Thursday, September 22, 2011

Marion the Librarian

If you're coming over from Good Housekeeping, filled with outrage about how mean I was to America's librarians, please hear me out.

The original story was over 1500 words.

Good Housekeeping edited it down to 500 words.

I did not edit it.

Good Housekeeping edited it.

What was originally a story about how I got into a silly power struggle with someone over something which didn't actually matter has become QUINN CUMMINGS IS MEAN TO LIBRARIANS.

If you care, here is the original story. I never said it was my favorite. I never said it was my best. But I also never said I wake each morning to torture librarians.

Actually, I think several librarians would speak of me rather fondly. So long, you know, as they don't read Good Housekeeping.
________________________________________________________

Yeah, I'm back! Look at my tan! I'm very rested, thanks for asking. I hope you like the fall motif around here. You didn't notice? Look again, it's very subtle. Hint: I used a mallard and elk fabric print to cover the cushions on the couch. I like to keep it seasonal around the ole QC Report. Wait until you see the singing Santa I'm going to plug in at Christmas.

I wish I could say "And so much has happened since I last wrote, I don't even know where to begin." Many things happen each day, the car never fully cools down, and yet there isn't a fun anecdote or six to point at to prove I'm busy. Daughter is, at this exact moment, not entirely hungry, and I can say that with pride because it's nearly a job unto itself. The pets are well. The house is quietly decaying. Yesterday, Consort spent seven hours fixing something blindingly complicated on his work computer. Eventually, it was fixed but nothing appears to be different or improved. I'm glad this pleases him; if I spent seven hours working hard I'd want something in return besides "I've staved off entropy."

Wait, there is one thing. I currently hold feelings of wild distaste for someone who barely matters to me at all.

It all began a few months ago when I noticed my wallet weighed slightly less than a frozen Cornish game hen. Ruthlessly pruning out expired museum membership cards and "Buy 9, get the 10th free" yogurt coupons was satisfying but my wallet still remained in cold poultry territory. Harder choices had to be made, the first being "no redundancies", which resulted in removing my library card and keeping only Daughter's card -- an arbitrary call. Eventually, I got my wallet down to a small bag of coffee, weight-wise, and we all moved on. I moved on slightly faster, what with having a lighter purse.

Months passed. I'd pick up books from the library and because this is the library we have used since Daughter was born, the desk clerks would scan the card and hand me my books. Then one day, a new clerk scanned my card, paused a moment, examined the card closely, peered coldly at my face and clucked.

"This isn't your name," she said gravely.

"No," I said smiling. "It's my daughter's name. And these are her books."

"Those are books for adults. I think these are your books" she clucked again.

And yes, some of them were from the adult section, but it wasn't as if they were titled things like "Rafe the Virile IT Guy Visits Helen in HR." As it so happens, both Daughter and I enjoy Roz Chast cartoons and books about rare fatal diseases. We would both read these books and so what if we didn't? I didn't like her tone. I quickly established she had no authority beyond clucking, twittering and peering. I grabbed my books and my -- I mean Daughter's -- card and sailed off with a "You have a nice day, now!" whispered over my shoulder to her.

For the new few weeks, no matter what time I went there or what day, there was the Clucker, glaring at me over her glasses. She'd check out my books and hiss something about how I was breaking the rules. I'd grab my books and prance out, occasionally chuckling about how people with no authority who get all rule-tweaked are a little sad. As it turns out, I was right; she had no authority. But she did have a boss. Three weeks ago, I came in to pick up some books and there was the Clucker who, upon spying me, ran into the back room and got her boss, the actual librarian.

I then endured a five-minute speech while Clucker stood right behind her, carefully dusting an empty desk and scrutinizing everything in the immediate vicinity but me. To her credit, the librarian looked embarrassed to be even mentioning this. I explained wallet was a frozen Cornish game hen. She nodded in sympathy. I noted that anything on my daughter's card, since she is a minor, is my responsibility anyway. She nodded in agreement. Eventually, we settled with "Quinn, it would be great if you could bring your own card. You know, just to make everything easy on...everyone."

And you know? Until that moment, I might have even done it, found the card in my desk drawer and changed over. I feel great affection for librarians, because they do important work and make our lives better in so many ways. But I just couldn't give the Clucker what she wanted because...it didn't matter! The very meaningless of this power battle meant I COULD NOT BACK DOWN. Because this person thought she could harangue me into doing something which didn't matter to me at all, I could no more give in to her wishes than I could fly. The Clucker was a wee little bully-queen, ruling over seven or eight electrons of the universe, the electrons which decreed whether I could use Daughter's library card and I couldn't give her the satisfaction. So I smiled at the librarian, thanked her for the hard work she does and watched her check out my books.

