I love the local library.
I love that there are these places you can go and “borrow” books, CDs, Movies (VHS or DVD) and much much more! Even magazines, though I am not certain you are really allowed to take those home. I love walking into the library and seeing dumb kids getting tutored by the elderly; that really warms my heart. I love seeing the bank of computers in the back always in use by every walk of life. I love that the library hosts discussion groups, book clubs, movie afternoons, and computer classes (not that I have ever been to them, but I like knowing I could go to go to a Mystery Monday Meeting, if I felt so inclined). I love that late fees are a mere $.05 per day. Suck on that, Blockbuster!
What I don’t love are my local librarians.
Each time I have had the displeasure to interact with my librarians, who, sure look nice on the outside with their knit sweaters and plaid long skirts, I feel like a chastised child.
For example, last night I hit the local L to return some books and check out some new ones. Normally this takes me a long time, as I am particular about what I read. Or at least the condition of what I read. I don’t like certain kinds of paper or covers. But I digress.
I had requested a copy of Martha Beck’s The Joy Diet be sent to my local L. Because being on a food diet isn’t enough, I must also check my joy. (side note: each time I try to type the word “joy” I mistakenly type “job”… Hmmm, I wonder why?? Maybe it’s because I am in a Starbucks at 8:26 a.m. watching all the worker bees get their fuel before heading to the office. *sigh. I miss being a worker bee too, but I have an interview later today so cross your fingers for me).
Where was I?
Oh right, so I had requested Martha Beck’s The Joy Diet. I love Martha Beck’s writing. If you haven’t read Expecting Adam, please do so immediately. I don’t know why she gave this book this title, The Joy Diet, as I am fairly certain that she isn’t attempting to restrict the joy (job) people bring into their lives, but rather improve it. She should have called it The Joy Lottery or The Joy Binge or something.
Did I mention I have had a lot of coffee?
I went to the service island at the library and waited for the librarian to get off the phone. Once off, she pointed to the main counter, I was supposed to ask them about my held book.
So, at the main counter, I had this conversation with the librarian, let’s call her OLGA (Omnipotent Librarian Greatly Annoyed)
Me: Good evening, I was wondering if you have a book that I had requested- (interupted)
OLGA: Your card?
Me: Oh, yes, here it is.
OLGA: You wanted The Joy Diet?
Me: Yes, that’s the one.
OLGA: (strumming her fingers on the desk looking deeply into the computer). Hm. Well, you requested this a long time ago.
Me: I suppose so, maybe about a week and a half ago.
OLGA: don’t you know that we only hold books for three days?
Me: Oh, no I didn’t know that. No problem.
OLGA: Only three days, that is the rule.
Me: OK, it’s OK, I will go check the stacks-
OLGA: You should have come here before to get the book.
Me: Well, yes, but I was busy, I went to Chi-
OLGA: You can look for the book in the stacks.
ME: Right, thanks.
I have developed some kind of Library Envy. There are libraries ALL OVER Long Island. There must be four or five within five miles of my house. All the other ones look so pretty, big, with large windows and pretty landscaping. I drive by them and imagine a bevy of friendly librarians who look like Mrs. Cunningham helping their patrons with their reading needs and serving cookies and milk to those dumb kids. A girl can dream, right?