My place of employment is in the midst of a huge (they expect 10,000 people in attendance over 5 days of activities) regional ethnic festival right now, which means we have MANY more visitors than normal. While my job title is archivist, I also serve as default librarian and artifact curator to our varied collections.
While I was helping out with a presentation this morning, the exhibits in our reading room were manned by several volunteers. While they had basic training in directing visitors and answering questions, they do not have special knowledge about, nor permission to handle items stored in the stacks.
When I got back to my office, the volunteers told me how a woman came in and while looking through our viewing windows (large windows that open into the stacks, but have simple artifact displays set up in them) she noticed that we had a unique musical instrument on display BEHIND the glass. She then demanded the volunteers should move the instrument to a table out in the open so that she could study it up close and more people could see it, and complained to all and sundry that such craftsmanship was waisted behind glass. It was an instrument meant to be touched, and we weren't doing it justice.
Thankfully, my volunteers were awesome and said that they had no power to make those kind of decisions. And that's the exact reason I keep the stack door locked when I'm not there. I've had many people violate the "Employees Only" directive on the door. Plus, it takes at least 2 people to safely move an antique 38 string, 2 sided concert kantele (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kantele
). It's the only one like it I've ever seen. No way I'm going to take it out of a climate controlled area to be touched by hundreds of curious, untrained, oily hands just to satisfy her whim.
Volunteers told her she could come back and talk to me about setting up an appointment to study it. She left in a huff and didn't come back to see me, thankfully.Edited because I theoretically know the difference between a "c" and a "g".