Monday, January 30, 2012

A perspective on the library issues...

My friend Caitlin, who also happens to be a librarian in my area (though not my city), left this comment on one of the library posts, and I wanted to put it in a post so all of you involved in the original discussion would see it:
"As a librarian and a manager of circulation staff, this is exactly the sort of thing I would want to know about. If he did just take the book from you for no good reason, I would want to discuss this with him. It's entirely possible that he didn't realize that patrons could keep books longer than the renewal limit, in which case other patrons will suffer as well. I had a similar situation occur with one of my staff members, and it was only because I was at the desk at the same time as the transaction occurred that I was able to correct her and discuss it with her. I'm always upset when a patron doesn't receive good service, but even more so when I don't find out about it for a long time. If you don't mention this sort of thing to the managers, then things won't ever improve at this library.

Also, as far as the "no adults allowed" policy, it is generally in place to protect kids and teens from predators and cover the library in case they have to ask someone to leave. If there's no policy to point to and no signs posted, the library can get in serious trouble. Generally speaking, as long as you are looking at the books and not at children (even if you are browsing and not looking for anything in particular), no one will say anything to you. And if they do, I would ask to speak to the director. You do pay taxes that support this library, and you have the same rights as other taxpayers to access all of the materials."
Thanks, Caitlin! You make very good points. I don't know the name of the circulation worker in question, but if it happens again, I will figure it out and contact someone in management. And you're completely right about the children's section policy, and of course protecting children should be the priority. In most libraries, I wouldn't really worry about it because I'm sure it's always clear that I'm looking for books, but I tend to get stressed out (and probably overreact) about any interaction with the staff at this library because of several unpleasant conversations in the past. My general strategy is to smile and be super-polite and convince them to like me eventually. :)

1 comment:

  1. I am totally with you on the "smile and be super-polite and convince them to like me" part, as I do that myself, but since I know you I'm sure you are one of those patrons we adore anyway :) I just wanted to reassure you that those signs are more to protect the library (and the children) should they have to kick anyone out or should something happen. And I also hate bringing up this sort of thing with management, but I've seen it happen so often (or heard about it later, from other librarians who received poor service at my library) that I know how often it goes unreported and therefore unchanged.