Thursday, March 09, 2006

Directional or Reference? 

The library is currently collecting reference statistics for a study, and whenever we’re at the reference desk we’re supposed to tally how many questions we receive. We're also supposed to distinguish whether the questions are directional/ready reference (i.e., Where are the bathrooms? Why can’t I get more than an hour on the computer? How do I print this document?) or reference (i.e., What is the latest audio book on Winston Churchill? How do I find the number of ice cream parlors in a certain zip code?).

There were a few I had a hard time classifying.

A young woman. “Look, I don't know if I should report this, but I was looking for wedding planning books, trying to plan my wedding, and I looked over and there was some guy jerking off in the aisle. I think he…finished and he approached me and tried to give me advice about the kind of wedding cake I should have!” Poor girl! Here she is at the library, researching her magical day, and some masturbating creep tries to chat her up.

I counted that one as directional, as in I directed her right to security.

A disheveled Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia type. “Did you know that the governor of Montana can't spell? He really can’t! I've been to 8 states in my life, and you learn a lot by traveling like that. I mean it, read the newspaper, the people of Montana can't read either! And what does that say about our president, George W. Bush! He can’t read either! And in Oregon, did you know that the police are shooting people down in the street? You go stand outside the subway, and you're liable to be shot by the PIGS! Where are the newspapers?”


A man drunk of his ass. “Are you married?”


A series of ruthless old ladies calling trying to get a jump on their fellow book club members for next month’s selection, Martha Washington.


A man in drab, Eastern Bloc fashion said that he needed to change his address. “I brought all my papers.” He pulled out some tattered Xeroxes.

“May I see your library card?”

"Library card? I don't want or need a library card! You’re not understanding! I need to change my address." Apparently, he thought the library was some sort of central government registry. I’m sure in the communist hellhole from whence he came every move had to be reported to the appropriate agency, but, dude, you’re in America now!

I counted that one as directional.

The wedding cake guy? Ha ha!

Sounds like one of our old customers. The last time he visited his behavior made a 180. I guess time served and sx offender registration is enough for some people.
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