Confessions of a Daydreaming Librarian

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.

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7 thoughts on “Confessions of a Daydreaming Librarian

  1. jonathanwitler says:

    This is such a good article! I loved how you focused our attention on the librarian and then paralleled her to yourself. Thanks for the good read!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was a long time ago but I spent most of my first two years at the university in that library. But way back then we did have to dig through the stacks to find even the smallest of bits. It was all such a slow waltz. Time was a resource that could not be wasted or the “behinder” you got (grandma was PA German). You can cover and accomplish so much more now in less time with all of the technology available but it still has to pass through the sensory portals into the space between your ears. Pack in as much as you can while you can and build up the savings account for the great things that lie ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

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