Saturday, February 25, 2023



We did manage to go stumbling around our cold city for a bit today. There was plenty of snow piled up, but not as much as was predicted. This is the storm that shut my library down for two days on the basis of its dire prediction. This is not something that has happened through dozens of worse storms in my career there at the library, real or predicted. In fact, in my first twenty years working at the library I'm pretty sure that we shut down precisely never. Never times! That's not very often! Every once in awhile I try to tell my non super old timer co-workers about how easy they have it these days!

They never seem quite as fascinated by this as I think they might be.

I tell them about the relentless work that we could never catch up on, the crush of returned books that rose in piles so high they toppled over, the way library patrons couldn't do a single thing for themselves- renew, check out, place a hold, or even view their account. I tell them about complex phone systems and a barrage of calls, the lack of our blessed automation, and the chronic understaffing and overworking. And then I tell them we were so endlessly busy with library patrons that telling our co-workers a detailed but simple story like I was telling them, at great leisure now, would have been nigh on impossible in those days!

They get a strange, wistful look in their eyes.

What's that all about?

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