Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't Hate Me if You're a Librarian

Well, since I've been reading and rereading this book, I've become a bit of a freak about books. Who knew it would influence my life so much? But it has. It has been expanding my mind and the minds of my 4 little students.

I'm poring over book lists and reading out loud to my children multiple times a day. We read poetry and picture books and are currently reading Little Pilgrim's Progress
which I now believe should be required reading for everyone. Yes, everyone. Regardless of age, gender, or color of toothbrush. Watch out, this is only the first soapbox I'll be climbing upon today.

It's also made the workload of the local librarians increase by amounts that I almost feel guilty about. I think the librarians think I'm out to work them to death. (Soapbox, number 2)

Here's the story:

Have you ever tried to scour the shelves of a library with a 17 month old who's not quite trained in obedience toddling around? Tried choosing quality books with twin 5 year old boys wrestling, I mean, playing with dinosaurs and puzzles? They're not doing anything wrong, I just like to keep my eye on them, you know?

So anyway, back to the poor librarians. For the occupied mother, hunting and gathering at the library seems to take undivided attention. I could wrangle up our 17 books (Each child checks out as many books as they are old. It's my secret to helping everyone keep track of their own books) myself, but instead I've been putting our books on hold through the internet. That way, all I have to do is walk to the circulation desk, say my name and 17 books are placed upon the counter with a little too much effort. An almost inaudible groan. And an ever-so-slight frown.

You see, ultimately what I'm doing is requesting someone else go hunt down our books and gather them into one location for me. I'm not sure they think this is in their job description.

To my credit, I have asked on two different occasions with baby on my hip and twins around my legs, if it was acceptable to put books on hold in this way for this purpose? And if it was too much trouble for the public servants employed by my tax dollars to collect the books off the shelves for me? Okay, I really didn't say it like that, but I did ask if it was too much trouble? Both times, I was told, "No, it's okay."

But I do feel almost guilty. Almost. Not enough that I'm willing to stop my internet holding, but enough that I wish one of them would say something like, "Ooh, I think it's so wonderful you take the time to read with your kids. Looks like you've got a great selection here." And whereby assure me that this really is no big deal to them. But alas, I think once again the issue lies within me. Those librarians have just never seen such a newly book-freakish changed Mommy of 4 before. At least we always say thank you and clean up the toys before leaving! And it has made me extremely grateful for living in a country where we spend money to offer libraries and all the services they entail to the population at large. God bless America!


Kelly said...

So funny you wrote this because I too have been requesting books by the tons. It's so much easier to sit at the computer with your book list then try to find them yourself. I think that they are happy that I do it. It makes our time in the library much faster and quieter. I always feel like we are so loud!!
Good job reading to your kiddos!!

AKA said...

They wouldn't have the online reservation system if they didn't want you to use it. At least that what I tell myself......we use it regularly.

Ginger said...

That's hilarious that you feel guilty about using their system. I will keep looking back for the book to be out, so that I can request it instead of going in and hunting it down. And 1 book per age of child would mean I'd come home with a minimum of 42 books every visit!! Yikes! I'd never take the kids with me!! lol
What does make me feel guilty, however, is how much I use inter-library loan. I email that ILL lady on a fairly regular basis, poor thing!