This morning I was discussing with a friend the few things about our library that I would consider “peeves.” They are the little annoyances that have built up over time, and that I now complain about on a daily basis (yes, daily) because they tend to pop up with record frequency.
So without further ado, a list:
1. Not reading our hours, WHICH ARE POSTED ON THE DOORS.
When patrons rattle the door 20 min before we open and look at me through the glass yelling, “I HAVE THIS BOOK TO CHECK IN!” *points at book* I have simply begun pointing to the sticker ON THE DOOR that says, “Book Drop At Rear Entrance.” That is what the book drop is for and as much as I hate emptying it, I would prefer that you place the book there than playing charades with me through the window for 20 min.
2. Treating us like a Kinko’s/Staples.
We have a copier. It’s old and it’s a terrible copier. It is, however, one of the only public copiers in our small town. I very much dislike when people plop their “To Be Copied” papers down on the desk and look at me. The conversation goes as follows:
Patron: I need you to make copies..
Me: The copy machine is in the back *points* and it is coin operated, .10 a page. I can give you change if you need it, as it only takes quarters/dimes/nickels.
Patron: *still standing at the desk* Well, you will have to show me how to work it *laughs*
Me: There is a diagram on the top of the copier…
Patron: I’m bad with technology
This wouldn’t be such a big deal if it happened infrequently, but it happens multiple times a day. People will yell from the back, “I NEED YOU TO SHOW ME HOW TO WORK THIS” and they have never even looked at the diagram. Have we really evolved into a society who doesn’t try to figure out our problems before we just give up and ask for help?
3. Patrons who put their overdue books into the book drop and then proceed inside.
We don’t have overdue fines at our library, but we have a policy that if the books are overdue and can not be renewed then a patrons library privileges have been suspended until the books are returned. More often than not, a patron will put their books in the book drop and then come to the desk (the book drop is at the back of the library, down the steps and is kept locked mind you, while the circulation desk is at the front). The patron will want to check out books/use the computers/renew a book they just put in the book drop etc.. The conversation starts with the patron dumping a pile of NEW books on our desk and then us scanning their card. After that it goes something like:
Circ. staff: You have 22 books that are long-term overdue, I can’t let you check out those books until the others are returned.
Patron: Well I just put those books in the book drop.
Circ. staff: Well, then we can hold these books until tomorrow when we get the book drop again.
Patron: Well I need these books now!
Circ. staff: We check our book drop twice a day, morning/closing and then as staff time allows I am currently the only one here so I can’t leave the desk to check it. We don’t have the staff to check it every time someone puts a book in the book drop.
Patron: *walks off in a huff*
4. When patrons STEAL our newspaper/sections of our newspaper.
This has become more of a problem lately. Our FYI and sports sections are constantly gone. Even when we kept the newspapers behind the desk and patrons asked to look at it, they would end up leaving sections out and people would steal those. I have caught people several times and asked them to return the paper. Every time the patron seems agitated with me!
5. Leaving a HUGE mess on the newspaper table.
I get it people, but newspapers are not hard. I hate putting them back together too, but its the decent thing to do. However, jumbling the 5 newspapers + the ads + the funeral announcements all together in one pile is NOT DECENT.
6. Leaving books randomly in the stacks.
We have carts throughout the library for patrons to place their books on if they decide they don’t want them. However, most patrons believe that randomly inserting a YA book into the Christian fiction section is the proper way to shelve. I really want to put up a sign that says, “We get paid to shelve, you don’t.”
7. Patrons who butt in front of other patrons while I’m helping them.
I get that you are Mr. Incredibly Busy or Mrs. I Think I Am The Most Important Person…EVER, but the patron in front of you, who I am already assisting, is also busy/important. I always stand up for the patron I am helping and politely ask the impolite patron to wait their turn, but it is difficult when the same patrons repeatedly show this behavior.
8. Setting down return books wherever.
Walking from the back of the library to the front is a lot of work. Carrying books all that way is even more work. Setting them down on a random table in the back is easy though, you should just do that. That way, when I find them later and have to check them in or they get picked up by another patron you can yell at me when I tell you the book has not been returned.
9. Letting your children re-enact Where the Wild Things Are
I love when children come into the library. I adore listening to them read to their parents. I love watching their eyes light up when they see all the books. I even like it when they are a little loud because they get so excited. I do not like it when parents let them pull every book off the shelves, tear up coloring pages, throw crayons, rip out the tape from the audiobooks, run into other sections or bang on the computers.
10. Patrons who come in EVERY DAY to see if their book is in
WE WILL CALL YOU WHEN IT COMES IN.