Some days, I realize how soft I’ve gotten in libraryland.
No, I’m not talking about my body. Rather, I’m talking about my ability to relate to a segment of the library-patron world that just doesn’t come here all that often.
Today, I’m talking about the returning-to-school in-late-middle-age doesn’t-like-to-use-computers can’t-type will-you-do-it-for-me patron. In past library lives, working at medium-to-large public institutions, I regularly helped people in that category, and helped them help themselves. But working here, in the suburbs, at a primarily residential small private liberal arts college library with an overwhelming majority of traditionally-aged students, I’m just not used to those patrons anymore. Today was my lucky day.
The question? The patron, bless said patron’s soul, was looking for a smallish book of a particular color that s/he found at a different library (up the road where s/he’s taking classes) a while ago but when s/he went back to check it out, it was gone. And it might have been in one of three or five different Dewey classifications that s/he had scratched onto a piece of paper (we use LC). And it was maybe on a particular topic (but s/he didn’t have a title). Possibly. Maybe.
I’m soft. And weak. If I had to walk into a public library to make my living tomorrow, I’d be eaten alive. My library-flesh smells new all over again. Run!