[Yes, they were mine. Daughter's not reading about the mosaics of Pompeii any time soon.]

I then grabbed my books, sneered at the Clucker and vowed to find a library with an automatic check-out. But I'd like the record to show I did show some restraint, some recognition that this situation wasn't so much inconsequential as infinitesimal.

At no point did I say "Cluck you."

40 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quinn,

As a retired-after-30-years-professional-librarian I say, "Hang in there!" Today's libraries are filled with little bully-queens who are looking to grasp some power and then loose it on unsuspecting customers. Any library so focused on petty rules won't stay in favor long, and then there goes the funding. All they should be worried about is whether or not you can find the information you need, and then whether you return the books so they'll be available for other users.

Oh, my. Was that a rant?

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the comment I originally left attached to another post. "I found your "Stickler Shock" piece inexcusably offensive. I have contacted Good Housekeeping already,but you need to know as well. I find it hard to believe that an author would be so disrespectful of librarians and libraries." Sad to say, reading the full piece didn't make me feel any better. Would it really be that hard to carry a card that probably weighs around an ounce? And your idea that it doesn't matter clearly indicates that you feel rules don't apply to you. Well Quinn, if the librarian was a "Bully Queen" that makes you an "Entitlement Princess."

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rather than get in a ridiculous power battle (it sounds like you were on as much a power trip about this as the librarian was: "I'll show you the rules don't apply to me if I don't want them to, mean library lady!"), why not just carry your card instead of your daughter's? Shouldn't your daughter be the one responsible for her card? You just strike me as unkind: making fun of someone who has little power in their job and then flaunting that in their face by continuing to defy them. Wow. Does that make you feel like a big person? If so, strikes me as you're the one who's kinda sad.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Geesh. Some people have NO sense of humor. Thankfully Quinn, you do!

1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I'm glad you have finish your book and can entertain us more frequently. The BigEd blog is a nice spin too.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quinn, you have done more for family reading (and library using) than any ten people I can think of. The fact that you were put off by a priggish clerk -- who is clearly NOT a librarian -- indicates the affection you continue to feel towards the institution. I didn't read the Good Housekeeping version but, obviously, the person who wrote in complaining about your behavior is not familiar with your work. Or your sense of kindness. Or perhaps she identified with the overzealous bureaucrat for other reasons(Hmmmmm!). Either way, it was a fun read and anyone who doesn't see the humor and self-deprecation within should, y'know, get a life.

Keep up the good work.

2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Quinn, but you sound self-entitled in both versions of the article. You made a choice not to carry your card and the Clucker did her job, which made you cranky.
Get a bigger wallet.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Twisted Susan said...

I am a lover of libraries; they have saved my life as a mother of small children, provided me with mind soothing solace during periods of panic attacks and are a wonderful way to spend time alone.

However, at my previous library I had to employ all my powers of self control to keep from reaching across the counter and strangling the ignorant, uncooperative library drones. I could never understand this discrepancy because in my neck of the woods one needs a lot of education to work at the library.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quinn, you say that GH edited your piece. Do you not have word count to aim for before you write a piece?

1:43 PM  
Blogger Quinn Cummings said...

To the Anonymous who just asked how these things work, let me explain.

It was August, and I was hot and worn out. I got into a stupid pointless battle with someone over something which mattered not at all. Yes, I should have just changed the card. No, I never remembered that once I got home. And as any parent can tell you, legally her card is my card, in that any fees on it are my legal liability. Anyway, I slammed out a blog about my feelings, perhaps not indicating fully exactly how stupid I knew my behavior was. And then I went back to writing my usual blogs (Of the 520 or so I have written, 515 have been based on the premise that I'm an idiot). It's not my favorite blog, but since I'm trying to write this not as a burnishing of my image, but a record of who I was and what petty things occupied my mind, I keep it up.

A year later, Good Housekeeping reaches out to me; they want this particular blog. This one? I think. But there are better ones. Ones where I freely admit I'm an idiot. But no, they want this one. I agree.

