I am loving my little local library right now. Finally, they have found a way to alleviate one of my greatest library anxieties: The Judging Librarian.
Now, I know I shouldn’t care what the middle-aged woman behind the desk thinks of my borrowing choices, but I can’t help it. One too many times I’ve endured that look. The one that says, “Really? There is no way this girl is going to read these.” Occasionally they make comments. “Oh, well, don’t you have an…..interesting….variety here.” And by interesting, they mean freakish. It’s happened enough that even though I’ve had plenty of ladies who really didn’t bat an eye, every time I go up to that counter, I have this moment where I freeze, catalog what I’m carrying and prepare myself for what kind of reaction I’ll get.
I’m pretty sure if I came up with 4 romance novels, and a Mediterranean Cook book, I’d be perfectly normal in their eyes (of course, I’d have to overcome my own difficulty to actually check out a romance novel, but that’s another story). But I don’t. I come up with 2 books on physics, a biography of a Supreme Court Justice, a murder mystery, a collection of HP Lovecraft stories, a book on Jacobean embroidery, a book on “green” construction techniques, a Tejano music CD and a DVD documentary on Tibet. