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Right now the staff at my library consists of two people - my library clerk and myself. (We have a third person starting next week.) We have been short-staffed since August, which isn't terribly long, but long enough to be annoying. So we decided to close early on Christmas Eve and take the 26th off as our floating holiday.

We put signs on the doors. Put in our column in the newspaper. Mentioned it on social media. Verbally reminded our patrons in the days leading up to the special holiday hours. Of course, on the 27th, didn't every person who came in here ask "Were you closed yesterday? I tried to come by but the lights were off and the open flag wasn't out."

And an even more special question: "WHY were you closed yesterday?" "Um, because we wanted to have two whole days in a row off for a holiday? So we could spend time with our families? And mine lives four hours away?" I didn't get a single day of holidays during the first year that I worked here, and now that I've been here for a year I've earned a whopping five days, so shut up and let me have my extra day off at Christmas.

Don't get me wrong, for the most part we have awesome patrons. BUT PAY ATTENTION. THERE WERE SIGNS EVERYWHERE. We are closing at 1 p.m. tomorrow for New Year's Eve, and taking New Year's Day off. I expect the same reaction.

Am I the only one who feels like patrons think we just wheel ourselves into the back room at night and power down, only to reboot the next day, not like we actually have lives to enjoy ourselves?

Oh - and I totally buried the lead. One of the people who seemed confused that we were closed on the 26th was a member of our board of trustees....and we had to get their approval to take it as a holiday. Sheesh.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2013 12:05 am (UTC)
One of the people who seemed confused that we were closed on the 26th was a member of our board of trustees....and we had to get their approval to take it as a holiday. Sheesh.

Oh man!

Just wait until spring when everyone forgets to change their clocks and wonder why you're not open :-D
Dec. 31st, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)
Patrons don't read signs. I came to this conclusion as a result of an informal study (by me) of the number of people who need to be told or shown something, despite the signs we have all over the place.
Maybe if you have the word 'FREE' in huge letters across the top...
Jan. 2nd, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
No one reads signs. No one reads, period, it seems.
Jan. 15th, 2014 05:01 am (UTC)
THIS!!! Our self-check machine was OOO last week for a day because of a problem with a system. I made a sign in big block letters with a fat Sharpie that said OUT OF ORDER and stuck it to the self-check's screen. I can't even count the number of people who just read their cards in without even noticing and then stood there looking confused when their items weren't checked out. Some did have the good humour to laugh when the sign was pointed out. I guess we need to find a hood for the unit to cover it completely the next time there's a problem...though I then suspect people would pull it off and try to use it regardless.
Dec. 31st, 2013 01:07 am (UTC)
You know they didn't want the library. They wanted "the internet."
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:36 am (UTC)
Signs aren't posted for patrons to read. They're for staff to point at when patrons ask stupid questions or break the rules.
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:47 am (UTC)
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:23 pm (UTC)
Yes! It's not proactive, it's reactive to "sign blindness".
Jan. 2nd, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
Ha, yep!
Jan. 3rd, 2014 12:16 am (UTC)
Where's the @$&ing "Like" button when you need it?
Jan. 6th, 2014 06:05 pm (UTC)
Dec. 31st, 2013 07:46 am (UTC)
Customers/patrons do not read signs. Unless doing so will make your job harder.
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:07 pm (UTC)
wow, that's a harsh vacation schedule (or lack thereof). I hope you can take some more time off now that you have the new staff member.

Edited at 2013-12-31 03:11 pm (UTC)
Jan. 2nd, 2014 12:51 am (UTC)
Damn, two people to staff the whole library?? Even if your library is really small, that's crazy...
Jan. 2nd, 2014 02:56 pm (UTC)
It's a crap vacation schedule, that's for sure. Maybe (probably) I've been spoiled, but I've never worked anywhere that doesn't give you two weeks off after the first year. After two years here, I'll get 10 days and after three years.....11 days. Yup. One whole more day after that third year! I'll get two weeks off after six years.

Our director left abruptly (with one day's notice, really) back in August, which is the reason we have been short staffed. We have a number of volunteers, which has lessened the load somewhat. Of course our policy is that you can't leave the library when it's just you and a volunteer, and we are open six days a week, so it has been a pain in the ass. All of the director's work got split between my co-worker and myself, and we had no training on what the heck we were supposed to do, really, so we just bumped along with a whole $1 an hour temporary raise, figuring things out as we went.

We are in a village that is booming in the summer months and slower in the off season. I have been made the director pending my passing a specific civil service test, and I make the schedule. Since we're in the off season, I will be scheduling us each off one Friday per month so we get a bit of a break.
Jan. 3rd, 2014 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yes, that vacation schedule blows.
Jan. 3rd, 2014 08:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I hear you.
We have a sign right on the library porch with all the hours. Yet we're always getting phone calls. "Are you guys open?"

Plus there's, um, the web. Why do all these kids have mobile devices and yet they can't use them to check the library hours?!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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