Saturday, December 18, 2010

Themes at Work

Some days at the public library have a definite theme to them. There are days when you'd swear Nurse Ratched just dropped off a bus load of people from the cuckoo's nest. There are other days when gratitude is the theme and most every patron appreciates whatever is done for them. Of course there are slow days, computer chaos days, and days when students fill the library because an assignment is due the next day.

Today's theme was "Children Run Amok." Why would two parents bring their infant to the library so they can use the computers? Each adult gets on a computer, the baby lays in the carrier and at some point screams its lungs out. The parents seem not to notice. They have to be told to take their baby into the lobby and comfort it. And they resent this. They've got Facebook to do.

Parents with older children leave them in the children's area. There is no children's librarian on duty on Saturday so the kids are in this area without adult supervision. They turn on computers that are supposed to be left off, pull books off the shelf for the fun of it, jump off the tables, and play chase which brings them out of the children's area and into every part of the rest of the library.

I'm sure it's fun to run around the library but unfortunately it gets on the nerves of adults who are there without children. I try to reunite the children with their parents. But what parents in their right minds want their kids bothering them when there's email to read?

I had a mom ask me what our policy is for children being left alone in the children's area. I thought she was concerned about the kids and wanted me to talk to their parents telling them to take care of their kids. I was mistaken, she was the parent of 3 of the runners. She was hoping our policy allowed her kids to have fun without her having to be responsible for them.

Moments later another lady came and tattled on three kids who were kicking her daughters as they read books in the children's area. That's right, the three darlings in need of a policy discovered new havoc to wreak.

And that was the thread that strung today at the library together.

That aside, I had a great day at the library. After getting a patron's computer to work with our WiFi, we gave each other a victory hug. Another patron brought me a Merry Christmas bottle of Bath & Body Works lotion. A coworker made me muffins. A patron who I hardly know came up and told me she missed me yesterday (I don't work Friday if I work on Saturday) and she hoped I was having a happy holiday season. The two Marys both came in and we had nice conversations. Sarah showed me pictures of her wedding.

And at the end of the day I'm left saying, "There isn't a better job in the world, for me anyway."

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