Monday, October 1, 2007

Students Don't Just Piss Off Profs, Or, We Always Thought Librarians Were Kindly.

I work in the main library at my college. The students you professors deal with in your classes? They come in and talk to me, too. Usually late at night, when my patience is at a minimum. I have a few words for them that you might appreciate.

Freshman with the homework due in TWO HOURS: No, I do not know what your professor wants you to do for your homework assignment. I realize you're supposed to be learning how to use the library. I think that's an excellent endeavor, and I would like to thank your professor for insisting you learn this. That means YOU must do the assignment. I already know how to use the library.

Senior who has never used the library before: You shouldn't be so proud of yourself for that. I now automatically think less of you.

Angry undergrad who has $257 in fines, a paper due tomorrow, and a bus to catch in 3 minutes: I still can't check that book out to you. You need to pay down your fines. Really. I know you don't have the money, but maybe you should have thought of that before you lost that other book last year. Maybe you should have also considered starting this paper more than 12 hours before it's due. Maybe you should have even considered reading the book more than 12 hours before it's due. I hate to break it to you, but me checking out this book to you is not going to help you that much at this point. It is not my fault you have poor time-management skills.

Surly graduate student who views looking a book up himself to be below him: It is not my job to look call numbers up for you on the digital catalog. You are a graduate student; shouldn't you be smart enough to figure it out yourself? I mean, you drop words like 'semantics' and 'postulating' to show me how much smarter you are than I am, right? Go look it up yourself. I have faith in you.

To everyone else: The bathroom is down the hall, the coffee shop is in the back, and no, you can't use your cell phone here. IT'S A LIBRARY.