Opening a new branch is so much fun. Who knew that shifting books would be such blast? I spent part of today and yesterday just moving books back and forth to make the shelves look nicer and to help fix the mistake of one of the moving people that put the 000-799 on the shelves in the wrong order. Some parts would be in order for a while, then change to totally different number. It took us a couple of hours to sort it out, but it felt so good when the last book was on the shelf where it was supposed to be. Yesterday I mostly rearranged the teen area to be the way I wanted it, and to make everything fit on the shelves that I had. I perused all the books that were checked in and all the new books. The float is still MIA. It is exciting to see so many cool books at once, I just wanted to take them home with me. I also like working so closely with my new crew. Everyone is easy to be around and I know we will get along famously.
So, last week we had an interesting circumstance at one of the branches I work at. There is an elderly woman that comes in fairly regularly, but not so you can set a clock by her. She reads the periodicals, falls asleep, then swears she wasn't sleeping when reminded that she can't sleep in the library (sounds like an unreasonable rule, but in all honesty without it, we would become some peoples' bedrooms). She is a grumpy lady, but doesn't make too much trouble. Recently a social worker sent by the family has come by to check on her, but as the fates have it, she hasn't been there when the social worker drops by. It seems that she has stopped staying at the home of a friend of the family that was arranged for her, and her family is worried--they all live out of state.
Libraries have several goals, and one of them is protecting the privacy of our patrons (you may be wondering why I am blogging this subject then, but I have changed some pertinent information and have given no names, so the privacy is still protected). The social worker asked us to a)call him when she showed up and/or b)tell him what her usual pattern was, so that he could come talk to her on behalf of the family. We couldn't do that, in fact we have strict rules against it.
So I happened to be working at that branch when the Social Worker finally managed to show up at the same time as Grumpy Lady. Before he approached her, he asked us if he could talk to her there. I told him that we could not be involved at all, but that the library is a public place so he could approach her if he wanted. I also told him that if GL happened to get loud and irate (which I could see happening) they would be asked to leave the library. I also told him that usually we had a policy that if a patron was too unruly, they could be asked to stay away for up to a year. I told him that in face of the circumstances today that I would waive that policy and that she would be given a freebie. I hated to think of that woman with no place to go, losing another place.
I was wrong. She did not get upset, at least not in the loud and angry way. She spoke quietly with the man and started crying--I imagine she was happy that her children had bothered to send someone after her. They chatted a while and then departed, so I don't know what happened, but I hope she is a little happier and maybe I can stop thinking of her as grumpy lady.
Labels: opening, problem patrons, work