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The Public

Today I took a break from reading children’s books and, instead, watched The Public. I will read two books tomorrow. Today I need to address this fabulous and moving movie and MY experiences working in a library.

It took Emilio Esteves 10 years to get this movie made. It is the story of Stuart, a librarian at an urban Cincinnati library, and the homeless patrons who decide to occupy the library during a vicious cold spell that is leaving frozen homeless people all over the city. The film touches on the causes of homelessness, the opioid crisis, mental illness, sleazy politicians, and the importance of libraries and their staff. I don’t want to give away the whole movie, so I will just say that it is really worth watching.

In 2009, I lost my administrative assistant position during the economic downturn. Like thousands, I was laid off. An angel named Angie Patterson, swooped in and saved me. She was the Library Manager and I knew her through my administrative assistant job. She offered me a part-time Library Technician position and kept me employed. I owe her so much.

Everyone thinks that people who work in libraries sit around reading all day. This is FAR from the truth. Let me tell you about my experience.

First, it is a non-stop, physical job. After my first part-time shift at the library, I slept for two days and could barely walk. Between standing for hours on end, bending to pick things up, emptying book drops, and reaching to shelve materials, I didn’t stop the whole time.

Second, every day is different. You never know what each day will bring. From odd objects found in the book drop to backed up plumbing, every day is an adventure. Since I don’t work in a large urban library like Stuart, my experiences haven’t been quite as news worthy. Some of my experiences in the past 10 years:

  • During the recession spent many hours helping patrons, who have never used a computer, to file for unemployment or assistance which had gone totally online.
  • Provided first aid to a patron that overdosed in the library and then later in the same day had a patron drive her car into a wall at the library.
  • Cleaned up poop left strategically in the middle of the floor in the men’s room.
  • Taught patrons how to get eBooks, stream our movie services, learn languages, and listen to audiobooks, on their electronic devices.
  • Entertained patrons with craft and food programs.
  • Helped a library school student with her homework (keeping in mind that I did not go to library school).
  • Found some interesting things in the book drop (partially eaten food, disgusting porn magazines, a tree branch, empty drink cups, beer bottles).
  • Found interesting things when cleaning up the library at closing (box of melted ice pops in the shelf in the children’s room, underwear, marajuana leaves in books, toys, papers with personal information, cell phones, power cords, purses, bags of change, shoes, library cards, drivers licenses left in the copier).
  • Helped newly diagnosed patrons research their diseases.
  • Met some amazing authors and read many wonderful and not so wonderful books.
  • Provided comfort and shelter for patrons after Hurricane Irma left people without electricity.

This is just what I could remember after watching the movie. My point here is that working in a library is not what people think it is.

Watch The Public and next time you visit your local library, share your appreciation with the staff. It will mean the world to them.

Thanks for reading.

My July 4th and July 5th reads

Keeping up with my goal of reading a children’s book a day during the month of July, I had to catch up because I missed yesterday. Here are the two books I read today.

Otto the Book Bear by Kate Cleminson

Otto lives in a book.  He is happiest when children read the book.  When no one is around, he leaves the book and wanders around.  After one of his adventure, he gets left behind.  So he goes looking for a new home. 

**** Cute book.  I love the pictures of Otto.

Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins

A picture book about life as a marshmallow.  How they learn to be squishy in school and why they can’t breathe fire.  Marshmallows sleep but they don’t dream about anything.  They can be or do anything.

**** I love the marshmallow pictures.  They look just like squishy square people.  Cute, short book.

Don’t know what I’ll read next. Do you have any recommendations?

Thanks for reading.

What I read today.

Today, while resting my poor, sore back, I read the cutest book. As someone who has always danced the the beat of my own drum, this book really struck a chord.

Today’s book

Sweety by Andrea Zull tells the story of a cute naked mole rat that feels like she doesn’t fit in. She loves mushrooms and interpretive dance. Her Aunt Ruth, who is just like her, assures her that she will find her people. Sweety wants to know how she will know, secret handshake??

So, does Sweety find her people? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

By the way, naked mole rats are born without fur. That’s why they are called naked.

Taking a break from grown up books

Last week, while attending a book discussion at the library where I work, I realized that I am not enjoying my reading life right now. I have decided that during the month of July, I will be reading children’s books only.

I started reading Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson yesterday. That will take me a couple of days. It is a 192-page juvenile fiction book that was mentioned in a “What Should I Read Next?” podcast. So far, Anne Bogel, the host of the podcast, has not steered me wrong.

Today, at work, I read “Poor Louie” by Tony Fucile. An adorable book about a little dog named Louie who tries to run away because he thinks his people are not paying attention to him.

Tomorrow I will continue reading “Harbor Me” and probably finish it. Hopefully this month of children’s books will cleanse my reading palate so I can enjoy reading again.

Thank YOU for reading.

I had an ear worm today.

What, you say, is an ear worm? It is a song that gets stuck in your head and will not leave. You may overhear a snippet of a song and now the entire song is running through your head over and over again.

Today I had a good one stuck. May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose by Little Jimmy Dickens. Here is that song for you…

https://youtu.be/4q7pPHx-4mQ

Does this ever happen to you? What song do you get stuck in your head? Baby Shark? Blister in the Sun? Country Roads?

What do you do when it happens? Do you share your pain with those around you? I like to sing the song out, hum it, or whistle it. Can’t say I don’t share.