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JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Cythereal posted:

Surprisingly to me, homeless people have never been a regular thing at any library I've worked at, as far as I know. I don't have any problem with it as long as they don't cause problems - the one time I was at a library having problems with a homeless person, it was more because she was very, very drunk than because she was homeless.

Yeah, we really only had 2 problem homeless guys: one was Mike, who would go into the quiet study room and slam 40s of malt liquor (we'd find the bottles tucked under the study desks), then get not-so-quiet in the stacks.

The other was Dave, who had not had bathed since the Clinton administration, I think. You could smell him from 3 stacks away. He'd come in, grab a newspaper, and fall asleep in our comfy chairs in the periodicals section with the paper over his his face, and the chair itself would reek after Pitbull kicked him out for the day. (Time to break out the organic event box!)

During that winter, we also started finding him sleeping in the vestibule around closing time, and had to keep calling the police to kick him out. One friendly but exasperated cop actually offered to buy him a Greyhound bus ticket to someplace warmer (HE was tired of coming out in the cold just to boot this homeless dude out), but Dave politely declined. We eventually had to ban him. :/

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Handsome Ralph
Sep 3, 2004

Johnny Pussy?


JacquelineDempsey posted:

"Well, now, we don't know for sure what's going on. Perhaps he has a hand deformity and is embarrassed by it."
That became a running joke for years.

OP between this and the "Electricity!" story, I'm in tears. More please!

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Handsome Ralph posted:

OP between this and the "Electricity!" story, I'm in tears. More please!

Glad you're enjoying it!

If you liked ELECTRICITY, you'll probably also enjoy Mercury Lady.

We had a number of patrons who would come in and stop by my desk thinking we were a free a/v repair service. "I put this tape I checked out in my VCR, and it got stuck. Can you get it out it out?" That sort of thing.

And if they were kindly old grandpas, and I wasn't busy, I'd take pity on them, because where else could you get a VCR fixed in TYOOL 2012? I had the tools and the knack for it, and I like fixing things. (Hell, half my job at that time was splicing broken videotapes together and buffing discs that people had apparently used as coasters.)

The people I could not stand, however, were the ones who came in and expected me to fix their laptop issues. One, there's a Best Buy just up the street; go get that poo poo done by people actually getting paid to do that. Two, my computer expertise ends at Windows XP, because that's the OS we're still using, so I don't have a clue how to fix your issue.

One woman came in, trying to get her laptop fixed.
"Can you figure out what's wrong with this? My laptop's doing [whatever the gently caress the problem du jour was]"
Sigh. "I can try, but this isn't really my job. What's the prob---"
"I NEED TO LEAVE, YOUR WIFI IS BURNING MY SKIN. CAN YOU TURN THE WIFI OFF?"
"... Nnnnooo?"

This happened for weeks. She would come in, try to get her laptop fixed by us for free, and at the same time kvetch about the fact that we had WiFi and that it affected her physically in some way.

It was a local election year, and League of Women Voters had a bunch of debates sponsored by them being hosted by our library. This woman kept showing up to congressional debates (despite our debilitating WiFi) with crazy rear end posters about how there was a huge conspiracy about mercury fillings in our teeth. And so she got named The Mercury Lady.

She never did anything terrible or ban-able, she was just one of those patrons who you'd see coming in and roll your eyes.

JacquelineDempsey fucked around with this message at 20:44 on Nov 3, 2018

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!


MODs change my Av text to "I NEED TO LEAVE, YOUR WIFI IS BURNING MY SKIN. CAN YOU TURN THE WIFI OFF?" Please

Lurking Haro
Oct 27, 2009



JacquelineDempsey posted:

Glad you're enjoying it!

If you liked ELECTRICITY, you'll probably also enjoy Mercury Lady.

We had a number of patrons who would come in and stop by my desk thinking we were a free a/v repair service. "I put this tape I checked out in my VCR, and it got stuck. Can you get it out it out?" That sort of thing.

And if they were kindly old grandpas, and I wasn't busy, I'd take pity on them, because where else could you get a VCR fixed in TYOOL 2012? I had the tools and the knack for it, and I like fixing things. (Hell, half my job at that time was splicing broken videotapes together and buffing discs that people had apparently used as coasters.)

