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January 19, 2012 / Christian M.

NFL Logos, U.S. History, and the ABCs

This is the look that I want to give some of my customers. Fortunately, professionalism prevails...most of the time.

So it’s been a while since I have posted stories of my quirky public library patrons. Here are three, odd but true situations from my shift on the reference desk today. Any identifying information has been omitted to protect the innocent…..and clueless. Enjoy!

Customer#1: “Do you have any documentaries on CD?”

Me: “Do you mean DVD?”

Him: “yes, yes , DVD”

Me: “What type of documentaries are you looking for?”

Him: “U.S. history”

Me: “What part of U.S. history?”

Him: “……”

Me: “Do you want a certain time period– 1700s, 1800s—or a specific war time or….?”

Him: “uh, 1500s”

Me: “… U.S. history didn’t start until the 1770s…”

Him: “…oh, right, Declaration of Independence…. I want the beginning of U.S. history”

Me: [I picked out a few and showed them to him]

Him: “…and about slavery”

Me: [I hand him a couple more videos]

Him: [Takes videos and silently walks away]

In his defense, he is an immigrant and English is not his first language……  but he really didn’t seem to know what he wanted.  *shaking my head*


Customer#2: “Do you have any learning books for children?”

Me: “What do you mean by learning books?”

Her: “Books children can read to learn stuff”

Me: “What topic?”

Her: “…. Numbers…and ABCs…”

Me: “Ok, let’s see what is on the shelf.”

Her: “Do you have Hooked on Phonics?”

Me: “No we don’t, but I will show you what we do have”

Me: [I start pulling books off the shelf to show them to her]

Her: [without looking at what I had] “Do you have books with animals?”

Me: “Animals is a very broad topic. What exactly are you looking for?”

Her: “Books with animals to teach her numbers and stuff”

Me: “How old is the child?”

Her: “Three”

Me: I’ll see what I can find”

Her: “Do you have books on CD?”

Me: “You mean books that she can listen to?”

Her: “Yes”

Me: “They would be over here” [we walk to another part of the library]

[I start looking for recorded books about animals teaching numbers and letters]

Her: [points to some books hanging on a rack] “What are these?”

Me: “Those are story books with a CD. You can read the book while listening to the CD at the same time.”

Her: [Still staring at the rack of books with CDs]

Me: “Would you like to just look through these to see if there’s anything you want?”

Her: “Yes”

Me: “Ok, I’ll be at the desk if you need anymore help”

Ah, how I love those vague questions on broad topics—NOT! (and no, she was not an immigrant.)


Customer #3: “Are you busy?”

Me: “No”

Her: “Can you help me? I’m looking for the list of games, but I can’t find them. I tried using the internet, but it didn’t work. Maybe it would be in the newspaper, should I look in the newspaper?

Me: “What games are you looking for?”

Her: “Football. I need the list of every team’s games for the last two years.”

Me: “Do you want highschool football, college football….?”

Her: “Professional football, NFL”

Me: “Well you can look on the NFL’s website, and it will have the game schedule there.”

Her: “I tried that, but it didn’t work. Can you do it for me?”

Me: “…..OK, which computer are you using?”

[We go to her computer and I find the NFL game schedule online]

Her: “I want all the games on one page”

Me: “They don’t list them all together. You can select the year, and then click on links for pre-season, regular season, and post season.”

Her: “Ok, well print every page, I don’t care how much it costs.”

[While I’m clicking print for each section, she notices the tiny pictures of team logos at the top of the page.]

Her: “Oooh, those are nice, can you print those too?”

Me: “These are the team logos. Is that what you want?”

Her: “Yes”

[I find another website with bigger pictures of all the NFL logos and click print.]

Me: “Now we only have a black-and-white printer, so these won’t come out in color.”

Her: “They won’t?? Oh, ok…well print them anyway. Can I have the NBA ones too?  I want you to do it for me. You do this so fast. Me and the computer don’t understand each other at all.”

Me: “You want all the NBA teams’ game schedules and logos too?”

Her: “Yes”

[I go to the NBA website and look for game schedules]

Me: “I can’t print out one list of NBA games. Their calendar is set up differently, and you have go day by day. Each day is a page by itself.”

Her: “Well never mind. Just print me out the names of all the teams.”

[I find all the team names on a different website and print them. Then I show her the print station, and walk her through the process of paying for her print job.]

Her: “You all really need to get a color printer. If we’re paying all this money to print, we should get color.”

Me: [I just smile, and walk away.]

Since she didn’t come back to find me, I’m assuming she didn’t realize that I didn’t print the second year of NFL schedules, or the NBA logos…..  But in my defense she kept redirecting me. I just didn’t bother to remind her.


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