More things they don’t teach you in library school


Let me start this off by saying that the library in which I work is a downtown, city-center branch and we have quite a large amount of homeless people who come in and use our library. I assume that this is common in many public libraries. The library welcomes everyone in the community to use it.

Okay, so yesterday my colleague tells me that when one of the regular guys that plants himself at the listening station for half the day gives her the headphones that he borrowed back to her, another patron comes up to her and says, “you better wash those headphones with alcohol when people are done with them or someone is going to get tuberculosis.” TUBERCULOSIS. And I’m handling these things, and more all day.


And that reminded me of the time at a staff meeting not long ago another colleague, who was reporting on a health workshop that she had gone to, had mentioned that staph infection is rampant among the homeless community right now, and that includes the flesh-eating kind. FLESH EATING.

I think there are some latent germ phobias within me coming to the surface…