09 January 2015
I was recently scheduled to work our library's combined circ/reference desk for part of an afternoon. One of my jobs at said desk is to answer the phone, which I don't really mind doing as long as I can be reasonably sure I'll know the answer to the person's question. Since about 75% of the questions have to do with our hours, I can handle this job. Today, however, I got a question I honestly couldn't answer. Actually, it wasn't even a question:
Me: Anytown Public Library. This is Jenni; how can I help you?
Patron: I'd like the mild wings with ranch sauce.
Me: Um, this is the Anytown Public Library.
Patron: Oh. [Pauses] I'm, I'm really sorry.
Me: No problem; have a nice day!
That was definitely my favorite question of the week. My favorite all-time phone question, though, happened when I was still in library school:
Me: Anothertown Public Library. This is Jenni; how can I help you?
Patron: Well, we're in the middle of a Scrabble game, and we have a disagreement about a word. We wanted to see if you could tell us if it's actually a word or not.
Me: Sure, no problem. What's the word? [Begins to pull up dictionary.com]
Patron: It's T-U-R-D. Is that a legal Scrabble word?
Me: Well, according to the dictionary, it's a legitimate English word, and it's not an abbreviation or a proper noun, so I'd say yes, it is a legal word.
Patron: [to someone else in his home] I told you it was a word; the librarian just said so!
If there's anything to be said about working in a public library, it's that it is never, ever boring.