I consider myself a generally customer-oriented sort of librarian. I think about the needs of my patrons; I consider their dilemmas and try to find the most effective way to help them find what they need, whether its a book, article, or directions to another office. I try to please within reason, and like to think that I generally do. However, there are occasions when I just can’t seem to please, and it makes me feel terribly frustrated; especially, when the other person thinks I’m just being difficult. I’ve had two such incidents with a patron, an older alum who’s come to the library twice since last week. Both times, I have been unable to give her what she wants because it goes against our policies (one of which was just recently implemented, so it would reflect quite badly if I went against it when I thought it was a good idea). She’s elderly and kind of reminds me of my gran, which just about breaks me, but I just can’t do what she asks–firstly, because it’s not school related, so I can’t even justify it as an academic matter, and secondly, because it involves using staff equipment. I know I probably come across as a cold, unhelpful bitch. It’s disappointing, but the alternative would mean doing something I don’t approve of and shouldn’t be doing in the first place. It puts me in a bind and makes me think about how far we should be willing to bend in order to serve.

Author: emilia grace

romance writer and bibliophile

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