Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ten Ways to Make a Reference Librarian Cringe

It's the end of the semester...

All of the suggestions below have actually happened, and amuse me enough in retrospect to post. I'm sure there are much more exciting ways to make librarians shudder, but I haven't been on the job all that long. They are listed from activities that prompt an internal head shake to those that elicit an irrepressible cringe:
  1. Shush your friends more loudly than they were speaking.
  2. Try to check out books without your student ID.
  3. Bring no writing utensils or paper to the library--when you are coming to do research for a 5 (or 1o or 20) page paper.
  4. Hide behind a reference shelf to talk on your cell phone in the "cell phones prohibited" area.
  5. Save your work only on the library computer desktop. Walk away from the computer for a longer period (at least half an hour). Freak out when you return and someone has taken your computer and lost your work.
  6. Nod when the librarian asks you to turn down the volume on your iPod. Fiddle with the dials without actually changing any settings.
  7. Say, "This is my first time at the library," at the end of the semester.
  8. Take a brand new reference book that you've just been shown, thank the librarian for helping you find the information, then dog-ear your page as you close the book.
  9. Say, "This is my first time at the library," at the end of your senior year.
  10. Say, "I've already written the paper, now I just need 3 sources to cite.
On the other hand, here are 5 ways to make librarians smile that happened just in the past week:
  1. Ask for help with a research project.
  2. Come back to tell the librarian about the project she (or he) helped you with.
  3. Tell the librarian about your life outside school.
  4. Give a hoarse librarian suggestions for curing sore throats.
  5. Come up to the librarian, after having been asked to turn your music down, and ask for forgiveness for getting an attitude about it.


ARUNA said...

wow this is an intersting post....nice tips!!!

Libby said...

Aruna, thanks for posting--I hope you don't try out any of these "tips" (at least not the first 10) on your neighborhood librarians! :-)

Astra Libris said...

Libby, your post made me laugh - and shake my head too! How dare someone talk on their phone in the library - and why on earth would someone come to do research without a way to take notes??!! *giggles* So weird... Thanks for all the stories! :-)

Libby said...

Hi A.L., I'm glad you liked it! I am usually amused by library escapades. If you think these are weird, you should go to to get a regular dose of library craziness (they also have cool book-related T-shirts!).