The people I could not stand, however, were the ones who came in and expected me to fix their laptop issues. One, there's a Best Buy just up the street; go get that poo poo done by people actually getting paid to do that. Two, my computer expertise ends at Windows XP, because that's the OS we're still using, so I don't have a clue how to fix your issue.

One woman came in, trying to get her laptop fixed.
"Can you figure out what's wrong with this? My laptop's doing [whatever the gently caress the problem du jour was]"
Sigh. "I can try, but this isn't really my job. What's the prob---"
"I NEED TO LEAVE, YOUR WIFI IS BURNING MY SKIN. CAN YOU TURN THE WIFI OFF?"
"... Nnnnooo?"

This happened for weeks. She would come in, try to get her laptop fixed by us for free, and at the same time kvetch about the fact that we had WiFi and that it affected her physically in some way.

It was a local election year, and League of Women Voters had a bunch of debates sponsored by them being hosted by our library. This woman kept showing up to congressional debates (despite our debilitating WiFi) with crazy rear end posters about how there was a huge conspiracy about mercury fillings in our teeth. And so she got named The Mercury Lady.

She never did anything terrible or ban-able, she was just one of those patrons who you'd see coming in and roll your eyes.

Did you tell her her laptop has WiFi?

Handsome Ralph
Sep 3, 2004

Johnny Pussy?


JacquelineDempsey posted:

"I NEED TO LEAVE, YOUR WIFI IS BURNING MY SKIN. CAN YOU TURN THE WIFI OFF?"

I'm hearing this shouted in Agnes Skinner's voice and nothing anyone will tell me can change my mind.

Like this,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLvzNSfZ6v8

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Lurking Haro posted:

Did you tell her her laptop has WiFi?

That's what baffled the gently caress out of me. If wifi makes supposedly makes you break out in hives, I dunno, maybe don't use a laptop? Or come into the library? Or live anywhere in our town where we got wifi for days? She was just straight up cray-cray. This is a thread about weirdos in libraries, after all.

My Lovely Horse
Aug 21, 2010




My Lovely Horse posted:

Just the other day I read about a lawsuit where a professor sued her university library for charging her €2250 in late fees. 50 books, more than a month late, presumably none on conflict management.
So in case anyone was wondering, the court upheld the fees

God, the comments on it though.
"Works out to about €45 a book, she could have bought them all new for that."
"Not really if they're textbooks, try more like €450 apiece."
"well get them used off eBay, do they have to be brand sparkling new, WHY DO LIBRARIES SPEND OUR TAX MONEY SO FRIVOLOUSLY"

"i got ten books for €15 at my library's book sale this is clearly absurd"

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Relatedly, not too long ago a guy out in Kansas filmed himself burning a bunch of books with LGBT themes aimed at kids, including every such book he could find from his local library. He put the video up on social media, talking about how the library wouldn't be able to poison the minds of children with these books anymore as he tossed them into his fireplace.

To the surprise of him and only him, the library promptly ordered him to pay for replacing all of those library books he burned, and the local police upheld it.

AllNewJonasSalk
Apr 22, 2017

THUNDERDOME LOSER

I wanna hear about lovely patrons who refuse to pay fines. You got any stories about that?

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


I'm interested in hearing the "The woman who got shot to death outside that first library job" story, if it's not too awful.

value-brand cereal
May 2, 2008

Does it feel like your love life has gotten a bit stale? Do you suspect that your partner is no longer attracted to you? Why not do what the ancient assyrians did and smear crushed Lobsta Fahts on their cock before applying a thin layer of Iron Dust on your Junk. They won’t be able to resist you.


Here's a weird incident at a local library that I just remembered. I spent the summer loitering at a library to a) get out of the house from my siblings and b) be somewhere cooler than 70F. There's a part of every library that is the designated reading area. For that library it was deep inside, past the check out counters and behind a set of stacks. For the most part, you were hidden from the rest of the library and the counters, but the library employees walked through the stacks often enough that it wasn't a totally unsupervised area.

If you were attentive and you sat at the reading desks long enough you would occasionally hear paper tearing or an kind of CHHHRRKK sound. I heard it and chalked it up to the librarians doing something with books. Until one day I mentioned it to a library worker and they said, "yeah, someone's been slicing books out of their spines and taking chunks of book out of here. We found some book cover and spines stuffed behind some magazine folders."

