Top Ten Strangest Questions I’ve Been Asked While Working at a University Library Front Desk

10. Patron: If I was feeling particularly existentialist, what book would you recommend for me?


9. Patron: Hi. I’m looking for a book called Bay Wolves. Can you help me find it?

Me: Sure, let me look it up for you… Hmmm, sorry we don’t have any books by that name. Do you know the author’s name, maybe?

Patron: No, but I think it’s spelled kind of weird, like B-E-O… wolves.

Me: …Do you mean Beowulf?

beowulf cat

8. Patron: Can you help me find the Law Library?

Me: [pulls out a map] The Law Library is right here. You just walk down this street, turn this corner, and you’ll be there.

Patron: Thanks, hopefully they’ll have a book about Newton’s Laws.

Me: Uh, maybe you’re looking for the Physics Library instead…?


7. Patron: Do you have a travel section?

Me: Yeah, we have a Study Abroad section. It’s right over there.

Patron: Cool. Does that section have Gulliver’s Travels?


6. Patron: Who is the author of Dante’s Inferno?


5. Patron: Hi, I’m looking for a book—The Lord of the Rings.

Me: Would you like all three, or are you looking for one of them in particular?

Patron: What? It’s not a series. I’m pretty sure there’s only one of them.

Me: [confused, but finds him the call numbers for all of them]

-an hour later, he returns-

Patron: Sorry, I meant Lord of the Flies.

lotr lotf

4. Patron: Can I get the biochemistry book?

Me: Sure, which one?

Patron: Umm, the one with biochemistry questions in it.


3.  Patron: Where is your Shakespeare section?

Me: It’s on the third floor, in the “PR” section.

Patron: Cool, thanks. You guys have English versions of them, right?


We don’t, but it’s easy enough to translate.

2. Patron: I’m looking for that new book out, by Charles Dickens. Do you have it?

zombie dickens

Surprise! Dickens is back from the dead!

And the winner, one of the most commonly asked questions in the library:

1. Are there books here?