Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I think that there is at least one certifiably crazy regular patron at every public library. We have lots! There's the dumpy guy with the 4 or more hot/cold bags that he carries with him every day (my boss opines that's where he keeps the heads). Then there's the guy who comes in every Saturday morning who asks for the weekly preview for the Young and the Restless, and whose wristwatch's alarm goes off at 10 a.m. He doesn't shut it off.

And we have our fair share of bipolars, schizophrenics, etc. who call and come in and make life interesting.

One of our regulars, whom we have dubbed "Fuzzy Top", hasn't been to the library in over a week. We realized this today. Until now, she came in at least once a day to use the computers (and to ask if anyone had delivered a $1,000 check for her to the library or if anyone had turned in a wallet. She also liked to trade her guest pass for another one, because "they are tracking this one" or "I can't have any with 3's on it" or "this one has a folded corner").

I hope she's okay. Actually, I kind of hope she has been admitted for psychiatric treatment, because it seemed like she was going downhill last time I saw her...

UPDATE: She's back. Apparently she took off nekkid down the road and got put in the hospital for a few days.


Robear said...

Several of our patrons in the last Florida public library I worked in resembled your "needy nekkid woman" story. Most of them were on medication or homeless or both.

We had a patron who was locally known as "The King". He wore a tin foil crown and long red cape and used a bull-horn to cry out his message-du-jour at the main street corner of town. And his favorite place to do new "projects" was in the downtown main library.

My favorite encounter with him (there were many as a supervisor) was when he was DISTRAUGHT about the disappearance of his three foot high plastic Coca-Cola bottle he carried around with him. He kept his donations in it he got at the street corner. Well, after calming him down and searching all the places he had been in the library and all the other potential places, I asked him how he had come to the library that day. It turned out he had a CAR he drove and parked out in our parking lot (yes, he had a FL driver's license). With lots of hope I led him out to his car, and sure enough, his precious Coke bottle was there on the floor in his car's back seat. He was truly thankful. The King's humanity came to the fore that day when he showed me he really needed other people's help to make it in this world, just like most other library patrons.

Unfortunately I was looked at as "too compassionate" by my fellow supervisors who would rather call Security for every little problem they didn't want to handle instead of LISTEN to odd people who could settle down if you truly helped them accomplish what they wanted to in the library.

I was sorry to read in our local paper some years back that The King had passed away suddenly in Central Florida. I hope his successor finds a friendly librarian ear somewhere.

Paul Wartenberg said...

Wait! That was her?!?!