These wonderfully-narrated true tales of medical library humor (and anguish) cry out for collection and publication, don't you think?  Any volunteers to gather and compile an anthology of these items for "Chat: I Have Seen It All"?

Anna Ercoli Schnitzer
InfoPoint Librarian
Health Sciences Libraries
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor MI 48109
[log in to unmask]

On 12/3/08 4:06 PM, "Brian Helstien" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

OK, I too need to relate one.  As a student assistant in the then UCLA Biomed Library (Now the Louise Darling Biomedical Library), probably during the Nixon administration (but it could've been Johnson), late at night (we were open till midnight)  I had a doctor in scrubs, mask hanging around his neck, gunk (blood?) on his chest approach the desk and request such & such a TextBook of Surgery, stat.

At that time the library was only 8 or 9 stack levels, but I assumed it was an emergency, so I got another student to cover the desk and ran up the stairs to find & retrieve the book for him (somehow the latest edition wasn't on reserve).  I had it for him in less than five minutes and while I did check it out, I bypassed the usual need for identification and actually filled out the charge card for him.

Never found out the outcome, but when I came into work several days later, my boss handed me a note, "Thank the nice young kid who found what I needed so promptly."

Twilight Zone tag.  About six-seven months later I needed surgery, and as a UCLA student was admitted to the UCLA Medical Center.  Got the same guy as my surgeon.  AND I do know the outcome of that surgery.  :-)

Brian A. Helstien, SISD, MLS,
Director, Special Technologies Initiatives,
IDM, University Libraries                                    x06913
University of Southern California,                   (213) 740-6913
Los Angeles, California, 90089                     [log in to unmask]
           Information is independent of media or format

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Foster, Jan
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 12:44 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: CHAT: I have seen it all

A funnier story: A young couple came in the library, she very pregnant, he carrying a suitcase. They announced excitedly that they were here to have their baby! It turned out they had gotten to the hospital in their car and followed the sign saying "Deliveries" but stopped at the library before they got to the dock. We declined to deliver the baby and referred them to ER instead!

Jan Foster, Librarian
Carondelet Health
St. Joseph Medical Center/St Mary's Medical Center 1000 Carondelet Dr.
Kansas City, MO 64114
816.943.2160   fax 2592
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Carolyn Baker
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2008 2:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: CHAT: I have seen it all

Under the I have seen it all category:

(1) The patient family members who come to the library to purchase a plane ticket home and have been told that they can get great fares on the computer.  They don't have the foggiest notion how to use a computer, where the great fares can be found and in one case did not understand that you needed a credit card to pay for the great plane fare.  (We politely decline to help people purchase tickets online and suggest that they call an airline instead.)

(2) The father who brought his two kids in and sat down at one of our public PCs and tried to access porn sites AND complained because were not available.

(3) The family member who came to the library to complain that there were no signs on the interstate telling people that the hospital was at this exit.  We explained that the big green sign on the interstate said the hospital was at Exit 7.  She said she had not seen the sign and that it was not there.  We gave her the number of the Highway Dept.  (Checked later that week and the signs were where they have always been.)

(4)  And as almost everyone has noted, the increasing number of people visiting family who think they can park their children in the library at the computers because they get so bored in grandma's room.  And the kids complain because they cannot get onto their MySpace, Facebook, etc.

Carolyn Baker, MLS
Head Medical Librarian
Baptist Health Little Rock
501-202-1109 (Phone)
501-202-1318 (FAX)
[log in to unmask]
Find It @ Your Library
IMPORTANT NOTICE - The information (both of the message and any
attachments) contained in this message is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law.  If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient or an agent responsible for delivering it to an intended recipient, or has received this message in error, you are hereby notified that we do not consent to any reading, dissemination, distribution or copying of this message and any such actions are strictly prohibited.  If you have received this message in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy the transmitted information.

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email message and any accompanying data or files is confidential and may contain privileged information intended only for the named recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient(s), you are hereby notified that the dissemination, distribution, and or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you receive this message in error, or are not the named recipient(s), please notify the sender at the email address above, delete this email from your computer, and destroy any copies in any form immediately.  Receipt by anyone other than the named recipient(s) is not a waiver of any attorney-client, work product, or other applicable privilege.