Monday, January 11, 2010

Library Lament

Ok, so the resolution is not going so well as this post is already three days late, but better late then never.

Anyway, I've been on campus for the past week and have been working full-time at the library and it has really driven home all the pet peeves I have about this job. No job is perfect and I am planning to have a career in the library, but I have to rant.

Patrons who walk right in front of the desk and make you think they want help, but really they're just walking by. Let's just say I am a helpful person. I want to make people's lives easier. So, when I see someone approach the desk I go into super-informed-and-helpful-Liz mode only to be let down by those people who are too lazy or rude to walk around the rope barriers.

Patrons who assume that since I work at the library I should know everything about the computers. I have no background in IT and am almost computer illiterate for a person of my generation, but I try to help as much as possible. But sometimes, patrons just don't get that we don't have an IT person just for our library. They also don't get that our computers are public ones and don't allow a lot of downloading or saving for long periods of time. (Can you tell I had an issue like this today?)

The deluge of returns that occur right before closing time. It never fails that within the last hour and a half before closing time (which usually only happens two times a week as we are open 24/5) everyone suddenly remembers that they have material to return and rush up to the desk and hand everything over. We have so much time during the day to shelve, yet we leave for the day with at least two carts of material to shelve.

Professors who don't know how to put material on reserve, check out material on reserve, and give out the incorrect information about reserves to their students. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but has a simple fix. I propose that we offer an hour class/seminar to all the professors on campus on the reserve system. I'm sure that IPM (Information Processing Management) would thank us and would even have someone there to help run it.

Trying to shelve in the compact shelving. There isn't anything I can do about this, but having to step out of the shelves and wait for a patron to find the items they want, and since all the graphic novels are there, it takes a little time. I usually go to another section and shelve for awhile, but sometimes, like today, it was one after another who wanted to get into the shelves.

The fact that somehow as soon as someone starts looking for a DVD all the glorious shelves of perfectly straightened DVDs look like an earthquake has occurred. I will admit that our shelves are slippery, as are the newer DVD cases, but ... really, can they just clean up after themselves?

The creepy middle-aged, male patrons who watch porn on library computers and try to hide it. Don't kid yourself, we all know what you're doing, and it's gross. The only reason you come to the library is because you don't want your wife/girlfriend to know how many porn sites you subscribe to or you don't want viruses on your home computer. Just stop, no one else wants to see you, so go home and enjoy yourself in privacy.

Patrons who just plop materials on the desk. It's just rude, and I can't read minds so I don't know if they want to check out or if they are returning items. A nice "Hello" would be nice or even just a "Hi," but to just stand there waiting ... ARGH!

That's all I can think of right now, and I think I covered everything, but I may be adding later. In the meantime, enjoy this awesome video: