I really have to question the dedication of the librarians at our city’s public library.
The children and I were at the library this week, turning in logs for the summer reading program, and checking out books. While we were at the desk, Moose asked me what was upstairs. I realized the children had never seen the upstairs of the library, because that’s where the adult non-fiction books are kept, and while I’ve been up there, it’s never been at a time when the children were with me, even though I almost always choose non-fiction books for myself.
Before I could answer him, the librarian that was scanning our books interjected: “Oh, you don’t want to go up there. All that’s up there is boring books.”
Seriously? Did the librarian, someone who should be fostering a love of books and reading in children and adults alike, just tell my children that once you’re an adult, books are boring? Or that reading non-fiction is boring? Or even that a whole section of the institution for which she works is boring?
Now, maybe she was trying to save me the trouble of taking the children upstairs to satisfy their curiosity. But really, she should have left that for me to deal with. Or maybe she thought that they’d be an annoyance to the (occasionally) more serious crowd that frequents the non-fiction stacks. I’ve seen the adults up there, however, and most of them are checking e-mail on the library’s computers, or getting out of the heat, or reading a newspaper, not doing serious research. I’m hoping that her observation didn’t reflect her personal opinions regarding those books. Regardless of her motivation, though…telling my children that an entire floor of the library is filled with boring books? Completely irresponsible, and at complete odds with what her job is supposed to be!