I don't know what that person was doing with all book pages but no spine or covers. I don't think they were caught, but it's been several years. I don't get it.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



AllNewJonasSalk posted:

I wanna hear about lovely patrons who refuse to pay fines. You got any stories about that?

There's nothing interesting about them, just old people (and it's almost always old people) screaming at circulation staff followed by either management giving in to the temper tantrum to make them go away or it being handed off to county legal to collect the fines by force.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


value-brand cereal posted:


I don't know what that person was doing with all book pages but no spine or covers. I don't think they were caught, but it's been several years. I don't get it.

My university library had security tags in most of the books. Open a hardcover, look at it from the top edge of the book, and see how the spine pulls away from the pages? Theyd stick them down that little gap there. My guess is the culprit wanted to steal the books and didn't care if they had covers or not.

Alternately, if was just parts of books, maybe it was all the naughty bits or something.

StrixNebulosa posted:

I'm interested in hearing the "The woman who got shot to death outside that first library job"story, if it's not too awful.

I kinda mis-titled that, as I wasn't working there yet, I was too young. But it still affected me and freaked me out personally, as we shall see!

One night my older sister and I had just gone to bed; we shared a bedroom. We weren't asleep yet, probably up whispering stupid kid things to each other, and we hear a helicopter fly past, very low and very loudly. The helicopter is joined by a second, then a third. Then one of them sounds like it's so close it's gonna land on our roof. We're getting spooked by this, which turns into full on hugging each other and crying as suddenly a blinding light illuminates our yard like its high noon --- the helicopter was scanning our yard with its searchlight.

Our mom rushes into the room and tells us to stay put. "There's a strange man in the yard with a flashlight." Thanks mom, now we're in abject panic mode. Then my dad calls up the stairs: "I'm going outside Barb, lock the door behind me." Our crying amplifies.

Dad comes in a couple minutes later, explaining that it was a cop with the K-9 unit. A woman had been shot right in front of the library 3 blocks away, and the suspect had been last seen running down our street. We had a detached garage, and the cop wanted to make sure it was clear. We were told to stay inside, lock the doors, and turn all the lights off.

No way are sis and I getting any sleep now, between the helicopter noise and the terror of a guy with a gun potentially lurking around our house, so we went downstairs to stay with our parents and peeked out the windows. We had a brief moment of comic relief: we'd just gotten our bathroom re-done, and the old toilet was still sitting by the garage. Just as one chopper's making another sweep of our yard with the searchlight, we catch a glimpse of "Teehee, look at the cute police doggie with his head in the toilet!"

About an hour later, the helicopters finally moved off, and at some point we went back to bed. In the morning, we learned the story:

The library had a community room that folks could rent and use for up to an hour after the library closed at 9. That night, the community choir was using it for a rehearsal. The disgruntled ex-husband of a newly divorced woman, knowing she'd be at practice, waited in the bushes outside the library for her group to come out, and shot her point blank. She died of a sucking chest wound right there on the sidewalk, in front of her fellow singers. (Bear in mind this was the 80s so someone would have had to find a phone to call the police)

The rear end in a top hat ex was apprehended, about a block and a half from our house. So yeah, there's a good chance he did run through our yard. Between that and suddenly realizing that even my friendly library was Not A Safe Place, it shook me up for a while as a kid. We didn't have murders in my nice middle class suburb.

And that's why to this day the sound of low flying and/or circling helicopters gives me the heebie-jeebies.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Holy loving poo poo, that was way more intense than I expected. I'm glad you survived and didn't gain a phobia of libraries.

You're a good storyteller, btw.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


StrixNebulosa posted:

You're a good storyteller, btw.

Dawww, thank you! I always enjoy writing; I was never good at coming up with fiction, but I could write one helluva essay or term paper in school, and I've kept journals from time to time. I guess posting memoirs is a happy medium of story-telling, non-fiction, and journaling, as I get to use some creative language to tell a story that an audience might take interest in, but I don't have to make anything up from scratch.

Thanks to everyone for reading and participating!

Also, as a palate cleanser after that story: the library donated space in one of their flower beds to the community choir. The choir still tends it, and there's a nice plaque commemorating her.

Anyone watch Legends of Tomorrow? I just watched the episode with the unicorn, which reminded me that it's about time for Weird Animals at the Library --- because every year we had a unicorn. I think we could all do with some fun after that last tale.

First I wanna finish watching the next episode. God I love that show.

