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JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


So in another thread, a goon mentioned a guy expelled from school for watching porn during class. I was honestly curious what kind of porn he was watching, because I worked for a public library for over a decade, and part of my job was busting pervs for looking at porn in a public facility. They were never looking at something as vanilla as cute Playboy models, it was always super raunchy hardcore poo poo. Anyways, I mentioned in passing that I could do an A/T on crazy library stories, got some "yes, please!" replies, and here we are!

Let's start with one of my favorites, the guy we nicknamed "The Shooter".

Most public libraries have some scrap paper and a cup of pencils by the computers, so when you're looking up the Dewey number/author/name of a book, you can write it down and take it with you to the stacks. One of the shelvers' jobs was keeping those stocked, they usually did that at closing time.

At some point, the shelvers were refilling the cups at night with our little golf pencils and noticed there was a.... substance in the bottom of them. A sticky white substance. Yeah, someone was serial jacking it into our pencil cups. Our security guard had her suspicions on who The Shooter was, but we could never bust the guy busting his nut and get the police involved. After a month or so of this, admin comes up with a solution:

Replace the solid pencil cups with mesh ones. :facepalm: Yeah, good job admin, problem solved, surely that will thwart him, glad y'all are making 5x what I am.

The Shooter now turns to ripping out bits of our plastic garbage bags and blowing his wad in that instead (we keep finding torn bin liners) and leaving them everywhere. Our maintenance guys and shelvers start wearing gloves 24/7, and my security guard is about to have an aneurysm if she doesn't catch this guy so we can get him banned and arrested.

FINALLY we nail this motherfucker watching porn with his hands down his pants and get to call the cops. Of course by the time the cops arrive there's no immediate evidence, but he did have weed on him, so they took him away for that and got him banned from the library for life. As a pro-legalization person, that kinda sucks, don't like to see people do time for that, but good riddance to bad rubbish.

Other potential stories:
My first crazy patron, when I was 15 and got my very first job at a library: "ELECTRICITY!"
The woman who got shot to death outside that first library job
"Emotional support" animals (yes we totally need a parrot flying around and making GBS threads on books)
Bicycle shorts guy
Shrimp in the bathroom guy
Antonio, my crazy stalker

What do y'all wanna hear first?

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Ceiling fan
Dec 26, 2003

I really like ceilings.


Dead Man’s Band

Mmmm... That sounds like some extreme extra spicy crazy. Let's go with shrimp in the bathroom.

Also, does your library have an activity room? Any strange or crazy stuff getting scheduled or happening in that?

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


I only have school library experience and most of my "wacky" stories involve children going apeshit when I tell them we don't have the next book in a series (which usually does not exist yet) but I'm excited for this thread!

Blendy
Jun 18, 2007

She thinks I'm a haughty!



I've been working in public libraries for the past 10+ years starting a reference aid and then as a full librarian after getting my MLS (reading this right now at the ref desk at work). Can confirm a lot of stuff like this happens at public libraries.

I know an ex-coworker who had to interrupt a John getting a blow job in the computer lab. I've had to clean up vomit while people tried to walk through it to find DVDs. For a while at one library I worked at the upstairs restrooms weren't working and people were being directed to use the ones in the basement but the signs up read "For bathrooms please use elevator" (no clue why that phrasing was used) so at least a few people used the elevator as a urinal.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Ceiling fan posted:

Mmmm... That sounds like some extreme extra spicy crazy. Let's go with shrimp in the bathroom.

Also, does your library have an activity room? Any strange or crazy stuff getting scheduled or happening in that?

Ah, that's my specialty! That was my job for the bulk of my tour of duty, between our 2 branches we had 6 community meeting rooms, plus a 300 seat theater. I was the head audio-visual wench, doing stuff like running sound for concerts, setting up LCD projectors and laptops (and for a couple regulars still living in the Paleolithic age, our Kodak slide projector), and cleaning up 75 pounds of glitter every time we had a children's craft event. ("Glitter is the herpes of the craft world" was my department's motto)

But first,shrimp guy.

Naturally, a public library attracts a lot of homeless folks. We're warm in the winter, air conditioned in the brutal southern summer, have comfy chairs and free entertainment in the form of books and Internet. And, of course, nice multi-stall restrooms.

One day I'm minding our desk, probably dicking around on these here forums, and a male patron comes up with a very confused look on his face. "Ma'am? Uh, there's a guy, um, in the restroom, and he's....". He pauses, with a thousand yard stare.

