Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Throwing in the towel

Let's face it I could wax on for thirty days about things you shouldn't do with a library book.  From using them for coasters to babies spitting up on them there really is a limitless number of things that just shouldn't happen.  So time to move on to bigger, better things.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fifty Shades of Ewwww

I'm sorry but this totally counts for numbers 10, 11, and 12.

There are certain kinds of books that you should just buy if you want to read them.  And this proves why.  If it hasn't been mentioned yet I'll mention it now: your friendly library workers always have a bottle of disinfectant within arms reach.

And here is one more small tidbit of interesting information.  Men read tawdry erotica novels at about the same rate as women. 

Say yes to a good read, say no to herpes.  Even if it is only trace amounts.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Smoking Gun and Bubblegum

Number 8:

Smoking is an expensive habit but we do live in a free country and you are more than welcome to smoke to your hearts content.  Well maybe.  Just please don't chain smoke while reading library books.  Quite honestly we probably won't charge you for a smoky smelling book.  But we know in a moment if you're a chain smoker, medium smoker, or light smoker based on the smell and your friendly library worker just prefers books that smell like books.

Number 9:
Bubblegum.  It's tasty, it's bubbly, it's habit forming and it's really hard to get off of books.  Us library people are legitimately thankful for goo gone.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dog gone it, part 2

This is, hands down, my favorite kind of returned book.  No joke!

Dog training books.

That have been half eaten by a dog!

And I've seen this more times than you would think.  I really do feel bad for the people that are returning them.  They have a misbehaving dog that doesn't seem to be trainable and on top of that they have to pay for the dog training book that said dog ate. 

Just one word of advice; don't put it in the book drop.  We know in a split second that your dog tried to eat the book.  And we're pretty sure that you know you'll have to pay it.  Just bring it to the desk and offer a sincere apology.  Your friendly library worker really does feel your pain even if we do have to charge you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dog gone it, part 1

I made a promise.  I promised I wouldn't name names.  So I won't be ratting out any particular person or persons in this post.

6.  Dog eared pages.  Uh huh.  No bookmark so you fold the corners down.  Convenient?  Yes.  But for two reasons this practice should be stopped.  One: fold a corner enough and eventually the corner will just fall off.  Two: your friendly library worker is the one that is unfolding all the folded corners that you forgot you folded and didn't unfold before returning.

Stay tuned for tomorrows post.  Part 2 is a doozy.

Monday, May 5, 2014

I know what you ate last night!

Day 5
Can we talk about eating while reading your library books?  Your friendly librarians can tell, usually, exactly what you were eating.  In this case the culprit is chocolate.  But we've seen it all.  Peanut butter and jelly?  Check.  Coffee?  Check.  Greasy chips?  Check...and crumbs included.  One of the most bizarre ones though has to go to the book that was returned with whole pepperoni included.  Seriously! 

But let's be honest here it's the things we don't recognize that really disturb us.  It's gross enough picking off part of the pizza you were eating for dinner but touching the scuz and not knowing what it is, is hands down worse. 

So if you do eat while reading your library books please follow these simple guidelines:
If the food is greasy or sticky please just wait
Put a lid on any beverages that could tip over
And please, oh please, if you get anything on the book clean it before bringing it back

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Uncensored Saturday

Welcome to uncensored Saturdays.  The day when you get a look into the lives of your friendly (and maybe sometimes not so friendly) library worker.

Today's real truth.

The worst offenders when it comes to overdue books?  Yup.  You guessed right if you said the people who spend most of their week in the library.  We really don't have any good excuse.  We're there all the time and we still can't return our stuff on time.  Sometimes I think they should just garnish our fines from our paychecks.

Friday, May 2, 2014

30 Day Challenge...Things you shouldn't do with a library book

Day 2 and number 4 on my list

Put on your seat belts because we're traveling back in time.

Let's talk hieroglyphs.  Ancient Egyptians used them.  Kids have fun using them in grade school (trust me, my kids have been writing in hieroglyphs for the past three weeks!).  And older, well seasoned adults use them on the back of large print books.  Honestly I'm not sure how they decide who gets what symbol.  And honestly I know how frustrating it is to get 3/4 of the way through a book only to realize that you've already read it.  But honestly marking the back (or inside front cover, or inside back cover, or title page) with your symbol so you know if you've read it?  Part of me says that it's genius.  The other part that has tried so scrub those symbols off?  Well, pen doesn't really come off of books.

Isn't there another way elderly patrons?  A journal or notebook?

And really, how do you decide who gets what symbol?  Is there a secret annual meeting where symbols are assigned?  And what if two of you have the same symbol and your both missing out on some amazing books because you think (based on your symbol) that you've already read it?

So many questions your friendly library workers have, so many questions.

Things you shouldn't do with library books

1. Don't use your library books to squash bugs. If you do please be kind enough to clean it off so that your friendly library worker doesn't have to scrape off mummified ant corpses months later.

2. Don't read your library books in the tub. Two reasons - if you drop it in the water it will never dry right and steam treatment makes the pages very damp and it will never dry right. Your friendly library worker can tell immediately when your book has been tubbed. We will charge you for the book.

3. Dear library patrons. There are times when you completely stump us. How exactly do you get gunk (i.e food, sand, etc) between the cover of the book and the plastic jacket? Sincerely your perplexed library worker. 

Library Advice 101

Believe it or not but people tend to think that libraries are boring places.  With almost ten years of professional library experience under my belt I can confidently tell you that is completely untrue!  Ask any friendly library worker and they will tell you the same thing.  Remember folks, it's a public building and unless a person is doing something blatantly illegal we can't tell them to leave. 
We are a warming center, a cooling center, a place for the jobless and destitute, and act as a dry bar every day.  But we also are the maker of dreams, computer gurus, family time creators, program developers, and distributor of books.  Books will take you anywhere, anytime.  Allow you to meet anyone from anytime.  Make your greatest fears and joys come to life.  Show you how to cook the best food, make the best crafts, and learn how to pass every test imaginable.
The library is the center of the community.  We are more than just books.  And we are available to every single person in our town.  You are never too poor or too rich or too black or too white or too whatever to walk through the doors and use all of our services.

With all of that in mind I want to draw light to some of the more humorous happenings in the library world while also encouraging all of us to love and respect what the library offers.