Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Librarians do it by the book

For those of you who don't know, I work at the Provo Public Library. No, not liberry, not libary, library. I love my job. I listen to audio books from my iPod and I hustle about and shelve books. However, working at the library has brought out the worst in me I'm afraid. I've developed some major pet peeves about people that I can't seem to shake off. I tend to like, if not love most people. I love the homeless man who sits in the non-fiction and waves at me every afternoon. I love the three year old who brings me board books just to watch me put them back in their place on the shelf. I love my co-workers and our jokes and their harsh criticism of the French (of which I completely agree with). But then there are the other people. The Others. Makes them sound like the Dark Side, the antagonists, the bad folk. I can't stand these people and their bad habits and I want to walk up to them and tell them how rude and indecent they are. But then I feel a twinge of guilt; since when have I ever had such an attitude towards people? I've never felt this callous in my life. I feel black inside when I realize how much frustration and dislike I have built up towards these obnoxious people. I expressed this to a co-worker today and she assured me that she feels the same. She mentioned that she went home and made a list of the annoying habits of library patrons - and that in making that list she realized how awful it was making her feel by disliking these people. So, here goes.

Things that library patrons do to seriously irk me:

1. People that don't watch their kids. Is it so hard to keep an eye on your offspring? Stop them from throwing/ripping/coloring/ bending/stepping on/mutilating books.

2. People that watch their kids but don't do anything to stop them from misbehaving. When your child is running in circles screaming and pulling books off the shelves left and right, it's time for a little disciplinary action.

3. People that do not say excuse me or treat me as though I am invisible. It happens at least once a day that someone literally steps in front of where ever I am putting away books and starts to browse. Out of all of the stacks of fiction, they have to pick exactly where I happen to be standing to look at books. I can understand if they're looking for a particular book, but when it's just to browse it is incredibly rude.

4. People that talk on their cell phones in the quiet section. Seriously, your mother's sister's son's best friend's mother can talk to you another time. Any other time in fact, than while you're at the library.

5. People that sneeze on me and/or books. Believe it or not, it actually happens all of the time. It usually occurs when I am least expecting it until I get sprayed with snot. I do not find it at all amusing.

6. People that take off their shoes. The library is a public place and I can smell those socks you haven't washed in six weeks from the other side of the room. It's called laundry detergent and Dr. Scholl's.

7. People that check out a whole wagon of romance novels. Just in case there is a zombie apocalypse and the library is closed/burned down.

8. People that re-shelve books themselves. In the absolutely wrong place. It's never done out of courtesy; it is done when people are too lazy to leave them on a table.

9. People that make-out in quiet places and in the children's reading corner. Haven't people ever heard of getting married and then keeping it semi-private?

10. People that yell at their children from across the library. This isn't the school playground. We use indoor voices in the library.

11. People that contest a thirty cent fine. Turn in your books on time. It is a noble concept.

12. People that come to the library to sleep. I'm actually pretty okay with people sleeping; it's when they begin snoring loudly that it is bothersome.

See how silly I've been? They're just little things that people do that build up over time. But still, people could manage to have some consideration for others once in awhile.

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