They then own it, which means they get to edit it as they see fit. And then I get to hear from people that I'm mean and suffer from what might be a life-threatening case of self-entitlement. Which, among other things, should mean I have a much better wardrobe than I do.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

So I have my card and my 2 boy's cards on my key chain (they are key chain cards). Why, because my boys only go to the library when I drive them. If they go with dh or a group of friends I hand over the key chain cards and they have to keep track of them and give them right back.

It also comes in handy when ds has to read 15 specific books and you are only allowed to put 5 books on hold at a time, so we put 5 books on hold on each of the three cards. But guess what...only the specific person can pick up holds (even if they are a minor child and you are the guardian/parent of said child). Now we can check out on all three cards at the self check out regardless of who is present but holds are held hostage.

I feel like we are there three times a week dropping off and picking up books and they could cut us some slack but nope!

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a "head" librarian that just got home from working eight hours at the library and eagerly picked up my new GH to read, I can say that you have no idea of what we do all day. Asking you to bring a library card to check out is your only responsibility in the checkout process. We read reviews, careful balance our dwindling budget to buy the books so you will have access to them, catalog them, make sure they are on the shelf when you are ready to check out and you have the NERVE to carp because you are required to bring your card!! Give me a break. Is this how you teach responsibility and respect for others to your children?

I am greatly offended by both versions of your blog, and know that my staff would have cheerfully checked you out the first few times, but after your blatant disregard for the library I say "cluck you" for thumbing your nose at their services.

And I hope GH makes out your payment check in your daughter's name.

6:18 PM  
OpenID timwarp said...

I lost my card years ago. But I have my number memorized from typing it into the computer so many times. Sometimes I use my daughter's card. It's NEVER been a problem. Thank you, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (specifically the Greentree branch!) for not being full of officious bureaucrats!

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q, I appreciate your sharing the context. Perhaps GH was setting you up in the interest of stirring up some controversy/letters?

I promise not to call you self-entitled anymore (unless another article sets me off). Thanks for being honest.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Kyddryn said...

For what it's worth, the following is based entirely on this blog post because I don't read GH - I am a crappy housekeeper and I've learned to live with that. Why can't they publish a Bad Housekeeping mag? I might even pay actual money for it! They could take photos of my cobweb collection ("collection" makes it sound like they're on purpose) for the Halloween edition!

Wow, have I had moments like that, moment when martinets flex their petty little claws and scrabble away at my shellacked outer shell, hoping to scratch a chink in the indifference with which I surround myself. Perhaps they are having a bad day. Perhaps they are jackasses. Perhaps they know they are ineffectual in every other way, but they have rules they can enforce and they delight in doing so in the least pleasant way possible. Perhaps I don't care.

Yep, rules is rules. Yep, I has ta follow 'em, and so does everyone else. There's no need to get ugly about it, on either side. People like your library clerk irritate me - she could have tried to be compassionate about things. But, darlin', so could you. I'm betting you are now, or at least will be in the future.

That said, I don't understand the antipathy in some of the anonymous comments (which is huge peeve, for me...if someone MUST vent their spleen and say unkind things, why is it they can't own their words? How is it they can say things publicly, but not own them publicly? If you can't or won't put your name on it, then as far as I'm concerned you are either ashamed or afraid of your words). You had a bad day. What, you're not allowed?

Thanks for claiming your humanity, especially with a laugh.

Shade and Sweetwater,
K (who, for the record, adores her library despite her infrequent visits to same and has a dear friend who's a librarian so it's not like she doesn't hear about some of the weirdness that goes down in the stacks...)

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Jody said...

The thing that strikes me the most about this post is not really about the post itself. It's that every single one of the negative comments about the post was done anonymously. If it's what you believe, why aren't you standing up for it? That's one of those things that always makes me scratch my head.

As regards the post, I remember reading it way back when, snickering a little as I recognized myself (really in both characters, if I'm being honest), and then going about my day. I don't see an endictment of librarians here. I see a human being having a day. Two human beings, actually. It could have been anywhere - Starbucks, the DMV, the playground...

Quinn, I love your blog. Thank you for writing it.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not leave my name as I didn't want to sign up for a Google account. It is not that I don't want to "own" my words. I have never visited this site before, and only did this time because of the GH article.

Having said that, and thinking I maybe would view how I felt about the article in a milder manner, I will own up to feeling exactly the same.

The article was insulting to a whole group of easily indentifiable people, who are working in a low paying field and doing the best job they can. The "clucking clerk" does more than "dust the desk" in any library.

