This post is a round up of stories requested from Library Society of the World members on FriendFeed. It is done both to address a call for weird library things and as a submission for the Carnal Carnival (Bora has set the scope very wide for the inaugural edition).
Libraries get all types of visitors. Some do unpleasant things. These are some stories (some quoted exactly, some re-told). Feel free to share more in the comments.
When I worked in a large suburban branch of a public library we had some real characters (some that might qualify for subsequent carnivals, unfortunately). One decided to poop in a paper bag and leave it in the magazine section. On the floor. The poor janitor opened the bag the first couple of times to see if it was something to be thrown away. We patrolled, we watched, but we never caught him. Eventually it stopped. We also had a bit of, um, finger painting in the restrooms.
Two librarians reported stuff tracked throughout the building. Apparently a mess on the floor in the restroom got tracked. (Health hazard?)
Jason tells of a patron who would leave poop sculptures in the bathroom. (Venus de Milo? or more abstract, one has to wonder)
Miriella tells of a woman with a very upset tummy who managed to coat the toilet and the walls and herself. She then reported it to the desk, apologized, and described digestive problems.
Elaine reports “My husband (not a librarian) caught a guy pulling down his pants about to poop in the stacks at our local library and apparently just frog-marched him out of the building” (wow – that’s gutsy, like I wouldn’t get anywhere near someone taking a crap. Well, anyone out of diapers. Luckily dude held fire as marched!)
Rochelle tells us “At the old place, one of our patrons had taken a card catalog rod to help extract what I have been told was an amazingly long coil of shit, which was, I believe, uncoiled along an upper ledge of a men's bathroom. I only heard the story immediately after it happened and have often been sorry that I did not go in for independent verification. Knowing the patron, I have no doubt that the story was true.” ( a card catalog rod is a metal rod that goes in the bottom of the drawer to keep the cards from falling out when you remove the drawer. Probably about 3 feet long, 1/8” in diameter? depending on the poop, maybe a broom or mop would have been more effective?)
Dan’s dad did maintenance at a library. A drunk guy came in, went to the corner, dropped trou, and pooped. Right there.
There are also poop-in-the-sink stories. Come to think of it, I believe that happened at our branch. Hey, that branch is not that far from the other place it was reported – serial sink pooper or just common practice in Maryland?
Ew. Just ew.
Two other stories. First, it's been pointed out that if you're on a college campus and you have to poop, the restrooms in the library might be nicer and cleaner than others.
Second, John tells of a dog, while being ushered out of the library, stopping to poop on the carpet.