Great, we got another guy whacking it, I think, and start for the phone to call a male staffer to deal with this (we only had security on nights and weekends).

"...he's got one of the sinks full of shrimp."
Now I'm the one looking super confused. "Shrimp?"
"Yeah, he rinsing off shrimp in the sink. I, uh, just thought you'd want to know."
"Huh. Yes. Thank you for the heads up."

LT, one of our facilities guys, happens to be passing by, and I get to confuse the gently caress out of him by asking hey, would you mind checking the men's restroom, there's supposedly a guy with shrimp in there?

He does so and reports back. "It's that homeless guy, the old white dude? He got the shrimp in a bag, like a Food Lion bag. It's frozen, he thawing it out."
"Is it raw or cooked?" I ask, immediately realizing the absurdity of this question.
"Cooked, it just frozen. Nice lookin' shrimp, too, big ones!" (LT was known for always being hungry and eating anything and everything.)

I've been drat close to being homeless myself, so I have a lot of sympathy for hobos. The fella in question had never caused us any trouble; who am I to begrudge a poor guy a nice seafood dinner? Dude scored big time on his pound of shrimp, I wasn't about to kick him out for that. I told LT to put up the "closed for cleaning, please use other restroom" sign, and got him to scrub the sink when homeless guy left.

Bonus story: one of my co-workers had her indoor/outdoor wedding reception at a hall across the street from the library. The same homeless guy saw the party going on and wandered over to the buffet tables outside. My co-worker and her husband are pretty chill hippy types, so they politely told him it was a private party, he had to leave, but he could help himself to some vegetarian lasagna if he liked. He filled up a paper plate and wandered back to the parking garage he lived in, no fuss from either side. All us drunk library folks were dying laughing, though. "Girl, you just got your wedding crashed by The Shrimp Guy."

Blendy (or any other library workers), feel free to chime in with your war stories! The more the merrier.

JacquelineDempsey fucked around with this message at 00:50 on Oct 23, 2018

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





Hair Elf


That’s awesome and you’re awesome for that.

(So is your co-worker letting him snag food from the buffet)

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Proteus Jones posted:

That’s awesome and you’re awesome for that.

(So is your co-worker letting him snag food from the buffet)

Aw, thanks! Your av is pretty awesome, too (though I miss the Zatanna one).

I'm in a writing mood today, so I'll go ahead and share My First Experience with Library Crazy

My first ever real (ie., getting a paycheck, not babysitting or raking leaves) job was as a page at our local library. In NY in the 80's, you could get a legit job in some not-really-hazardous workplaces at 15 instead of 16 if you had kept up good grades in school and didn't work past certain hours. Being a book nerd, the library three blocks away was an obvious move.

For reasons still unclear to me, that library had separate pages for the kids' sections vs the adult section, so I solely sorted and shelved the kids' books as they get returned. Another task of the page/shelver is what's called shelf-reading, which is when you just go down the stacks book by book and make sure all the books are in order after patrons pull out one, decide they don't want it, and randomly shove it somewhere it doesn't belong.

So I'm shelf-reading non-fiction, probably hiding over in 567.91 doing dinosaur books because I like dinosaurs, and I hear a toddler start crying over in the picture book/easy reader corner. This kid's wailing like a fire truck, but I'm used to being in the children's section, I'm no stranger to kids in that area throwing tantrums. I ignore it and keep shelf-reading. Then things get odd.

Kiddo is sobbing away, and then a second crier joins in. At first I roll my eyes, thinking "great, we gotta chain reaction going on", that happens all the time when you have multiple toddlers together, right? But something's off; the second crier doesn't sound like a kid. And now the kid has stopped, but the second voice is still going, at dB levels that would shame a jet plane.

I get up and walk around the stacks to see wtf is going on, just in time to see a worried mom scooping up her teary-eyed son away from a 50-something year old woman who is mimicking the crying child. She's not actually crying, she's just sitting on the floor in the picture book section going "waaaaah! waaaah! waaaah!", mocking this poor kid straight in the face and scaring the piss outta him.

As a librarian approaches to defuse the situation, this woman gets up, pushes past the staff, throws her hands straight up in the air and screams "ELECTRICITY!" at the top of her lungs just before going out the emergency fire exit and setting the door alarm off.

