21 Things I’ve learned about libraries (in no particular order)

21. The library seems like a great place to work until you work there. Once you actually work there you end up writing stuff like this.

20. the people who work the circulation counter and who shelve the books at your library don’t get paid enough to put up with your bullshit.

19. There is no where shelvers hate shelving more than the DVDs almost entirely because patrons are impatient assholes.

18. People seem to honestly believe that “I just need it for a sec” will make a book appear & that we file by colour & picture on the cover.

17. People are liars & cheapskates. I’ve had people blatantly lie to me nearly every single work day & I’ve been yelled at for a $0.10 fine.

16. If you think paper money and coins are dirty, you should probably never touch a library book again.

15. In my time working in libraries, there have been 4 condoms, any number of porn mags and 1 pair of underpants found in the stacks.

14. Shelving books is boring. Shelf reading is worse. Both will lead to games like “find the most unintentionally dirty book title”.

13. There is a segment of the population that will go through any from 20-30 romance novels A WEEK. Every. Single. Week. Seriously.

12. If your library carries a copy of the Kama Sutra, just do yourself a favour and don’t touch it. Just trust me on this one.

11. The staff will make up nicknames for the more notable regulars. None of them are flattering.

10. Most librarians are not hot. In fact most are middle aged, grumpy and down right terrifying. Not all, mind you. But a lot of them.

9. You DO NOT want to know what condition some books come back in or how easy it is to tell what some people’s fetishes are.

8. People will actually go out of their way to avoid reading signs. Any sign. Even if it’s written in 2ft high letters, WILL BE IGNORED.

7. There is more than one system of filing. Dewey being the most common in public libraries. Universities also use Library of Congress.

6. Libraries attract crazy people like Comic Con attracts nerds. This is a constant.

5. Also, despite seeming like the kind of place that would be super organized, they are often super disorganized. It’s a constant annoyance.

4. Despite what we are lead to believe, libraries are generally fairly noisy. That’s just the reality of it. Try not to let it worry you.

3. Nothing is quite like the smell or feel of a 200 year old book. It has a quality that cannot be matched by anything and I love that.

2. Libraries are dusty. Book dust will make just about anyone who’s around enough stuffy nosed.

1. Libraries are very dry. I have never in my life used as much hand lotion or had my nose subjected to such dryness as I do here.

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Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reminds me of when I worked at my college library. I always felt like I was covered in dust at the end of my shift…And I cannot think of anything more tortuously mind-numbing.than shelf-reading.

  2. Some of these points are funny. Some are downright surprising. (All the romance novels? Underwear?!) Consider this piece forwarded to all the librarians I know. And I’m going to ask them about their nicknames for regulars.


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