In libraries

At Marginalia and Other Crimes, you can view photographs of defaced library books. (Via Metafilter, via The Literary Saloon.)

On New Year’s Eve, my friend Christian filled me in on the lesser-known duties of a reference librarian: cleaning up human excrement, humoring patrons with severe mental disabilities, preventing people from shooting up in the bathroom…. In a similar vein, McSweeney’s online has begun to feature Dispatches from a Public Librarian. Here’s an excerpt from the first:

My favorite patron this week would have to be the one who tried to take my shoes. The patron was a mentally challenged man who was visiting the library as part of his rehabilitation. He came up to me while I was in the juvenile-fiction area and asked if I would be his friend. I politely nodded and said that I would be his friend. He then asked if he might have my shoes. I told him, as gently as possible, that I needed to keep them. He nodded, and asked if I was still his friend. I said yes, and he asked if he could feel my shoes. Seeing no harm in this, I told him he could feel one, but he had to do it quickly. He nodded, bent down, and proceeded to lift up my foot and pull off my shoe.

(Via Bookslut.)

Some stabs at library humor: Librarians Anonymous, Library Answering Maching Messages, Librarian Pick-up Lines, and Rejected Workshops for Library Conferences.

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