Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So that was weird

I read this article on time.com about 10 frequently challenged books; it's part of Banned Books Week. I realized that while I would like to, I haven't read most of the books. I've read some of 1984, but I didn't really like it, and I remember reading Huckleberry Finn when I was a kid. I'm not interested in the Harry Potter series (*GASP*) or The Anarchist Cookbook.

In any event, one of the only books on the list that was at the Brandon Library was The Satanic Verses. After my 2.5 hour nap today, I headed over to pick it up. While the online catalog status read "checked in," it wasn't on the shelf, so I walked to the circulation desk to ask about it. As I was saying hello to the woman behind the counter, I saw a display shelf behind her all about banned books.

Me: "Hi! I couldn't find Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses on the shelves, but I guess it might be on that banned books shelf behind you. Do you have it?"
Library Lady: "Mm. Can I see your library card?"

I handed over my card, which she scans then starts examining the computer screen like the word "terrorist" just popped up on it. Frowning, she asked for my phone number, which I gave to her.

LL: "That's not right. I can't give you a book till I get the right phone number."
Me: "That's my only phone number."
LL: "Someone from here tried to call you and the number was disconnected."
Me: "My phone is in my pocket right now, working. Maybe they dialed the wrong number?"

She picked up the phone and dialed a number. My pocket started buzzing, so I pulled out the phone and it said "Brandon Library." I showed it to Library Lady and she put the phone down and went back to examining the screen. She asked for my address. I gave it to her. Cue more examining.

LL: "Oh! You have a late fee of two twenty-five. I can't give you a book till you pay that."

I handed her exact change. Cue more examining. She frowned again, then walked over to the display. She asked the lady at the reference desk "Can I check this out?" Reference Lady asked what book, and LL said "Satanic... something... The Satanic Verses." Reference Lady said "oh... yeah?" and went back to her work.

Okay, am I totally paranoid, or do y'all think she got alarmed by the title and didn't want me to have the book? Normally my transactions there consist of the following, in lolcat speak:

"Oh hai, I can has book?"
"Oh hai, I can c ur liberry card?"
"kk, book due back n free weex."

In any event, that was weird. I was gonna hit the library up for the Twilight series next, but I might be labeled.


mayberry said...

I want to start going places with you. You always have such interesting experiences. =) I need some excitment in my life!

Jen said...

It was prolly because of the title. Librarians are so weird. Heh!

I have NO library to check things out, wish I did, it would save me money on having to buy books!

Bird said...

Yep. Sounds like she freaked. Of course, maybe the mention of Satan flustered her to the point of being unable to function.

Watercolor said...

hahahhahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa! You in Mississippi girl! She iz a gud baptist gurl and didn't wanna touch no satan book. She iz callin her preacher tonight on you.

Crawdaddy79 said...

Part of the Patriot Act is to record who checks out what books, and report it if the books are on a certain list.

One librarian in New York was taken to court after refusing to give out the information, and actually ended up winning due to the unconstitutionality of it.

Watercolor said...

What?! egad! Stacey is on the list now!

Nicole Bradshaw said...

Well, as a half-Lebanese chick, imagine what they would have done had *I* asked for that book.

Oh, yeah. Dubya definitely has a file on me somewhere in the Pentagon. I think he probably even monitors my Yahoo! searches.

Brou HahHah said...

Welcome to "their" list.

Next time you go by, ask for "Mein Kampf". Oh, and maybe 'splain to her the book ypu requested has nothing really to do with Satan.


BTW, that was awfully brave. From one anti-censorship, free-minded person to another, way to go.