In honor of Independence Day, an exchange:
Scene – the Circ Desk
ME (looking friendly and helpful, as usual): Hi! How can I help you?
SLIGHTLY GRUMPY PATRON (grumpily): Are you open on Saturdays anymore?
ME: No, sorry, we stopped a few weeks ago. We will start up Saturdays again after Labor Day. We are also closing early today and will be closed tomorrow for the holiday.
SLIGHTLY GRUMPY PATRON: What is wrong with this country?
ME (uncomfortable and confused): Umm . . . I’m not sure?
SLIGHTLY GRUMPY PATRON: I mean, where are the priorities? I think all libraries should be open 24/7.
ME: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s kind of hard . . . it costs a lot to do that . . . (slightly recovering) but there are a lots of resources and databases you can access from our website at any time.
SLIGHTLY GRUMPY PATRON: Hmm. (walks away)
I really wanted to tell her that even librarians deserve a vacation and I realize this is NOT the same as library services but I also wanted to say: “Can’t you just Google something when we’re closed and wait until we’re open to get more help? Is it that hard?”
As important as I think my job is, I still want to have a holiday. So please, come use the library when you need it and hopefully we can accomodate a time for you, but then you have to let the staff go home sometimes. Really. We like our homes and we’re much better at our jobs when we get to be at home for a while. All the cats and the non-workiness of it all is very calming.
Until Sunday, dear friends. Please be kind to your librarians.
2 thoughts on “Libraries open 24/7? Nice but improbable”
I had an interaction with a patron a few weeks ago who asked if we were “only” open till 9pm on the weekdays. Yes, only! 9pm is pretty late for a public library to be open, I think. A lot of times people are focused on their own needs and convenience and don’t think about the people who are serving/working for them – like you said, we need to go home sometimes! Also, if you want the library to be open more, vote for a budget increase for the library, mmm? Hope you had a happy 4th. 🙂
Heck yeah vote for that budget increase! I did have a good Fourth! Yourself? Packing your bags for Camp NELLS yet? I’m already feeling a bit intimidated by the other people (and Maureen Sullivan, obviously).