"What the hell just happened?" I ask my co-worker, Jeff, once the dust has settled and the fire department had been told, no, we're not on fire.
"Oh, I heard we had a field trip group from [local psychiatric hospital]. She was with them."
"Ya think maybe someone could give us a heads up next time we have a bunch of unattended schizophrenics roaming around?"
Jeff just shrugged. That's library life. But after that, any time things got a little super busy or stressful there, Jeff and/or I would fling our hands in the air and yell "ELECTRICITY!"

JacquelineDempsey fucked around with this message at 23:41 on Oct 22, 2018

Chumbawumba4ever97
Dec 31, 2000



This is loving amazing. What is the stalker story?

Bluedeanie
Jul 20, 2008

It's no longer a blue world, Max. Where could we go?



Got any microfilm/fiche stories? I know all the reaction they're likely to cause is exasperation from young people who have to do a school project and need to figure out how to work such archaic machinery but I have a soft spot for them. They're a uniquely library thing.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Bluedeanie posted:

Got any microfilm/fiche stories? I know all the reaction they're likely to cause is exasperation from young people who have to do a school project and need to figure out how to work such archaic machinery but I have a soft spot for them. They're a uniquely library thing.

I have no good tales about fiche save for my own personal boring stories of using it to find my estranged father via census records. I was never in reference, I was circulation/shelver until I moved over to "program servIces" which encompassed mostly a/v set-up, and also strangely my dept got put In charge of security so I was always tasked with looking over the cam footage and privy to hearing about the latest man* we needed to get banned.

*Or woman, but I can only think of one example of a woman getting arrested/banned after 12 years there. Woman filled up two shopping bags full off expensive coffee-table art books and waltzed out. A decent patron tipped us off about it the next day, and I spent the better part of a shift watching hours of cam footage at 4x speed until I finally pegged her, to get her banned. Then I did a little googling to find out where she lived, because we need to send a certified letter to make the ban official.

loving woman lived in a half million dollar gated community McMansion, and she's stealing from libraries. There's a special place in hell for her.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Uncle at Nintendo posted:

This is loving amazing. What is the stalker story?

Ah, Antonio. I guess "stalker" is a bit of an exaggeration, but you'll see why I got him banned.

As I said, I worked for the theater/conference room dept, and we had our own entrance because we'd often have events before the library proper opened or after it closed. (Best one was an annual fall fundraiser for a non-profit organization, and they ran a cash bar. The woman running it would sneak us library employees beers all night as a "tip" for working until midnight and having to clean up after them. You got overtime AND tanked; we used to fight over who got that shift.)

My desk was right by this entrance, so I had a constant view of people coming and going. One summer, I start noticing this guy coming in all the time. And by "all the time", I mean he would walk through my door dozens of times in one day. He would come in my door, head into the library, and apparently go right back out another door, then come back in through our entrance, staring at me.

Aside from this, he stood out because he was absolutely expressionless, never talked to anyone or even checked out a book as far as I could tell, had a stiff gait, wore a parka in Virginia summer, and looked exactly like a slightly chunkier Michael Jordan. I think my first conversation with my second-in-charge, Rob, about him went like:

"Rob, have you noticed that guy---"
"Zombie Michael Jordan?"
"loving YES!"
So picture Zombie Michael Jordan for the rest of this story.

We chalked him up as Library Weirdo #739, and didn't pay him much mind; as I said, he would just be doing laps and walk through our door 8 times a day. Whatever. But Pitbull, our security guard, started telling us that he was creeping out patrons and staffers in the stacks. Apparently after coming in my entrance, he would head for the stacks and then just stand there, staring, giving a lot of women (and libraries are predominately staffed by women) the heebie-jeebies.

Pitbull finally gets fed up with hearing complaints from patrons, and calls the police non-emergency line to see if they know anything about this guy. The PD was literally across the street, we shared a parking lot, so a few minutes later two officers show up.

One of them looks almost exactly like ZMJ.
He's his brother.

He tells us that while Antonio has some mental issues, he's harmless. Pitbull and our boss, The Skipper, are not totally satisfied with this response; he's freaking out both patrons and staff, can't you tell him to go creep out people somewhere else? But it's not a crime to just stand and stare at women in a public library, the police aren't going to do anything. Especially when it's a family member.

