Friday, August 26, 2005

Problem Book of the Month

First, some backstory:
The children's room in our library has a door leading into the adult Reference/nonfiction area. That door is right next to the children's restrooms. These are actual rooms, with doors that lock, rather than stalls. The adult restroom--which has stalls---is in the fiction area, which is a longer walk from Reference/non-fiction than the kids' area is. [Don't ask; it's one of the vagaries of the building]

Consequently, patrons "in the know" use the children's restroom to save time, and because they are lazy, or want extreme privacy. We don't like it, but short of locking the doors all the time and making embarrassed kids ask for a key, there's no great solution. Because the children's bathrooms are slightly closer to my desk--and about 150 steps closer than the staff room!--and because I am as lazy as the patrons are, I usually use those during the day, too. I keep an eye out for weirdos and plumbing problems that way, too.

Anyway. I walked in one of the bathrooms yesterday and immediately am confronted by two things: 1) whoever was in there last needed to do a "courtesy flush" [eeeuw]; and 2) there's a book behind the toilet on the floor. [eeeuw]

This is the book:
There are absolutely no photos in this book. It's made up of individual stories arranged around specific problems, in typical self-help book fashion. There is a chapter about 20 pages long that gets vaguely into actual sex, but believe me, we are not talking Lez P-0-rn.

I am the third, or possibly fourth, staff person to find this in one of the kids' bathrooms, so obviously someone is reading it. But the only section with fingerprints on it is the short sex chapter.

[By the way, yes, I washed my hands and the book off thoroughly!!]
The funniest part about this whole story is when I said, "I wonder who is reading this, a guy or a girl?" the answer I got--from a woman--was "A woman, of course" whereupon one of our male librarians and I caught each others' eyes and started to snicker. He said, "If you women knew what men think about, you'd kill us all," which only served to make us all laugh even harder.
Anyway, this is what libraries are all about: providing information for people. Even in the bathroom. We just ask that you take it in the adult bathroom, ok? Or, even better, check it out; we are trained professionals who have been told repeatedly NOT TO COMMENT or remember any of the books checked out by patrons.

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