Wednesday, November 26, 2014


If no one has been up shelving in fiction for awhile you will sometimes find a lot of books scattered on the shelves. It looks pretty much like someone has been roaming through fiction, pulling an occasional book out of its place and setting it face up on a nearby shelf. Or it could be that they're browsing, pulling out interesting books, briefly looking them over, and then, instead of putting them back in the gapped space they created, they make little scatterings of books, like animal marks of their passing, or droppings, or tributes to the god of disorder.

These unshelved books, when I find them, always feel like acts of hostility to me, like finding little notes on the shelves that say "Fuck you".

But I think that really they are cries for help. Horrible cries for help, left anonymously. Mysterious cries for help that, at the same time they cry out, also insulate the crier from the very possibility of being helped.

That explanation is not supposed to cheer you up, in case you wondered.

I was in the teen room and some heavy traffic was going on there back and forth into our meeting room. Each time the door closed it made a terrible screech, like a miserably lonely bird of prey. Among we small group of staff nearby comments were made: "Someone should do something about this door." Was said. It occurred to me that I am someone! So I went and found some WD-40.

It turned out that this particular door had an amazing number of hinges and moving parts. It was full of a nearly impossible amount of possible joins that could create the horrible squeak. So we started applying WD-40 and listening. When we got to the 35th hinge and doused it, all of the sudden the wrenching squeaking cry was gone! Fantastic!

I immediately took the WD-40 to the fiction section and applied it to all the patrons.

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