I just met a librarian from New Jersey who wanted to find out about our library while she’s visiting the area. She wanted to know if we had very specific types of historic documentation or a file of newspaper clippings that covers the past hundred years. To clarify the situation for you, our library is just over three years old. My answer to each of her questions: “No.” (I was polite, don’t worry.)
Call me a young whippersnapper, but I just don’t care about that stuff very much. It’s like keeping all of your grocery lists for posterity. It might be interesting for people to read in two hundred or so years (“What in the world is this Cherry Coke Zero that keeps appearing on her lists?”), but it’s not exactly thrilling now. A list of every lawyer in the area in 2005? Ugh. Please don’t ask me to compile that information. A list of every lawyer in the area in 1905? Potentially helpful. The trick there is that somebody had to keep the list going when it wasn’t that exciting.
Ooh, and there was a shocking moment at work yesterday. I was trying to narrow down what someone was looking for, and I asked if she wanted fiction or non-fiction on a certain topic. She looked at me with a quizzical expression on her face and said, “What’s non-fiction?” Oh, man. It’s like being asked what a comma is or something. Or is that terminology that doesn’t get used often outside of a library? Somehow, I think it’s a fairly common word.
Last librarian anecdote, I promise. We had a programming meeting last week, and one of the main topics turned into the mime act we had coming in for the Summer Reading Program this morning. We all told tales of random run-ins we’ve had with mimes over the years and ideas about what in the world a mime could do to entertain kids for 45 minutes. The fact that we were legitimately talking about a mime during a meeting (and were still somewhat on topic) made me smile. We also talked about the odds that a magician’s rabbit would snap and start attacking children if they petted it for too long. You should see a rabbit after 100 kids stood in line to pet it. I’m convinced that Bunnicula is real.