Monday, April 14, 2008

i give up

As some of you may know I work in a fairly large library. We cater to hundreds of patrons per day (or at least t feels like it). When I first started working here I was surprised to find out that this library system has adopted the idea that having signs up banning people from doing inappropriate things in the library give off negative vibes (Seriously. That is what they think.). So we don't have any signs up. Even though we don't want people using the cell phones, eating, drinking or using a public computer with two or more people at a time, we don't have any signs up to let them know this prohibited. You know whose job it is to make our patrons aware of these invisible rules? MINE! The librarian along with other full time staff has to go up to the person who is eating/drinking/talking on the cell phones/crowded around a computer to stop doing that.

In a small library it wouldn't be so time consuming. But where I am takes up 50% of my time. Think I'm kidding? I took a count. On an average day I tell people to get off their cell phones 10 times. I ask a group of teens to go do something else, instead of standing around their one friend who has internet access 8 times. People who are eating/drinking are addressed 5 times. This is on a daily basis! This puts a huge strain on me and other staff. Don't assume that patrons just say, "Oh sorry. Won't happen again" and obey our rules. No. They argue with us or just ignore us completely. It's to the point where we have to make sure they do throw away their food/drink or move away from the computer or put away their cell phones. So not only do I have to provide great customer service, information and research guides, but I must babysit people so that our library maintains it's level of cleanliness and order; So that our patrons can use their computers without having people hovering over them and compromising their right to privacy; So that our library can stay silent and people feel comfortable coming here and studying. All this could be accomplished with some simples signs don't you think?

So after working here for almost two years, I am tired. I am tired of getting up and addressing these issues at an average of twice each hour I am the reference desk (ref desk 4 hours a day). I am a stickler for rules so this is going to be hard for me to ignore. But I am willing to learn how to ignore them. Unless, of course, they are overly disruptive by having a full on picnic on our study desks while talking loudly on their cell phones, will I approach them. I'm no pushover.

1 comment:

the kris said...

Every other library I have worked in has no cellphones/food/drinks/skateboards posted everwhere. Just an FYI