Thursday, October 8, 2009

We're in the business of banning...

Tuesday, our Regional Manager called to forward a complaint about the Banned Books Week Display. Banned Books Week is a week celebrated by the American Library Association. It celebrates the freedom to read by highlighting books that have been banned or challenged across the country at some point. To illustrate the lameness of banning books I created a display that said “These Books Have Been Banned” on black paper with white words and surrounded it with caution tape. It was a pretty eye catching display if I do say so myself!

I put books like Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, Are you There God? It’s Me Margaret, In the Night Kitchen, The Stupids, Where the Sidewalk Ends…, The Lorax and the list goes on and on. Really. It does! Even the dictionary was on the list!

A former teacher came into the library and saw the display and felt that it was so outrageous that we were banning books that she called our headquarters to complain. She apparently asked at the circulation desk what the deal was with the display and was told it was a “joke’. Which it really isn’t…maybe the caution tape was a joke, but the fact of the matter is that someone somewhere tried to control other people’s access to those books. And that is not right!

Anyways, on the other hand, a lot of people asked questions about the display. Many people wanted to know why the books were banned, if we banned books, and many people when they found out that certain titles were considered banned made an effort to check those books out! It created a lot of conversation which was my point, and I think that it was a very effective display overall!

Yay me! J

In other fun patron run-ins. I love the people who when I answer the phone “Reference Desk, how can I help you?” don’t even say hello, just launch into some random question like….

“Ben Franklin made magic squares and he had two 8x8 squares. I’ve found one of them but can’t find the other one. You’ll probably have to go onto and search ‘Ben Franklin’ and ‘magic squares’”.

To people like that I say: 1. I am not your secretary. 2. It always helps to be polite to the person you are asking to find you something. 3. If you are so computer savvy, why aren’t you looking it up yourself? Or coming down to the library to get on our computers to do it yourself? HMPH!

If you ever want to really upset me at work, just start moving furniture. I hate it when people come in and think that they can move the chairs around, move tables, move the big seats. I just hate it hate it hate it. They never put them back and it frustrates me to no end. I can’t believe that people think they can come into a public place and move everything around. Would you go to your friend’s house and move their furniture? What about a department store? NO you would NOT! GRRRR

As its pajama story time night I’ve been listening to the screeching of the woman who directs pajama story time for the last hour and a half. She is a former soap star who now dresses up in her pajamas and acts out stories with a junior charity group. She is annoying as hell and I can’t stand the group. I basically want to stab myself repeatedly in the eye with a dull pencil whenever they are here and for some reason tonight they are here an hour longer than normal. GRRRR

And last but not least. A patron came up to our Children’s Librarian tonight and said “I’m off!” Pam looked at her “….. Um okay!” She overheard a conversation with another patron and thought that she was being helpful by telling Pam that she had gotten off her computer and was leaving the library. But of course from the initial “I’m off!” Pam had no idea what she was talking about. And as a side note, the patron’s conversation that she was listening to had nothing to do with the computers that the public uses. A man was unable to get his laptop to connect with our wireless network.

1 comment:

Dandy said...

The dictionary was banned?

And the whole point of a display is to get people interested in what you are displaying... which you did!

And I like the caution tape! I'll have to check out the books you listed. I haven't read all of them.