PT6A
Jan 5, 2006
THE VOLKSWAGEN DEFENDER HAS LOGGED ON

JacquelineDempsey posted:

Dawww, thank you! I always enjoy writing; I was never good at coming up with fiction, but I could write one helluva essay or term paper in school, and I've kept journals from time to time. I guess posting memoirs is a happy medium of story-telling, non-fiction, and journaling, as I get to use some creative language to tell a story that an audience might take interest in, but I don't have to make anything up from scratch.

Off topic for the thread, but have you considered trying your hand at writing narrative history or something similar that's not entirely fiction but not entirely non-fiction?

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Gun Saliva

AllNewJonasSalk posted:

I wanna hear about lovely patrons who refuse to pay fines. You got any stories about that?

Several jobs ago, we had a guy who racked up approximately $50,000 in late fines and replacement items. Only about 10k of that was actually on his account; he'd get locked out, plead with the circ librarian and the director, and get temporarily clemency, only to steal poo poo or lose things again, so we'd lock him out once more, etc. When we eventually quit giving him access all together, he'd get someone else to check books out for him.

After a few years, he stopped being a regular patron, but he'd still drift by every so often to try and scam a new volume every now and then.

Can you, library staffers, puzzle out how this sorry state of affairs came to be? I've given you all the clues you need.

Law library.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


PT6A posted:

Off topic for the thread, but have you considered trying your hand at writing narrative history or something similar that's not entirely fiction but not entirely non-fiction?

I'd probably enjoy that, actually. Thanks for the suggestion!

I had a particularly lovely day at my current job today, so who's up for the promised

Weird Animals at the Library?

The Unicorn
We had two branches in my small, but well-funded, library system. One was colloquially known as the "downtown library", and that's the one with the swank-rear end theatre I worked for primarily; the other was "the county library", which was out in the sticks. As in, when someone called my line and asked for directions to the county library, I literally said "okay, get off I-64 at exit #[blah blah]. After you pass the cornfields on your right, it's the big building on your left about half a mile down. You can't miss it." (And really, you couldn't, it was the only structure besides the Mennonite church on that whole stretch of road.)

Whenever a new Harry Potter book came out, we'd naturally jump on that to do some events to draw in kids and teens. At downtown, we did a thing in the theatre that was like the Sorting Hat. Kids would line up in their HP cosplay, they'd plunk down in a chair on stage, a librarian would put the hat on them, and then one of my coworkers would boom out from a mic in the soundbooth, with tons of reverb, what house they were in. Then we'd gently caress with the lightboard with the house colors. I never got into HP myself, but it was pretty fun watching the kiddos' reactions.

County, well... we had less to work with, all they had was a big community room, no fancy lighting or sound. But they also had tons of country acreage surrounding the building. One year, a youth services librarian piped up: "I can bring a unicorn!"

She owned a few horses, one of which was that pure white you always see in movies. She crafted a horn for him, very nice handiwork. He was a very docile horse that accepted not only wearing that, but being surrounded by people. The librarian tethered (roped? leashed? I don't know the right term, I'm no equestrian) him right outside the library, much to the delight of all the HP fans flocking to that event.

While poor Freckles thought of ants and died, this guy got harassed by children for hours and was way more chill than I would have been being surrounded by squeeing tweens wearing robes, waving sticks, and yelling faux Latin spells. All while wearing a fake horn strapped to his head. That horse deserves a medal, maybe made of carrots or something.

...I admit this story isn't quite in the spirit of the thread of gawking at psychos and pervs and whatnot in libraries, but after that last story, and my crappy day, I just wanted to share how my library had a unicorn show up. Thanks for letting me reminisce.

Next story, Penelope the Python, has some actual crazy in it, I promise.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





Hair Elf

JacquelineDempsey posted:

County, well... we had less to work with, all they had was a big community room, no fancy lighting or sound. But they also had tons of country acreage surrounding the building. One year, a youth services librarian piped up: "I can bring a unicorn!"

She owned a few horses, one of which was that pure white you always see in movies. She crafted a horn for him, very nice handiwork. He was a very docile horse that accepted not only wearing that, but being surrounded by people. The librarian tethered (roped? leashed? I don't know the right term, I'm no equestrian) him right outside the library, much to the delight of all the HP fans flocking to that event.

