Friday, February 26, 2010

Horror No. 24: Change

This is one of the worst things that can ever happen, anywhere. No one likes change. No one likes when the quiet library gets noisy and they don't like when the noisy jungle gets quiet.

Change is a symptom is discontent. Either the universe is dissatisfied with existence, or God is pissed off; either way, changing times means this game of musical chairs is going to leave someone without a seat at life's table.

Some changes are actually good, once we adjust. But there is never any guarantee that change won't kill us all. Climate change on the planet is not good for humans. And climate change in the library means I need to find a safe place to keep my shawl.

Sometime there are small changes we can appreciate, like fresh flowers on the information desk. Or fresh toner in the copier. Or a spritz of air freshener in the restrooms. These are good changes, but they are few.

So the message to libraries is, don't change. We love you the way you are now. If now were 1949.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Horror No. 11: Self-righteous Assholes

So I see this today, "A citizen of the Fond du Lac School District has added more books to a list she wants banned from the schools."

Not only does someone want some book removed from the school, but now she has a list.

I can only say, "Be Wary of Individuals Carrying Lists." On a small scale, not having a list means that when I go grocery shopping, I will buy whatever the hell I feel like eating at that moment. Which means pizza and beer. And that keeps me happy. But a list means I have to look for things on the list and keep wandering until the cart is filled with all of the items from the list. Where the hell do they keep the pimentos??? Joe McCarthy had a list. Moses had a list. The Terminator had a list.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Horror No. 800: Embezzlement

I've seen a few stories this year (2009-2010) about librarians stealing from their libraries. Either they use misuse charge accounts or are charged with misappropriation of funds (what the hell does that mean, anyway? it doesn't explicitly mean stealing, just misusing money you were trusted to spend properly,... but I guess most people spend it on themselves.)

The reason why this clocks in at No. 800 is that every public servant hopes to one day be placed in a position whereby we might steal vast sums of money. Not that we would, but it's pleasant to fantasize about embezzling millions when they're often just a signature away.

At the library, I fantasize about stealing paper clips. I string them together into long chains so when the day comes when I am at my moral weakest, I can grab the whole mess of them and be out the door. Whenever someone asks to borrow a paper clip, I slowly, resentfully, pull the end of the chain from my drawer and remove one paper clip, knowing that this supply redistribution is pushing my dream, and my retirement, farther and farther away.