I know libraries are still well used. Hence why I have a job as a Librarian (which I love). And I also love interacting with the majority of my patrons. Occasionally we have the squirrely one who comes in and acts like a fool. Other people come in like they are prancing into a bar at happy hour. But in the time I have been a Librarian I have learned a few things, and I want to share them with you. I’m not saying accidents don’t happen, they do and its okay, but when the accident happens repeatedly something needs to change.
1. That iconic image of a Librarian going Shhh! is true. Like seriously, this is a quiet place. Now I’m not saying we sit in pure silence all day. That would just be silly. Sometimes my coworkers and I get riled up and have a good (maybe too loud) laugh, but for the most part there is a pretty serene atmosphere here. It’s okay to talk, just talk in hushed tones, and please take your phone calls outside/put your phone on vibrate. Also, stop cursing. I curse, just not at work, in front of small impressionable children, or anything of the same like. I don’t need a F-bomb at 8:30 in the morning.
2. The next kid I have to tell to stop running – especially up the stairs – is getting their feet glued to cement blocks…so they can’t run anymore. It’s dangerous, loud, and you could hurt yourself or someone else. I probably say this two or three times a day, and usually to the same kids.
3. Books are not, I repeat, not coasters….. Please do NOT use library books as placemats, drink holders, ashtrays, or to hold your roaches…and I’m not talking about the bug variety. And I’m serious. I found one in a book. *serious facepalm* Also, please refrain from giving the library book a bath. We give it s special cleaning every time it is returned, and your bath tub just can’t get the job done. Now, if its an uncarded book or something it’s not as big of a deal. Some people enjoy reading in the tub and that’s fine, but just don’t drop the book!
4. Children. I could write a whole book about children in the library and with books. (And FYI I have children, so I think these are reasonable)
a. Books are not teething toys. b. Don’t let your baby rip the pages, it’s not cute. c. I’m not your babysitter, I don’t paid to watch your kids. (And I usually a “stranger” remember stranger danger teaching?) I love children, and I love them in the library. Occasionally I love to hold them. That does not mean to leave your screaming two-year old with me while you search for books or play on the computer for 2 hours. d. Our books are not coloring books or sticker books. They are books you read. Please do not let your kid get a marker/pencil/pen and go to town on them.
5. Animals…similar to children. (I also have animals so I feel like this is realistic as well)
a. Books are not chew toys, don’t let them chew the corners off. b. Don’t let your animal pee on them, it’s gross and smelly. c. Try to keep them away from the animals…they often obtain a smell after a while I opening a bag of books that smell like wet dog/you obviously own 100 cats makes me want to throw up.
I’m sure there are a million more things I could say, but I’m sure you’re exhausted by reading the do’s & do not’s of the Library world….well, at least how it would be in a perfect world. I realize these things are going to happen, and it’s ok. We’re all human. Support your local library! Go check out a book today!