Well, things start escalating. Antonio disappears for a while, and Pitbull, who, being Pitbull, reads the police blotter in the newspaper for fun and to keep track of our "problem patrons", tells us he got arrested for standing in the middle of a busy road throwing rocks at cars. A few weeks later a co-worker whose car broke down and was taking the bus tells us Antonio was on the same bus as him and kept going up to women and getting very all up in their personal space. When the women got up and switched seats, he was following them. Bus driver kicked him off and wouldn't let him on for the next few days, but he would still stand at his usual stop and glare at the bus. Even this fit male co-worker was kinda spooked by Antonio.

One day, I'm coming in for a late shift, 2-10. As I'm walking towards our entrance, guess who's standing outside? He's staring at me all the way up, head swiveling as I ignore him and go in.

About 15 minutes later, an elderly woman walks up to my desk looking a bit perplexed and frightened. "Excuse me, miss? There was a man outside, and he said to give this to the lady with the red hair at this desk. I guess that's you?" She's got a couple pieces of folded-up papers her hand.
As I warily take them, I ask, "Tall dark-skinned guy with a shaved head?"
"Yes!"
"Ok, thanks. And just... Stay away from him."
She jets as fast as her geriatric little legs will allow her, and I open up the notes. They're on our scrap paper we keep by the computers, in pencil.

The first note, in the bizarre melange of uppercase and lowercase that is a pretty classic sign of crazy (my MA is in art therapy), is asking me to meet him at the Motel 6, room number and all.
The second has what first appears to be absolute gibberish of number and letters. Then I notice they're all strings of six or seven characters.
Huh, they look like... Virginia license plate numbers.
Huh, that one's... MY license plate.
Huh, I'm working after hours tonight and will be closing the library entirely by myself.

I get Pitbull, Skipper, and the head of reference (who is in charge when admin has left for the day) down to my desk so fast, it would make your head swim. Skipper calls the cops, and has the presence of mind to specifically request that we NOT get Officer [Antonio's bro] to respond. Skipper immediately drafted the ban letter, emails were sent to all staff, and I had a friendly cop waiting in a marked car to make sure I got my car okay when I closed up shop that night. I also got special parking privileges for the rest of my days there; employees were supposed to park in the garage across the street, where Shrimp Guy lived, but I got to park as close to the building as I liked.

We had occasional Antonio sightings around town after that, and folks were always quick to tell me about them, but fortunately that was the end of him coming in the library.

JacquelineDempsey fucked around with this message at 16:21 on Oct 23, 2018

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



I've been a librarian for five years in both academic and public libraries.

Oddly, I have more weird stories from the university libraries than the public libraries. At the public libraries it was mostly just mentally ill people, homeless people, drug addicts, conspiracy theorists, and old men sexually harassing and occasionally assaulting female staff. Often various mixes of the above.


One of the times I caught someone watching porn in the library, it was a twelve year old kid in the children's section, and it was the most prosaic, poorly drawn and animated, animated porn I'd ever heard of. I almost wanted to tell the kid that if he had to watch porn in the library, he could at least watch some decent quality stuff.

LizzieBorden
Dec 6, 2009

She's hackin' and wackin' and smackin'
She's hackin' and wackin' and smackin'
She's hackin' and wackin' and smackin'
She just hacks, wacks, chopping that meat



What's the most distressing book you've been asked to order in?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



LizzieBorden posted:

What's the most distressing book you've been asked to order in?

If I can chime in as a librarian who's not the OP? Probably the book of erotic BDSM retellings of Disney princess stories by Anne Rice under a pen name.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


I found discarded ham on the library floor three separate times last year. Then I found a smear of cream cheese underneath the European History shelf.

I do not understand.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Cythereal posted:

If I can chime in as a librarian who's not the OP? Probably the book of erotic BDSM retellings of Disney princess stories by Anne Rice under a pen name.

You, and other library vets, are welcome to chime in at any point!

Fleta's post about ham reminded me of another great subject: what's the craziest poo poo y'all ever found in the book drops (or anywhere else, for that matter)?

Mine's a toss up between literal poo poo --- someone dumped (pun totally intended) a bunch of soiled diapers at our branch out in the sticks --- and the time I reached in our main branch's drop box and nearly sliced my fingers off because someone had thrown a circular saw blade in with 23 overdue VHS tapes.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



JacquelineDempsey posted:

You, and other library vets, are welcome to chime in at any point!

