GRIST FOR THE BLOGGING MILL: Or, “Hold your tongue with both hands”

Narc, our intrepid interlibrary loan clerk, found himself in a discussion with a patron over which date to place on the date due card. The patron said it should be the date that the book is due. Narc said it should be today’s date. This I couldn’t believe.

I asked him:

“How many years have you worked for the library? Ten? Twelve?”

“Doesn’t matter.”

“Narc, what is this card called?” The card is clearly marked DATE DUE.

“The sign-out card.”

“Close enough. How long can patrons have a book for?”

“Two weeks.”

“Correct. You mark down the date that the book is due, which is two weeks from today.”

“No. You mark down the date the guy took it out.”

“Narc, listen. Your patron is right.  The card isn’t called THE DATE THE GUY TOOK IT OUT card. It’s called a DATE DUE card. You write the date the book is due, so you know when it’s supposed to come back. Why do you think you need to record the date the book was signed out?”

“You said to.”

“I never told you that!”

“Yes, you did.”



“You’re hallucinating actively. Please take your meds. Lose this cockamamie notion and record the due date on these cards from now on.”


The other clerks are laughing. Mark says: “Yeah, keep laughin’, assholes. You’ll be next in that goddamn blog of his.” They know I write a blog, because I’ve told them.

Names have been changed, to protect the adjudicated. Although why we SHOULD protect them is way beyond me. But I’ll hold my tongue.