My love/hate relationship with the public Library continues. By necessity really; I have to keep going back there to return my books, and what? I’m supposed to leave there empty-handed? Still though, the Library can be an odd place. Let’s take last night for instance.
Last night, while my son and I sat in the not-quite-a-café in the foyer across from the security desk I couldn’t help but notice them getting agitated. A few minutes later the head security guard walks by, wearing heavy duty disposable plastic gloves, carrying a large plastic bag at arms length. He’s making his way towards the exit at a sort of “I’d like to look calm, I hope I look calm” pace. What was in the bag? I never found out. But the junior security guard followed behind and I heard him remark to another colleague, “Well, we’ve never seen that before.”
The kid’s section was completely empty last night, except for one guy. A grown man, maybe fifty. He was sitting at one of the kid’s sized study tables right in the middle of the the section, reading out loud from an over-sized children’s Bible. And I need to emphasize he was reading as loud as he could possibly read. Like he was reading a sermon in a church. Earlier, he walked by and grumbled menacingly and frankly, just plain weirdly, at my son and I.
Lastly there’s me. Sometimes my reading interests strike me as odd. Am I the only person out there checking out The Selected Poems of Herman Melville alongside Seth Godin’s famous marketing book Unleashing the Ideavirus? Does that set off alarms somewhere in the bowels of the Culture League HQ? Alert! Alert! A reader with conflicted reading tastes—good God, he reads marketing books!—is leaving the downtown library! Send out the dogs! Save Melville!
Maybe not. But I’d actually kind of like to go to the Culture League HQ. I bet they have a cool library.