I very rarely work pre-opening hours as I do today, and up shelving in Genre the sheer peacefulness goes some way to confirming my suspicions. My suspicions are, one, that pre-opening hours are super nice, morning people have it easy, and we night people should feel free to dump stuff onto the morning people because they have it so good in the library without patrons (yes, that's all just one suspicion!), and, two, the library, any library, is at its absolute best when you are all alone in it.
For the first I am aware that it is an illusion. As a human I find myself at times prey to erratic fits of thinking that what others nearby have is better than what I have. This kind of belief is actually so common I think it should have its own aphorism! It should involve lawns and be color coded for easy reference. If I were a famous, socially networked blogger I bet there'd already be a phrase like that, but no, not for me. Famous, socially networked bloggers have it so much better!
Oh, sorry, I digressed again, didn't I? I am afraid one day we will all wake up and find this whole blog was just one big digression. Oops, I think we better hurry on to the next paragraph.
Anyway, ahem, the fact is that pre-opening and the night closing have a kind of mirror quality to each other, like lawns opposite a fence, or sunrise and sunset. But I do like the quality in both much more than all the middle of the day stuff. It's all more peaceful and self-contained even if it can be busy. There's a kind of attention to it, self-directed instead of responsive, a sense of things being put in order rather than just maintained. Although perhaps in reality all the opening/closing stuff is appealing to me mostly because of its minority status. Most of my day is in the hurley burley, so the quiet touches stand out nicely.
As to the best library being the one you're alone in, well, I think it's simply true (or maybe if not alone, just with one person of great sympathy). They even made a Twilight Zone about it, that guy who just wanted to be left alone to read and then one day wakes up and everyone in the world is vanished. There is no trace of anyone or how they disappeared. But all the things of the world, and all the books are still there. He is very happy until he breaks his glasses. Those Twilight Zones could be pretty sad. Maybe he could stumble through to the large type section. It reminds me of the oldest of library jokes (and old jokes are rarely funny):
This place would be perfect if it weren't for all the patrons.