Friday, June 15, 2007


A woman in a sequin top and fucia beret, drunk as a lord, wobbled up to the desk. “Why, hellllllo! Do you have the movie Sounder? I just came from a Mother’s Day lunch.” She leaned in and mimed knocking back a drink. “Now I’m finished with my lunch and I want to watch SOUNDER!” She threw back her head and howled, “Soundeeeeer!

My colleague led her over to the public catalog and helped her look up Sounder. There was a copy up in the children’s room. As my colleague was pointing out the good news on the computer screen she stepped on a mucus filled, wadded up tissue. She grimaced and kicked it away.

The woman scoffed at my colleague’s fastidiousness. "Oh, I'm not afraid of that. In fact, I need one.” She picked it up and stuck it in her pocket.

My colleague stared at her. "Yes, I'm sure that tissue will come in handy when you watch Sounder."

I’ve written, well, ad nauseam about the filthy things that go in the library, but this one was particularly upsetting. Some of the pages who handle the books wear cloth gloves as a cautionary measure. One of my colleagues overheard a patron say, “How nice that you all wear acid free gloves to protect the books!”

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