Dispatches From a Public Librarian
For some five years I have worked for a smallish public library nestled cozily between Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm in Orange County, California. This is where most of the observations in this dispatch will take place, although sometimes I do go to other libraries (some even far, far away), and I’ll include those observations as they come.
I came into the library scene about eight years ago. I began as a student assistant at a college library in Fullerton. After receiving my bachelor’s degree, I was bored, confused, and didn’t want to get off my parents’ insurance plan, so I enrolled in the Library Science and Information Technology program at San Jose State.
I will update this dispatch on a sometimes-regular basis, and will include stories about strange patrons, strange tales, and otherwise just strange things. The names and description of the patrons are purposely left out, so as to protect their privacy (libraries are real sticklers for this privacy stuff, which is why many have been in a tiff about the Patriot Act, but don’t get me started).
Corny Library Pickup Lines, and How Librarians Effectively Shoot Them Down.
Pardon me, could you please tell me what kind of card I need to check you out?
Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.
You must have been burning books, because you’re looking hot.
My apologizes—the new Harry Potter is coming out and I was in the back burning the Newbery winners to make room for it.
Can you tell me where I can find books on overcoming a deeply passionate love I have for a librarian?
Libraries should allow food in the building, because right now I could just eat you up.
Policy is policy, but if you’d really like to change that, the appropriate forms are behind you—just drop it in the suggestion box when you’re done, and in due time it will be pulled out and set in the loser pile.
I know what I need to access the Internet, but what do I need to access your heart?
What book would you recommend to help me sweep you off your feet?
How to Divorce a Jealous Mad Person.
Can you tell me how to spell love? I’m writing a letter to you.
Do you mean the agape love, or the love you have for someone you don’t have a chance of ever getting?
Can you settle a bet? My friend says librarians have no life, but I say they’re wild beasts. Can I take you out to dinner and prove my friend wrong?
Tell your friend he’s right.
SUGGESTED READSDispatches From a Public Librarian: Dispatch 1
by Scott Douglas (12/12/2003)
Dispatches From a Public Librarian: Dispatch 2
by Scott Douglas (1/5/2004)
Dispatches From a Public Librarian: Dispatch 3: Special Movie Edition
by Scott Douglas (2/3/2004)
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McSweeney’s Advent Calendar Recommendations!
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Classic Russian Writers: For teh Internets: Mikhail Lermontov’s “A Dream."
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POPULARI Regret to Inform You That My Wedding to Captain Von Trapp Has Been Canceled
by Melinda Taub (5/18/2011)
Retail Therapy: Inside the Apple Store: It’s a Trap!
by J.K. Appleseed (11/21/2013)
Jamie and Jeff’s Birth Plan
by Paul William Davies (12/26/2012)