Saturday, June 21, 2014

Secrets of the desk

You, the patron, see three clerks gathered up at the front service desk. It looks like they might be talking about something important! They keep pointing up at a high place on the atrium walls, but when you look up there you can't see anything out of order. Then one of the clerks gestures towards the floor. "Water damage?" You wonder, "The recounting of a recent accident?". You think maybe it would be better to poke around a bit more instead of going up now for help and so interrupting them. Let them finish their important business, although, you do wonder a little what they're talking about. Something is happening and it's human nature to wonder. What, after all, is going on behind the scenes at your local library?

Well, luckily I was one of those clerks, and fortunately I am here to pull back the veil for you and reveal our secrets!

I see one of my co-workers at the front desk. She is pointing up towards the ceiling, generally our way of indicating where the fiction stacks are, so I go out and join my colleagues, what with how I have a couple minutes before I'm supposed to be somewhere.

"Are the Peregrine Falcons back?" I ask, looking up, because I like an occasional comic routine. Then I theatrically add for benefit of my non pointing colleague "We have a pair of Peregrine Falcons that are nesting up on the wall up there.

My co-worker who was pointing, and who I sometimes suspect is funnier than me, says "The librarians upstairs have been bringing in dead mice for them."

"The problem" I say to the non pointing co-worker who has been cast as our audience "Is that they can't reach the nests and so have to just sort of try and toss the mice across to them. But mostly they miss and we end up with piles of dead mice down on the floor in front of the requests."

And with that, we're done. 

There, they can help you at the front desk now.


  1. It just occurred to me that the branch where I work has a very high ceiling. Not as high as yours, to be sure, but high enough for the peregrine falcon line to work. Must remember that when I return. We did once have a helium balloon up there for a long time.

    1. Yeah, we used to get a lot of lost helium balloons in our library too- or maybe not a lot, but it seemed like it cause they always stuck around for months until they lost enough helium to drift around in midair for a few days. Of course now we don't have any of the high spirits and frivolity of helium balloons because we are a nation in crisis due to various things that happened in the six long years that have passed since your comment.

      Sorry for the delay in my response. Happy July 4th!


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