Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy stories from the library reference desk.
Since transitioning to a new position at work last year, I’m no longer on the reference desk. (Also the library is currently closed due to COVID-19, so there’s that.) But I didn’t want to let my list of ideas for this series languish, so here are a few short vignettes from desk shifts past.
1. A woman told me of sending a picture of a painting she made to a friend, to which the friend replied “It’s not my taste.” “I think she’s a bitch,” the woman said. She goes on about how she thinks the friend is jealous, and that she’s not sure what she’s getting out of this friendship. She’s more disappointed than anything. The friend is very rich but her other friends were nice about the painting.
2. An older woman who’s a regular patron from eastern Europe told me about her son, who’s a physicist: “…but you wouldn’t believe how much asshole he is.” After I helped her with her question, she said, “Thank you. What a country.”
3. The dad who wanted to check out Scythe so he could keep up with what his teen daughter was reading.
4. The dad taking note of titles on the New Books shelf for when his kids are older and he can read for pleasure again: “I don’t want to miss any good ones.”
5. A regular asked for recommendations for movies about psychopaths. I rattled off a few that came to mind, which she was grateful for but also replied, “You’re eerie…”
6. The nerdy 10-year-old kid who was so excited to find books on the subjects he loved: baseball and Star Wars.
7. The teen girl talking to her dad on the way out of the library: “I texted Kelly to ask if she wanted me to pick her up a book from the library and she said ‘You’re funny; I’m watching Netflix.’”