family vacations

And my favorite so far: a sock.

Yes, summer in all her glory is upon us! 🙂

Do you have any stories from a bookstore or library that you’d care to share?

  1. When I worked at the library there was a particular morning when events prompted one of my coworkers to say, “A “NO PEEING IN THE BOOKDROP” sign should clear that right up.” Hopefully, you never have one of those days!

    • Oh man I don’t even want to think about the events that led up to that! 🙂

    • Tori
    • July 15th, 2010

    So was the sock clean or dirty? I mean, the dryer has eaten a few of mine before so who’s to say the bookdrop didn’t do it?

    • Wouldn’t that be funny if all lost socks ended up in the closest library book drop? Mystery solved!

    • teadevotee
    • July 15th, 2010

    You need a medal!

    • diana mack
    • July 16th, 2010

    i got a note saying a book was overdue…i called and told them of course i returned it…the librarian very nicely asked if i wouldn’t mind taking another peek around; like maybe under the bed? well what kind of idiot puts library books under the bed? i snottily told her i would check and call her back.
    well yes. i would be the idiot with the book under the bed. i called the librarian back, got her ansering machine and basically told her what an idiot i was and that i would return the book the next day.. she called me back laughing,,she was so impressed with my honesty she dropped the fines!

    • Oh so you’re that person! 🙂 That was a great story and I’m glad she waived the fines. Most times when someone says they’ve returned it and I ask them to please check again it mysteriously turns up in the book drop soon after without a word. 🙂

  2. Wow, your library stories are incredible! And seriously, this makes me feel way less bad about the fact that I *know* some of my books go back with cat hair in them. That’s the worst condition I ever return them in! It’s amazing what people will do with those books, lol.

    • Haha! Cat hair’s not bad compared to the ones I get with pieces of toilet paper left inside as bookmarks. :-/

  3. Thanks for sharing your hilarious library stories! It seems like the strangest things happen in libraries…and the weirdest people come up with wacky excuses. I work in a library and I can’t stand the people who call up asking the most random questions (like wanting to know dog walking statistics for the town). Then only after naively conducting a whole reference interview, I realize that this person is lonely and just interested in talking to someone for a half hour. They’re don’t actually want research. Did you hear about the Idaho condiment vandal arrested for dropping condiments in a library’s book return? Crazy.

    • What?? No. Are you joking?? I haven’t heard about that – people are so strange.

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