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Author Topic: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!  (Read 2523205 times)

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Morrigan

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4950 on: October 25, 2013, 09:24:48 AM »
A librarian commenting on your reading choices is a violation?  Hmm.  Back when I worked in the library (Sydney, so not a small town) it was considered good service!  A librarian who could assist you in accessing new material you were likely to enjoy was a valued service by many of our readers, and we had a lot of good comments on this aspect of our branches.

I would feel incredibly uncomfortable to have a librarian comment on the books I was checking out.  Especially as I like to take out a lot of different kinds of nonfiction at once; pscyhology, historical and religious studies (many times at the same time)... stuff that I occasionally feel self-concious about. 

I think it's great if someone is able to ask a librarian for a recommendation and get a good recommendation.  I just don't want them taking it upon themselves to inspect what I'm taking out and try to figure out what I'm interested in.  I remember one time getting a couple of books on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and a book on sexual psychology and just praying the librarian wouldn't give me a questioning look about that combination.

Re: the bolded

I'm a reference librarian, constantly dealing with the NF section.  If you had asked for any of these types of books, not only would I help you find the ones that we have (or have to order), but I'd also have suggestions of my own.  Certain authors, related subjects etc that I personally find interesting.  Seeing as I tend to read NF over fiction (I do have favorite fiction authors, but most of what I read is NF), I'm usually full of suggestions.

That combination?  I personally wouldn't blink.  I would probably ask a few questions, but the combination?  Nope.  Wouldn't bother me one bit.  Of course, I just checked out the new Elizabeth Smart biography, a book on Nazi Doctors, the new Mormon biography (The Witness Wore Red) and a few others.  So, nope, wouldn't bother this librarian in the least.

Thipu1

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4951 on: October 25, 2013, 09:27:31 AM »
flickan wrote:

"Then there was a creepy moment at the photo counter many years ago where the clerk handed the pictures back to me with a big smile and said, "You guys look like you were having a good time!""

I wouldn't consider that overly creepy.  For photo processing machines, the final quality control is usually the operator looking over each photo so that they can verify that it printed cleanly and that it's properly colored, so having someone looking at the pictures is the norm.  That he remembered you from them is nothing special.  It could be that yours were the only one he ran recently or most of the orders were boring snapshots and so yours stood out, or maybe he just has a good memory.
Virg

We had something a bit like that happen some years ago.  We were attending MIL and FIL's 50 th Anniversary.  Earlier in the week we had been flight-seeing in the Grand Canyon and thought the family might like to see our pictures.  There wasn't time to have them developed at home so we brought the film and had it developed in the town where the party was being held. 

When we went to pick them up, the owner of the photo shop liked one of the shots so much he asked if he could make an enlargement and hang it in the place. 

We had a good laugh about this because Mr. Thipu is legally blind.   

Redsoil

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4952 on: October 26, 2013, 02:53:12 AM »
Interesting to see the different perspectives on preferred levels of service.  Obviously, if a patron seems more "private", or subject matter seems sensitive, then discretion is advised.  All part of being a good librarian and knowing people's preferred levels of comfort (many librarians are quite good at "reading" people as well as books!).

As mentioned, it was often useful to patrons if we mentioned that "this related book by other author is really good - you might enjoy their work".  Or a suggestion on research materials that they may not have considered.  It was usual to say if we'd read a book they were checking out, or to let them know of new books we had available on similar themes etc.  (Again, taking into account possible privacy issues/personalities.) 
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Jocelyn

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4953 on: October 26, 2013, 10:10:24 AM »
Ah, once upon a time, it was a GOOD thing to be widely read...
If the librarian's comments weren't overtly critical, I wouldn't mind. If someone said, 'That's an interesting range of subjects,' I'd probably say, 'Isn't it?' and go on. :D

Slartibartfast

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4954 on: October 26, 2013, 10:16:03 AM »
Ah, once upon a time, it was a GOOD thing to be widely read...
If the librarian's comments weren't overtly critical, I wouldn't mind. If someone said, 'That's an interesting range of subjects,' I'd probably say, 'Isn't it?' and go on. :D

Part of my job as a librarian was to help patrons get the materials they needed - which weren't necessarily the materials they THOUGHT they needed.  So if a school-age kid came through with three books on Cleopatra and I happened to know there was a good book at about his/her level but it was in a display and not on the shelf at the moment, part of my job was to say "Oh, do you have a report on her?  There's a great book over there on that wall!"  Similarly, if they come through with three nonfiction books about Cleopatra and one fictional biography which had a cover making it look like it was more historically accurate than it was, I would say something then too.

Thipu1

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4955 on: October 26, 2013, 10:25:38 AM »
This happened all the time at the library in the 1980s and early 1990s. 

There wasn't much on the Internet but the librarian checked in and cataloged every bit of material that arrived. It was easy for her to alert readers about rather obscure articles that could be of use in their research. 

As an example, a curator was putting together a small show on ancient goddesses.  A book titled 'Dancing at the Dawn of Agriculture' might not seem promising but it plenty of helpful information.

As other posters have said, part of being a good librarian is being to read people. 

