Peace and Quiet


Somehow, I ended up with a very loud family. (I completely blame my husband for this!) Whenever my growing kids got a little too loud, I may have threatened to run away to the library. To my introverted, quiet-seeking way of thinking, it has always been the perfect place. No loud noises allowed, lots and lots of reading material, comfy chairs, free internet and plenty of time to enjoy it all. Then, about this time last year, the library closed abruptly. Of course, nearly everything else closed as well, but it was the library that I missed the most. Fortunately for me, I had just checked out an enormous stack of books and had no way to return them. I was set for a while.

When things started opening up again, the library did so in a very modified way. You could finally return your books by dropping them in a bin via a slot in the wall. They would sit there for three days…apparently long enough for any virus to die. Then you could order books online through the huge library catalog, when they were ready and delivered to your local branch, you had a week to make an appointment to come pick them up. At your scheduled time and date, the library items you had requested were waiting for you in a brown paper gift bag. You just had to tell the librarian that was standing on the other side of a very wide table who you were and they would slide them over for you.

For the last few days I had been trying to schedule a time to pick up my latest batch of books. The app that we had to use seemed to be having a few glitches. At first it simply said that none of the times I was trying to schedule were available. This was incredibly frustrating because I tried every single time slot there was! When I tried to schedule a time this morning, it said that my library was no longer scheduling appointments. I may have directed a few choice words towards the buggy software.

On my way home from a running a few errands, I decided to stop in, apologize for not having an appointment and ask for my holds. As I walked up towards the door I was a bit baffled. The usual barricade of carefully placed tables wasn’t there. Instead there were two staff members armed with a thermometer and a box of masks. They invited me inside the library and told me I could now pick up my own books!

I strolled inside gazing all around at the freshly scrubbed and rearranged library. I was almost to the hold area when I stopped to chat with one of my favorite librarians. I told them how happy I was to be inside again and how adorable her new hair-do looked. It all seemed so very normal.

As excited as I am about each little step back towards “normal,” I’m mostly excited about being able to go through as many books as I want before checking them out. Oh, and it’s quite wonderful to know there is now a place to run away to when I need a few moments of peace and quiet…

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16 Responses to Peace and Quiet

  1. Donna says:

    I cant wait to get back to my library too! What a wonderful surprise that was for you

  2. Cheryl Turtlemoon says:

    Oh lovely! It’s strange that I almost feel elated that people are getting back to doing “normal” things. There’s hope yet!

  3. eotc says:

    I know it’s not the same as being able to browse the books yourself but I really like the idea of having them handed to you in a brown paper gift bag – like a present 🙂 But it is nice to have a bit of normality back again. What I want to know most of all is what books did you get? Elle xx

    • Susan says:

      I got a bit of everything! In my stack there’s gardening, bookbinding, some art journaling, pnw legends, a couple vegan cookbooks, and a novel or two…although I usually read those on my Kindle. I’m a bit eclectic at times!

  4. Nicole says:

    I have missed libraries and book stores during all of this. Kindle is just not the same.

  5. Jean says:

    This post sang to me I cannot wait to get back to our library too. But I also loved being able to borrow so many ebooks to read on my kindle app.

  6. Amy says:

    This post made my day! I’m a librarian and oooof. We had to deal with so many angry patrons when we reopened. It was lovely to read such a kind story!

  7. christal says:

    It’s these little slices of normalcy that makes one realize how much of an impact this past year was on everyone. It’s so great for you that you get to go back to your quiet space.

  8. Nancy Wirt says:

    As a librarian, I cannot tell you how much this post warms my coffee-hardened heart!
    The setup at your library is much the same as ours…with pickups when we were closed, and SUPER happy library staff when we were finally allowed to let folks back inside!
    I can assure you that library staff is just as excited to see you back again!
    We ADORE our regular patrons…
    Thank you

  9. Susan says:

    And I ADORE my library and librarians!

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