Fleta's post about ham reminded me of another great subject: what's the craziest poo poo y'all ever found in the book drops (or anywhere else, for that matter)?

Mine's a toss up between literal poo poo --- someone dumped (pun totally intended) a bunch of soiled diapers at our branch out in the sticks --- and the time I reached in our main branch's drop box and nearly sliced my fingers off because someone had thrown a circular saw blade in with 23 overdue VHS tapes.

Two years before I started at one of the public libraries I worked at, someone shoved a kitten in through the book drop. The cataloger adopted the cat and Dewey, as all library cats are named, was still doing fine when I started there.

Craziest I've personally seen was a blue plastic dildo in an outside book drop at the university I worked at. Around that time, someone was hiding dildos in various places around campus for some reason, staff's best guess was a frat or sorority thing though none of them ever owned up to it.


One of the funny things about working in an academic library is that porn is in fact allowed on library computers. There are students who have legitimate academic reasons to be watching it, and as long as you weren't spanking it we didn't have an issue with it. Oddly, it was women much more often than men we saw watching it. One night when I was working the graveyard shift while we were open 24/7 for finals, I even found a student who had fallen asleep in a group of chairs put together like a couch watching porn on her laptop.


Also, hands up any other library vets who have caught people having sex in the library.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Cythereal posted:

Two years before I started at one of the public libraries I worked at, someone shoved a kitten in through the book drop. The cataloger adopted the cat and Dewey, as all library cats are named, was still doing fine when I started there.

Craziest I've personally seen was a blue plastic dildo in an outside book drop at the university I worked at. Around that time, someone was hiding dildos in various places around campus for some reason, staff's best guess was a frat or sorority thing though none of them ever owned up to it.


One of the funny things about working in an academic library is that porn is in fact allowed on library computers. There are students who have legitimate academic reasons to be watching it, and as long as you weren't spanking it we didn't have an issue with it. Oddly, it was women much more often than men we saw watching it. One night when I was working the graveyard shift while we were open 24/7 for finals, I even found a student who had fallen asleep in a group of chairs put together like a couch watching porn on her laptop.


Also, hands up any other library vets who have caught people having sex in the library.
Dawwww, I wish I got kittens in my book drops! Instead I just got to clean books after stupid kids thought it was funny to throw in mulch from the flower beds surrounding our drop box. Fuckers.

And I never caught any actual fuckers. One of our favorite gross stories during my a/v days, though, was when I was up in the sound booth, where I had a birds eye view of the whole theater. I'm sitting there, minding the sound board and bored out of my mind during some lecture, and then notice a genteel old southern lady picking her nose like it's her job. I mean, she's seriously rooting around in there.

A co-worker comes into the booth to ask me something, and I point her out: "Check out the lady with the blue hat in the sixth row, she's been picking her nose like crazy. Look, she's doing it again."
Just after I say this, we watch in horror as she examines her catch, and eats it. Surrounded by a packed theater, and as I said it was a lecture, so the lights weren't off, it wasn't like we were showing a film.

In the next five minutes, I think we had half the library staff up in my tiny sound booth, watching this woman and giggling like 10 year olds, waiting for her to strike more gold and gross us out some more. Good times.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



JacquelineDempsey posted:

Dawwww, I wish I got kittens in my book drops! Instead I just got to clean books after stupid kids thought it was funny to throw in mulch from the flower beds surrounding our drop box. Fuckers.

And I never caught any actual fuckers. One of our favorite gross stories during my a/v days, though, was when I was up in the sound booth, where I had a birds eye view of the whole theater. I'm sitting there, minding the sound board and bored out of my mind during some lecture, and then notice a genteel old southern lady picking her nose like it's her job. I mean, she's seriously rooting around in there.

A co-worker comes into the booth to ask me something, and I point her out: "Check out the lady with the blue hat in the sixth row, she's been picking her nose like crazy. Look, she's doing it again."
Just after I say this, we watch in horror as she examines her catch, and eats it. Surrounded by a packed theater, and as I said it was a lecture, so the lights weren't off, it wasn't like we were showing a film.

In the next five minutes, I think we had half the library staff up in my tiny sound booth, watching this woman and giggling like 10 year olds, waiting for her to strike more gold and gross us out some more. Good times.