While poor Freckles thought of ants and died, this guy got harassed by children for hours and was way more chill than I would have been being surrounded by squeeing tweens wearing robes, waving sticks, and yelling faux Latin spells. All while wearing a fake horn strapped to his head. That horse deserves a medal, maybe made of carrots or something.

This is amazing and wonderful and probably a (ahem) magical thing for those kiddos.

P-Mack
Nov 10, 2007



My daughter's cub scout troop attended a really great presentation about local history at the library this week. Then this weekend the Chinese teacher at the high school taught a class on sumi-e painting that all the kids really liked. So not related to weirdos but just sincerely appreciating all the great stuff libraries do for the community! Thank you librarians!

Ali Alkali
Apr 23, 2008


616.8524 - Eating disorders!

I am currently working part time in a university library, i am mostly alone working the evening shifts and i think i met crazy as early as the second time a worked alone. A middle aged person started crying and refused to leave when they couldn't re-lend some books, since we were closing. Though mostly it is really thick headed teaching students and people who are intimidated by the dewey system since it is quite unusual here in Sweden.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Ali Alkali posted:

616.8524 - Eating disorders!

I am currently working part time in a university library, i am mostly alone working the evening shifts and i think i met crazy as early as the second time a worked alone. A middle aged person started crying and refused to leave when they couldn't re-lend some books, since we were closing. Though mostly it is really thick headed teaching students and people who are intimidated by the dewey system since it is quite unusual here in Sweden.

Unusual by American standards, too! Dewey is a thing for public libraries here, universities almost universally use the Library of Congress system.

Hyrax Attack!
Jan 13, 2009

We demand to be taken seriously


Great thread idea! This is interesting to read.

Are all American librarians given training on Narcan?

Are you allowed to veto book choices for kids that seem like a bad idea? Like if a six year old wanted to check out American Psycho?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Hyrax Attack! posted:

Are all American librarians given training on Narcan?

No. That's a thing that's happened at a few libraries and been heavily publicized (with good reason), but it's not common. The one public library I worked at that was in an area with drug problems, the drug of choice was completely different.

quote:

Are you allowed to veto book choices for kids that seem like a bad idea? Like if a six year old wanted to check out American Psycho?

Varies from library to library, but generally no. There's all manner of soft tactics we can employ in cases like that, like asking if they brought their parents' card to get it for them or whatever, but one of the most important ethical rules for American librarians is that you do not judge what people check out, you do not refuse to check out books to them, and you do not tell anyone what someone else may have checked out. We are not arbiters of what people should and should not read or watch or learn, and protecting the right of people do peruse what they wish, and their privacy in doing so, is critical.

Anne Whateley
Feb 11, 2007
i like nice words


Ymmv, it heavily depends on the local culture. For example, there are setups where kids and adults have separate cards; kids can check out two kids' books and adults can check out 10 books of any kind (numbers made up but the point is adults have more responsibility as well as being able to access books kids can't).

Also, while there are a bunch of librarians who hold those values really strongly, they skew heavily towards the young and online. Many other librarians feel differently or just do a lovely job of upholding those values, like theoretically medical professionals are on board with HIPAA, but in reality there are violations every day and they wouldn't care if it weren't for lawsuits.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


Hyrax Attack! posted:

Are you allowed to veto book choices for kids that seem like a bad idea? Like if a six year old wanted to check out American Psycho?

We do in the school library- technically- but I usually just let them take books that are "adult" unless it's really questionable. For example, The Hobbit is in the adult section, but I'll give it to anyone because, hello. I wouldn't give a third-grader Lolita, however, unless they brought a note.

I'm the reason there was a "seventh graders ONLY" section at my middle school library...the bitch library teacher decided she had a say in the content I read, got mad at my mother for asking her to stop, and changed the rules out of spite. I hope she died of systemic paper cut-based infections.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!


Which books did she deny you? Huck Finn(RACIST)? Catcher in the Rye(CONTROVERSIAL)?

Cessna
Feb 20, 2013

KHABAHBLOOOM

StrixNebulosa posted:

You're a good storyteller, btw.

Aunt Beth
Feb 23, 2006

Baby, you're ready!

