Saturday, June 26, 2010

An Ode to the Children's Librarians

I love you. If I "swung that way" and wasn't already married, I would propose to you--all of you.

I love that you seem genuinely happy to see my kids and to stop and chat with them. If, in reality, my kids annoy the hell out of you, I love that you're fantastic actresses.

I love that you know where the heck the Lauren Child books have gone. They were there for months, then suddenly, Franklin stares out at us from their place on the selves. Franklin doesn't hold a candle to Clarice Bean or Charlie, but a quick stop at your desk sends my children on their little yellow brick road to Lola-land.

I love that you love that hissing cockroach. I sure as hell don't want anything to do with it, but I'm thrilled that there's someone who's willing to show those nasty things to my kids while I'm ALL the way on the other side of the library.

I love that you believe my daughter when she reports that we dropped that book in the drop slot on Thursday, even though the computers still show it as checked out. I also love that you let her tell you all about how we know we brought it back on Thursday because we were there for the water cycle program, but we were a day early because it was really on Friday. So we came back on Friday and made these really cool water cycle crafts. And TheBoy even got to make one even though he's technically not old enough for the program, but they let him do it anyway. And we know we dropped that missing book in the book slot in the back of the building because we like to do that when we have a lot of books to return because it's just easier, so we use that and park in the side lot and walk a little farther to the side door.
After my daughter's big long explanation, you put a trace on the book so we won't be charged. Yet another reason to love you.

I love that not only do you stand up in front of a room full of over 100 people and sing a song which compels children (to the tune of "Merrily We Roll Along") to follow a number of simple tips including, "If you have to go REAL bad, REAL bad, REAL bad; If you have to go REAL bad, sneak out quietly," but you do so loudly, clearly and with no hint of embarrassment.

When my kids ask for your recommendations on teen graphic novels, I love that you check with the teen librarian (I didn't even know there was such a thing) and then you bring every single option back to me to look over first. I can't tell you how thrilled I was that, even though you don't have any kids, you knew to let me have a look first.

And you, the new young one, you have a cool literary-themed name. I think that's cool as hell.

I love that you do so much outreach in the community, both through the library and personally. I've gotten to know some local children's librarians and I'm floored at some of the things they do on their own time and with their own money to help out children in need.

My children make crafts and get the bright red corn syrup all over the tables and you don't even flinch. When I jump up to wipe it up, you assure me that's not necessary. For that, I could kiss you.

I love that, during story time, you can respectfully get a child to sit down, quiet down, stop breaking the blinds, climb down from the rafters, etc. And I also love that, if necessary, you're not afraid to find whoever came with that child to deal with it. I've always been amazed at the awesome balance children's librarians can strike with that. They're friendly and respectful, but not doormats.

You know my son is probably not going to stand up and do any of the dances, but you just let him be. Thank you for not making a big deal out of it.

I love that you offer neat craft ideas.

I love that you have whole stacks of ideas for audio books that we can take out and listen to during road trips. I also love that you were absolutely right about Stockard Channing reading the Ramona books. Those were loved by all during our last long drive.

I ADORE your summer programs. You can't beat free, local and air conditioned in the summer. Add the fact that they're educational and I know you bust your butts to set them up and run them and I'm just about ready to don a cheerleader outfit, grab pom poms (which my kids probably made at a library craft program) and create a cheer in your honor.

You are wonderful and for that, I thank you and because of that, I love you.

1 comment:

Joy said...

This is lovely. I have a similar love affair with our librarians, and I think I will just print this off, and give it to them to read. :) Thank you!