Adults Among Us

Why do adults just not get it? We have a gorgeous teen room in our library. I understand it’s alluring. But when one enters a room and runs smack dab into an 18″x 24″ sign that says, “This room is reserved for TEENS ages 12-18 ONLY!” you would think patrons would get the hint. Granted, most of the older set will leave after a few minutes of perusing, as they grasp the not-so-subtle fact that we’re trying to keep this very cool area a safe and inviting place for the young adults of Frisco. However, there are still too many stubborn/just plain dense adults who try to make themselves at home in there.

The most in-your-face infringement of the age-limit rule I’ve yet to encounter came a few weekends ago, when I hosted a movie marathon, complete with fresh-popped popcorn, for TEENS 12-18 ONLY! It was advertised this way; it was explained this way; it was made painfully obvious by more than one sign. However, when checking in on the audience, I noticed that “one of these things just doesn’t belong”– a middle-aged woman, bag-o-popcorn in hand, had made herself at home in one of the coveted armchairs amidst a group of slightly weirded out teenagers.

I asked, kindly, patiently, “Ma’am, are you with anyone here?” [Though we librarians try to be consistent in our rule-enforcement, we’re a little more lenient to parents accompanying their teens.] Her answer? “No.” I go on to explain, “This program and room are for 12-18 year-olds only.” She replies, obviously growing annoyed with me, “I just want to finish my popcorn!” Not feeling the need to start a brawl with this woman in front of everyone, I firmly tell her to “please finish your popcorn and move to another area of the library.” About 10 minutes later, I watch as she helps herself to another bag of popcorn and absconds with it out the teen room doors, while shooting me a [sarcastic ?] “thank you.” This, despite the fact that signs all over the room asked to please keep the popcorn in the teen room.

Don’t make me become evil librarian, people! I absolutely despise confrontation, and I’m really bad at it, but unfortunately you sometimes force me to go there.

Now, on the off chance that this woman was suffering from poverty and going hungry, I hereby rescind my frustrated venting. Had I believed this was the case, I probably would have snuck her all the popcorn I could possibly pop. Something tells me this wasn’t the situation [and I truly hope it wasn’t!]


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