Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Paging the Library

My first job was as a Page for the public library. I worked at a small branch in my neighborhood after high school maybe one or two afternoons a week.

My duties consisted of shelving books, keeping general order, and occasionally checking books in and out. I got fired "for spending too much time with the books." Oh. It must have hurt the branch librarian to let me go because she was a good friend of my mother.

Mother was a librarian. For 20-some years she was head of one of the largest branches in the system. When she retired, my father and I picked her up in a black limousine and greeted her with flowers and champagne. Even after her retirement, she continued to work for the library system as a substitute.

I still run into people who worked with her and recall her with fond memories. She was a kind manager but one of her favorite sayings was: "This is not a democracy." That put the kabosh on any dissension. Nothing worse than a rebel librarian.

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