In a bid to get more work done, I’m moving my morning/early afternoon writing to the library. It’s not my ideal writing spot, but it works, because unlike my house, I don’t have to clean the library, answer the door, the phone or anything else.
I’ve picked the prettiest library in the area, the one with the fireplace and a limited collection. It brings back memories. My mother spent years working in a library and when I was a kid my brother and I used to take the school bus to the Oakville branch library, where she was employed. We did our homework there, did chores around the library and helped her and the two librarians close up. When it was warm, we could walk home.
Being at the library now is a strange flashback. I had forgotten about the “regulars” who collect at local libraries: Mothers with their story-hour children, retirees, middle school kids who show up to hang out, and people who don’t have anywhere else to go. I remember them all and now I’m seeing them all again. Very little has changed. There are still the people who think of the librarians as their personal servants. There are still those who stand and gossip with the librarians. There are people who need to talk to the librarians because they simply don’t have anyone else to talk to. I know these people. I know all about these regulars – as a child I hid behind the magazine racks and stared at them. I used to help my mother reshelve their books, and when I played too loudly in the library basement after my homework was done, my mother would shush me so that they they could read in peace.
It’s so strange that now I’m one of them.