Friday, June 21, 2013

If I were king of the library, the 6th decree.

As King I have been revolutionary (everybody shelves), community oriented (the local library)  a defender of literature (the staff library),  a purveyor of the unusual (well, everything, but also The Useful, Strange, and Interesting Things Library), and an inspirer of the workplace (Pet projects). So if my next kingly addition or decree seems a little, um, frosting like, remember that there is plenty of good solid cake underneath (I'm not sure that analogy went the way I wanted it to, but... cake... frosting...hmm, if it can be an exceptional carrot cake, why not?). Whose frosting? Well, me and my co-workers frosting, but not frosting really, it's actually really fresh fish, because as King I am installing a sushi bar in the break room. Yes, a sushi bar.

Irresponsible you say (well, not you, more like them. You are fine. They bring up that sort of thing, and they do it like, all the time!). No no no I say to the "irresponsible" dig. Many nice tech companies have this sort of thing. The Pixar staff Cafe is supposed to be quite good and the Google Cafeteria is open pretty much all the time and is free, just for a start. Both of them are alleged to have fresh and healthful food. The twisted cultural rhetoric is that Government institutions should take inspiration from the private sector, but interestingly the inspiration they are supposed to take is usually a selection of the oxygen starving, autocratic, soulless elements of large and evil corporations. Well what's good for the goose is good for the gander. If we have to look at companies for inspiration why not look at the super nice things, if we can find them. I have found them. And I am putting in a Sushi bar!

But I am not unreasonable nor am I an imprudent spendthrift. We do hire a Sushi Chef, and maybe an apprentice sushi chef. If we have to lose a librarian and a clerk, so be it. I see a lean and engaged and intensely working staff who eats high quality Japanese food. We'll work all that out. The library sets up a good sushi bar/small kitchen area in the break room. It's on the hook for equipment, a start-up fund, and an ongoing stipend for some of the lower end basics. The fish/seaweed/other food costs are met on a pay, at cost, for what you eat basis. I am open to the idea of donations as an addition to cost coverage, and also to chef tipping. Here's some of what I'll aim for.

1. Six day coverage, some prepared food for off hours and the seventh day.
2. Yes, volunteers can eat there, as well as accompanied friends, family, guests and also off-duty staff, but eating there falls under the everybody shelves rule (see the first proclamation) so you will have to do a tithe of shelving.
3. No, it's not only sushi, but it will be healthful, moderately simple, and Japanese, and chef driven.
4. No, no cake. That was an analogy, and, interestingly, the ubiquitous celebration sheet cake so common to break rooms is the very antithesis of this endeavor.

If, like me, some little (or big) part of you thinks this is too absurd a dream for a large suburban library I think it is a reflection of how small our dreams have become in this country. We are having a sushi bar in the library!

So it is decreed, this day, etc. etc., the King.


  1. Although I rarely visit your library, please count me in for a one dollar seed money donation to the sushi bar!

    1. thank you. Is six and a half years too late to collect on this?

  2. I would happily shelve for sushi!

    1. Me too. Instead I do it for money, which seems so terribly mercenary.

  3. Replies
    1. I shall optimistically go with... thanks!

      Did you know that the word "twee" itself is twee? Apparently its origin is a baby talk alteration of sweet.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.