MommyPenguin

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4956 on: October 26, 2013, 12:09:52 PM »
I agree.  I think a librarian (or anybody) who is in a job in which comments on items might usually be okay, should be aware of purchases that might be a little awkward, and should know not to comment.   Somebody is checking out "The Girls' Body Book," the "Kama Sutra," or the Koran?  No comment.  (With the Koran, they might be religiously Muslim whether they look it or not, or they might be somebody of another religion who is reading it for their edification.  Since you don't know, just about any comment you make could unintentionally be a problem.)  If somebody is in the checkout line, you'd obviously want to refrain from commenting on sanitary napkins, pregnancy tests, or condoms... but also on commenting on athlete's foot cream.  I think medical/sexual/religious/political would be the big things to avoid in a general sense.  And there should definitely be no comments that imply judgment, whether positive or negative ("Wow, you must really like apples!" even).
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Sirius

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4957 on: October 26, 2013, 12:16:38 PM »
I don't mind librarians or book store clerks saying something like, "I see you like mysteries.  Have you read anything by Blahblah Mysterywriter?"  I've gotten some good books that way.

On the other hand, back when I was 14 (I've told this story before) I tried to check out a complicated book on astronomy, and the librarian refused to let me check it out because she felt it was "too hard" for me.  My dad checked it out, and I read it through twice before it was due to go back.  I had been an avid amateur astronomer for years at that point, and knew the sky better than a lot of adults do. 


Jocelyn

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4958 on: October 26, 2013, 01:18:19 PM »
That's something I don't get. So WHAT if the book is too hard for you? What did she think would happen, you'd rip the book apart like a frustrated toddler?
If she'd said, 'This book is pretty advanced- have you read Book X and Book Y? They're better introductions to the topic.' THAT would be useful. You could have said you'd read them, and wanted more. Or another person could have been routed to a better introductory book. But just to refuse you the book, and not offer any other suggestions? That's weird.

Slartibartfast

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4959 on: October 26, 2013, 01:20:14 PM »
I agree.  I think a librarian (or anybody) who is in a job in which comments on items might usually be okay, should be aware of purchases that might be a little awkward, and should know not to comment.   Somebody is checking out "The Girls' Body Book," the "Kama Sutra," or the Koran?  No comment.  (With the Koran, they might be religiously Muslim whether they look it or not, or they might be somebody of another religion who is reading it for their edification.  Since you don't know, just about any comment you make could unintentionally be a problem.)  If somebody is in the checkout line, you'd obviously want to refrain from commenting on sanitary napkins, pregnancy tests, or condoms... but also on commenting on athlete's foot cream.  I think medical/sexual/religious/political would be the big things to avoid in a general sense.  And there should definitely be no comments that imply judgment, whether positive or negative ("Wow, you must really like apples!" even).

Agreed.  The only exception, for me, is mentioning when something they're checking out might have objectionable content that's not obvious from the cover - especially when I know it's intended for a child and the parent would have issues with it.  (I had a mom get mad at me for letting her check out "Jersey Girl" because she had no idea it would have "the J word" in it so much.  Took me a while to figure out what she meant.)  I never mentioned it in a judgmental manner, though, just as a heads-up - "That's his one book for adults, by the way, so it's very different than his children's books.  It's very good but very dark."

Jones

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4960 on: October 26, 2013, 03:04:02 PM »
This week we went to a public library screening of a documentary, all music and images from around the world; people living in different ways, worshipping in different ways, some struggling to survive in a third world country, others living in first world. Very gorgeous documentary IMO. It was PG-13, which I do allow my daughter to watch if I know why it's PG-13. In this case, it was partially nudity (stuff you'd see in a National Geographic) and partially some scenes in a factory farm (the way the animals live, and being packaged for sale, didn't show any actual death). Anyway, afterwards the librarian came to us and expressed that she'd been concerned when she saw a little girl in there, and wanted to make sure she hadn't been scared or traumatized. Want to know what my daughter was scared of the most? Some twisted African trees on the plains, that had funky looking shadows in the moonlight.

We did leave before it was over but that was because she was bored at the length of it (we'd thought it was an hour long, we made it an hour and a half before we left) and I didn't want her to make a scene. Nothing scary or inappropriate was happening when we left and the librarian followed us out. I reassured her several times that we were fine with the content, our goal had been to see a variety of cultures and have to think about our own lives and blessings; mission accomplished. I did appreciate the woman's concern but I also appreciated the fact that she didn't ask my daughter to leave before it began, without ascertaining whether we knew the content or my daughter's maturity. No related bad dreams yet, and we've talked several times about whatever questions pop into her head when she thinks of something she saw in it.

I think we'll be going to documentary night more often. Last month was about bees, but we had to skip it; waiting to find out what next month's topic will be.
A real desire to believe all the good you can of others and to make others as comfortable as you can will solve most of the problems. CS Lewis

jedikaiti

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4961 on: October 26, 2013, 03:06:25 PM »
Do you recall the name of the film, perchance?
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

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Jones

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4962 on: October 26, 2013, 03:12:05 PM »
I had to check the library's FB page. It's "Samsara". Definitely excellent to the point that I watched, and I assume the rest is great too.
A real desire to believe all the good you can of others and to make others as comfortable as you can will solve most of the problems. CS Lewis

VorFemme

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4963 on: October 26, 2013, 03:34:17 PM »
J-word?  Jersey Girl?

Okay, never read it, but I am picturing some woman being offended by the word "Jersey" - because the only other word I can think of is a very badly mispronounced medical term...not that there aren't a lot of people out there who can and do mispronounce car, cat, dog, and other very short words.....
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

NyaChan

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #4964 on: October 26, 2013, 03:47:48 PM »
J-word?  Jersey Girl?

Okay, never read it, but I am picturing some woman being offended by the word "Jersey" - because the only other word I can think of is a very badly mispronounced medical term...not that there aren't a lot of people out there who can and do mispronounce car, cat, dog, and other very short words.....

I'm stumped too - what is the J-word?