I don’t think you actually know what you want.

A patron comes up to the children’s desk.

Lady-“How do I search for books…?”

Me- “Oh well can help you find something! What are you looking for?”

Lady- “Well… I don’t know where it would be…”

Me- “That’s fine! I can find out if you tell me what you want.”

Lady- “…It look like… they might all be mixed together…”

Me- “We’ll lets see. What is it?”

Lady- “…I don’t think… they’d all be in a section here..”

Me- “What. Are you. Looking for.”

Lady “Urban fiction.”

Me- What.  “…this is the children’s department.”

Lady- “I know.”

Me- “Okay… ” I do a quick search on the catalog, remembering that urban fiction is NOT just a euphemism for a literary porn genre. ” Not…really seeing anything. Is there a particular author…?”

She gives me an author’s name.

Me- “Hmm…that’s over in adult fiction.” Her kid must need it for a school project. Dang teachers giving overly specific requirements. “What age/grade will it be for? Maybe that will help.”

“They’re for me.”

Me- Oh…kay. “Well,” I show her the book stacks “-juvenile fiction starts here, teen fiction over there.” I try and fail to think of any teen urban fiction authors.  “We probably don’t have a lot of urban fiction here, at least not enough for a genre labels. But if you can remember another author or title…”

She gives me another author

Me- “That’s… also in adult fiction. Mmkay so over there is the adult fiction section. The reference librarian can probably have a better idea of where to look if you can’t find anything.”


I’m always going to wonder why the dumpy white lady was looking for adult urban fiction in the children’s department. Wondering, but never truly wanting to know the answer.


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