February 15th, 2014 Brian Herzog
I would say right off the bat that this post is NSFW, but it happened to me at work so it must be okay. Just, be warned(ish).
One slow afternoon, after school, a girl who was probably about fourteen came up to the desk and asked for books on learning to draw. Specifically, she said, she wanted to draw people.
No problem - in fact, the 740s are right near the Reference Desk. I walked her over, skimmed the titles, and pulled one down called Step-by-step guide to drawing the figure. Sounds promising, right? The cover shows artistic-looking sketches, no problem there, and just what we're looking for.
No, the problem came when I flipped open the book to see if the inside was what she was looking for. Hover your mouse over the image below to see the first page I flipped to*.
The patron didn't seem phased, but it's not often I show naked pictures to fourteen year old girls. Not just an image, mind you, but an actual photograph of a naked woman. I know this is perfectly normal in the life of a librarian, but, I don't know, it just took me by surprise and felt weird.
But it did turn out to be what she wanted, so the patron took that book and another one we found, and she seemed happy.
*I have two theories on why I was able to flip right to this page:
- Either I have an uncanny ability to find naked women, or (and more likely),
- This is the most popular page in the book and the spine has been broken by previous readers (perhaps fourteen year old boys)
Tags: art, awkward, drawing, figure, human, libraries, Library, naked, people, public, Reference Question, woman
January 21st, 2012 Brian Herzog
This question was short and sweet, and in addition to making me laugh, left me a little confused. A patron walks up to the desk and asks:
Can you show me where the painting books are?
I asked her if she meant books on how to paint, books of paintings by famous artists, or books on painting your house, and she said the how-to books. So I took her to the 751's, and she said that was exactly what she was looking for and would browse for awhile.
I went back to the desk, and maybe five minutes later the patron came back up:
Patron: Those were okay, but not what I was looking for. Can you show me there the books are about painting with pencils?
Me: Oh sure, the drawing books are...
Patron: No, not drawing, I mean painting with colored pencils.
I had no idea what painting with colored pencils could possibly be besides drawing, so I just searched our catalog for colored pencils to see what came up. It wasn't much of a surprise that a lot of drawing books came up, so I took the patron to the 741.2's and actually found a book called Painting light with colored pencil. Again, she said that was exactly what she was looking for, and that she'd look around.
I went back to the desk a little puzzled, as I didn't know why there was a stigma on "drawing."
It must be a thing though, because a little while later the patron stopped by the desk again to thank me. When she did, I noticed she was carrying two more books: Masterful color : vibrant colored pencil paintings layer by layer and Drawing workbook : a complete course in ten lessons. But she left happy, so it was a good day.