Tales from the Reference Desk, Part1
A funny, short video about the perils and pitfalls of working in a public library.
Tags: ACPL reference library stickfigures
Added: 5 years ago
[scene opens with an animated version of a female librarian (long blonde hair, glasses, blue dress) speaking directly to the camera]
REBECCA: I'm Rebecca, I'm the manager of a branch library in the Allen County Public Library system, and these drawings are representative of some of the frustrations and just kind of funny things that happen everday, day in day out, at our library, along with one very unusual but very memorable event that happened in our library.
[cut to a drawing of a table with tax forms, as a patron (in stick-figure form) is standing there saying "Sooo ... Do you have any tax forms at this Library?"]
REBECCA Just keep in mind, I'm not an artist, so I went to the opposite extreme and used stick figures to draw some of the things that happen all the time, like ... Every tax season, you know how people will stand there and stand there and wait in line and wait in line and ask where the tax forms are, when really, they're standing right next to them!
[the "real-life" version Rebecca turns the page, switching to another drawing of an angry patron standing next to shelves which are labelled "We HEART randomness", while saying "Why wouldn't you people put these holds in some sort of order? This is supposed to be a Library!"]
REBECCA: Or ... when we put holds out for the public to pick up their own holds. We put them out very carefully, of course, in order by last name. And you wouldn't believe how many people stood there and griped and wondered why we wouldn't have put them in some sort of order. Got this person saying "Why wouldn't you people put these holds in some sort of order? This is supposed to be a Library!"
[she switches to the next drawing, titled "The Sneak Attack Question", with a patron tapping the librarian on the shoulder and yelling "Excuse Me!!!!"]
REBECCA: Or my favorite, my personal favorite. Our reference desk backs up to the computer bank, and so you'll be sitting there typing away, maybe even helping someone else, and suddenly you've got this icy cold finger tapping on your shoulder. And they think they're being polite by saying "Excuse me," but so many people come up right behind you and say "Excuse me!!!" and tap you on the shoulder, and it always scares me to death!
[cut to a drawing of a librarian (labelled "Barb") looking on in horror as a patron presents her with a stained book while saying "My kid barfed in this book & then my dog scooted on it. Do I have to pay for it or something?"]
REBECCA: Believe it or not, this actually happened at the circ desk. Barb, our circ supervisor, had someone walk up to her, looked pleasant enough, and started handing her a book. And she said, "Um, my kid barfed in this book. Do I have to, like, pay for it or something?" and started handing it to Barb, who of course dropped it like a hot potato. But I exaggerated a little bit, but you get the general effect from the drawing, I think.
Tales from the Reference Desk
November 11, 2008
By: srobinson (Thomas Sean Casserley Robinson, Allen County Public Library)
This video happened kind of by accident. Rebecca had come to the branch managers meeting to share with the group how they relieved stress at her branch. She pulled out these drawings that she had drawn and then told just the funniest stories. After the meeting I asked if she would come down and let us film her. Kay created the animation and you get to see the results. I am so glad we were able to capture this moment.