Baby Names, Teeth, God and LSD

Untitled 2Photo by Dorothea Salo via Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Last week a patron at the suburban library where I work spent five minutes telling a colleague  all about why (and exactly how) she should use a water pic. This inspired me to log onto my favorite Facebook Librarian Hangout to ask: “What’s the oddest thing a library patron has ever said to you?”

Within a day, I had dozens of responses.  Here’s a sampling:  

A woman tried to get me to help name her baby. 

I’ve been asked how to make LSD. 

Two recent topics? Coffee enemas and homemade cat food! 

A man asked me if my biological clock was ticking. I was 21 at the time. 

I had a lady ask where she could find a chastity belt. Another asked me where she could buy some weed. I sent them both to the reference desk. 

Patron starts taking off her shoe. “Do you think this is infected?” 

While I was checking out his books, one gent told me all about how humans could slowly build up to deriving all of their necessary nutrients by going outside and starring at the sun, and suggested that I try it. 

A patron once told me that I couldn’t be Mexican because I’m not dark enough. WTF? 

“You know what would make you a knockout? Lose weight!” 

“You don’t look like a librarian. You should be wearing a shirtwaist dress. With horizontal stripes.” 

Direct quote from one patron: “My man shaved DOWN THERE. . .and I didn’t like it one bit. I like a natural man.” What?? (I work in an elementary school library.)  

A patron once accused me of running a sex slave ring from the express computers. 

A woman once asked if I had any hand-me-down clothes I could give her daughter, since we were both “big girls.” 

One man, in a misguided attempt to flirt and/or make me uncomfortable, asked me where we keep the porn. With a straight face, I told him we keep it on the third floor. (It‘s a two story building.)  

I was recently asked how to make an apple into a bong. 

A patron once told me there was a cat in the ceiling. And she was right!   

An elderly man once decided that it was his job to lecture me about every problem that birth control can cause. 

I can’t polish my nails at work anymore because one of our patrons has a fetish and begins giving me sex advice. 

A patron once told me in a stage whisper about her alien abduction, complete with biological details I’d really rather not have heard. 

One patron demanded that my boss fire me for putting a hex on her  incarcerated son.

A patron who was grateful for the help I’d given her with a reference question advised me to keep my kitchen knives in the laundry hamper. “So if someone breaks into your house, they can’t use them to stab you.” 

Recent unsolicited advice from a patron? “If your yard isn’t clean, the mourning doves won’t come.” 

A patron told a co-worker about how he’d prayed for a wife and just asked that God send him one that had not been “used.”

“I just had surgery! Want to see my scar?”

Because we librarians are courteous by nature, we can be counted on to respond to your oddball statements, remarks and requests with dignity and grace. My co-worker, for example, patiently endured that little water pic lecture rather than shutting it down with, “What makes you think that my teeth are any of your business?” 

Still, the next time you’re tempted to share your innermost thoughts about sex, God or teeth with your local librarian, do us all a favor. Think twice.  

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  • hillsmom November 22, 2015 at 10:27 pm

    @ Amber Wilson: If you read the list of things said, the second line was, “asked how to make LSD”.
    I must admit that when I first read, or actually misread, your comment, I thought it was about Mormons (LDS) 😎

  • Amber Wilson November 22, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    So why add the LSD part to the end of the title?Did I miss something?

  • Kelly September 2, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Can’t say it’s a boring job! haha

  • Suzanne Fluhr August 25, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    These are great. I wonder what I would come up with if I asked my Social Security disability lawyer friends what’s the weirdest thing a client said to them—-or better yet, a judge!

  • hillsmom August 25, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Holy Smokes Miz Scarlett, I’ve been going to the wrong library.
    I’ll have to make sure that the Chesco reads your list. Thanks for the laughs…

  • Mickey August 25, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Oh, Roz is the best, the funniest, the coolest. At least one of those comments elicited the ‘finger’ from me. Thank you so much for sharing. Hilarious!

  • Sue August 25, 2015 at 11:46 am

    These are so funny, Roz. I work in youth services in a public library, and most of the unusual requests go to the adult reference desk, but we get a few too. I was asked to hold a book for an elderly patron and turn the pages as she read, because she did not want to risk getting shingles. I was new; I actually did this. I was also asked to the prom by a high school senior. I was 50 at the time. I graciously declined.

  • Mister Wonderful August 25, 2015 at 11:39 am

    This is wonderful!

  • Dave Astor August 25, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Wow — talk about people oversharing or being just plain nuts! This column is an eye-opener, Roz. (I suppose a library patron might ask a librarian whether eye-opener should have a hyphen. 🙂 )