You can’t be the leaders of tomorrow, you just can’t

At the University library we have some materials that are kept behind the desk. They’re course reserves, you have to come and ask for them. Somehow though, this seems to be beyond most student’s abilities.

Honestly, I’ve only been there just over two weeks and I’ve already had dozens of people come to me completely unaware of how to request the materials they require. It’s like they expect me to know what they need. That kind of attitude is frustrating enough at the public library but it gets even worse when you’re in a school.

Just for clarification, the reserve material is all filed exactly the same way as it is in the rest of the library, by its call number. Some reserves are folders and others are binders. And there are hundreds of each. So how exactly would you like me to remember what course every single item is for? For that matter, why do you think I should?

Maybe I’m just being silly but it’s your class, it’s your mark so wouldn’t it make it your job to know what you need? Wouldn’t make it in your best interest to know? And for the record, no I’m not going to make any special efforts to make sure you find what you’re looking for. You’re in University, sweetheart, it’s time to start taking some responsibility and making the effort to figure things out for yourself.

Despite all this I still have conversations like this nearly once every fifteen minutes.

“I need a book for my class.”

“Okay. Do you have the call number?”

Confused. “No, it’s a book on reserve.

Because I don’t know what reserve material is, clearly. If I did, I would have magically produced exactly what you’re looking for from behind the counter with a bit of a flourish and a Ta-Da!

“Yes, I understand. I still need a call number.”

“Oh, well it’s for Microbiology.”

“Is it *Bio Text*?” I take a stab in the dark as it’s one of those books that goes out almost hourly to this kind of class.

“No. The instructor is…”

“Listen, do you know how to find the call number?”


I go through the process of showing them the online database they can use to find all this information themselves.

“You said it was Microbiology?”


“Microbiology what?”


“There is no Microbiology 210.” I’m not even kidding, they don’t know their own classes. It’s damn near the end of the semester and they don’t know this.

“Not Microbiology. Biology.”

“Still no 210.”


I pull up every reserve for Bio 220. He points to the book I suggested before we went through all this nonsense. He also takes the book without so much as a thank you, much less an apology for wasting my time. (This guy in particular was extra special because I saw him do exactly the same thing the very next day with the other girl. She even suggested the book right off the bat. He still said no and went through everything, again.)

This is only slightly less irritating than the people who don’t even know if the item is a book, folder or binder. Even less irritating than people who insist it’s a folder and then after ten minutes of searching and holding up a line realize it’s a binder. And definitely less irritating than people who actually get mad because you don’t know what it is they need.

That being said, there isn’t one of them that I wouldn’t gladly beat with one of the giant art books from the fourth floor.

-Late Fines

Published in: on March 28, 2009 at 1:32 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. There is NO excuse for rudeness. Period. Thus spoke Submom.

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