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The Slow Lane in the Library – Ssshh!
I sit in the reading area of our library to write the first Slow Lane of 2014. I wrote a part of a column here previous, on Nov. 18th, 2005, but this will be the first written entirely within library walls. It is January 7th and the seats are very comfortable and it is quiet.
I looked around for a few minutes just now. Writing the Lane is work, like I’m paid (OMG! THEY PAY FOR THIS STUFF!!!) so relaxing in the library and experiencing the thoughts it might bring on, is a part of my job. Yes, I can be quiet.
Roger McGillivray persons the front desk. An old teammate in the Bowen fastpitch league, Sean Delaney, is looking something up. Colleen Treleaven, yup, the same Colleen Treleaven who raised 300 bucks for the food bank 2 years ago, is at a computer doing schoolwork. She’s quiet, doubtless getting her ability to be silent from Mom, by nature a studious type of a person.
Or maybe Janis is a tad noisy.
Oh-oh: here come children. Emerson and William Beach, wee brothers, bound in the front door. They have brought their mother, Elizabeth. For me their arrival is fun – enough quiet! They’re not horribly loud mind you, and Elizabeth does remind them about being quiet in the library, but they’re so full of fun they can’t quite manage it.
Up I get to visit with William, who recently turned 2. He shows me a book, which he comments on while holding upside down. I turn it around and he turns it back; he’s right, upside down is a perfectly fine way to view this book. Emerson points out colorful paper birds flying up on the ceiling. Along comes our friend Hugo, with Mother Michelle at his heels, and we all of us talk at once. This is more like it!
As I’m up I’ve decided to really get crazy in the library and see if I can visit the office, like go right into the office; never been there; most of you likely haven’t, either. I know librarian Tina Neilson to be kind so I am not afraid, but the door does say, rather boldly – STAFF ONLY.
Tina welcomes me inside.
There are desks and a tiny staff kitchen. There’s a table for board meetings, which occur monthly. Tina, here since 1995, tells me this area was once the post-office. The late Rosa Helenius, mother of George, ran it during most of those years, rushing about in the very area I stand, years and years ago.
Tina shows me the drop-box, like the other side where the books go when we drop them off. Next time I drop a book off I’ll enjoy knowing where it falls. Now Tina and Susan Geist offer me chocolate. I have one chocolate cookie and though it may be indecorous, ask for another. To my remembrance, I’ve never had chocolate in a library and I’m pleased.
Back at my seat I speak with Kip Thompson, a guitar player. Or is that his brother Eric? No, Eric plays keyboards and Kip guitar, and this is Kip. Okay, let’s put it this way: Kip and Eric are both musicians and Kip is here now. Kip doesn’t mind being interrupted, he’s just waiting for a friend, Chris Atkinson. You can meet up in libraries, though you can’t be noisy about it.
The kids are leaving! No! It’s quiet again! I’m glad not to work in a library and admire those who do. Yes I can be quiet but I’m not the quiet type, like children aren’t. There, I’ve learnt something on this trip to the library and I did not even crack open a book. I’ve learnt that I am child-like.