Being back in Chicago now, I’ve woven weekly visits to the library into the fabric of my life. A couple of weeks ago I happened to be returning a few DVDs about 10 minutes before closing. It was a Saturday, and the patron ahead of me had extra questions about items she had checked out.
Well the librarian (I think she was actually the hear librarian) had such a nasty attitude, and proceeded to complain about people coming in at the last minute to check items out. Mind you it is 10 minutes before closing.

She continued to talk loudly about how “we” (the library workers) want to go home too. I was actually appalled at her lack of professionalism, and continued to observe her ranting until it was my turn.

I told her that I thought the library closed at the top of the hour. She proceeded to apologize and told me how tired she was and how she was ready to go home. Aside from the fact that I was thinking that it wasn’t even closing time, yet she was complaining about getting out of there, I heard her out.

After reading the following article, I began to put two and two together on what could be happening at my local library branch. I had observed that the library was packed on most days and there was a high population of what appeared to be homeless people there each time I visited.

More from the article:

“Like libraries across the country, Arlington Heights Memorial had strived to keep pace with the changing times, ensuring its relevance in the digital age by becoming something of an indoor town square, and emphasizing that its money-saving services catered to the community’s needs.

These days, however, community need reaches far beyond reference help — and in many libraries, it is turning a normally tranquil place into an emotional and stressful hotbed.

As the national economic crisis has deepened and social services have become casualties of budget cuts, libraries have come to fill a void for more people, particularly job-seekers and those who have fallen on hard times. Libraries across the country are seeing double-digit increases in patronage, often from 10 percent to 30 percent, over previous years.” Source: New York Times

I want to hear from you on this one. Have you seen a similar occurrence at you local library?