Your library card is like a credit card. We tell everyone not to share their card with anyone, as someone else can run up fines & fees on your card, and then you are responsible.

It was many things about the blog that I felt like were disrespectful. Having to endure the five minute lecture etc. Admitting that the books were, tee hee actually for yourself after you "lied" to the library clerk.

The whole thing just struck me a mean spirited to a group of public service people.
Susan

10:59 AM  
Blogger ChrisinNY said...

Uh, I am a big defender of librarians but I think from the original story Quinn seemed to think the head librarian sympathized with her. So maybe requiring a a card was more of a guideline not a rule. (Points to anyone who gets the reference.) Sometimes people rub us the wrong way, and some people write about it in a funny way. Most of us that come here regularly are grateful to Quinn for her posts (including this one where she is shown to be human). YMMV

11:48 AM  
Blogger xxxxxxx said...

I love libraries. I love your blog. I was especially happy last week when you reposted 'Tis Something by Your Side to Stand.
I think that is one of the funniest pieces I've ever read. AND SO TRUE. (I've also been to that wedding.) I mean "a mirage" instead of "a marriage" and my personal favorite, "maybies" instead of "babies." Perfect!

I didn't see the GH article, but I think I would have been "clucked off" about their editing. Cutting 1000 words from a 1500 word essay sounds more like slashing than editing.

Keep up the good work, Quinn.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having worked in a library for over 15 years, I have to let you know what some parents do to cheat the system, which is why the "clucker" may have had an attitude.

Some parents will get a card in their own name and wrack up a lot of fines until the card is blocked. When it is blocked, they get a card in their child's name and guess what? That card incurs a lot of fines and then its blocked, too. If the parent has more children then they may get a card for those children, too.

Yes, parents are responsible for a child's card, but in our library system no child's card is sent to the collection agency until he/she turns 18. So at 18, a young adult becomes responsible for a bill that his/her parent is actually responsible for.

And yes, it makes a librarian's life a lot easier if customers use their own card.

Marie

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a professional librarian and a branch manager, I was very surprised by some of the comments by other librarians. I found the article a good example of "what not to do" when offering good customer service! If you use your card or your daughter's card it should be your choice, since you are still responsible for the items. We should be encouraging people to take advantage of everything available at the public library. This type of service will make some people leave and never return to that branch. Good community support is very important in these days of continuing cuts in public funding. It may make the difference in keeping a branch open. Thank you Quinn for an article I plan to share with my staff.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Single Gal said...

Quinn,
How unfortunate that you felt your own library card was on par with the 'Buy 9, get the 10th free" gloppity-glop coupon, so that you were compelled to take it out of your wallet. Librarians have created rules such as the one you complain about because we know what can happen with misused library cards. As one of my colleagues mentioned earlier, some people do accrue fines on their child's card. If this is the case of a non-custodial parent trying to make life hard on the custodial parent, the library gets caught in the middle. 'Clucker' should have explained the reasons for the rule to you; however, you appear to come off as one of "those people" who thinks everything should be convenient for you. And trust me, I'm sure the 'Clucker' has given you a nickname as well.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having many young people, now over the age of eighteen, unable to use their library card because someone else has used it and either run up fines or lost books, it is heartbreaking to librarians to deal with. We usually waive fines if the books are obviously an adult's book, but that means loss of materials or revenue for the library.

I am not implicating that you, Quinn, would do that, but if you help others be aware that a library card is a responsibility for the owner of the card it would be a great service for all library customers.

Perhaps the clerk did not explain this to you clearly, but the impression your blog gives is that the inconvenience to you of carrying your card was of more importance than trying to understand the procedure.

She did not make the rule, the library board did, and she was trying diligently to enforce it. Perhaps in not as friendly of a way as you expected, but that is her job. You were making her job more difficult, it was not the other way around. Surely there was something else you could have eliminated from your purse so that you could carry and use your library card????

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some libraries restrict children library cards to non-adult material, requiring a manual over-ride for each adult item checked out. Why don't you simply carry the tiny little card of your own and quit whining?

I believe you have mistaken snark for clever. Your post was the former, and a cheap shot.

Lois

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am absolutely appalled by your article in Good Housekeeping. I just read your full blog and it doesn't make it any better. I have the same problem as you with a full wallet, but I purposely made room for my library card. It is probably the most used card in my wallet. I would never even think to be disrespectful to my librarians. They are some of the most polite people I encounter. Your librarian was not the bully...you clearly are a bully on a power trip!!

