The Do’s and Don’ts of the Library

I’m at work currently for my 7:45-10 am shift and there are things that I’ll be okay with and things that will make me hate my fellow students. Remember, that the people behind the desk at your college library are most likely students just like you. They have the exact same worries when it comes to classes, getting that essay on time, and research. Working at the library does not guaranteed you know about every book and the library and reader, you should do well to know that. If there are librarians there that are working there as a career, respect them. Students annoy them all the time, so try not to act all high and mighty because you’re in college. You look awful and people will remember you as that awful person. Trust me, we like to gossip.

So, I’ll give you a list of things that you should be doing and shouldn’t be doing at the library when it comes to respecting the people that work there. I’m not sure if it pertains to your college library, but it may, so I would still pay attention. If you do go to SUNY Oswego, you’ve probably seen me at the library many times (this is my fourth year working there) and really pay attention to these tips. I’ll try  to make things as positive as possible!

DO ask questions. If you have a question as to where a book is, when somethings due, and what you can take out, ask the staff. We’d rather you ask then get angry because you didn’t know where something is. Pro-tip: Ask with a lot of smiles and maybe throw in some apologies. I generally want to screw with anybody who’s staring at their phone, acting like an idiot, and giving me that look like they’re so much better than me.

DON’T  get angry at the staff when you’ve accumulated a ton of fees because of late books/laptops/library-items. It’s not my fault that you fell asleep at the library and your laptop’s overdue. If you’re planning on falling asleep, return the laptop first. I can’t give you a pass because you managed to do this. I have a guy at the library that is constantly paying fees. He doesn’t give crappy excuses. He takes it like a man and I respect that despite him being in a frat. I’m nice to him when I see him and he’s more likely to be able to take items out even with his fees because he’s nice.

DO get to know the library. I’ve been asked where the books are before. If you’re a Freshmen, fine. It’s your first time. Maybe you don’t want to go wandering around the third floor, afraid to push open a door because you don’t want to look stupid. If you’re a Senior, you look stupid. Even if you don’t have a reason to go into the library until your Senior year (how?), still go in during your first year. We’re used to getting questions during the first few weeks of the semester. It’s normal. When it’s your fourth year and you still don’t know where the stairs are, that’s a problem. Go visit your library now!

DO clean up after yourself. Make sure to follow directions. Generally, you don’t put the book back on the shelf, but put it on a cart where they will be reshelved. Sure, I hate seeing books there because I have to clean them up, but I really hate seeing books in the wrong place because people don’t understand the shelving system. It’s fine that you don’t. You don’t work there. Workers shelf-read, so they put books back into the correct place. It’s a pain when you see a D in the O’s because somebody thought that was close enough and too lazy to check. If you’re lazy, just stick your book on a table. It won’t hurt anything. It will make it better.

DO smile a lot and say please and thank you. If you look like a bitch/dick when you’re checking out books, nobody thinks your cool. I know that I immediately hate you and think you’re too dumb to understand the content. If you smile a bit and say thank-you, it’s more likely that the person behind the counter will think better of you. Of course, you probably don’t care what that person thinks, but it’s better to be nice anyway. They’re judging you whether you like it or not and it’s not about your appearance. It’s about your attitude.

DON’T give me your life story. People take out tons of books all the time. If they’re taking books out on a same subject, sometimes I ask what it’s for out of curiosity and I hear about their term paper. That’s fine, it makes my job interesting. When I have people come up who tell me what they’re writing, how long it is before it’s due, what they’re roommate’s like, and what they’re going to eat tonight, I go crazy. I don’t know you and I don’t need to know every single thing about you. If you’re asked, sure go ahead. If you’re just rambling and the person behind the desk is nodding like they turned into a bobble-head doll, stop talking. If you do this for both of us, everything will be less painful.

DO have your id ready to go. If you use your school ID and you’ve been standing in line for five minutes, get to the desk, and then begins to search for it at the bottom of your bag, people get annoyed. These people include the ones behind you and the worker. You’ve had time to go fumbling for it, get it ready before you get to the desk. It makes everything easier and much faster. People don’t hate you as much.

Those are my tips and I hope you find them helpful during your attempt to go into the library. If you’re a veteran, I hope you’re a nice one and are respectful. I love seeing people come back every day unless they’re rude. That’s when I wish they would fail all of their classes.

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