Suggestions for a Disgruntled Patron
posted May 15, 2012 11:21 AM by Sarah Barton
My hometown newspaper published a letter to the editor from a woman who thinks that the public library budget could use substantial cuts. She writes that high school students should replace the six gossiping and squawking librarians with master's degrees who are checking out books on any given shift, and that the library director and assistant director are grossly overpaid. I am in no place to comment on the library's budget or staffing structure (although I find it hard to believe that six librarians are constantly manning the circulation desk), but I was glad to see that community members have commented on the letter itself and written their own letters extolling the library and its services.
I don't know what side of whose bed that woman woke up on before writing this letter, but I would like to think that she is an anomaly in a world full of grateful library users. Fortunately, I woke up on the right side of my own bed this morning, so I will offer her some things to consider:
Move to a town that allocates a smaller portion of its budget to the library.
Channel your inner librarian and ask the librarians to stop talking.
By nature, the area near the circulation desk is not going to be very quiet. If you are looking for a quiet area, do not sit near the circulation desk.
The circulation staff are not degree-holding librarians, and are not paid as such.
A high school student making $8 an hour will not provide better service than a librarian.
If you want to hear squawking, spend five minutes in a high school cafeteria at lunchtime. A chicken coop will also do.
Barnes & Noble is not a library, as reflected by the difference in salaries.
Librarians are people, and people tend to talk on the job.
An attack on the library is an attack on the community.
Changing your attitude will create a better library atmosphere much more effectively than changing the budget.