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous ldh said...

I just read your blogger article in Good Housekeeping to my husband. His response was, “What an airhead.” Maybe, just maybe YOU are the one who makes life more difficult for others. Have you ever considered that? What a role model you are for your daughter…….

11:21 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Good grief! Usually this sort of heated debate is reserved for political blogs. Can't we all agree that life these days is complicated and harried, and we all end up doing our best to cope with the challenges each of us face as individuals. So, how about we all just try to cut each other a modicum of slack?

I am a big fan of libraries, but not being a librarian, I don't presume to know much about the challenges librarians face. I have no doubt that when people abuse their local library system, libraries need to respond with rules designed to mitigate the abuse.

However, I can also completely identify with Quinn. Most of us view checking out a library book as a relatively low stakes endeavor and tend to think that it shouldn't involve the same scrutiny as clearing customs. Additionally, most community libraries tend to have a community feel, and as library members/patrons, we are typically treated as if we are part of the community--and not as potential criminals.

Perhaps it does matter that Quinn carry her library card, or perhaps libraries should offer a family card, or maybe Quinn could carry one card and the library could help her add the second number or bar code to that one card. I'm sure there are lots of possibilities, and it doesn't have to be all one way or the other. There are rules that make sense, and there are those that are counterproductive. Why not search for a solution that meets everyone's needs.

Even if the library clerk had a point--or perhaps was even facing pressure to enforce the rules--libraries are designed to make books and reading available to all of us, and I think it makes sense for libraries to make the process as easy on its customers as possible. And, if there are rules that are slightly inconvenient yet need to be enforced, librarians can tactfully explain to those of us who are unfamiliar with the issues they face why the rules are important. If the argument is valid--legitimately valid--then most of us will not mind making an effort to comply.

I can't believe I just spend actual time trying to moderate the great library card debate of 2011.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say I was offended by your blog posted in Good Housekeeping titled "Stickler Shock: Some people just need to make your life more difficult". As a librarian with a MLS degree your blog seemed a little unfair to any institution with regulations. Having worked in a public library for 15 years I pride myself on excellent public service. However libraries just like other places have rules/regulations for reasons. It's unfair to belittle and rant about library staff for doing their jobs without understanding the background reasons for their actions. Most people who work in public service do not purposely try and make life more difficult for consumers but we do try and keep order and in the case of most libraries, some order and regulation is needed.
FYI: This comment is from a librarian in her 30's so it is not from an old fashion stick in the mud librarian.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you go to the grocery without your credit card and expect to be able to check out anyway? Would you go to the bank with someone else's card and expect to be allowed to withdraw money? Would you be upset if someone "borrowed" your credit card and went on a shopping spree? Even if that someone were your daughter, I suspect you would not be pleased.

Unless your library system uses solid gold library cards (in which case I have some budget suggestions for them), I fear I can't sympathize with your "the card is too heavy" excuse.

Even with something as "meaningless" as a library card, I wonder how "meaningless" it would be if someone used your card to check out a stack of materials and never return them. While I don't doubt that you are a responsible individual, there are many people who aren't, and you might be surprised by how many children's cards are blocked and unusable due to parental negligence or how many adults discover, when applying for what they think is their first library card, that they owe hundreds of dollars in lost and stolen materials thanks to their parents, or how many teenagers can't check out books for school projects because their parents when on a library spree with the card. Not everyone who won't cede to your whims is out to get you; some are actually trying to help you and help your child. I have little doubt that you are a good parent, but there are far too many individuals who don't deserve the title.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a professional public librarian who prides on the fantastic service provided within our library system, I don't know who I am more pissed at - you or Good Housekeeping.

Yes, you have every right to to feel the way you do, and to blog about it. Yes, Good Housekeeping had the right to edit as they saw fit for their publication. Yes, I take offense to both you and GH for perpetuating the stereotype of the mean librarian/library that really doesn't exist anymore and thus will hold my right on thoughtful collection development and decide not to purchase your books or renew the Good Housekeeping subscription for our 12 (yes, not 1, but 12) branches.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Karyn said...

"Yes, I take offense to both you and GH for perpetuating the stereotype of the mean librarian/library that really doesn't exist anymore..."

Your over-the-top reaction to a blog post that was clearly meant to be funny is what's perpetuating the stereotype.

