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February 24, 2012 / Christian M.

Due Dates Can Be So Complicated

At my current branch, the Information staff answers and directs all incoming calls. Sometimes I will go ahead and answer simple Circulation questions instead of transferring them, if a customer just wants to know what they have on hold, or when their items are due back to the library. These are a couple of phone conversations that I had recently.

Conversation #1:

*Ring, Ring*

Me: “County Library, _______ Branch, how may I help you?”

Customer (adult male): “I have four WWE magazines checked out, and I wanted to know when they are due. This paper says three-fourteen-2012.”

Me: “Can I have your library card number?”

Him: “My library card number? Uh, is that this blue card?”

Me: “Yes. On the back of the card, there should be a number starting with 212.”

Him: “Oh yeah, ok my number is 212——–”

Me: “Okay, your magazines are due back on March 14, 2012.”

Him: “Can you tell me when that is–how many days from now?”

Me: “Ummm, that is about two-and-a-half weeks.”

Him: “Okay, I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t three days from now or something.”

Me:  “No, you have time.”

Him: “When are they due again?”

Me: “The fourteenth of March.”

Him: “OK, thanks.”



Conversation #2 (took place on February 18th)

*Ring, Ring*

Me: “County Library, ______ Branch, How may I help you?”

Him: “Can you check my record; I think I have some tapes due today.”

[I look up his name and open his account.]

Me: “I don’t see anything due today. I see several movies due Feb 21st.”

Him: “You sure? What are the names?”

[I read the titles of ten movies.]

Him: “And you sure there are none due today.”

Me: “Yes, the first due date is Feb 21st “

Him: “OK, thank you”

Twenty minutes later….

*Ring, Ring*

Me: “County Library, ________ Branch, How may I help you?”

Him: “Hi, I called earlier about some tapes that I think are due today. Can you check my record?”

Me: “OK”

[I look up his name and open his account again.]

Me: “The earliest due date I see is Feb 21st.”

Him: “How many movies are there?”

Me: “There are ten due on the 21st, and three more due on the 22nd.”

Him: “Thirteen tapes—I don’t have no thirteen tapes. I returned some a few days ago. Did you check your shelves for those?”

Me: “Would you like me to transfer you to the Circ Desk?”

Him: “Yeah, cause I don’t have no thirteen tapes *continues muttering and fussing*

Me: “OK, hold one moment”



Leave a Comment
  1. LibrarianLisaN / Feb 26 2012 4:49 pm

    Haha, I can totally relate to these, except I’m in a school library so these conversations usually take place in person. The best is when I get phone calls from parents after I’ve talked to their kid. They call to tell me the kid’s room is a mess and the book is probably under the bed. More often than not, they ask for an extension on the due date to allow time for the room to get cleaned up!

  2. LibGirl09 / Feb 26 2012 11:18 pm

    LOL That is too funny (and exasperating at the same time I’m sure)!

  3. aprilbrarian / Mar 3 2012 9:40 pm

    Oh man, I get these all the time! It’s like they don’t get it unless you repeat it 50 million times.

  4. MrsTDJ / Mar 16 2012 8:49 pm

    Good gracious!! Are people really that silly?? LOL! Thanks for sharing the laugh. I’m sure it’s much funnier to us than it is to you librarians. I imagine it would get frustrating.

  5. LibGirl09 / Mar 17 2012 8:33 am

    Aprilbrarian: I don’t understand why it’s so hard. lol

    MrsTDJ: Unfortunately, yes, there are people that silly. I can laugh afterwards, but in the moment it can be frustrating.

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