There are a lot of things to complain about in the library world. Count them; job shortages, low wages, budget cuts and the resulting collection gaps, overwork, juggling learning and implementing new technology while bringing coworkers and patrons up to speed on it….
You fill in the blank. You work at a library!
A family came in today, the day before Thanksgiving. The mother is hacking and coughing. She said, “My husband is in the hospital. I need a power of attorney form.”
Oh, dear. That doesn’t sound good. As I was downloading and printing one, she asked, “Will this cost anything? I don’t have any money until I get the paper signed so I can access the bank account.”
“No, ma’m,” I said. “It’s on the house today.” This is not sounding any better as we go along.
“Well, do you think I could use your phone? Our, ah, car got towed while we were in the hospital building.”
Worse and worse. “Sure. What’s the number?” This is why we have the librarian's judgment clause in the phone policy.
As I was dialing for her and handing over the phone, I was thinking about everything people have complained about this morning: driving to work in a snowstorm on slippery roads, having to be with relatives who have questionable sanity, being on a diet during a holiday focused on eating.
Somehow, none of it is registering anymore. We all have jobs. All my family and friends are healthy, safe and solvent. Our sanity is reasonably far from the edge, most of us.
Here’s my wish for the same for you. A prayer for those not so fortunate. And a reminder to truly give thanks.