Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Happy National Library Week!!

Cookie Monster: Your Average Public Library visitor!

Don't you agree that I would be remiss as a Library Employee if I did not wish you a Happy Library Week?

I think I would be.

Believe it or not, the video above pretty much describes what it can be like to work in a public library. Cookie Monster? He's the average library patron.

I don't mean to suggest that the library is full of Cookie Monsters. Certainly, there are regular, normal people who come to the library.

But there are plenty of irregular people who show up, too. I've spoken about a few of these irregular patrons in posts past. My Library stories are great material for parties.

This past weekend, for instance, we had a few boys show up dressed as mimes who caused a general ruckus. Last week, there was that guy speaking (I swear!) in Klingon. In the past, we have had patrons to whom we've referred as:
  • Foot Fetish Guy --he used to sneak under the tables and stare at people's feet (he's in jail now);
  • Hair Cutter Guy --he used to try to cut off women's ponytails. He abhors Crystal Gayle and has asked for her address at our Reference Desk and then written to her about 500 times to tell her to cut her hair! (he's in a mental health facility now, much to the joy of poor Crystal Gayle, I'm sure).
One time, we had a woman who came to the Circulation Desk insisting that we sell her "a ticket to sleep." We're still trying to sort out what that was about.

People never believe it when I share these stories. They think of the library as a very subdued and tranquil place where people are holed up in corners reading Dostoevsky and such. When I interview people for jobs, they often tell me that they would "love a job where they get to go and read all day."


Yeah, I'm not sure where they get that idea, but that's not really what working at the Library is all about.

The Library is no longer the tranquil, quiet (boring) place it was in years past. Today's public library is vital, alive, and exciting. (Sometimes, a little too exciting...)

It is Everyman's University.

The library is a community center. A third place.

It's just plain cool! (I know, I'm a geek. I'll stop. But, it is true.)

If you haven't been to your library recently, try it out. In this economy, why buy a book you can borrow?

I encourage you to find out what your library has to offer. Most people think of books, sure, and magazines, newspapers, and periodicals. But did you know we have DVDs (TV shows, movies, documentaries, etc. etc.)? CDs (popular, country, inspirational, world, opera, jazz, etc. etc.)? Computer Software? Downloadable audiobooks? Tons of databases? Free Wireless Internet? Free computer use if you don't own a computer yourself?

At our library, we even even have fishing poles that you can check out!!

If you've not been to your town's library in a bit (or ever!), make a point to check their website or, better yet, stop in and see what's there.

And, gosh darn it, get a library card!!!
Miss Zoe demands it!!
And you don't want to disappoint Miss Zoe, do you?

By the way, while you're at your library, you might consider asking them if they sell tickets to sleep.

If you get any response, do let me know, won't you?


Emma said...

Sometimes I've needed a ticket to sleep. Now I know where to get one!

I love libraries times a million!

Jennifer Hugon said...

Excellent Sesame Street Video!

I worked at a small community library for about 6 months, and I swear it was the best job I've had. I LOVED it. Now, my mom works there (going on 7 years) and LOVES it too. Agreed, libraries are lively, vital places that are a blessing in our communities. I use ours regularly and would be so lost without it!

Happy National Library Week to you too!!

Marcy said...

yes-- tickets to sleep sold here!!!

thanks for the library wishes!!

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

very cool post... ticket to sleep, ms.zoe and a table peep too!


Lisa said...

Oh, we LOVE our library! It's been ranked #1 in the U.S. in its category for several years now.

We agree with IS a COOL place!

Your patron stories are hilarious! Having worked in customer service (retail, hotels, health care) for many years, I can *so* commiserate.

Fishing poles? Really? How awesome is THAT?

I'll definitely have to put your library on my "must see" list this summer :-)