Grimey Drawer

Cythereal posted:

Varies from library to library, but generally no. There's all manner of soft tactics we can employ in cases like that, like asking if they brought their parents' card to get it for them or whatever, but one of the most important ethical rules for American librarians is that you do not judge what people check out, you do not refuse to check out books to them, and you do not tell anyone what someone else may have checked out. We are not arbiters of what people should and should not read or watch or learn, and protecting the right of people do peruse what they wish, and their privacy in doing so, is critical.
I love that librarians and park rangers are the vanguard of American liberty these days. Shine on, you beautiful bookworms.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Aunt Beth posted:

I love that librarians and park rangers are the vanguard of American liberty these days. Shine on, you beautiful bookworms.

This kind of thing is specifically why our computer systems don't track who's checked out what books. We can tell what someone currently has checked out, and we can tell how many times a given book has checked out, but once something is returned we don't keep a record of who's checked it out, or a person's circulation history.

And even with tracking what someone currently has checked out, we can't tell anyone who currently has a given book out, or what anyone has checked out right now. Everywhere I've worked, it's been a point during training that we won't even tell the police that unless they come to management with a valid warrant.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


The only time a librarian has given me the stink eye over checking out a book was when I was like, 14, and I wanted to read Lolita. The librarian was all "uhhhh should you be reading that"

I genuinely do not remember if I checked it out or not in the end, just that shock of a librarian reacting to a book I was checking out with anything but vague interest. (Or excited interest, in the rare case that I check out something they like!)

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


By popular demand posted:

Which books did she deny you? Huck Finn(RACIST)? Catcher in the Rye(CONTROVERSIAL)?

A book called Shakedown Street about a homeless girl and how she lived, attended school, lived basically between two cultures, etc. It was really good, except the author kept writing "should of" and "could of," so maybe Ms. Buttface was just trying to shield me from bad English?

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!


drat, it's not available for my kindle.
E: And I already got a pile of books to pick up when I get to visit my family in the U.S.

By popular demand fucked around with this message at 19:27 on Nov 12, 2018

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


By popular demand posted:

drat, it's not available for my kindle.
E: And I already got a pile of books to pick up when I get to visit my family in the U.S.

It's probably out of print. Most books I liked in middle school are now.

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

Khazar-khum posted:

In the Men's Room?

I've never worked in a library but I've cleaned bathroom. I can tell you all about bathrooms.

First thing is you get people of the wrong gender in bathrooms a lot. Most of the time its somebody that wasn't paying close attention or was tired or drunk or something. Usually they'd notice the mistake and go to the right one real quick. Not that huge of a deal really just walk out and go to the other one slightly embarrassed.

Second, well...you know that feeling when you have to get into a bathroom RIGHT loving NOW? Of course you do. You're human and old enough to read. It's happened at least once. When that happens you just bolt for the closest door that you know has a toilet and a sink behind it. Sometimes your brain just refuses to register that you're good for one door but not the other. And really if you're streaming blood all over and just need to find the closest sink then I don't think its a problem if you accidentally went in the wrong door.

I can tell you bathroom stories but they're neither all that interesting or apropos so yeah. Anyway a lot of things can happen that lead to somebody bleeding all over a bathroom.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Hyrax Attack! posted:

Great thread idea! This is interesting to read.

Are all American librarians given training on Narcan?

Nah, but we did get trained on CPR and using an automatic defribillator. That was a fun paid day, hanging around a fire house and whaling on dummies. Plus we got pizza for lunch!

As promised, your next installment of Weird Animals (and their weirder owners) at the Library!

SNAKES ALIVE!

Every summer, we'd put on a number of events for kids in the theatre as part of our summer reading program. Some performers/presenters were annual regulars, like a magician who could also juggle while riding a eight foot tall unicycle (loved working with him), a one-man band, a puppet show troupe, that sort of thing.

One such regular was a fella from North Carolina who put on "Snakes Alive!". He had this huge case on casters, full of plastic shoeboxes full of various snakes. Maybe 2 dozen snakes. He'd give a little talk about snakes, how they are mostly harmless and friendly pest-eaters, and then pull them out so the kids could hold them if they'd like. Various library employees and adult volunteers from the audience would hold the snakes and walk them around the theatre.

As someone who's not afraid of snakes, I got tapped for this gig every year. I had tons of fun walking around with some pretty corn snake in my hands, freaking out the squeamish kids and amazing the bolder kids who would gently pet them. I'm no doubt biased as a lifelong tomboy, but I was always extra chuffed when a 6 year old girl would hold a snake while her older brothers would recoil in terror.

