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I’m just a little irked. I’m sure that I will be over it shortly, but in the meantime I would like to complain a bit.

Last night was the barony business meeting, and we held it at the [name here] Public Library. They’re a nice library – nice building, accessible, and a VERY nice community room that they let us use for free. What’s not to love?

The bathrooms. At least, if you have a toddler. About midway through the meeting, the miasma surrounding my daughter indicated that she was empty and her diaper was full. She’s gotten just old enough that Bob taking her into the men’s room is uncomfortable for everyone but her, so diaper changes are my job unless there is a family restroom available. Fair enough. So off we went to find a changing station.

Checked the big handicapped restroom – they often put them in there, because that’s where there is room to actually fold them down. Nope. Checked around all the corners, didn’t find any other restrooms on that level, and decided to ask someone. Asked the lady at the information desk where I could find a restroom with a changing station, and was told “upstairs in the restroom in the children’s section.” Well duh, that makes sense. So up the stairs we went.

Once upstairs, I checked the restroom *by* the children’s section – no changing station. Okay – I guess it must be *in* the children’s section. Upon going through that door I was immediately greeted with the information that they were closed. Mind you, it wasn’t “excuse me ma’am, this area is closed.” It was a full drill sergeant with glare blast of “We’re CLOSED!!!” It practically blew my hair back. Okaaaayyyy. I don’t know who pissed in YOUR Wheaties this morning, but that was really rude. I just said “the information desk sent me here to find a restroom with a changing station.” The lady in charge of that area was clearly starting to tell me some version of she really didn’t care, but the young woman who was shelving was apparently less cranky and had already started to point me to the bathroom. Angry Librarian grumpily told me that she supposed I could use the bathroom, but all they had was a changing table *in the middle of the hallway!*

Sorry to be gross about it, but this was not a diaper to be dealt with in a carpeted hallway out next to the books. If it was, I wouldn’t have been looking for a changing station so assiduously. This was a diaper that needed her laid flat and scrubbed. Not to mention – she’s two. She’s longer than the dinky infant sized table they have out in the hall. So I thanked them through my gritted teeth and went looking for alternatives.

In the end, we went back down to the handicapped bathroom, I stripped ALL of her clothes off of her preemptively, and had her hang on to the grab bar next to the toilet while I eased off the diaper while trying to keep its contents contained. That wasn’t easy to do with her standing up and wanting to move around. Then I scrubbed everything that got smeared in the process with baby wipes. Unfortunately I couldn’t be sure I’d gotten her completely clean because I couldn’t SEE with her standing up. I didn’t want to lay her down on the floor, because she’s now longer than the changing pad and either her hair or her bottom would be on the floor of the public restroom and well, ick. Redressed her, and headed back to the meeting. Where she promptly announced to the room at full volume that she was “very messy.” Sigh.

But here’s my issue – the public library doesn’t have a changing area available for toddlers who aren’t toilet trained yet? And the only equipment they DO have is locked up well in advance of the rest of the library? Seriously? I can’t think of a more effective way to convey “please don’t bring your child to our facility.” Because that was MY take away. Being nasty to someone who was sent there by *your* staff was pretty uncalled for also.  I’ll make allowance for someone possibly having a bad day, and perhaps just having had to “kick” three other people out before me, but… really? If the information desk hadn’t just TOLD me to go there, I’d be a lot less irked. At best, you have some serious internal communication issues.

I’m tempted to buy them a changing station and donate it – they’re not even $200. But after that go around, I’m not sure it would be well received. Or installed. I suspect that I would get more internal satisfaction giving that same amount to the Friends of the Library in my own town, even though I don’t ever get there.

Okay – I’ve got it out of my system now. Thank you for listening. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress.

7/20/11: Edited because now that I'm over my first flush of snit fit, I don't want to accidentally bad mouth what is a very nice library in every other fashion.  Contents may have settled in shipping.  :-)



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jul. 20th, 2011 01:30 pm (UTC)
Perhaps. If so, I would want to send them something more professional and a little less ranting. This was just to vent. :-)
Jul. 20th, 2011 03:44 am (UTC)
I have a little pull here...
I'm on a first name basis with the director there. I will strip out identifying details and pass this along to her, if you don't mind.
Jul. 20th, 2011 01:02 pm (UTC)
Re: I have a little pull here...
Love the Nancy Perl icon!
Jul. 20th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
Re: I have a little pull here...
I am SURROUNDED by librarians. It's nice...
Jul. 20th, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
Re: I have a little pull here...
I don't mind. I'm not in a state of high dudgeon, it just really set me back on my heels. For all I know, it was the perfect storm of late in their day, someone was new, someone else had just had three problem customers, and Mercury was in retrograde. It happens. But bathroom facilities are pretty basic, and it was off-putting. Even if I just got bad information - that would be easy to address.

Completely aside from my complaint, they have a FABULOUS display case that they let us dress every so often - so this is a small fly in an otherwise very nice pot of ointment. I just don't know if other parents have run into it.

You might also mention that I think she has a lovely library!
Jul. 20th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
Re: I have a little pull here...
To summarize my summary: one bad experience in a vast sea of good ones. Does that make sense?
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )