Friday, July 18, 2008

Shhhh! Libraries can be fun

Libraries are such serious places. You’ll never find anyone laughing in one. The other day, two ladies stopped at my desk to ask for help locating some essential reading material.

“Do you have any books on potty training?” one of them asked.
“Of course,” I said, swiveling in my chair to access our library catalog. “Would you like books for you or the child?”
A pause. Then, a quizzical look.
“Well…I already know how to…” her voice trailed off.
“No, would you like a book for the child to read or for you on how to train your child?”
Of course, I only made it through half of the explanation before we all started giggling. We giggled the whole walk back to get the books, in fact.
Yes, a little gem like this is part of what makes working in a library fun. We enjoy not only when these little incidents happen, but telling the stories about them for years to come.
We like it when people make inadvertent slips of the tongue and ask for “The Scarlet Pumpernickel” instead of “The Scarlet Pimpernel.”
I once referred to an award as the Bram Stroker award instead of the Bram Stoker award. The coworker who caught me saying it brings it up all the time.
I always get a laugh when I tell people that our DVDs and videos are located in two sections of the libraries.
“Adult movies are…” I begin.
“What?! You have adult movies!”
Explaining the term “Graphic Novel” is a ball of fun, as well.
Just last week, I recommended the latest book by J.R.R. Tolkien to someone.
“Isn’t he dead?” she asked.
“Children of Hurin” came out in April of last year. Tolkien died in 1973.
“Oh, it happens all the time.” I replied.
Probably the best laugh we can have at the library is generated by a simple question.
“Do you have any good books?”
“No,” we usually reply, “only bad ones.”

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