People-Eating Libraries And The Value of Camaraderie

When I first came to work as a librarian in one of the biggest (or, definitely, most frequented) library branches in the country (not kidding. not in the least.) I was warned by several people, in advance, that the department “eats people”. (I took it as “devours”, but maybe that’s just me.) It’s a shithole. So many clients every day, so many books, so many places to look for a book, so much drama. (That I learned later.) Awful interpersonal relationships among the librarians.
I give it to them, there’s a shitstorm of books every day. The clients have their good days (occasionally). But the people I got to work with… well, the people were exceptional.
I might share some info and/or tips on how to get to work with great people, but, honestly, it was just dumb luck. It was three months of heavy weightlifting (not kidding), dropping kilos, being spit at, being yelled at, being deathglared at and enduring the general stench of your common library users. (Well, not all of them stink – but those that do, do it exceptionally well.) But also it was three months of fun, laughter, random coffee breaks, random Fifty Shades jokes, everyday politics commentary and sharing pure joy when you finally manage to locate that “615.89 book” behind a wall or something. I learned a lot, had lots of fun, got regularly teased for my love of all things orange and got the true feeling of camaraderie – the one born in a harsh environment.
To those I had the pleasure of working with – thank you for everything. I’ll come back to haunt you (especially for the sci-fi).
To those who have no idea what the hell I’m taking about – next time you’re at your public library, smile at the librarian. You have no idea what she had to go through during the day. I can only hope she had as great a crowd to help her along the way as I did.

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