Clearly this was meant to be a humorous article about a power struggle. Perhaps the last librarian should check out some books that could teach her how to lighten up in her eight libraries.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Karyn said...

One more thing to anonymous 12:17 pm...

Considering you work for an institution that is supported by the people, it's disheartening to learn that you are limiting access to something (also known as CENSORING) because of your PERSONAL feelings toward it.

You should start burning books while you are at it.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Don D said...

My guess it that Anonymous 12:17 is not the "professional librarian" she claims to be. A professional librarian would not be censoring books and magazines because she had a problem with something someone had published -- especially something as harmless as this. I am a frequent library patron and this doesn't fit into any definition of "fantastic service" I can think of.

Also, in my experience, a professional librarian who did harbor such a prejudice would be smart enough to not threaten this course of action in a public forum.

In the sad event that Anonymous 12:17 is, in fact, a librarian, I can only hope she works for North Korea or someplace equally aligned with her sense of priorities. If she works here in America, she should resign immediately so the patrons of her "twelve branches" aren't subject to her Fahrenheit 451 approach to her job -- a book she might want to read if she can find time away from making lists of blogs and magazines that "offend" her.

Anonymous 12:17 is a menace to everything a library stands for. If she doesn't resign, she should be identified and fired. Then she can find a job at traffic court, or a prison, or a health insurance call center -- someplace more suitable to her skills; someplace where a toss-away essay from a gifted humorist won't get the writer banned from an entire library system.

Yeesh!

1:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quinn, I can completely relate to the overly full wallet, and not having your library card when you need it. I almost never have my card with me. I use the South Park Township Public Library, in suburban Pittsburgh.

I actually had my wallet returned to me once when the person who found it located my library card in it, called my library, and asked the librarian if she knew me. She did, and she knew who would have my phone number. I received word that my wallet had been found before I even knew I had misplaced it!

It seems a shame that there must be such a rampant problem with lost library materials as to require such strict policies at some libraries. I am thankful to have a local library that is really local, and a great community resource. I have known for years that we had a great library. Everyone should be so lucky!

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Melodee said...

Cluck you! Now, that's funny!

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, I get to use the pettifogging! As in the librarian's attitude.

I think the librarian forgot that you are a client. You sign up for a card, you get to take out books. You don't return the books, they call, send a note, e-mail, whatever. I assume your daughter lives with you and contact for return of book is possible.

As for the person that discussed fines not going to collections until the child turns 18, the library system is missing a great revenue opportunity. That was a silly argument.

I love books, libraries and there are several librarians in my orbit whom I love also. I'm sure there are many viable rules for the efficient operation of a library. Quibbling over whose name is on the card when it's your child, is a waste of energy. What's the point?? I mean REALLY...what is the point of her judgemental attitude?

I think it's unfortunate that you are being attacked for commenting on how you were treated given that the person in question was there to provide a service to the public.

Here it comes: it's a stupid, pettifogging rule and it's being administered by someone who is less concerned with service and more concerned with exercising authority where it's unwarranted.

I would be happy not to be anonymous, but I forgot my password.

Cheer up, neither she nor GH are worth it.

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Jonelle said...

Uh, is it just me or did all the inane comments from "appalled" librarians make them seem far less worthy of our admiration than anything Quinn wrote? Just saying.

9:24 PM  
Blogger foolery said...

Outrage is alive and well in our small world, I see. Perspective, less so.

It made me laugh, it made me contemplate. It did not make me hate librarians, libraries, rules, or Quinn Cummings. Life is good.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little behind on my reading material, so I just read your blog in Good Housekeeping about what you consider to be a lowly "library clerk", not even a librarian. The attitude you took over the whole thing is very enlightening as to your attitude and your character. I did read the whole blog, not just what was in the magazine and it's not really all that different, for all your complaining that they cut out a lot-it's basically about the same. My impression was that you're on a power trip-not the person who is trying to enforce the rules at the library. Is it really that big a deal to just carry your own card? I always carried mine and my little girl's-big deal. I used to be a "lowly retail clerk" while in college and believe me, I ran across a lot of women like you. Most men didn't pick silly power struggle battles like you apparently did with the library clerk, who you are quick to label "not even a librarian", as if she's below consideration. Apparently you have some real problems in your life to pick fights like this and them demean somebody for simply doing their job and enforcing the rules where they work. The little "Cluck you" at the end speaks volumes for your attitude and lack of character! All I can say is I'll never buy or read one of your books!

1:21 PM  

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