Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Library Day

The Boy and I visited one of the Anoka County libraries yesterday afternoon, mostly to kill time between meals.  (And it's a wholesome, educational place blah yadda blah.  That too, of course).   I will say he selected some interesting books to borrow for the next week or two.  He is currently very interested in Ice Cream, Auto Mechanics, and the light bulb, and he has found books on each topic.  I don't know which is more surprising - that someone would be willing to pay someone to write a book about a light bulb, or that someone would be willing to write it at all.  But I guess I'm glad they did, the Boy loves it.

Anyway, to get to my main beef today - what's the deal with the librarians in the children's section?  Did they ever like kids?  Maybe at one point they loved children, but that has long since disappeared, it seems, swallowed up by their greater love of silence and order.  While sitting with the Boy on a miniature chair at a miniature table feeling a bit Jolly White Giant-ish, I couldn't help but overhear the two librarian women as they very obviously and rather boldly discussed the behavioral faults of what they perceived to be a troublesome foursome of 8 year old girls that were giggling.  While reading a book.  And sitting.

Oh, the humanity. 

And here, sitting at their reference desk throne are these two stereotypes - mousy faces, unexercised bodies, graying hair pulled into a way-too-tight ponytail/bun that they probably never remove even for shampooing, large-rimmed glasses, floral blouses, thrift store slacks, actually scoffing - scoffing! - at the girls' nerve to (gasp!) make sound.  While reading. 

I almost said something.  It's not like they were playing hopscotch.  Or tag.  Or arson.  But I enjoy confrontation about as much as snowmen enjoy 4th of July, and so instead, I chose to passive-aggressively talk to the Boy louder.  It was loud enough where the Boy actually told me to talk softer "because it's the library, Dad".  Which of course I've said to him hundreds of times, witlessly indoctrinating him while young because after all, everyone knows it's The #1 Rule of the Library, which they probably teach in Library College on the first day of the intro class, So You Want to Be a Librarian 101. 

I'm sure the intro class has a textbook (which you probably can't check out because I'm sure it's classified as a reference book), with Chapter One titled How to Act Superior to the Cretins that Have the Audacity to Enter Your Dust Filled Kingdom, Even Though They Paid For It All With Their Tax Dollars, and Chapter Two:  The Art of Effective Shushing.  In it will be a picture of a disheveled marm of a woman completely overrun by young, boisterous readers because she, alas,  has not learned the proper "Eye of Condescension" technique.  The caption warns:  "Loudness breeds stupidity" or "Hitler Laughed at Picture Books.  Will you?"

I will no longer heed this particular rule, written or unwritten.   For the children.

Chapter Three, I'm positive, warns of parents like me.  I bet I end up with a mysterious 25 cent fine on my library account just for writing this. 

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