Perhaps the one that intrigues me most is "Doris" (I do know her real first name). I have seen Doris for years around town and occasionally at the swimming pool. Doris is very hard to describe, one gets the impression she is doing her best to appear ghost like as she conducts her mysterious errands. Near daily she comes in and pulls a paperback and reads for a while, returns the book and leaves. Doris rarely speaks to anyone, doesn't stay terribly long, and never checks out materials. I have spotted her through the window of the coffee shop, and a co-worker said told me she frequently drinks coffee at a nearby family diner. I do not think she is homeless, as she is fairly well groomed and clean. She also must have some disposable income to appear at the pool - though in fairness I don't know if she is attending this year. No one really knows her story, which in our small town is rare for the eccentrics. My best guess is she is autistic to some degree, and the library is part of her normal routine.
The last couple of days I've had patrons that after a few brief words it has hit me "oh!autism!" Yesterday was guy roughly 30 years old who was asking about a book. Not unusual, except for the amount of enthusiasm he had for a novel that was primarily written for 14 year old girls. When I checked for the book and discovered that our library did not have it, but we could bring it in, I garnered the same reaction as if I'd pooped on the desk. I was then quizzed about the availability of bookstores in town (none) and how fast could I get the loaner copy and could his dad reserve it? The guy then goes out and retrieves his father who brings in his card to place the hold. Dad didn't look too thrilled about the whole operation.
We of course have a wide variety of patrons with a wide range quirks. A nearly blind lady we have a specific computer with special contrast on. A mildly developmentally delayed mother with a severely delayed daughter who loves Japanese anime. A local history junkie who is forever combing through microfilm and the the regulars who come in and check their e-mail and Facebook.
While living in a small town has its disadvantages (a serious lack of dining options being one) it has a sense of community I don't think is shared in cities. A place where Doris is free to haunt around and people look out for her, and the library keeps a computer for one specific patron's use.
Where everybody knows your name.