No, I’m not a Librarian

It was never my plan to work for the public library. Growing up I spent a lot of time there, more than most people I guess. But it was never my goal to be on the other side of the counter. 

That being said, I’ve been there nearly five years. I started out on what was supposed to be a six month contract. At the end of the six months they liked me enough to keep me on. I thought sure, another year and I’ll have found something else. Silly me.

For the better part of those five years I worked as a Page. That means I was one of the people who goes around re-shelving things, picking up discarded material, finding and processing holds, sorting items, basically anything that no one else wanted to do. It sounds like a simple job and the tasks are. It’s also one of the more physically demanding jobs the library offers. There’s a lot of lifting and carrying and while most of the jobs don’t really seem that bad when you’re doing them, it’s the kind of thing that wears down a person. The Pages I know have all ended up with repetitive strain injuries of one kind or another over the years. 

I should point out that this is also the lowest paid position at the library.

(I’m not going to start complaining about the job already, don’t worry. I, like so many of the library staff, do complain like it’s a competitive sport but this is just so you know a little about my background at the library.)

Last year I moved in to a Clerk position. It’s not nearly as cool as the Kevin Smith variety but it has it’s perks. More money, less work. That sort of thing. It also means I’m not out on the floor any more, I’ve got a big desk that separates me from the rabble. I’m now the person who check material in and out. 

Oh yeah, I’m also the one who deals with the late fines. We get a lot of those.

Recently I moved most of my day work over to the University library. Honestly I haven’t been there long enough to really form an opinion. But if history has taught me anything it’s that I’ll have one soon enough. I can say, however, that the public library will always feel more comfortable just because I’ve been there so long. I know the people and I’m friends with most of the staff. It’s the reason I’m doing both instead of leaving completely. I can also say right now, the University may have fewer homeless people hanging out, but they are in no way crazy free. 

My move over to the University meant giving up my days at the public library so now I’m confined to my night job. Our library has a movie theatre. It’s only one screen and we play a lot of foreign films, art films, odd balls, things that don’t play at the regular theaters. I work there a few nights a week. It’s how I’ve hung on to the public library and , really, I like it down there. That and I get to see free movies. It’s enough to keep me around.

So now you know a little about me and what I do, I’m sure you’d also like to know why I’m here writing all this.

Fair enough.

The library is full of stories. Not just in the books. It’s a public place full of every kind of person. It’s also the kind of place that seems to bring out the crazies. These are some of those stories. 

Enjoy. 

-Late Fines.

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Published in: on March 15, 2009 at 3:30 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I like this already. Well written and funny. Yay!

  2. Thanks B!


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