What Librarians Really Mean

It started out like any other morning. I woke up late, rushed to work, and sat down at the Reference Desk. Quickly after this, however, the day became extremely odd.

I found that when librarians spoke, I could hear what they really meant! Thinking my coworkers were particularly filled with vitriolic thoughts, I rushed to another library.

I spent the entire day travelling and recording what goes on in minds of mean, repressed librarians. Maybe this won't be a shock to you. If it doesn't, shame on you for thinking such bad thoughts!

For the rest of us librarians, the ones who care about our patrons, here are a few horrific examples (with more inside):

That's a good question! = I have no idea how i'm going to answer this question.

Holes is a great book for young adults. = I've never read it!*

We can get any item you need = Except back issues of "Swank."

Excuse me, drinks aren't allow in the library. = Except my 2 liter stash of vodka gimlets.

We don't have that book in right now. = We don't have that book in right now!

Aww, that's the cutest puppy I've seen, thanks for showing me all those pictures. = My cat would eat that little bare ass rat alive.

Actually, don't worry about it, this happens to computers all of the time. = You minimized your screen.

*okay, this was meIt's right over there. = What, are you blind?

There's a bathroom downstairs. = Please don't use the one up here.

How may I help you? = How may I help you, even though I'm not a shrink.

No, sorry, that text book has been checked out. = Some other genious in your class was cheap and had the idea before you.

Have a nice day! = I know I will now that you're leaving.

Come again! = Come again when I am not here!

You'll want to talk with a different librarian. = I was looking for a new way to torture the other desk staff, you'll do the job for me, thanks.

Yes, the da vinci code IS a very good book. = Sucker.

Wow, you read it 12 times? That's great = I'm so happy there are bigger losers out there than me.

I'm going to a conference next week = I'm going to a conference next week to get loaded, sleep in, watch hotel room porn and hit up vendors for free pens and pads of paper.

Those are some interesting ideas, Mr. Jones. = Please let me hide now!

Let me give you a tour of the library = I've been sitting at this desk for 6 hours straight.

Let me put a hold on that for you right now. = Right after I put one on for myself because I didn't realize that item was available.

Let me give you a tour of the library. = I really wanted to check out that cute girl/guy that is sitting over on the other side of the building.

I'm sorry sir, we really can't do that. = Well, we could do that for you, but you're a jerk.

May I help you with something? = I had to come over here and talk to you, because you look like you might set the library on fire.

Listen, some of the patrons were complaining about the noise level/smell over here = I can't work in this kind of environment.

East of Eden? Sure = Well, at least you'll be digging your head out of the TV for a few days

I'm sorry, the computers are down. = The computers are down because the circ staff is drunk.

Beloved by Toni Morrison? Sure! = Yeah, that's original.

Nice to finally meet you, Jim = We call you "Bubble Boy" behind your back.

[thanks for gabe and blake for keeping their ears open too]


(okay, after you read this, I'd like someone to contribute a flip-flop: "What patrons say to library workers and what they really mean." You know what a cranky, intolerable, inflexible bunch we are. Or maybe a set of "What one library worker says to another and what he/she really means.")

Librarian sez: "Wow, really? That's too bad/really interesting/puzzling."

Librarian means: "Why are you telling me your life story?"

Librarian sez: "We have plans to add more computers soon. Sorry we don't have any time for you right now."

Librarian means: "Why don't you buy your own damn computer?"

Librarian sez: "I'd be happy to hold your computer for a few minutes while you take the baby/your son/daughter out in the lobby for a little break."

Librarian means: "Get that screaming, squirming monster out of here. Now."

Librarian sez:, "Really, I don't have any time on the computer until tomorrow. We've been booked up since noon."

Librarian means: "Even if you ask me three times in slightly different ways, I cannot produce another internet terminal from my magic hat/under the reference desk/my ass."

Librarian sez: "We can get past-year tax forms from the IRS website."

Librarian means: "What have you been hiding all these years?"

Librarian sez: "I'm sorry you're disappointed/upset/confused. Would you like to speak to my manager/the director?"

Librarian means:, "Nutbag, they don't pay me enough money to do this."

"Let me put a hold on that for you right now. = Right after I put one on for myself because I didn't realize that item was available."

Glad to know that I'm not the only one that does that...

Patron sez: I couldn't find this book where you said it would be. Could you please help me find it?

Patron really means: Would you quit checking your e-mail, get off your lazy ass and do something besides point?