Thursday, April 2, 2009

They didn't cover THIS in library school

So I'm sitting at the reference desk at my library, and a young man (maybe 12 or 13 years old) comes up to me to place a hold on a book. I pull up his record to place the hold, and I find a note on his record that reads: Patron returned 4 books in the book drop that were covered with sticky yellow food. Please ask him to take care to return the books in better condition.

I dutifully passed on the message, and he had the grace to look embarrassed. "That didn't happen at home," he mumbled. I raised my eyebrows inquiringly. He leaned toward the desk and said, "Don't tell the librarian, but that wasn't food on the books." (I'm not sure who he thought I was, sitting there at the reference desk, but okay.)

I hated to ask. But of course I had to. "So...what was it?" I cringed inside, waiting for the answer.

"Dog pee."

17 comments:

  1. EW! Nasty! Well at least he admitted it I suppose...most people would have said...what are you talking about or just waved you off.

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  2. Oh that is so gross. I had a feeling what was coming (well, I didn't know there was a dog involved) but still. I'm impressed he admitted it, though. Funny story (in a gross way, of course). :-)

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  3. haha, omg, see, that is one thing I don't like about using libraries... You never know where stuff has been!

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  4. Serena - Well, he was honest, I'll give him that! Let's hope he adds "takes responsibility" to his character, too!

    Melissa - yes, it was nasty, but funny! What are people thinking?

    Kailana - I hate to give anyone a reason not to use the library. :-( At my library we have tons of Clorox wipes and we use them on the plastic book covers, believe me! But still, that is pretty icky!

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  5. is he training his dog or does his dog just not like the smell from the library and feels the need to mark it? that's so odd. hilarious, but odd.

    this, of course, reminds me of the time my dog peed on a novel my mom was reading for class. she wasn't enjoying the novel and we decided he just being a staunch, harsh critic.

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  6. I had a cat pee one last year and had to keep it in a plastic bag in case the parent questioned why it had to be paid for. Yummy.

    I'm having a Library Design Challenge! Stop by my web site to see what's going on with my library redesign.

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  7. Molly - and when he said it didn't happen at home, it made me wonder where it did happen, and how. Did a dog just walk up and pee on his books? I thought I'd stop asking questions while I was ahead, though, and now I'll ever know. :-p

    Ms. Yingling - Ew! I hope you didn't have to keep it very long. What kills me is when the books are still wet, and the patrons act so surprised that it is a problem, and often try to say they weren't the ones who did it. (As the books ooze water all over the desk.) I will be by to check out your redesign. That photo of the desk you had up made me sigh - I'd love to work at a desk like that!

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  8. Eww, he could have wiped them before dropping them in!
    If you see him again ask him to tell you the whole story! LOL

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  9. Valentina - Absolutely! I think if he sees me again he's going to run and hide. I could tell as soon as he said it he wanted to clap his hand over his mouth. Wonder what he'd say if he knew how many people are wondering about the incident? :-D

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  10. Oh gross out! Every time I check out a book I have to wipe them down or I start to gross myself out lol.

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  11. I love getting on the waiting list when the book is still on order. If I do it quickly enough, I get the new book before anyone else. I love when that happens! :-)

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  12. Wow, that is a classic. I'll have to tell my co-workers that one! And that picture made me LOL.

    Poor library books, though. I actually know people who don't use the library for germ-related reasons. Me, I figure that it's good for my immune system (if there are germs that survive on a dry book cover). What doesn't kill me makes me stronger, etc...

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  13. Kiirstin - it's funny, I'm such a germophobe, but for whatever reason library books just don't bother me. If there's something icky on the cover, though, I clean it off. Love those Clorox wipes! Glad you got a laugh. :-)

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  14. You said it, Anna. Ick!

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  15. i remember coming back to my desk at one library and picking up a book on top of a stack that was on my desk. and immediately I KNEW why the books were on my desk. CAT PEE!! They smelled like they had been in the bottom of the litter box. I nearly flipped out because I tended to EAT at my desk. Talk about EWWWW. Gotta love being a Librarian :)

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  16. Kathryn - Oh, that is nasty! Yuck.

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