Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Adult Patrons Used To Be Kids Too

Had a librarian on a children's librarian Facebook page kvetching today about how she has to be on the adult reference desk having to "answer over and over how to print/download a doc from an email," and wishing she could stay in the Land of Children all day.

Well, cookie, I'd bet that those same patrons would like to be in the Land of Children too, where grownups take care of you and the word "responsible" refers to bringing your library books back on time and not letting your little sister crayon in them, and stuff like that.

Instead they're in the adult world with bills to pay. Looking for jobs. Dealing with all sorts of issues that don't show up in "Pete the Cat" books.

If I had a dollar for every time a grownup has apologetically said to me, "I hate to bother you," I'd have a very nice vacation fund.

They don't want to "bother" me. They want to know how to find that book themselves, or know how to download that document, or how to spell the words on their resume correctly.

But sometimes they don't. They haven't been lucky enough to have had a full college education, graduate school and regular access to computers and the Internet.

Sometimes their English isn't the best. Sometimes their personal hygiene leaves a lot to be desired.

But they are not, not, NOT bothering me. They are asking me to do my job--and I am so glad that I can do something to help them. Something that will make their life a little bit better that day. Maybe even something that will help them in the long run.

The man thrilled today because I helped him send his resume, the older gentleman patiently working his way through the basics of Microsoft Word, the nanny so grateful that I helped her figure out how to print her work schedule--their smiles and thanks mean as much to me as a hug from one of my toddlers. Perhaps even more. 

This foolish librarian needs to remember that those adults she hates dealing with once were bright eyed kids much like the ones in her children's room.Perhaps they too went to a library and found a helpful children's librarian, and think of us a good, kind people.

Her attitude sucks.  And I'm glad that she doesn't work in my library.

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