|Picture by ME!|
Although I know better than to judge the members of my community (or any library's community) by my own standards, I can't help thinking about my behavior when I was an undergraduate. I would never have presumed even to ask to borrow a stapler or a paper clip or the like, let alone assume that one would be provided. And yet, now that I'm on the other side of the relationship, my undergraduate population does assume. It is such a matter of course that I've actually seen and heard students at multiple institutions getting testy when the stapler runs out of staples.
In the past, I wondered at the presumption, but now that I'm the boss lady, I'm also flinching at the money involved. This kind of thing isn't sustainable, obviously, and even less so with ever-shrinking budgets. I do have a few ideas of how to address the money vs. student needs issue, for instance I saw someone tweet about office supply vending machines in academic libraries and LOVE that idea. I've already started, in a somewhat desultory manner, to investigate what it would take to have such a set up in my library. I will definitely pursue this idea with more gusto in the future.
However, beyond how I'm going to slowly ween our community off of expecting the library to provide such things, I'm wondering what you all think of this phenomenon: is this normal? Do your patrons get huffy when you won't loan them a pair of scissors? Am I being obtuse by objecting to spend my budget replacing broken stapler after broken stapler? And, finally, when did this become a thing?