ASSOCIATES (vol. 9, no. 3, March 2003) -

*Library Life:
A Column Of Eclectic Rantings*


Katie Buller Kintner
Communications Library
University of Illinois-Urbana

March Madness has struck in our library BIG TIME.

With so many students rushing in the library for help completing last minute assignments prior to spring break, our little staff is huffing and puffing like the big bad wolf! Do you know how many steps it takes to run downstairs, retrieve a microfilm reel from a locked area and run back upstairs? 130. Yep, I counted. Now do it 15-20 times a day.

OhÖI bet you thought I meant basketball, huh? Well, no. What this column is really about is GRIPES!

Yes, Iíve done gripes beforeÖor maybe I havenít, but it doesnít matter anyhow. What matters now is that I am about to EXPLODE with gripes and if I donít type them out here Iíll definitely do someone some harm, so please excuse me while I scream the following at you, a "fantasy patron" to whom I am allowed to speak my mind without fear of premature termination!

1. Why would anyone in their right mind underline every line in a book? Whatís the point of underlining EVERY LINE? The point of underlining is highlighting important themes or ideas. When you underline every line, you might as well buy stock in the pencil or pen market because all you are doing is wasting graphite and ink. Or maybe you think you are saving some future library user a lot of trouble by brilliantly pointing out that every single line in the book is important. Well, scratch that idea because you are also giving the library staff a big headache from eraser dust. If you used an ink pen or highlighter, well expect a big fat bill in the mail because, baby, you are gonna PAY and PAY and PAY!

2. As I sit here, I can hear you tearing paper. Now I have to get up and see what is going on. Donít you realize that the sound of tearing paper brings out the library dogs of war? Why are you tearing paper? Whose paper are you tearing? Whatís wrong with spending 15 cents at the copier!? Are you really so broke that you canít afford to make copies? You werenít that broke last night when I saw you through the window at the local pub quaffing tap beer by the pitcher-ful. If you must tear something, donít get upset when the library staff peeks over at you to make sure you arenít sitting there ripping articles out of library periodicals or books. And pick up your mess when youíre done!

3. For the two hundredth time today, you need a student ID to check out books. No, I cannot use your drivers license and no, I will not check it out for you using my own ID. This is a major university campus and you can be asked to present your student ID at any time. In the libraries you should be getting asked for it every time you check out material. Any library clerk that does not insist on seeing your student ID is violating library policy. Besides, I know youíre lying when you try to claim that the "other library" let you check out books without an ID. All the libraries had a conference and we all agreed that it would be only you who would not be permitted to check books out unless you had a valid student ID. For everyone else, we just laugh and wave them on through the security gate.

4. Leave the coffee/coke/water/lunch outside or put it in your backpack. I do not want to see it out in the library. We do not allow beverages in the library because you are such a slob. You never clean up after yourself and the food debris you leave behind attracts insects and vermin which in turn eat the glue in the books and then crawl up my leg!

I am not your mother and donít have to pick up after you. Eat at home! Now turn your back while I scarf down a quick potato chip from my desk drawer.

5. While youíre at it, sleep at home too. This is a library, not a hotel. Only the library staff members are allowed to sleep. If you are so tired that you canít stay awake in the library, maybe a quick walk in fresh air would do you more good than slumping over a table in the library and snoring. The next time I catch you sleeping, Iím calling the morgue.

6. Get your feet off the furniture. No one wants to study where youíve had your dirt-and-dog-poo-encrusted sweaty sneakers. Besides, the people who sneak food in will complain.

7. The book drop is for books, not for empty Coke cans or abandoned candy wrappers. The next time I spot you tossing your garbage in the book drop, Iíll block your records until you come clean it up. Then just TRY to graduate, just TRY! Iíll have you snorting Formula 409 for a week!

8. We saw you dump that incredibly overdue recalled book in the bookdrop, then run. The library gods will still have their due--we know who you are, where you live and when you get home! Run, run, run! HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

9. Are you following me? Didnít I see you smirking at me from across the circulation desk at my last job in California or do you have a twin? Go away, you bother me.

10. No, we donít have a typewriter. It is possible that there are no typewriters anywhere on campus and possibly none in the entire state of Illinois. This is not a museum of antiquities except for the microfilm readers. If you want to type something, go to California. Los Angeles Pierce College Library has a typewriter room. I know they do. While you are there, please water my plants.

11. You may not use our phone. Yes, we are being completely piggish about it. Our phone is for US, not for you. We just leave it in plain view to entice you, torture you, make you think that just maybe this once, we will. But we wonít.

12. I made up all the library rules just to bug you and make your life inconvenient. Yes, I admit it now and Iím not ashamed! I even make new rules up as I go just to watch the expression on your face. Yes, Iím a mean, cruel spiteful person who has it in for you. Get used to it.

13. Reporting me to my supervisor wonít do you a bit of good. Iíll just---

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