Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Divi-ing Them Up

Public Library patrons, just like any other patrons, come in all attitudes and moods. I thought I should divide them up. Here are some.

Cyclists: You never know what mood they are in today. They are usually non-expressive, but today they are upset. It could be they had a bad day elsewhere with something else but somehow a library seems like a good place to shake it all away. Have to be very wary of them.

Acrimonious: These patrons are always annoyed. Regardless of how cheerful everything around them is, they tend to show dissatisfaction about everything/everyone. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend with them to find what they need, they are still upset about something: you took too long, your damn computers weren’t fast enough for their research, you don’t have the updated version (which is still not published), the library is closing in 2 minutes and it is so inconvenient (doesn’t matter you have worked the last 7 hours on a Saturday), they don’t want to use databases they just want everything in print, oh! this list can be long.

Cheery: Contrary to the above, there are those who are always cheerful. It doesn’t matter you can’t find anything for them, they are so grateful you just tried. They thank you so profusely and leave.

Naggers: There are those who come in everyday (or call) with a question. One day it is an address, then it is about a product, then it is something else insignificant. Usually they are not looking for an answer. They are evasive about every question they ask and probably just come in to feel important and maybe have some company.

Know-it-alls: Oh these patrons know everything. But they check to see if you do. I added this out of personal experience from my library. They read about something then call the library and check to see if we give them the right answer. God forbid if you give them more than one likely possible answer. They will read the text (proof of their answer) over the phone to you.

Browsers: Then there are browsers – come only to browse the net: Kijiji, Bebo, Wiki – nothing research oriented. They want nothing off you. You might as well be running an Internet cafĂ©.

Porn-ers: Should I mention the porn viewers here…..We usually give them the pink slip and ask them to leave. Many don’t even flinch while receiving the pink slip.

Demanders: These are patrons who never request. There is an “I pay the taxes and You Owe Me” attitude.

I’ll add more as I meet them.