Paging Mr Frey, Paging Mr Frey to the info desk

Overheard in New York is mandatory reading cause of stuff like this:

They Started at the Mystery Section

Girl: Excuse me, do you have any biographies of TuPac?

Library guy: Probably, though they'd be with the other biographies on the second floor.

Dude: But isn't this the fiction section?

Library guy: It is. You might be able to find some books about him in non-fiction.

Girl: "Non-fiction"?

Library guy: Non-fiction means true.

Dude: ...And fiction means false.

Library guy: Sort of.

Girl: So if it's in non-fiction then that means he must still be alive.

Library guy: I don't think you understand.

--Brooklyn Public Library, Grand Army Plaza


Stacia said...

Oh, dearie me.

Did they discuss that crazy first baseman, Bill Who, after they found the book?

archer said...

BORDERS CLERK (ten feet away from customer): The Life of George W. Bush?

CUSTOMER: No, no--thea Lies of George W. Bush.

CLERK: I don't think there's any such title as The Life of George W. Bush.

CUSTOMER. Not thea life. Thea Lies.

CLERK: Umm...lies?



ann said...


Makes me appreciate Wakarusa Public Library.

Stacia said...

Oooh, that eminds e of this stellar conversation, overheard at a Denny's at about 2 am some years back:

Crazy Man #1: You know who I don't trust, is that Hillary Clinton.

CM #2: Who?

CM1: Hillary Clinton.

CM2: Who?

CM1 (yelling): Hillary Clinton! President Clinton's wife!

CM2: Who?


CM2: Oh, Hillary Clinton.

We barely managed to get outside before we lost it.

Julia said...

And these people represent the book-buying market.

Can anyone say, dumb down?

Anonymous said...

And Miss Snark wonders why she gets queries referencing the writer's "fiction novel."

Or maybe she doesn't. :-)

Anonymous said...

OMG worlds have collided - Love overheard in new york, and its sister site overheard in the office

Not as many crazy bums overheard in the office as in new york, but the obtuse managerial comments make up for that.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of you, Miss Snark, when I read a review of the DVD release of the movie "Capote" the other night. The article mentioned the "non-fiction novel 'In Cold Blood'"


What exactly IS a non-fiction novel?

Carter said...

Sad, but oh, so true.

A conversation I recently had with a student:

Student: I want to send an e-mail to my instructor. Do I put their address on this line that says "TO:"?

Me: Ummm. Yes, that's wjere it goes.

S: And I put the subject on this line that says "Subject:"?

M: That's right.

Several minutes later:

S (pointing at screen containing the message "Your message has been sent to a@b.c"): Does this mean it's been sent?

M: *nodding in dumbfounded silence*

The future leaders of our world. Good God.

Anonymous said...

The library I worked at designed a mug of the most difficult and ridiculous questions - it was a riot. But my favorite will always be the adults (and I do mean many, many adults) who came to the reference desk asking for help because they couldn't find the non-fiction book by the author's last name.

Another one that's cute: A girl about 12 asked me to help her find some information about an artist - Michael Angelo. I asked nicely if she meant Michelangelo. She insisted that this was a modern painter with two names and Angelo was his last name. After much searching, we eventually returned to Michelangelo.

Stephanie said...

Oh dear Gods! They made my head hurt. Now that's stupid!

Anonymous said...

One of my best friends is a librarian. Her favorite get-a-clue question is the adult who came up with a request for pictures of unicorns. Barb politely guided her to a few books about fairy tales & mythology. "No, no," the woman objected. "These are only drawings. I want PHOTOGRAPHS of unicorns."

I've tried to figure out a way to work this into a story, but nothing so far. It's too good not to use.

Is there a Newbery for dumb?


Anonymous said...

Poohba, it happens Capote called In Cold Blood a non-fiction novel (here's the Wikipedia ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_Capote). He appeared on Dick Cavat shortly after it came out, and Cavett called it something similar, like novelized non-fiction and how he [Capote] invented this genre, etc. Capote took issue with what Cavett called it, saying it's a non-fiction novel and not novelized non-fiction. So the article is being true to Capote.

Anonymous said...

Whoa...they might be our future? Lord help us if this is what's become of our youth. It is possible had they done the electronic search (online library access) they might actually have had a better understanding of category listings. School's should mandate field trips to a public library for this very reason!

Elektra said...

Trust me---every kid in school has to listen every year to about four lectures on how libraries work, no matter what grade they're in.

Anonymous said...

I always thought learning to use the library was like learning to tie your shoes. Were those two wearing slip-ons?

Elektra said...

Honestly? I haven't got a clue about how the Library of Congress arrangement works. Which os why I thank God for computer searches...