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Huh?

For background, I work at an academic library open to the public and we have a large number of patrons who take advantage of this. So a guy comes up to the desk and asks for one of the reference librarians by name. That information is on our website, so I confirm that, yes, she works here. I state that she is in a meeting, and is there anything I can help him with? He says he's willing to wait, because he has questions about his research in the area of [topic]. (Note, this is NOT the librarian's specialty area, just some basic questions). I explain that any of the reference librarians can assist him, and what is his question? He states that he wants that specific librarians because she teaches. I explain that all the reference librarians teach. He... asks me about making photocopies? I don't know if he got it into his head that only the specific librarian can help him and he refuses to believe that we are all competent, so he lied about what his question is, or if he really wanted to call a specific librarian up from her office to explain about the copier.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
unstricken
Nov. 12th, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
did you pick up a creeper vibe?
terrie01
Nov. 12th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
That the strangest thing. He was doing legit research and there was no creeper vibe. Now, that doesn't mean he wasn't a creeper, but our creepers are usually more obvious than that.

Edited at 2012-11-12 08:19 pm (UTC)
unstricken
Nov. 12th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
yup, I know what you mean. That definitely propels it into the stratosphere of weirdness.
takumashii
Nov. 13th, 2012 01:30 am (UTC)
Once in a while I run into someone who has an incredibly specific and complicated backstory around a certain situation or question, and it just makes more sense to try to preserve some continuity in the librarian who handles the question, rather than having to re-explain something at length over and over... but if not that, it's definitely weird.
rurounitriv
Nov. 13th, 2012 06:27 am (UTC)
It may simply be that he has had bad experiences with other librarians in the past (who may not have been one of your coworkers, mind you) or has issues with competence and/or learning.

I'm currently the go-to person for my boss' questions about computer use not because I'm better or more knowledgeable about computers than my other "computer expert" colleague (she's actually got a broader knowledge base than I do, and is more experienced) nor because I'm more convenient and available (my coworker has a desk not 10 feet from Boss' office door, while I'm halfway across the library) but because I'm more patient and better at explaining things in terms Boss can understand. That may be what the patron means when he says that this particular coworker "teaches".
bunnyjadwiga
Nov. 13th, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
Do you work in my library and I just don't know it?
flynnacatri
Nov. 14th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
Do they ever go take classes or groups of students or anything like that? We've got some subject librarians that encourage students to come to them and are the only face many students recognise, and we're ALWAYS getting requests for 'so and so'. I've learnt that most of them are simply 'I need help, where is the person I know?' and usually manage to explain that hey, I know what APA is and how to look a book up and whether they have fines or not.

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

Authority Record

the fuck
library_mofo
The Society for Librarians* Who Say "Motherfucker"
For all of those times when the gatekeepers of the world's knowledge are called upon, in their professional capacity, to use the word "motherfucker." Or at least to seriously consider it.

*Open to librarians; library associates, specialists, technicians, and paraprofessionals of all kinds; library school students; library aides and volunteers; and all of those who love libraries, or even just love a particular librarian. Welcome.

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