My garden doesn’t look any different than it did a few days ago, and I don’t lead the kind of life that just throws exciting blog fodder my way. Instead, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about some of the stuff we do and deal with at work (I work mostly in the back room of a local library).
- My coworkers and I thumb through every book and magazine that comes in before it goes back on the shelf. We find all sorts of forgotten pieces of your life: birthday party invitations, baby announcements, bookmarks, punch cards to various food and fitness establishments, your homework, your hair (I wish I was kidding), and bobby pins that we believe have nothing to do with your hair and more to do with keeping your page. Seriously, get a bookmark. Our library gives them away. FOR FREE.
- The next time your cat pisses all over a library book, have the decency to let us know or at least have the consideration to bag that sucker before you throw it in the book drop. This, by the way, doesn’t make you anonymous. It makes you a jerk. And your cat’s a jerk, too. Thanks for reminding me to get my hepatitis B shot.
- Part of my job is to pull books for customers on a waiting list and label them for pick up or delivery. To maintain privacy, our reserve stickers only show the first four letters of the customer’s last name. We have made a game out of this, of course. A coworker of mine confided in me that she likes to add “-alicious” to the end of those four letters. It produces some wonderful new names, especially if your last name is something like Titsel or Titson or Titsworth. Let me tell you something, Titsalicious, yours is still my absolute favorite.
- When pulling books from the dozens of bins we deal with everyday, we usually try to find the most ridiculous book title and hand it over to a male coworker to read in his best seriously sexy voice. Why? Well, imagine James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman reading the title of this book with a come hither stare and you’ll understand why it’s so darn hilarious.
- We find notes and letters of all kinds, which probably means this particular bullet point is just an extension of the first one, but they’re usually good enough to make them their own category. I have two favorites so far. One was written in a child’s scrawl, advising everyone with a question about anything to ask an old person. Old people are good at answering questions because they know everything. Or they think they do. The second was simply scribbled on a post-it note warning two girls (of unknown age) to stop causing each other so much conflict or else I’ll have to contact the State of Oklahoma Department of Mental Health.
I really like my job. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say I think I could love my job. I’m surrounded by books. And I’m surrounded (mostly) by people who love books. Besides the free internet access, most people visit a library because they are readers, which is to say they are my people.
Libraries have changed a lot in the last decade (or maybe two decades, I don’t know the stats, really). They have always been a vital part of the community but now libraries have to work harder to maintain their relevance in the community (and their funding). Many offer programs that may have been considered wasteful or frivolous in years past. These days, they’re necessary. Tax filing assistance, cooking with kids, music programs, and meeting spaces made available to everyone from government entities to homeowners’ associations. I get it, I really, really do. And I’m ALL FOR IT. What I don’t get, though, is when did it become acceptable to allow the screaming meemies you call your children to disturb an entire building of people?
That look above, on Teddy’s face, is the look I give to kids who scream, run, push books onto the floor, throw tantrums, and otherwise disturb the general quietude of the library. I was born with that look on my face, and I believe Teddy was, too. It’s probably why we get along so well.