The star of the show, though, was Penelope. She came in her own case about the size of a funeral casket, which, though on wheels, we had to lift up over a curb to get in the theatre back doors. Between case and python, this case weighed approximately 385 metric gently caress tonnes; it took five of us at least to get her in, push her across the stage, and then down the three steps off the stage onto the floor.

So for the grand finale, he'd enlist a whole bunch of staff and volunteers, and a dozen of us would pull this massive (16 feet, maybe?) python out of her case, and stretch her out. Dang, but that snek was thicc. Even the more fearless employees were happy to let me get the head end, but Id gotten smart after a few years of doing this --- her mid section was as big around as my thigh, and weighed a ton, my skinny little arms started giving out after a few minutes. And the tail was what started constricting around your arm if she was not in a great mood. The head was actually the safest and easiest thing to hold, as long as she didn't try to go up my shirt sleeve and tickle my armpit with her tongue flicking in and out.

Then we'd all lift her up above our heads for a photo op, looking for all the world like some crazy rear end snake cult straight out of Conan the Barbarian. I have pics somewhere but am not near my hard drive. If I can dig them up later, I'll post them.

Unfortunately... One thing the guy would always bring up in his initial presentation was that snakes had a bad rap because of the Bible. That's fair enough; just because Satan (if you believe that stuff) appeared as a snake, not all serpents are bad. But his rhetoric got more and more vehement each year, and one year some Bible-thumping parents complained that it wasn't our place as a public library to put on programs that taught their children what they should and shouldn't believe about the Bible. Which, while true, kinda sucked, because that was the end of Snakes Alive coming to visit.

The nutty thing is the dude's a devout Christian. He's just tired of snakes getting trash-talked because of one bad apple. (Haha, get it? Garden of Eden? Bad apple? ... Thanks, I'm here all week, try the veal and tip your bartender.)

edit, after (HOLY MOLY this thread's been going for) over a year: finally found a pic of me holding Penelope.

I'm the red-haired gal holding the tail all the way to the left.

JacquelineDempsey fucked around with this message at 21:20 on Jan 13, 2020

starbucks hermit
Dec 13, 2016



Fun Shoe


That is an awesome story. Too bad that it was canceled, however... hope it can come back after being tweaked. I can see how the dude’s passion for snakes would bring about this awesome enterprise but also would kinda doom it.

If I had the expertise, I would love to do something like this for spiders. At the very least, try to get people to understand how spiders behave and how to scoot them somewhere safe if they are in a dangerous area.

But I doubt that spiders would enjoy being transported and stared at and placed in full view (without hiding places) and, especially, touched.

Vavrek
Mar 2, 2013

I like your style hombre, but this is no laughing matter. Assault on a police officer. Theft of police property. Illegal possession of a firearm. FIVE counts of attempted murder. That comes to... 29 dollars and 40 cents. Cash, cheque, or credit card?

JacquelineDempsey posted:

Unfortunately... One thing the guy would always bring up in his initial presentation was that snakes had a bad rap because of the Bible. That's fair enough; just because Satan (if you believe that stuff) appeared as a snake, not all serpents are bad. But his rhetoric got more and more vehement each year, and one year some Bible-thumping parents complained that it wasn't our place as a public library to put on programs that taught their children what they should and shouldn't believe about the Bible. Which, while true, kinda sucked, because that was the end of Snakes Alive coming to visit.

The nutty thing is the dude's a devout Christian. He's just tired of snakes getting trash-talked because of one bad apple. (Haha, get it? Garden of Eden? Bad apple? ... Thanks, I'm here all week, try the veal and tip your bartender.)

Should have mixed it with some anti-Harry Potter rhetoric, if those were out yet.

That's a really cool event.

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Shooting Blanks
Jun 6, 2007

Real bullets mess up how cool this thing looks.

-Blade




StrixNebulosa posted:

The only time a librarian has given me the stink eye over checking out a book was when I was like, 14, and I wanted to read Lolita. The librarian was all "uhhhh should you be reading that"

I genuinely do not remember if I checked it out or not in the end, just that shock of a librarian reacting to a book I was checking out with anything but vague interest. (Or excited interest, in the rare case that I check out something they like!)


When I was 20 or so, I read a different book that was basically Lolita but was written from the girl's point of view.

It blew my hair back a little.

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