things i heard at the library: an occasional series: # 38

I was covering the desk while staff was on break. A customer asked where he could find books on sex.

I asked whether this was for a young person or an adult. He said an adult.

I asked if was he looking for anything specific, such as safer sex, sexual health...?

He said he was looking for instructions and explanations. Basic information on what happens during sex.

I took his library card and put several books on hold. Most of the titles are aimed at young adults, but I think they will be appropriate for his needs.

The customer wasn't clear on the holds process, so I explained how he will be notified when the holds come in, where he'll find them, how he can check them out. 

He thanked me and was on his way.

I was impressed that this dude came to the library and was able to ask for help. Of course no one should be embarrassed about wanting books about sex, but many people would be, especially in a small community where anonymity is almost impossible.

I was also extremely glad I happened to be at the desk, rather than any of the frontline staff. I think they would have been all right, but I was able to give the customer privacy and to assess the titles quickly and likely more accurately. 

I don't do a lot of direct customer service anymore, but when I do, I get a great buzz.

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