A library patron is a person who uses the library — to take a toddler to story time, to reserve the novel that every book club in America has decided to read next month, or to pay the whopping replacement fee for that dog training book that Bowser just chewed to pieces.
If you aren’t a library patron, please do not park in the library parking lot. Yes, it’s free. And it’s right in the center of town. But it’s a small lot, and we need every space for our patrons. Seems simple, doesn’t it? But many of you apparently need a more detailed explanation. So we’ll spell it out for you.
The fact that you happen to own a library card does not entitle you to park in our lot if you aren’t in fact using our library. Stopping in to use our bathroom before spending the afternoon shopping does not mean you can park here all afternoon.
Nor does displaying a library book on your dashboard.
If you’re in town to shop, park at the store. If you’re in town to pick up your dry cleaning, park at the dry cleaners. We don’t have your freshly ironed shirts at the library, so unless you’re going to come in and check out a book about ironing, don’t park here.
We recently installed a large sign. It didn’t help. What part of “THIS PARKING LOT IS FOR LIBRARY PATRONS ONLY” is confusing you?You fully intend to visit the library after you lunch at the deli? Great! But while you lunch, please park in a metered space outside the deli. Don’t park here.
Speaking of which, smuggling your corned beef sandwich into the library to nosh while browsing is not a good idea. Crumbs attract rodents. The only rodent who belongs in this building is Stuart Little. Our reference librarian recently lost twenty pounds on an excruciatingly strict diet, and she can smell a delicious sandwich from across the library. She will eject you. And confiscate your sandwich. So don’t even try it.
Yes, that battered green van belongs to a homeless man who spends all day in the library and lives in the van at night. When he parks his van in our lot all day he is hogging that parking space, which is unfortunate. On the other hand he, unlike you, is actually using the library. (The fact that he’s using it to take long naps, lock himself in the bathroom to perform his ablutions and plug in to recharge all his battery-operated devices is a separate, if deeply troubling, issue.)
The fact that you are going to the church down the block does not make it okay to park in our lot. God does not want you to park in the library parking lot when you are not using the library. Even if the church lot is full. If you don’t believe me, please come in and check out some of our books about religion.
We’re happy you gave us a generous donation during our fundraising drive. Thank you! And yet our sign doesn’t actually say that it’s okay to park here as long as you’ve recently written the library a large check.
Maybe next time, instead of nabbing the last free space in our lot and then strolling off to shop while ignoring the actual library patrons who are circling the lot trying to find a place to park, you could come inside and check out a book about common courtesy?
If any of this is too nuanced, subtle or complicated, feel free to come into the library and ask a librarian. We‘ll be happy to explain it to you.
While you are doing so, you are welcome to park in our lot.