Library Confidential

Top 10 Things Front-Line Librarians Want to Tell the Public

  1. Don’t come in five minutes before closing.  Just don’t.  We are cleaning up the strewn toys, finishing the shelving, getting our stuff together to go home.  By all that’s holy, don’t set up a new library card, make a lot of book requests, linger over your laptop or newspaper, or wander aimlessly looking for things to take home.
  2. We are not babysitters.  The local library is not safer in any way than the local bus station.  It isn’t a school or a daycare, where strangers are vetted.
  3. Bring your library card to the library.  Do you go to the store without money or a credit card?  Seriously.
  4. We just want the books back.  The reason Libraries have fines is to make you remember to bring back the thing so that the next person can have it.  Not to be mean.
  5. Even if you are absolutely sure you returned an item, be nice about protesting a percieved mistake.  Yes, libraries make mistakes, but check under your bed.
  6. Not everyone in the library is a librarian, just as not everyone in a hospital is a doctor.  Librarians have a master’s degree.  While we appreciate all that our support staff do, just as doctors appreciate nurses and orderlies, we don’t like it when everyone is called a librarian.
  7.  The word is library.  Not liberry.  We are not libarians.
  8. I might know some things about computers.  No, I can’t fix your computer for you.
  9. No, we are not becoming obsolete.  Libraries are so much more than a place to store books.
  10. I love answering questions.  Except for “where’s the bathroom.”  It’s over there.


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One Reply to “Library Confidential”

  1. So true! I could add another – if I am wearing a name tag that says “Volunteer” don’t give a dramatic sigh when I suggest you take your obscure question to the front desk.

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