reference desk stapler

Now for a decidedly non-tech palate cleanser.

For some reason I’ve never thought to keep our stapler out on the Reference Desk for people to use. And I get asked for it probably 7 times per shift. Why has it gone back in the drawer? Most likely because we’ve always done it that way [thanks michael]. That’s really not a very good reason. There are probably 10 other little things that we’ve “always done” that, if changed, would make our lives, and our patrons’ experience better.

In our defense, I have recently heard of some libraries not letting patrons use library staplers. Yikes.

So I’m going to suggest that we don’t wear out the office supply drawer, and we keep the stapler out. I sure hope you’re not thinking: “Aaron’s stapler is going to get STOLEN.”

29 thoughts on “reference desk stapler”

  1. Nope, not thinking that at all, Aaron. I’m thinking I’m gonna stop by Tommy Ford and “acquire” me a nice new stapler. :-)

  2. Our reference desk stapler is attached to a chain so that it doesn’t easily walk away. As I type, a grateful student staples…

  3. milton!

    i’m currently looking at 2 staplers and a tape dispenser on the ref desk. and there’s another stapler, paper cutter, hole puncher, pencil sharpener by the copiers. i started putting everything out probably 2 years ago and never had anything stolen yet. knock wood.

    and i am also amazed when folks ask if its ok to use em!

  4. At my last job, the stapler was kept not at the reference desk (which was where the printers were), but tied to a desk across from circulation. The idea was that circ was open later than ref, and they’d be better able to keep an eye on it. (It did disappear often, I was told.) I think we did it just to keep our ref statistics up, because “Where’s the stapler?” was our #1 directional question.

  5. Hey Aaron,
    Wish you had asked me. Years ago, somebody walked off wtih the stapler and Jan P. left a memo that we should keep the stapler and the tape in a drawer. Like sheep we have continued the practice. Starting today, I’m putting the tape and stapler out on the desk.

  6. About 15 – 18 years ago the snamm/medium library I directed created a station next to the copiers which had a stapler, scissors, tape, “white out” (remember that) for patron use. Now….the stapler and scissors were chained to the nice looking wood base. Even in the rather wealthy community, we had to worry about that!

  7. We have one or two staplers “liberated” per year. Considering the number of books that get lost or go missing on a monthly basis, the cost of replacing staplers is miniscule in comparison to the feel good customer vibe it provides.

    We also have paper clips, elastics, and tape on our desk. Still, it seems the more you provide the more they want… you would be surprised at the number of requests we get for envelopes and file folders (or maybe you wouldn’t).

  8. Ooo.. we have the Bentley of staplers… it’s integrated into the pencil sharpener. Be jealous, be veeeeery jealous.

    It makes a very nifty “you’re stapled and you know it” kind of sound when a patron inserts the paper into the slot.

  9. I’ll tell you what. From now on, in all of my blogging classes, I’m going to tell people to post about staplers. It’s the sure-fire method to get a conversation started!

    Next up, a riveting post about the appropriate use of PAPER CLIPS!

  10. At our library, we don’t worry about the patrons stealing the reference desk stapler. We worry about the other librarians taking it! But we know by now who does it and where it can usually be found….

  11. “Of course we let our patrons use staplers! We just require they take training in the use of advanced stapler features first.”

    And we call it a collation tool that you have to reserve in advance and show a library card to use. Then we make you use it in the designated collating area, where no more than two people can be at any one time. Removing the collation tool from the collating area will result in an immediate suspension of all collating privileges.

    Users are allowed to collate up to 30 pages or 10 sets before they must surrender the tool to the next patron in line. If no one else is waiting, the patron may continue to use it for an additional 15 pages or 5 sets. Patrons may not exceed 60 pages or 20 sets in any one 24-hour period. Failure to observe these rules will result in the immediate suspension of all collation privileges. Staff will refill staples in collation tool within 24 hours of the first written report of an empty cartridge.

    Collation tool hours are 9:16 a.m. – 8:44 p.m., Tuesday – Thursday. Classes in basic and advanced stapling are offered in January, June, and October.

  12. Jenny… your reply just made my night! You hit the nail on the head.

    I have two scanners in the tech center that I manage and everyone keeps asking me what are the “rules” governing their use. I tell them I don’t have any hard and set rules. If you know how to use a scanner and it isn’t in use then scan away to your hearts content. If you don’t know how to scan, we have a course you can take or we will help you do it if you prefer. If others are waiting, please be polite and share (we learned this in Kindegarten). Haven’t had a single issue with the use of the scanners yet and they are used frequently by our patrons.

    Seems several bloggers are thinking along similar lines these days…
    http://librarygarden.blogspot.com/2006/03/dumping-rules-by-light-er-dark-of-moon.html

  13. We keep our staplers hidden securely at the Info Desk. If customers can “guess” where to ask for the stapler, we are happy to let them staple away. Actually asking is stretching it a bit. I’d be thrilled with a “May I please borrow . . . “. I usually get an indecipherable grunt followed by a hand thrust out towards where the stapler is.

  14. Hello,
    Well I’ve been trying to locate these chains for our desk and they seem to have disappeared from stores! Could you please tell me where you got yours?
    Thanks,
    -Bryan

  15. …sorry my previous comment was directed to Catazon (or anyone else who know where/how to get these “accessory retainers.”

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