Yes, I mean THOSE books

We have security gates at the library, like most libraries these days. Mostly because people like to steal things and we like to have our things not stolen. There is a bit of a flaw in this system however – the sensors that are supposed to be set off when someone is stealing our books are also set off by lots of other things. Mostly, and least surprising of all, by books from other place. So when someone is coming in to or going out of the library and they set the gate off we try to stop them and ask if they have any books.

Apparently “book” is too ambiguous a word because 9 times out of 10, unless they’ve just left the borrowing desk, they will say no.


They usually pause and look confused, something akin to a dog hearing a new sound.

“Excuse me, do you have any books, binders or new material in your bag?”


“You haven’t got any books at all.”


“Because sometimes new books or books from other libraries will set off the sensors.”

“I don’t have anything.” They usually end up swinging their bag through the sensor again to test it and this usually sets it off again. Then they all do the same indignant march over to the counter and pull open their bag to prove that they’re not a thief.

At this point what I normally get a look at is not a bag devoid of books of any type, however much I may wish that were the case. No. I usually get a pretty good look at a bag full of books. You know, the same books I just asked about. They same books they denied having or having any knowledge of.

“Well, I have these.” They point. “But they wouldn’t have set the sensor off. I just bought these/borrowed these from the public library.”

*sigh* To be fair, I did mention the fact that new books and books from other libraries set the sensor off over ten seconds ago. These things will slip ones mind.

“I’ll just make sure they don’t set the sensor off again.”

“But they’re new books/library books! Why would they set the sensors off!?”

Because they do. Okay? That’s why.

And sure enough, they check the gate again and not a sound. That would be why I asked if you had any books. ANY books. Not just OUR books.

Next time I’ll try to be more clear.

Published in: on September 29, 2009 at 6:33 pm  Comments (6)  

Lazy and stupid, a bad combination

I know I haven’t posted much lately and the truth is, over the summer the library is dead. There aren’t many new stories and most people who use the library over the summer at least have some idea of how to use the library. But now that the students are back I’m quickly collecting more. Honestly, I think they’re getting stupider every year.

Today was kind of a trying day in general. We were short staffed to the point of ridiculous. I was the only one on the desk for most of the day and it was busy, really, really, busy. Like most busy days the phone kept on ringing just to add to the insanity.

“Good morning, borrowing desk.”

“Hi, uhhh…” When they start with uh it’s not going to go well. “I heard from someone that if I call you guys can get books at the desk.”

Confused? Me too. “I’m sorry?”

“Like if I tell you I need a book you can bring it to the counter so I can pick it up.”

“I’m not quite sure what you mean.” Actually, that’s a lie. He clearly wanted me to go out on the floor with a list of books, collect them and bring them to the counter so his lazy ass didn’t have to walk around and find them himself.

“You know, bring them to the counter”

“You mean books that are already out? I can bring them in on recall.”

“Uhhh…. Nevermind.” Click.

Now do I really need to explain to people why I didn’t and never will indulge this kind of nonsense? Like I have nothing better with my time than run around picking things up for you. What am I? Your mother? And for that matter, you’re an adult, your mother better damned well not be doing everything for you.

Grow the hell up.

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 1:23 am  Comments (2)