The photo above is part of a collection of 20 library signs photographed around the country, all bearing messages aimed at patrons and many exhibiting a passive-aggressive slant.

Sorry we’re a little late for National Library Week. We’ll try to do better next year.

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Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.


4 Thoughts on "Passive-Aggressive (or Maybe Just Aggressive) Library Signs Reveal the Vagaries of Patrons"

Most of those signs really weren’t that bad – and yes I’m a librarian. I’ve found that people who think that library signs are strange or aggressive tend to be people who have never seen some of the ridiculous things that happen.

Example: I had students bring in and eat (in full view of the reference desk) an entire chinese food meal – complete with fortune cookies. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a no food policy so we couldn’t do anything.

As a librarian, I don’t really see why eating a full Chinese meal is ridiculous. Can you elaborate?

Eating in Libraries should be prohibited for legitimate reasons –
A) The amount of rubbish left behind and hidden in corners is an enticement to vermin ie rats, cockroaches etc
B) There is a time and a place for everything.
C) A library is neither of these for food festivals of any sort.
D) Food damage to books is an eternal cost ie books have to be constantly replaced.
E) If Libraries charged for membership to cover their costs of lost/stolen/damaged items – there would be riots.
E) Librarians are just not paid enough to have to tolerate crap.

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