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Library wonderfulness

June 9, 2008

Libraries attract interesting people, that’s a fact. And sometimes these interesting people decide that they too would like to join the ranks of civil servant and become one of us. I have seen this happen many times before, although one of the more interesting stories I have heard came from the Maranatha Library where I worked when I was in grad school. That was one interview I would have liked to have been in on! But today Alicia came in and applied (the same Alicia who ate the dust off the staff lounge door). She sat down at the front desk as soon as we gave her an application and began filling it out. Not two minutes later I hear “Jen, do you have white out?” I got her a new application. Then a few minutes later when she got to the references part, she asked for one of my coworkers. But before my coworker could make it out there, she told me ‘never mind’ and finished filling it out. While Alicia was busy filling out her application, my boss went in back and told my other coworkers that Alicia had applied and that she was going to work right next to them (he was kidding). We decided that she could work right next to the harmonica player who had also applied. (he serenaded patrons while waiting for us to bring him an application. I’m not sure they appreciated it.) 

The library board has decided, for the safety of the books, and the general cleanliness of the building, that most types of food should not be allowed inside the library. Hence our rule of no uncovered beverages and no food that has to be eaten with a fork. This seems reasonable enough. You want to bring in your 20 oz bottle of Sprite? Sure. You want to bring in a candy bar? Bag of chips? Fine. But no McDonalds Happy Meals, okay? Right. I cannot count the number of times we have had to ask kids to take their chow mein, chicken, and chopsticks out to the lobby. Sure we have signs posted at all the tables, but who really reads when they come to the library anyways? So we remind them. Again. And again. Today Marq (yes, Mark with a Q) walked by proudly holding a 2 liter of Dr. Pepper, with a stack of cups upside down over the lid. I guess he figured if his parents were going to make him stay at the library all day till they got off work, he might as well have a party. This isn’t the first time he has done this. In fact, he does it quite regularly. I think it is helping him make new friends. At least, he seems more popular these days. (it’s easy to impress people when you are in Middle School) It’s always funny to me to watch different people’s reactions when they come into the library with their smoothies and frappuccinos and Slurpees. Some people sort of slink in, holding their offending beverage as low as they can, somewhere down by their knees. I guess they think we can’t see it. But we can. And we don’t care. Some people leave their drinks under the table before they come all the way inside the library. I’m not sure it’s smart to leave a drink that you would like to finish drinking later under a table at the library. Do you know what kind of people come into the library? You might be surprised at what kinds of things a bored group of Middle School boys could think up to put in your drink, I’m just saying…

Last weekend at closing time a girl came up to the desk and said that someone had stolen her scooter. This happens all the time, people saying that people have stolen their things (one time someone said a pack of cigarettes had been stolen and they wanted us to watch the security cameras). So my boss called the police and they watched the tape from the lobby and front doors and sure enough, two boys were walking out with her scooter. My boss recognized one of the boys on the tape, he’s in the library all the time. So they went and found the kid and arrested him. (they arrested the other boy as well for lying to the officer) Ever since they put in those cameras we have found lots of uses for them! We have used them to catch several taggers and a few thieves. (Bikes get stolen from time to time)

But the most interesting thing in the lobby is not the security camera, it’s the elevator. The elevator that is way old, always has a disturbing smell, and takes five minutes to take you from floor one to floor two. It is a kid magnet! They like to lock their friends in it. Or try and open it while it is closing, which separates the front piece from the back piece, sort of like separating two halves of an Oreo. You can see the inner workings of the door when you slide back the outside half. And kids find this irresistable. Personally I disdain the elevator. It has had more that its’ share of stink bombs, food spills, and disgusting yellow puddles.I never take the elevator anymore. If I have to take a cart from one floor to the next, I send it on it’s own. Besides, the stairs provide good excercise, especially if you take them two at a time. It doesn’t look very ladylike, but it’s a great workout when you do it all day! My experiences with the elevator include my having dropped the library keys down the elevator shaft (and having to admit it to my boss), and having witnessed two employees get stuck in it for about fifteen minutes before we realized where they were. They were banging on it and calling for help. That is another reason I avoid the elevator. It is not known for its’ reliability, and I cannot think of anything worse than being stuck in a tiny, smelly elevator. I can hold my breath for the duration of the ride upstairs (almost), but I couldn’t hold it for fifteen minutes plus! Today as I was coming down the stairs I saw the typical group of shaggy haired teens playing with the elevator. A group of guys was trying to go down it, while their friend was pushing the door in towards them. He wasn’t pulling the front layer of the door back, he was pushing it inwards, while a group of guys watched from the outside. Why are guys so destructive?

Well, anyways, that’s just life at the library. I guess if it wasn’t so interesting we wouldn’t qualify as a genuine public library.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2008 9:03 pm

    I remember riding the library elevator as a kid. It’s a good thing ours didn’t smell. 🙂

  2. jenmarie permalink*
    June 12, 2008 10:38 am

    Ours gets attacked by groups of bored teens and immature Middle Schoolers so I guess it really doesn’t stand a chance.

  3. Becka permalink
    June 23, 2008 9:10 am

    lol about the elevator. All those things are so true. I used to hold my breath in it too, and then decided just not to put myself through that traumatizing experience! Then I also took the stairs.

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