Book of funny encounters between librarians and patrons


Gina Sheridan's I Work at a Public Library is a collection of true, weird experiences that public librarians have had with patrons. I read parts of the book out loud to Carla last night and we both chuckled.

A couple of examples:

Help, Needing

A man keeps wandering up to the desk to ask computer-related questions:

Man: How do I make the computer like a typewriter?

Man: There are squiggly red lines on everything I type. What do you suppose that means?

Man: The computer keeps asking me to save my work to a disk and I'm not interested.

Man: Now, eventually I want to make a website. Do I just get the framework up and going using the typewriter function? And do I just save it to a floppy to get it up on the website? And can I do any of this on one of your computers, or do I just take the disk home and do it there? Where is the Internet?

Man: Maybe you could help me make a website. How long do you think it would take? I have about an hour.

Favorites, Computer

A man using one of our public computers asked me for help.

Man: Yeah, what's the difference between Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, and a website?

Me: Well, Word is a program you use to type something up, like a letter or resume. Chrome is an Internet browser you'd use to look at websites. And a website is a space on the Internet to exchange information.

Man: Which one do you like best?

Jobs, All the

I had a one-on-one computer appointment with a patron who needed help uploading his resume for a job application.

Me: You have your resume on your flash drive? That's great! Now which job are you applying for?

Man: All of them.

Me: I'm sorry?

Man: I'd like to apply for all the jobs on the Internet.

Me: [gingerly] Well, I'm sorry to say that's not how it works. I can show you how to upload your resume to a career site, but it's better to apply for individual jobs.

Man: [Holding up his flash drive.] I can't just stick it in and let it go live?

I Work at a Public Library