Lately patrons have been asking me a lot of questions about the bathroom. Instead of the usual: "Where's the bathroom?" which allows me to point and show them that it is about six paces from where I'm standing, people are walking up to the closed door and becoming befuddled. They ask me things like: "Is someone in there?" - To which I respond: "I don't know why don't you knock?" Really, I'm not here just to watch who goes in and out of the bathroom so that when you walk up I can give you an update on if it's occupied. Contrary to popular belief, I have better things to do.
The bathroom has always been a point of contention for the staff at the library because it is very close to the front desk and we are serenaded by a plethora of sounds on the daily with the occasional wafting scent that may or may not linger for hours. With one such instance today, when someone had some loose stool that I was lucky enough to hear, another patron tried the door, found it to be locked and then asked me: "Do you usually keep it locked?" Now if I tried a door and found it to be locked, I'd probably assume someone was in there and wait, if I was really curious I'd knock and if no one replied I might ask staff to unlock it, but I don't ever jump from locked but someone might be in there to let's just open it anyways because I'd love to see a guy taking a crap with his pants around his ankles and the library's copy of the Wall Street Journal in his hands. Now, while I didn't see someone enter the facility, I could hear them and I wasn't sure why this other patron was being saved from that audio evidence. Instead of freaking out at this guy I merely replied, "I think someone is in there."
Bathrooms aside, this is also a week for Library Confessionals. This is when a patron comes up to a staff member and feels the need to share something with them that the staff member did not care to know, nor should this person be saying out loud. Last night a patron came up to me, after a rambunctious story time and said "I'm a patient man, and I have four kids of my own, but I almost just beat a child." Why would I want to know this? Is he now absolved of library sins because he confessed it to me? Really, keep that to yourself sir.