Saturday, June 06, 2009

10 things librarians hate....

(Found via Adventures in Library Land) pointed me in the direction of Swiss Army Librarian blog entitled Top 10 Patron Pet Peeves. There really had some resonance upon me. Especially number five which says:-

Patrons with no cell phone etiquette Cell phones aren’t banned from my library - we just ask people use them politely.

I did also feel that i'm a bit of a grouch at work when I read Liz's comments in which she points out librarians failings:-

Fair enough. But having been to three separate libraries in the span of four days recently, please allow me to pose a few Librarian Pet Peeves:

1. Treating patrons as inconveniences. I’m so sorry to tear you away from your hard work on eBay or that juicy phone call about your sister-in-law’s illegitimate child’s paternity suit, but may I please ask you a question without being sneered at? If it is something important and work-related, a simple “I’ll be with you in a moment” is greatly appreciated.

2. Using nondescript or derogatory references to coworkers. For some reason, it bugs me when one librarian will say to his or her colleague, “Yeah, this girl / lady / woman has a question about WestLaw” - how about “This PATRON has a question”? My favorite was a reference helper who had to get the head reference librarian; when she came from her office and asked him who had the question, he responded “The chick in the blue shirt over there.” Nice and professional.

3. Pointing. Me: “Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find the updated State Codes and Regulations, please?” Help Desk Librarian: (points to the… SSE’ern-ish corner?) “Over there.” I understand time is short and I don’t expect to be led there by the hand, but descriptive directions, such as “Just past the reference materials here on the last shelves on the left” is far more helpful than a finger.

4. Disappearing. This happens more than I care to admit. Occasionally while answering my question or checking out materials, the librarian who has been assisting me will just get up and wander away. Usually it’s to get more information or to ask a colleague for help, but I would appreciate knowing that. This is another instance in which a few extra words, such as “This book isn’t scanning properly - I’ll be right back” are incredibly appreciated.

I’m sure none of you wonderful and dedicated individuals reading this blog are guilty of any of the above, but maybe you have a colleague or two who has a habit of doing them. Of course I don’t wish to sound ungrateful - my school and county libraries are wonderful and the staff works hard to be helpful, but these little annoyances often keep me at home accessing materials electronically rather than in person.

Interesting stuff.

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