Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Patron stories: Late start on summer reading
Last week, a woman came into the children's library while my pal Ketti and I were on the desk. She looked a little confused, so I said, "Can I help you?" She said, "Yeaaah, umm, my daughter got a reading list at the end of school? And we can't find it? Do you have a copy of it?"
I think the schools should stop giving out the lists because everyone loses them. We have all of them for the local schools in a large white binder, which I pointed out to this woman.
A minute later, she's back up at the desk with the binder in her hands. She says, "Soooo, what do I do now? Do I have to, like, remember the books and then find them? Or do you maybe have a piece of paper I can write them down on?"
Ketti and I gave each other a look. Was this woman for real? It's like she had never been in a library before. I think maybe that was true. Ketti said that she could photocopy the list or write down the books and then use the card catalog to find them on the shelves. She might as well have been speaking Greek.
The patron also needed the list on which to write down her daughter's books. Apparently, they lost that too and the daughter was upset that she might not have the right paper when school starts again in a few weeks. And then here was the clincher for me: "My daughter has to read TWO books!"
I almost died. Now, I know everyone is not a reader, but two books over the course of two months? It was like someone had asked her daughter to eat a plate of maggots.
They found their books and the woman thanked me, which was nice because a lot of people have zero manners. I found it so amusing that she thought she'd have to remember the books and then hunt for them. TWO of them no less. But at least she made the effort to come to the library and get started on summer reading, even though it was late.
Patrons are funny.