Rules of Circ #27 (RoC)

"Rocks, Paper, Scissors."

Guess which item of the aforementioned list I would be more than glad to hand out to every patron who asks for it?

It is so annoying during science fair season, when the library is swarmed by students who only bring blank poster-boards with them and expect to walk out with a finalized project. They will usually draw straws to determine which sucker has to sheepishly walk up to the Circ desk and ask for every single supply needed. It is not only reserved to young students, I have encountered many older patrons who were upset that I would not give them any paper for their book/movie/play/manifesto/complaint which they are currently working on.

It seems like every tax paying citizen feels like it is their given right to use the library as if it was some rogue Staples that just gives ish away. I'm sure with your tax returns, and a calculator we can figure out exactly how much you "contributed" to the library. Here's a clue to save you some long division, it probably is not much more than $50. Sure that sounds reasonable enough for you to pillage the supply closet a time or two, but that money also goes towards the collection which includes countless copies of classic American literature aka the Harlequin series (yes, I do enjoy taking as many jabs at "romance novels" as possible).

So in actuality, the amount of your taxes spent on supplies is extremely low. I'll do you all a favor and break it down in a simple list.

Each patron's taxes affords them to:
- 25 scissor swipes
- 15 staples (or 3 if you require use of the actual stapler)
- 13" of the glue stick
- 10" of Scotch tape
- 8 golf-size pencils
- 6 faxes (legal size)
- 5 paper clips
- 2 sheets of white 8 1/2" by 11" paper
- 1 sheet of colored card-stock

You can only choose one of the above options per fiscal year, so choose wisely. Oh, and that's only if you ask politely.

Comments

Lazy and crude

Kind of sad that, even in a fantasy scenario, a librarian is not allowed to expect politeness. Shame on you, world, for what your laziness and arrogance (and there's no other reason) has allowed our culture to become.

oh, and about those romance novels...

My mother writes those romance novels you shudder so disdainfully at. Every few months she packs up books in all 50 languages she's translated to, and takes them to her local library where they are FALLEN upon by readers hungry to have entertainment, comfort, and a great story, in their own language. Even the English editions get used, by readers from accross the literacy spectrum.

Romance novels are wonderful tools for readers. They are easy reads, they are entertaining, they are comforting -- I cannot count the people I have met who turn to an assured happy ending when things in their own lives are not going well. There is a reason we keep them in our libraries.

I am glad readers have these books, and don't have to rely on someone who'd grudge them the use of a pair of scissors.

It's all about attitude, or lack thereof

I am a vendor (scum, yes we know, but bear with me for a minute) who sees library staff all time time when I make visits to libraries. I observe a good many of them disdainfully answer questions in the "Are you really that stupid" sort of way, or have their face buried in a monitor and generally not interested in the plight of the people coming in and out of the library, more and more every day.

I've been in the business for over 15 years. I know a LOT of librarians who are caring, nurturing, smart people who "get" the whole "service to the community" thing. They live it. They live to help people. All it takes however, is one person with a lousy attitude toward the public (a la "Oh, and that's only if you ask politely") to taint a patron experience and that person's trust and respect is lost forever.

A little kindness, and a little less smugness ("I have an MLS, you don't so you cannot possibly understand") will go a long way to fostering respect and admiration for those behind the desk.

Oh, and that's only if you ask politely.... Nice. Good attitude

Your attitude is exactly why so many people stay AWAY from libraries. Because they feel like they aren't welcomed, wanted and only barely tolerated. "Oh, and that's only if you ask politely." Please. Look around. Libraries are fighting tooth and nail for every dollar and gate count helps. Try to be nice once in awhile. I know, it may be a foreign concept, but give it a shot.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

We are to be here for our students for whatever their needs are. I know we are all going through an economic crunch, but a librarian is to be there to help with the reseach and the presentation - the final project. Yes, that does mean supplying materials to put that presentation together, support to find materials and in the end guiding them to be life-long-learners and users of information as well as applying that information to their lives.
If it helps, I make up a list of supplies that are used in the library and at the beginning of the year I place it on my webpage and send it out in a library newsletter. Then I setup a supply corner for the students. This does have to be maned at first, but they do appreciate it and return items as well as help supply it. Remember, not every child comes from a family that can get to the store, or have the money, to buy supplies. Other parents relize that and help out.

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