Fortunately my case was not dramatic. I was doing a sweep of the library at fifteen till closing (about 1:45 AM, I was mainly a night shift person) to tell everyone, and passed by one of our small group study rooms - which have extensive glass windows next to the door - and my mind looked just closely enough to realize what two African-American girls were doing on the table before I looked away, knocked on the glass, politely told them we were closing in fifteen minutes, and went on my way.

Then back at the desk I called custodial services to alert them to potential bodily fluids in that particular study room that would need to be cleaned up.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Cythereal posted:

Fortunately my case was not dramatic. I was doing a sweep of the library at fifteen till closing (about 1:45 AM, I was mainly a night shift person) to tell everyone, and passed by one of our small group study rooms - which have extensive glass windows next to the door - and my mind looked just closely enough to realize what two African-American girls were doing on the table before I looked away, knocked on the glass, politely told them we were closing in fifteen minutes, and went on my way.

Then back at the desk I called custodial services to alert them to potential bodily fluids in that particular study room that would need to be cleaned up.

Fwiw, sounds like you did the right thing. That's about the same call I would've made. Though I could be biased because the first time I ever kissed a boy was when I was 8, in the underground parking garage of that library I got my first job at. Had my first cigarette there too, when I was 12.

Libraries: Temples of Knowledge, and Dens of Corruption.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



JacquelineDempsey posted:

Fwiw, sounds like you did the right thing. That's about the same call I would've made. Though I could be biased because the first time I ever kissed a boy was when I was 8, in the underground parking garage of that library I got my first job at. Had my first cigarette there too, when I was 12.

Libraries: Temples of Knowledge, and Dens of Corruption.

Yeah, I sent an email to my boss explaining what happened (not exactly covered in our policy manual) and she confirmed I did the right thing. It's none of my business, I just want the library to stay clean for everyone. And really, a study room with so much glass for anyone to look in and see is probably not the best place for that sort of thing.


For weird poo poo in an indoor book drop, one public library I worked at quite recently has one of those very fancy RFID conveyor belt book sorters. Enter a kid (middle school, maybe early high school) who was a recurring thorn in our side for riding a hoverboard indoors, turning on the volume of his music so loud it bled out of the headphones and could be heard throughout the library, and generally being a troublesome little shithead who gave us lots of attitude when we tried to enforce the rules with him. After we finally gave him a one week ban on entering the library, he came in and spilled some sort of gunk out of a Starbucks cup into the indoor book return onto the book sorter. I have no clue if it was just some sugary horror from Starbucks or something else, but it rapidly congealed and solidified into a solid adhesive goop.

Good news was, we caught the little poo poo doing it on camera. Bad news was the shitstorm when we called up his parents to permanently ban him from the library and bill them for the three hundred dollars it cost to repair the book sorter.

I think the county legal department was still working on that mess when I was laid off a couple of months later.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Kid sounds like an absolute shithead either way (riding a hover board? Man, back in my day all we had to deal with were those stupid sneakers with the wheels that popped out), but just to clarify: did he deliberately or accidentally spill the Starbucks cup?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



JacquelineDempsey posted:

Kid sounds like an absolute shithead either way (riding a hover board? Man, back in my day all we had to deal with were those stupid sneakers with the wheels that popped out), but just to clarify: did he deliberately or accidentally spill the Starbucks cup?

Bosses decided it was deliberate given his record of behavior. Management at that library was generally awful, but they did bring down the hammer on anyone damaging library property.

I'm not clear on all the details, though, as it happened on a day when I wasn't working.

big dyke energy
Jul 29, 2006

Football? Yaaaay


Sometimes kids would put leaves in our collection box although we did find a dildo in the bushes one day.

The library I worked at was in a small Midwestern city and generally quiet and we only had about two regular weirdos who were really harmless. I always like hearing insane stories, though, I just get to be relieved I didn't live it.

The most interesting thing about my library was that it was attached to an awesome two hundred year old mansion and I could just go explore it when it was quiet (most of the time)

Parahexavoctal
Oct 10, 2004
I AM NOT BEING PAID TO CORRECT OTHER PEOPLE'S POSTS.

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

I found discarded ham on the library floor three separate times last year. Then I found a smear of cream cheese underneath the European History shelf.

I do not understand.

someone's trynna make a library sandwich.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


I've had a really lovely day, so how's about a fun story?

The Day I Got to Feel Up Boris Karloff's Daughter

One month, we were doing a cross-promotional series of events with the local university, based mostly on Frankenstein. We had some really cool lectures on 19th century science, including demonstrations of legit early electric devices, we were showing Frankenstein films in the theater every day, book club discussions about the novel, etc.

