Thursday, February 19, 2004

Not in here!



Something really got my goat yesterday. We received an email from Kentucky librarian telling us about a patron who was very disgruntled. Apparently while Mommy Dearest's son was taking language classes, she decided to sleep in the library. She was woken up, 3 times, and she was not happy about this.

She proceded to tell us there was no signage in the library that said she couldn't sleep in the library. It was explained to her that no one is allowed to sleep in the library. She then in an elitest way looked around the library and said "Do I look like one of these homeless or poor people?" As if having a checking account was a ticket to sleeping in a library. This inflamed Kentucky librarian, and in the retelling of this, angered me.

There are no signs in the library that say you can't ride a horse in the library. No one has tested this yet. There is also no sign saying "do not feed the bears", but no one has brought in bears to feed, yet. There is also no sign saying please do not take off your clothes and provide the patrons with a little burlesque entertainment. No one has come close to doing this, although it wouldn't surprise me if it happened.

The library is not a hotel. If she needed to sleep while the Golden Boy was taking Japanese instruction, she should have went home to rest. Her argument was this "No other library has EVER woken me up"...so just because no other branch has enforced the library-wide policy of no sleeping (read vagrancy) she is fine to do it. I'd like to use that argument if I'm ever pulled over for speeding (which I haven't been). "Well officer, I speed all the time, and no one has EVER pulled me over!" Not getting reprimanded doesn't equal propriety.

So I've asked that the next time she comes in, that I'm allowed to wake Sleeping Beauty from her slumber. I'll get out the library policy, and photo copy it for her, so she knows its not allowed. I wonder what she'll have to say for herself then. The point is, just because you don't know the rules, doesn't mean you can break them. And moreover, don't make light of the behavior of the indigent. What goes around comes around. If she thinks she is above people, then she shoudn't emulate the behavior she doesn't admire. She argued that we should have known she wasn't a "poor person" by the clothes she was wearing. If I've learned one thing from working in a library, its that you can not judge a book by its cover. Her stylish Lane Bryant jacket may have been a dumpster find.

To review the following activities are not allowed in libraries, despite the lack of signage:
1. No Sleeping
2. No Stealing
3. No having sex
4. No feeding your children (unless its breast feeding)
5. No riding circus ponies, or any other breed of animal
6. No cock fights
7. No bonfires
8. No gospel choir practice, or other forms of group singing, or solo activities
9. No drag racing
10. No drag queen pagents
11. No OB-GYN exams, or other medical exams
12. No yodeling contests, or other forms of alpine activities
13. No repainting the library, or other forms of interior decoration unless sanctioned by the board
14. No making vagina collages
15. No money laundering, or other sorts of laundering ie. clothes & bodies in the bathrooms
16. No drug deals, swap meets, or auctions
17. No sled riding, or vehicular usage in the library
18. No animal testing for cosmetic or pharmasutical reasons
19. No beating your kids, spouses, other patrons, or staff
and 20. No feeding the elephants

Moral of this blog: If you don't know what the library rules are, ask. Don't find out the hard way.

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