Wednesday, August 31, 2005

One disgusted proto-librarian

Just had a prime example of patron-silliness:

So, this guy comes up to the desk and wants a book which is on reserve for his Speech Com 500 class. I ask for the call number, which is the way everything in this library is arranged. And most libraries. Go figure. He says that he could "just about" point to it from here and that it has a white cover. Well, why didn't he just say so? I'll just get it from our "white cover" area and I insist on a call number and direct him to the computers, telling him to click on "find reserves," choose his class, and get the call number for the book that he wants to check out.

He goes over to the computers, stares at them for a moment, then comes right back, saying that he can't figure out where to find the list. 'Cause he really tried hard and all that. I walk over with him to the computers, point to the "find reserves" button, and direct him to choose his class (he looks for his instructor instead, but that's a valid choice and I won't knock him for that), and click on "search." He then proceeds to wildly click on all the titles that are displayed, possibly because they all appear to have white covers. In his head, anyway. I gently guide him back to the listing and ask him if he sees the title of the book which he is looking for.

We find it (ah, togetherness) and he notes with a bit of glee that the call number is really close to the one he gave me initially. Well, yes, except for the multiple-character string following the first bit. I politely say that it is true, but that we need the entire call number to find the item. We walk back to the desk and I retrieve the book for him, as he reminds me that it's the one with the white cover. Yes, mister-arranges-his-books-by-color, I remember. And yes, the book is white, although it would more accurately be described as being cream-colored.

And the kicker? He's a GRAD STUDENT. Apparently one of those special grad students that has never needed to find anything in the library catalog before. Or on a shelf. Bah.


Wild Tanuki said...

I can't wait to go back to school so that I can be one of those dorky "what's this computer thingy" students. Watch out Yana...I will probably annoy you daily...although I'll be trying really hard not too...or as hard as a can try after a night of binge drinking at a frat party.

Ahhhh college.

Hyman Gao said...

Very interesting.