Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Many Reasons Why I Hate Newspapers

Why do I hate newspapers you may ask? It's not due to the bloodbaths or the mindless agreeing with the president's dictator-like policies. It's not the hundreds of ads or the boring commentary on economics. No no, I hate newspapers as only a librarian can hate newspapers. I hate them because I'm the one responsible for displaying and rotating them.

The average person has no idea what kind of hell newspapers can impose.
To begin with, over half of our daily newspapers are mailed to us from their original cities. What does this mean for me? They were mailed rolled into tight little tubes. That's right, they spent at least 24 hours like that waiting to make it to my little newspaper table. If that wasn't evil enough, they make sure to separate all the sections before rolling them together. Not only do I have to fight with unruly papers, but I have to fight these unruly sections back into the core paper! I have done everything from smashing dictionaries and weighty law tomes on top of them to counter-rolling them in every imaginable way. Often the library rings with the loud TWAP of me trying to conquer the cruel contortions of the heavy mass of ink and paper.

Once I have semi-beaten them into submission, I get to go to the periodical section and find out how badly the patrons mauled/ and or stole our selection.

No matter how painstakingly we have posted notices over the library and the newspaper racks begging people not to remove the sections. No matter how much we stapled them to within an inch of their lives, people still happily rip the papers apart and leave the scattered remains all over the library. Even wild carnivores are more tidy with their kills. There will be no returning them to their proper well marked places. Oh no. The torn, folded, mismatched remains will be left in a pile on a chair spilling onto the floor like week old carrion.

Sometimes they like to really shake it up by adding the remains of another newspaper mixed in. It's at this point that I'm really grateful that no one can read my mind because I can make the hardest marine blush with my explitives when riled. (I'm a writer, I'm great at being graphic)

We keep up to a week of the older issues on a shelf organized to have the newest on top. Our patrons love extending their anarchy to those shelves as well by mixing up all the dates and adding other newspapers at well. Again, this is not a time to talk to me because I'll be so busy trying not to vocalize my frustration some of it may seep out instead of the polite conversation that has become almost automatic.

I know, I know; it seems like such a small irritation in the grand scheme of library work. It did remain just a small irritation for about a week or so, but the sheer repitition of these frustrations can wear away the patience of even Ghandi!

This is also when I get to discover what newspapers have been stolen as well as what parts of the newspaper has been stolen. It happens, I'm used to it; it's just the utter lack of subtley that irritates me. I find the front cover stolen off the paper. Or worse, we had one patron who liked to steal the sports section by stuffing it in his pants to smuggle it out. We could almost write off the unsightly bulge as an unfortunate encounter with a cheap prostitute but there can be no mistaking the distinctive rustling of paper as he swiftly walked toward the exit. Naturally we had to burn the papers.

Finally, due to the very nature of libraries, our greatest horror comes from the fact that many of our male patrons like taking it with them into the men's room.
Let's all take a moment to let that sink in and groan privately in disgust.............................................................
Now that you've had ample time to void your stomache, I'll explain further.
As with other things, we beg, we plead, we tape notices to the men's room door. Still we find it left in there or have returned...SOGGY! *weep* Yes, it has and we have shuddered and glared at the person returning it but they have no shame. Afterwards we must Lysol it until the ink runs because we're not allowed to burn it since so many people use it daily.

Oh the humanity!!!!

I end up washing my hands so many times a day that my skin is raw. And yet, I feel so dirty.
Such is the life of a menial library worker.


Blogger Happy Villain said...

Heh, the shelvers are in charge of the newspapers at our library.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Library Psychosis said...

Poor bastards. I wouldn't wish the newspapers on the most lowly of workers.
Now on the patrons......(evil grin)

1:51 PM  
Blogger Funproductive said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Funproductive said...

Eww, that's gross. I'm sorry you have so much trouble with newspapers in the library. My friend Alan took out some of his anger against newspapers in this video:

5:58 AM  

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