Now, maybe this is just my place of employ but a lot of weird things happen at the libraries where I have worked. So this weekend when I walked to the library and saw a hamster Habitrail sitting outside the front doors, I didn’t think too much of it. Parts of the tubular system seemed to be stuffed with paper towels but once again it didn’t register high on my radar. I chalked it up to another weekend at work with the usual odd trappings.
On my way in I asked my coworkers if they were aware of the hamsters sitting out front because OF COURSE the abandoned Habitrail would have three hamsters inside. Why wouldn’t it?
My coworkers said they did know. A patron had tried to bring the hamsters into the library with him but upon hearing that was a no go he decided to leave them outside. I guess in the equivalent of leaving a dog tied to a lamppost. Who really knows?
Anyway, I didn’t think much of it and got on with my day. Things proceeded normally for about fifteen minutes before two patrons ran–literally ran–out of the library shouting to check on the hamsters. I might add one of the men was accompanied by his mother who ran after them shouting at her son to come back and stop being loud and running around.
Security arrived soon after. Instead of inquiring about the hamsters, we later learned he took them to the basement without consulting anyone–not even the manager–so that he might inquire as to who owned the hamsters later. (Or steal them. Whichever.) This, perhaps understandably, upset the owner of the hamster who once again ran out and proceeded to scream bloody murder about his hamsters.
Things got fuzzy at this point. A cop car showed up. The man was reunited with the hamsters. But at some point he also hijacked another patrons computer session. When the patron asked him to give her back her computer appointment the man started to slap at her. The woman ran behind the counter. The cops were called again. Everyone left. Another patron said the hamster/assaulter was down the street. He wasn’t. The patron’s report was filed. The cops left. The patrons involved/observing left. Quiet was restored.
All of that happened in the course of an hour and a half.
While it was upsetting and bizarre and totally inappropriate library behavior–it didn’t come even close to my top three horrifying work moments.
Anyway, if you work in a library–remember to keep your sense of humor. If you utilize a library–well, let’s just say the staff doesn’t just hang out talking about books all day.