Thursday, January 9, 2014

Welcome to my Broken Library

Come on by! We have many wonderful broken things at my library. Broken systems, broken equipment, broken people, broken programs, all kinds of broken things. But you'll want to hurry down because our selection of broken changes constantly and without notice. If you were wanting to use internet computer 107 with the headphones torn out of it, it could, without any advance notice, be fixed. You may now have to proceed to internet computer 73 if you want one with headphones torn out of it. Of course, its changeability and uncertainty can be part of the charm of my broken library. Will you get the broken clerk who will take twenty minutes to take care of your two minute task and throw in, for good measure, a complicated error that will cost you $8.00?  Maybe. There are no guarantees here. You could get stuck with someone entirely competent and helpful. But don't despair. There are so many broken things to find I'm sure you'll have better luck somewhere else in the library. We have broken things all over the place so you're bound to run into something. We have broken things for enjoying here, and we have broken things for taking to go. You never know if any DVD or CD in our library will work on any device you have. There is a very good chance that any case that holds more than one disc will instantly disassemble into 11 pieces at the slightest touch. Our books tend to be more sound, but exciting discoveries like missing pages or detachable innards are findable by even our most casual users. You may even get the full glorious experience and checkout something broken, conscientiously return it to a broken clerk, and end up with a broken charge for it on your record. Then your car may be broken into under our broken parking lot light. Keep your fingers crossed.

 Might I direct your attention to our giant slide projector. No, no, it is a very expensive piece of equipment and is in perfect working order. It's what the slide projector is showing that's broken. It's only for a real connoisseur of broken libraries, for those of us with refined tastes. Currently featured is a rotation of 30 or so black and white photographs from WWII, not of the war overseas, but "A New Look at the "Good War". These pictures are sort of interesting. Actually I vaguely remember that they were very interesting when I first watched them in August. We have shown these 30 pictures, at about 6 feet by 10 feet, on the giant wall of the main area of our library, every moment we have been open since, roughly, late August. My figures say 1,170 hours of showing the same 30 pictures. To put that in perspective find a picture of people dancing at a nightclub during World War II. Got it? Good. Now look at it for 39 hours. You can take breaks. I like how the title for the series of photos says something like "Watch for our history programs this September through November". I'm pretty sure there's something seriously broken in there. You really have to pay attention to this sort of brokenness in a different way than if a ceiling fixture leaks ocher fluid, or there's an incessant buzzing coming from our intercom system, but the rewards can be infinitely greater.

You may be thinking "I love your broken library so much I wish I could be there all the time! I wish I could work there!" But you may be wondering "Are all the broken benefits of the broken library available to its employees?"

They are! It is incredibly broken to work here! One of our most important staff computers has been dead now for ten days and communications with our Computer Services staff suggest we have a whole broken department! The phones we use here were donated by the Republican National Convention. Why would Republicans donate phones to a Socialist institution? Because these phones are all broken! We have four broken bins, two broken loaders, a pair of broken speakers, several broken display fixtures, shelves of broken books, a sort of broken water dispenser, and a vending machine that appears to be broken about half the time. I don't use it, but people get very excited about its brokenness and cover it in affectionate notes. Our organizational structure has always been broken. My current count on broken co-workers stands at two fully broken, and at least seven mostly broken.

So, yes, it is paradise. A broken paradise. Come on down here! Grab your broken bicycle, see if you can get your broken car running, or just hobble in on your broken ankle because you are going to love our broken library. I mean, if you can get in. The handicapped door has not been working so great lately.



  1. Don't forget to get a broken bicycle lock for your broken bicycle! Or try to use the broken Hybrid Car Charger! With the broken help-line phone number! Broken is the new black.


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