Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Librarians are so not scary!

"You see, I don't believe libraries should be drab places where people sit in silence, and that's been the main reason for our policy of employing wild animals as librarians." ~~Monty Python

We thank Colette Eason, Librarian, Marsalis Elementary School, Dallas, Texas for the above quotation. It's beyond excellent!

Classmate Ellen Booraem, debut middle grade author of THE UNNAMEABLES, has a story about librarians who really know how to woo skittish library patrons.

My partner, Rob, was a childhood victim of one of the Old School of librarians, the ones with real-life “shushing action.” He and his peers called the guy Snagglepuss. Giggling in the stacks was strictly forbidden, and books were sent home with a long list of handling instructions. Heaven help you if brought one back late.

We moved to Brooklin, Maine, which has the world's warmest and loveliest library, with matching librarians. Rob, an avid reader, refused to pass the library’s doors. The then-librarian, Gretchen Volenik, met him frequently at the post office and general store, and did her best to persuade him that he could giggle in the stacks all he wanted. But he persisted in hunting for reading material at yard sales rather than borrowing it from the Evil Place. He wouldn’t even read library books I brought home for him, fearing that he would mistreat them in some way.

Then he became addicted to books on tape, which he played all day long as he painted (he’s an artist). The yard sales soon ran out of fodder. Gretchen saw her chance, and started sending me home with audiobooks she knew would interest him. Sometimes, she would send him donated tapes that hadn’t even been catalogued yet, with no scary due date at all.

Today, Rob’s in the library at least once a week, checking out audiobooks and faithfully returning them on time. A month or so ago, the current librarian, Stephanie Atwater, entrusted him with a box full of uncatalogued tapes and CDs, carrying on the tradition. Take that, Snagglepuss.

The lovely Stephanie Atwater, Librarian, Friend Memorial Public Library in Brooklin, Maine.

And now for some great quotations sent to us from librarians across the country.

From DaShannon Lovin, Library Media Specialist, Blanchester High School, Blanchester, Ohio:

"I really didn't realize the librarians were, you know, such a dangerous group. They are subversive. You think they're just there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They're like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn't mess with them. "~~Michael Moore

And from Angela Sanders, Librarian, Augusta Elementary School, Augusta, Arkansas:

"My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter." ~~Thomas Helm

"Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book." ~ ~Author Unknown

"You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." ~~Paul Sweeney


Emily said...

I love this story. It just shows how people can (and will!) change your life! Gotta love those librarians!

Barrie said...

Giggling from the Monty Python quotation...Thanks Colette!