Patrons, what a bunch of bastards

Librarian note

Earlier this year, our circulation librarian, let’s call her Shirley, left the above note on the bulletin board near our main desk for all of us staff to see.

No, Shirley wasn’t having a bad day. That’s just the way she is, not only in notes, but in person, to both patrons and staff alike, and she’ll be the first to admit it, although in this case, Shirley told me and others who pointed out the note to her: “I honestly don’t remember writing that note.” — even though the handwriting was clearly hers.

For being a librarian, she’s not the most social person. In fact,Β  Shirley hates people, another thing to which she readily admits. She probably agrees with the sentiment Roy expresses here (a sentiment I can’t say with which I totally disagree):

She especially hates children, and, for that reason, doesn’t work Wednesday mornings when Storytime and the summer reading program for children run. Shirley told me if she had her way, she’d have parents leave their children in a cage outside the library and then have the parents take a number so they could get their children back on the way out of the library. If she had her druthers, she’s told us, she wouldn’t let people in the library either with librarians handing out materials through a slot in the door to the patrons.

After having seen both children and adults in action in the library, both (the cage and the slot) are sentiments I can’t say with which I totally disagree.

For other posts I’ve done in the past about The Library where I work, click on this new category I’ve set up only yesterday called (this might come as a shock) The Library. I’ve also set up a new category for posts I’ve done about Facebook called (can’t get anything past you lot) Facebook.

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24 responses to “Patrons, what a bunch of bastards

  1. I see nothing wrong with Shirley. She seems perfectly normal to me. She expresses her hatred of all things human in a safe, secure environment…the staff bulletin board.

    You’ve got to admit, there are some freakishly weird (and rude) characters that use the library system. I’ve got kids, but if they acted as obnoxious as some I’ve seen, even I would agree to the cage idea.

  2. Wow. I haven’t seen many rude patrons but I have seen one who was SO rude that I wanted to strangle him. I’m glad Shirley knows her limitations.

  3. I think I love her! My kids are so trained. They know not to pick a book off the shelf without first asking me, they know to walk or not run, and they know that if they talk above a whisper they are grounded. I also avoid the library during story time πŸ˜€

    • unfinishedrambler

      I think your kids would fit in at our library then very nicely, and on days “Shirley” is there too. πŸ™‚

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  6. Shirley sounds delightful. πŸ™‚ Ah, well, to each their own, yeah?


  7. I must add here… I LOVE Shirley to pieces. Because she’ll say the things I only think in my darkest recesses.

    • unfinishedrambler

      I should add mostly she doesn’t say those things to the public. It’s mostly among us.

  8. Hang on. If that patron owes over ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS in fines, the person should be denied everything until he or she ponies up the money. I’m on Team Shirley.

  9. Hum……is that like the postal lack of service? Many of them don’t really like to do anything but still expect to be paid with benefits.

    Don’t call me Shirley. πŸ˜‰

  10. How does a woman like this stay employed?

    If I ever acted that way when I was employed? I would’ve been fired!

    This stumps me.

    Is there a book I can check out to ‘splain it to me?


    • unfinishedrambler

      Because she knows the ins and outs of the library like no one else here…except maybe the director (waving enthusiastically in her direction to keep my job :).

  11. Next Shirley will tell us library shelves should be empty. Loan books to people? Get out!

    • unfinishedrambler

      Library shelves should be empty. I’d like it that way too — that way people might not have time to be bastards, if they were reading instead of coming in and complaining all the time…and, oh, looking for more books to read. πŸ™‚

  12. So I take it your library does not have a kids section, including a play area and a place for mommys to socialize ?

    Gotta hand it to Shirley for being open and honest.

    • unfinishedrambler

      Oh, the library has a kids section, a play area and a place for mommys to socialize (although that usually doesn’t happen over the screaming kids).

      If anything, Shirley is definitely open and honest, although sometimes too honest. But we love her anyway…well, at least, I do, if I want to keep my job ;).

  13. There are many patrons over whose head I would like to place a bag. So I don’t really judge your circ librarian. However, I’m not sure she is doing the image of the profession much of a favor. Perhaps she should move to tech services.

    • unfinishedrambler

      Kara: Shirley is good at what she does, though. Really. As for interlibrary loan and, well, basically running the library, she is the best. It’s just her people skills (at least behind their backs and sometimes to their faces when she has to do so) that are lacking. πŸ™‚

  14. So, Shirley seems nice. lol

    But as a pre-k teacher I had my days when I totally wished the parents would just stay away and leave me alone. I always said, “Teaching wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the parents.” Sometimes one parent can be more annoying than a class of 18 4-year-olds. And that’s saying something.

    • unfinishedrambler

      Tonight while working at the library, I ran into a mother and her four-year-old daughter (who acted more like 2), who made me wish we could do as Shirley suggested. It wasn’t just the four-year-old, but also the mother, who wanted to argue over a $2.40 fine. Just pay it and shut up. πŸ™‚