Friday, August 10, 2012

July Stories: Librarians

Librarians are a species of people.

Now, Librarians are not the only career-species. Nay, there are several.
Including (but not limited to) Fast-Foodies, Doctors, Lawyers, Home-Schoolers (a very misunderstood breed), Teachers, and Cubicle-Men.

Basically what I'm saying is, there are certain types of careers and/or educations that have very specific stereotypes about them. As with any stereotype, they aren't exact, but they're definitely proven to be at least partially true more often than not.
Certain stereotypes can be really offensive, but...still proven to be at least partially true, more often than not.

I went to my first official conference for my job at the library a few weeks ago.

Now, before I say anything, understand that I do enjoy my job. It's chill, my co-workers are great, and I love the university that I work for.

But I don't think I'll receive any arguments in saying that library work, just like many other occupations, can be a tad boring at times.

Pulling into the parking lot of the conference, I had butterflies. I don't know why, but it felt oddly exciting to be participating in something so officially tied to my job. I felt really intimidated and excited about it.
As soon as my husband pulled up to the front to drop me off, we had the perfect confirmation that we were in the right place:


Observation #1 about Librarians: they hate modern readers.

Did I mention this was on Friday the 13th?
Interpret that as you will.

I walked into the building, having no idea where to go. I knew I was looking for a gaggle of librarians, as well as a continental breakfast bar.
I looked around, and I seemed to be in some kind of hotel lobby.
To the left was a front desk, and there was a continental breakfast sitting there, with a few people seated at tables and reading newspapers.
I was feeling extremely conspicuous. I was slightly dressed up, and I knew that there had to be another larger room where the actual conference was taking place. But I had purposefully arrived early, so I could afford to get lost.
In the mean time, I grabbed a bagel and cream cheese, and a cranberry juice can.
Then I loitered aimlessly.

That's when a few librarians walked in the door. They walked straight past me, and out the back door to a column-lined breezeway that led to another building. Eureka!
I jumped up with my uneaten breakfast and followed them at a safe distance.

I coolly walked along, taking my time.
When I reached that far door, I stopped.
My boss was just inside, just past the lobby, filling her plate with breakfast foods.
I jumped back, ducking behind that trash can on the right. I looked down at my pitiful Inn-plate of food, thoroughly embarrassed. I couldn't walk in with this!

So I did something I'm not proud of. Not proud of at all.

I stuffed the juice can in my purse, and chucked the bagel and cream cheese in the trash can. I cringed as it plummeted to the bottom, as if in slow motion.
I wasted an everything bagel.
Worse, I wasted cream cheese.
Which is something a red-blooded, God-loving, booty-shaking American just does not do. 

I was off to a great start.


Observation #2 about Librarians: they sure know how to party.

As the conference began, I noticed the level of excitement around me. Just like pain or sadness, excitement is relative to each individual/person and their unique experiences.
So when the speakers began to describe certain program updates as "really exciting" and calling each other their "fearless leaders", I believed them. God help me, I believed them.

I sat at a table with Peggy, Beverly, Carol, Patsy and Lew.
Observation #3 about Librarians: they all have names that would sound good with the surname "Goodfellow" or "Happyfeet". 

When Teddy "Goodfellow" got up there and stated, "I still get excited when I see links in the 'Interlibrary Loan Request' docket," I smiled a loving smile. Oh, Teddy.

I think I drank 8 cups of coffee while I was there.
I kept sneaking out, refilling my porcelain cup to keep me happy and alive. Once lunchtime came, I wandered the hallways a bit, finding some portraits around the college from a long time ago:

The college is called Sweet Briar, and it's a liberal arts and sciences college for women.
It was founded in 1901.
I became completely mesmerized by these portraits.
One of my favorite movies is Mona Lisa Smile, and I felt like I was looking right at those types of women.

The rest of the day went fairly quickly.

Observation #4 about Librarians: they're meticulous about time-keeping. 

We were done by 3pm, so I was able to jump out of there and get in the car with Dusty and my dad to run by Chick-fil-A so they could tape circle cut-outs on themselves and get a free sandwich for being "cows".


I felt pretty victorious at having survived a full day of librarian conference activity. I don't necessarily feel like one yet (I have a Kindle, although I'd never say that at work) but I made it through, and I understood everything being talked about.

On the way home though, I started feeling really drowsy and sick.
Turns out, those 8 cups of coffee gave me some kind of acid-caffeine-coffee poisoning.
Blast you, my confidant, you were supposed to back me up today. 

If only I had a bagel to ease my stomach pains...

In love,

One of the many things I do in my spare time at work.