The highlight was that we were having Sara Karloff, Boris's daughter, coming to not only speak at our theater, but bringing home movies, unavailable and previously unseen by the public, of her father. COLOR home movies, and unreleased color test footage where you can see that the monster is green, even though the release is black and white. As a fan of old monster movies, and mad science in general, you best believe I volunteered to work that shift.

So my job is to make sure her laptop is happily married to our 6000 lumen LCD projector, and the remote is working, and then I have to put a lavalier (lapel) mic on her.

Sara Karloff is a striking woman. I mean, "striking" is the best single adjective I can come up with because she's tall, imposingly built, and looks like Boris, but... sexy? And a snappy dresser. I've got an instant crush.

"Ms. Karloff? Hi, I'm JD, I'm your a/v person tonight," I squeak, wringing my hands and sweating. "I need to give you this mic, and get a sound check?"

She smiles graciously, then shakes (read: crushes) my hand. I fumble with hitching the lapel mic to the transmitter, and when I look up, she's pulled her blouse away from her waist. I stand there like a deer in headlights for a second, then realize she's waiting for me to be the one to thread the mic cable under her shirt. Usually, people like to do this themselves, so this throws me even more than the fact that I'm a little starstruck. I quickly, and as professionally as possible, snake the cable up her shirt past her magnificent rack, and clip the mic to her lapel and the transmitter to her hip.

A consummate professional, she thanks me, and tells me she's ready whenever I am. And goes on to give a really stellar talk about her father, movie studio life, and I got to see some incredibly rare footage.

It was events like that which kept me working there for 12 years despite all the annoying patrons and creeps and weirdos.

My Lovely Horse
Aug 21, 2010




Man, I'm jealous now. I've been in libraries for years and dedicated library A/V person would be my dream job. Doesn't seem to be a position libraries in my country do, though.

Cythereal posted:

Also, hands up any other library vets who have caught people having sex in the library.
Not caught, but during a meeting at my last job one of our assistants cheerily informed us all we had a dedicated sex study room. I went around afterwards and found one without windows. Probably that one, then.

Once I happened to look into a study room and saw the occupant lying prone on the floor. Took me a second to properly register that and go "hang on, I should probably actually check on them." Then I saw they had their shoes neatly put in a corner, cleared themselves some space, and were just taking a nap. Most people just put their head down on the desk but whatever, they booked the room, it's theirs for the day.

I don't think I have any great stories about our patrons. Coworkers and management though, and the building itself, hoo boyo.

Cythereal posted:

One of the funny things about working in an academic library is that porn is in fact allowed on library computers.
Just this week I had a job interview where they gave me a scenario: a student needs to use a PC terminal to finish their essay, all the terminals are occupied, but I spot someone playing a video game on one, what do I do? I paused for a second and said, well, there's a chance they're doing that for academic research so first of all I'd go and figure that out, and one of the interviewers kept giggling at that for the rest of my reply.

And they offered me the job

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



My Lovely Horse posted:

Just this week I had a job interview where they gave me a scenario: a student needs to use a PC terminal to finish their essay, all the terminals are occupied, but I spot someone playing a video game on one, what do I do? I paused for a second and said, well, there's a chance they're doing that for academic research so first of all I'd go and figure that out, and one of the interviewers kept giggling at that for the rest of my reply.

And they offered me the job

My experience with academic vs public libraries about that kind of thing is that academic libraries have fewer rules, but they enforce them far more consistently and strictly. One public library I worked at, management was completely spineless and didn't want to make an official paperwork record of a patron threatening to come in and shoot us. The academic library I'm working at right now, my boss told me on my first day that we are allowed to tell anyone to leave the library if we think it's necessary oh and the police are on speed dial on all the library phones.

I'm only part time for now, but a full time position opened up recently that I applied for. I really don't want to go back to public libraries.


One little story from my previous work at a different academic library: "Um, excuse me. Are you the person in charge? The second floor men's bathroom is covered in blood."

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


I sub in my school's library sometimes. We have a team of parent volunteers who are all kind and generous, but not always the most helpful.

A new parent came in to help today. She spent most of the time texting and, when asked to shelve, walked around in a circle, sighed, then asked, "Where do the books go?"

I explained the layout- elementary on the right, reference in the middle, adult literature on the left.

