Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A chicken walks into a library...

I had an interesting experience today.  It all began with the banal task of picking up a new novel to read at my local public library...
As the bar exam has ended, and I do not plan on taking that test again, regardless, I am in need of some entertaining literature to keep me, well, entertained.  I had decided that I wanted to read the book I Am Number 4, as it seems it could be just the trashy science fiction type novel to reset my brain after stuffing it to the brim with all that, now, useless, law; also, it's a movie, so, since I don't have any actual friends around here to go see it with, at least I will know what the plot was when people make jokes about it.

I'm not sure how your local library works, but ours has an online catalog where you can check if certain titles are available and you can have them pulled to come pick up a day or two after they become available.  In addition, there is a self checkout computer.  These two conveniences allow me to walk up to the hold shelf, grab the book I reserved by locating the tag with my last name on it, head over to the scanner, and walk out in about 3 minutes, depending on if there is an older individual checking out 12 books at the scanner.  Most normal people would agree that this is a genius system.  Even when I was in college, our library's "robot" still couldn't procure my book in this manner, and I still had to deal with whichever disgruntled student was working at the circulation desk, as I was interrupting their study (Facebook) time.

However, my experience today makes me think that maybe, people don't view the library as someplace for convenience.  To begin, apparently parking in the 10 minute parking is frowned upon by everyone who is outside leering at those who do so.  Follow this with walking straight to the hold shelves, not passing go, not collecting $200, and earning sneers from the information desk people.  I'm not being crazy, those ladies actually looked disgusted (I think I heard a scoff) that I would not browse through the shelves, trolling for a novel of unknown location.  Honestly, if I didn't know what I wanted to read, I wouldn't come into the library to find it.  Although the library serves a great function in procuring books to read, it isn't the best locale to browse for new author and title suggestions, I leave that to other blogs, because then I can check if they even have the book I would be looking for.  Finally, my trip to the self checkout was met by murmurs from those standing in the ever present checkout line, such as "what does she think she is doing" and "why does she think she can walk right up to the counter".  Granted, I live in an area where patience is not practiced and we rival New Jersey in housewife bitchiness levels, but there is a big sign that say self service checkout, like at the supermarket.  You are at the library getting books, so I am pretty sure you can read, and I'm not sure why you aren't utilizing those skills. (I'm pretty sure these are the same people that yell at me at the registers that that price isn't 50% off, and I point out the sign says in BIG letters UP TO 50%, and then they say I mislead them...reading, it's a skill you should use.)

I find it ridiculous that the other library patrons/employees seem offended by the efficient manner in which utilize my local library.  Maybe I would spend more time there if their wireless allowed me to access Gmail, like it allows that creepy man sitting at the table across from where I would study to access porn (seriously, worst website nanny software ever!).  And after 3 years in law school, 2 bar exam study periods, and 5 years in undergrad, on top of the perfunctory 12+ years of primary and secondary education I had to sit through, I'm not one who wants to really spend more time in a library setting then I actually have to at this stage in my life.  So, maybe they are just jealous because I figured out how to be awesome, or maybe they are actually pissed off that I am not using the library "properly."  Regardless, I am not up to being judged by my library usage habits.  The creepy guy on the laptop however, judge away...

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