I am not the daydreaming librarian.
She sits a few yards behind me, drooling over the circulation desk. It is almost eight o’clock at night, she’s been stranded here since lunch time.
I have three tests to study for and a ton of reading to catch up on. When I lose the energy to focus I turn around and watch her there, thinking. Always thinking, typing on the computer, or reading. As the hours fly by I notice her typing less.
She must be finished with some paperwork, I think to myself. If she is done she should go home. But she is the only librarian at the desk, she can not abandon her duties just yet.
I am also tired. Watching people come and go, observing different study habits. The athlete in the corner has her music up, she is bobbing her head, vigorously typing on her laptop. A group of girls sit in front of me, chatting away like no one has ears. The librarian says nothing.
I have been here too long.
The librarian gets up, I watch her enter the back room. Finally, a vital sign. She’s been unmoved since I arrived. People do not ask her questions. Students these days do not research through large volume collections or need assistance finding scholarly articles. The “Dewey Decimal System” is a foreign tong.
I begin to wonder if the concept of libraries will die out over time. If technology will ever surpass the need for them. Perhaps I will never have the need to check out a book or speak to a librarian for the rest of my life, but there is something I would miss about them.
I enjoy the silence, this peaceful setting filled with knowledge. There will always be a demand for this kind of environment, a quiet place dedicated to learning. It is an ancient idea, but a timeless one.
Someone touches my shoulder, it is the librarian. “Time to call it a day,” she says.
I look around, everyone is gone. The lights have dimmed and we are the only two left. pushing my chair back, we stand face to face. “I couldn’t agree more,” I smile.