"Oh. But where do they go?"

"On the shelves?"

I made her Aironfix instead.

My Lovely Horse
Aug 21, 2010




Once I had to tell a lady that she'd already racked up €80 in late fees for some books she wanted to renew. I braced myself for a big ugly discussion, but all she said was "oh really? Shoot, but I guess it happens", all very calmly. After she'd paid and left I looked in her account to see what she'd been so hooked on.

Ten books on conflict management.

e: speaking of which. We had a policy that anyone who triggered the theft alarm got written up, accident or not. Most people were understanding, once a guy kept complaining about how ridiculous it was as I was writing and topped it off with "you must feel so great doing this." Yeah mate, fantastic, it's the only reason I come in on Saturdays, I've been sat here the past six hours just waiting for you.

My Lovely Horse fucked around with this message at 14:43 on Oct 25, 2018

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





Hair Elf

My Lovely Horse posted:

Once I had to tell a lady that she'd already racked up €80 in late fees for some books she wanted to renew. I braced myself for a big ugly discussion, but all she said was "oh really? Shoot, but I guess it happens", all very calmly. After she'd paid and left I looked in her account to see what she'd been so hooked on.

Ten books on conflict management.

Well, poo poo. Looks like she read them at least.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



The worst fees I've seen are actually in my current job. That was a fun phone call.

Hi, I can't register for modules because the system says I owe the library late fees and need to contact you guys. How much do I owe?

Alright, what's your student ID number... you owe $800 in lost and overdue books.

My Lovely Horse
Aug 21, 2010




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.

Aunt Beth
Feb 23, 2006

Baby, you're ready!

Grimey Drawer

Aside from the bathrooms and computers, did any section attract more weirdos than others? More weirdos in history than in periodicals, that sort of thing?

Bluedeanie
Jul 20, 2008

It's no longer a blue world, Max. Where could we go?



It's that time of year. Tell me about your haunted libraries

I Shot The Serif
Jul 19, 2007



Tortured By Flan

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

I made her Aironfix instead.

What's Aironfix in this context? Google is giving me a bunch of results in Spanish about contact paper.

Fleta Mcgurn
Oct 5, 2003

Porpoise noise continues.


ZamBOOni_Rodeo posted:

What's Aironfix in this context? Google is giving me a bunch of results in Spanish about contact paper.

Yeah, it's like, uhhh, plastic sealing sheet...stuff? We put it on the paperbacks to protect them.

I wasn't sure if it was a standard term or not, like Kleenex or Jello.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


Cythereal posted:

One public library I worked at, management was completely spineless and didn't want to make an official paperwork record of a patron threatening to come in and shoot us. The academic library I'm working at right now, my boss told me on my first day that we are allowed to tell anyone to leave the library if we think it's necessary oh and the police are on speed dial on all the library phones.


Our admin staff was pretty quick with the ban hammer, but nights and weekends, when they weren't there, the senior-most reference librarian would be in charge. Most of them had less spine than a well-worn picture book.

The most wishywashy one was the department head, so that put him in charge more than most. One day a patron complained to someone at the circ desk that there was a man at the computers with a hand down his pants. When the circ employee told Wishywashy, and asked if they should ask him to leave or call the cops, he responded,

"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.

When they put Skipper in charge of security, we started banning people left and right, it was great.

LegionAreI
Nov 14, 2006
Lurk

I'm not a librarian, but my office is in an academic library so I get all the fun stories. We get jackers and porn occasionally but the layout is definitely not conducive to that.

The best story was the naked guy though. Just ... hanging out completely nude in one of the side rooms. Not jacking it, just sitting there. The person who happened upon them was quite perplexed. Many theories were concocted to try to explain the nudity, but we never got a good explanation even after the nudist's discipline hearing. A drat fine day to be nude, I guess?

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Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Bluedeanie posted:

It's that time of year. Tell me about your haunted libraries

One branch I worked at briefly (I was mainly at another branch of the county) had a phantom shitter while I was there, does that count? Starting about a month before I was seconded over there for a bit, the staff started finding turds scattered throughout the library. Always just one or two, and never in the same place twice.

The phantom shitter defied the library's efforts to find them until a couple of weeks after I returned to my normal branch. Turned out there was a woman who didn't believe babies should wear diapers, so turds were just occasionally falling out of his shorts as he and his mom went through the library.

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