I watched in horror as he woke with a start to stare into her blazing eyes. The student took his feet down and put on his headphones. Ten years in the future, the young man will be arrested for soliciting a dominatrix to flog him with rubber stamps.The Worst Librarian Ever, pausing for effect, raised her finger, pointed and said in a voice so terrible its echo caused students in surrounding states to drop out of Library School: “Take your feet off that chair RIGHT NOW young man! Five minutes in the future, I place an emergency call to my friend the Excellent Cornell Librarian.Students sat reading, listening to music, and talking. Here at last was a comfortable space where the real life of the library took place, away from the fluorescent back-rooms of library administration. “Excuse me” she said, striding away from our small group.A lone student lay across two of the comfy chairs with a book on his chest.One of them, a stern grey-haired woman, will heretofore be known as the Worst Librarian Ever.The tour proceeded, and the three of us wandered through various rooms. Finally we reached a popular section of the library nicknamed The Cocktail Lounge, a white 1970’s style reading room filled with comfy chairs and tables arranged for group work. My tour guide kept up her spiel about circulation and holdings, until The Worst Librarian Ever suddenly cut her short. Introducing Dancing on the Reference Desk, a free playlist dedicated to libraries, librarians, and their interests. Suddenly you realize that your gathering requires a suitable soundtrack. Indeed, without the proper music, the event will be a disaster! The worst case scenario is sobering: everyone ends up hopping around to the They Might be Giants’ album “Flood” until the police show up and ticket you with a noise violation.* Using a combination of technology and powerful query-typing skills, I have SOLVED THIS PROBLEM.
I was browsing through the list of behaviors and have concluded that librarians are predisposed to aid-giving behavior, and perhaps homeostatic postures.The homeless problem seems to have abated somewhat, and I noticed security guards everywhere.One of the things that prompted me to give it another try was an excellent article in the Chronicle announcing “the country’s first full-time psychiatric social worker stationed in a public library”.A quick google search reveals this to be a much-press-released, and apparently effective tactic on the part of SFPL to combat the library’s struggle with homeless patrons.It might have been a coincidence, I’m just a single data point, but there did seem to be an improvement since my last visit.