Call phoned in to the library.

Librarian: “…Yes, Ma’am. How can I help you?”

Librarian: “…You’re looking at what?”

Librarian: “…Which job posting?”

Librarian: “…Ma’am, we have no job openings for Library Assistants at this time.”

Librarian: “…What website are you looking at?”

Librarian: “…I realize it’s the website on your computer right now. Can you be more specific? Which website is it, exactly?”

Librarian: “…What’s the address for it?”

Librarian: “…That’s the library’s email. I need the website.”

Librarian: “…Ma’am, that’s still the library’s email address.”

Librarian: “…Do you see the box at the top of the page?”

Librarian: “…Good. Can you read the whole thing to me?”

Librarian: “…Yes, the whole thing.”

Librarian: “…Ma’am, will you please read me the letters and numbers in that box?”

Librarian: “…Thank you. I’m typing it in. Hmmm…This is off of the library’s Facebook page.”

Librarian: “…Ma’am, you know what today’s date is, right?”

Librarian: “…Exactly…And do you see the date on the Facebook posting?”

Librarian: “…Right. So do you see that this is a job posting from three years ago?”

Librarian: “…That means you can’t apply for it because it’s not available anymore.”

Librarian: “…Ma’am our job postings are current.”

Librarian: “…It would take too long to explain. Trust me on this. Facebook is not the most effective way to search for a job with us. However, if you go to our actual website, you’ll see what’s available right now.”

Some Things Your Local Librarians Would Like You To Know

It is not a stupid question. Even if it is a stupid question, we have been thoroughly trained to answer your question without judgement or second-guessing. Besides, we’re mostly just glad you’re not asking us about the noise the printer is making again.

There are probably (at least) two desks in the library. One is where you check out books and is mostly staffed by people wearing nametags that say “Circulation Clerk.” These people can answer your questions about damaged or missing books, fines, and how many forms of identification we’ll need if you want to get a library card but your mailing address is in Taiwan. The other one is closer to the books and computers and is mostly staffed by people wearing nametags that say “Librarian.” These people can answer your questions about spider extermination, how to rent property to the United States Postal Service, and the number of tropical island nations in which you could theoretically establish the first United States Embassy. We would love to answer these questions for you. It would be a nice change from the printer.

We probably own a 3D printer by now. 3D printers, are cool, right? Please, please come use our 3D printer, it’s so lonely.

We spent a lot of money to hire this woodworker to come and teach a class at the library which you can attend for free. You will probably be the only person between the ages of ten and fifty in attendance, but your presence will fill the librarian with an unnameable joy. They will float back to their manager in a daze. “A young person came to my program,” they will say. You will have made their entire job worthwhile.

Every time you ask us for a book, movie, or music recommendation, a baby librarian gets their first cardigan.

Somewhere in the library, there is a form. If you fill out this form with your name and library card number and the details of the thing you are looking for, we will find you the thing. Sometimes the answer is “the thing is in Great Britain and they will not send it to us,” but more often the thing will just appear on hold for you, and one day you will pick up a copy of that out-of-print book you never thought you would read and maybe you will say, “Wow, the library is amazing,” and the librarian’s heart will glow. 

Please bring back book #2. The rest of its series misses it very much.

Five dollars is not a large library fine. Believe me, before I started working in libraries, I too wondered how someone could sleep at night, knowing they owed money to the library. When we laugh as you sheepishly apologize for your $2.50 in overdue fees, we are not mocking you, we are thinking of the ten people we sent to debt collection already today.

We really don’t care why you’re checking out Fifty Shades of Grey. Maybe you have a specifically-themed ironic bachelorette party to plan. Maybe you’re working on a thesis paper about mainstream media’s depiction of female sexuality. Maybe you just got curious. We will give you the benefit of the doubt. 

Whatever you’re smoking in the family restroom, please stop.

Somewhere on the library’s website, buried under “Links” or “Research” or “On-line Resources,” is a page that a librarian spent a month’s worth of work on. It contains many links to websites you thought everyone knew about, and one to a page that you could never have imagined existed that perfectly solves a problem you never expected to be resolved. 

Imagine the kind of person who would think to themselves, “Library school sounds like a thing I should do.” For the most part, you are imagining the kind of person who is now a librarian. We want very much to help you, but we’re not entirely sure how to do that unless you ask. You are not bothering us. Please, come and say hi.


Oh, Those Clever Librarians and Their #Bookface

Bookface involves strategically lining up your face or another body part alongside a book cover that features a matching body part so that there appears a melding of life and art. Librarians and other book lovers post these photos weekly on visual apps like Instagram, using the caption #BookfaceFriday. The minitrend is giving a boost to the digital presence of institutions that are, by definition, purveyors of analog information.



Books Build Children

Created earlier this year by Dentsu Tokyo for the Yokohama City Board of Education, the “Books to build children” ad campaign hopes to recruit librarians to work in elementary school libraries.

Funny how we have to fight tooth and nail to keep our elementary school libraries open while other countries are actually in need of, and desire, real-life school librarians to help spread the joy of reading.

Previously on Book Patrol:
Latest study confirms that school libraries positively impact student test scores
After helping the Ferguson Public Library we need to go to Philadelphia


“Dogs are wise. They crawl away into a quiet corner and lick their wounds and do not rejoin the world until they are whole once more.”
~ Agatha Christie (author, Death on the Nile)

“Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.”
~ Emily Dickinson (poet, “Hope is the Thing with Feathers”)

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”
~ Robert A. Heinlein (author, Starship Troopers)

“When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, 'His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.’”
~ Rudyard Kipling (author, The Jungle Book)

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”
~ Dean Koontz (author, Whispers)

“I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”
~ John Steinbeck (author, The Grapes of Wrath)

“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.”
~ Mark Twain (author, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)


We’re not going to lie. It’s our favorite month of the year. 

You know what’s weird? We’re always shocked that everyone’s always shocked at just how much you can do with your library card. Because we’re more than just books. Much, much more…

So what are you waiting for? Head to your faaaaaaavorite library and use your card today! And if you don’t have one? Get one. We’ll be waiting…

NOTE: We aren’t actually monsters. For the most part. 

Job, Dream

I was at the desk, checking out a stack of picture books to a little girl. 

Me: “You have a lot of books here. You must really like reading!”

Girl [smiling]: “I do! I love coming to the library.”

Me: “Maybe one day you’ll get to work in a library then.” 

Girl: “Oh, I’d like that.” [sighing] “But my mom says she wants me to get a real job when I grow up.”