Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about library etiquette…
For the regular library patrons among us: do you have your own idea of what constitutes proper library etiquette? Is there anything you always try to do? Anything you hate when others do?
Oh boy! Don't get me started... Of course, I'm going to be coming at this from the other side of the circulation desk. But truthfully, I'm anxious to read what bugs library patrons. There are probably things I can do differently to make using the library more enjoyable for my patrons. Hmm...
My number one pet peeve, is parents who come into the library with toddlers and then sit at the computer and completely ignore their child/children. For long periods of time. And they don't bring anything for the kid to do nor do they even direct them to play with the puzzles or look at books. They simply ignore them or even worse yell at them the whole time to "behave". Seriously?! These children are under 5 years old. Guess who ends up entertaining these poor little kids. Yup! The staff of the children's room. Grrr!
Patrons who steal from the library. OK, maybe this is number one. Of course books are sometimes never returned, but sometimes people steal CDs and DVDs right out of the cases on the shelf. Our entire collection of country music has been stolen. Right now we keep the new discs behind the counter, so the cases are empty. But our country music thief is very patient. As soon as the discs are back in the cases... they disappear. So now ALL music will be behind the desk. And it doesn't end there, our donation jar has been stolen numerous times and we've even had a computer stolen. Come on, people. We're a library. We're not "the man". We're here to serve you. We're not ripping you off. You don't need to "stick it to us". I hope your conscious is killing you.
People who take hardcover books to the beach and return them with bits of sand under the plastic cover. Somehow it feels as though the book has been defiled.
Books that come back smelly like cigarette smoke. Totally ruins the reading experience for me. I will go so far as to order a different copy. Reading is a very sensual experience for me. If the book reeks like stale smoke, I can't enjoy the reading experience.
As I said, I could go on and on. But, I'll stop there.
As for what I do to make the experience nicer for patrons, I always greet everyone who comes into the library. I try to be pleasant and smile to each patron who comes to the desk. I make an attempt to learn the names of the all the toddlers who come to story hour and speak to them individually when they come up to the desk. Basically, I try to be everything that the stereotypical librarian is not. Cheerful, friendly, helpful and kind - even when moms are surfing the net while they're bored, hungry, tired children are running rampant in the children's room.
How about you? What bugs you? I'd love to hear how library staff can help make your library visits more pleasant. This is your chance to really let me have it. I'd love to hear from you.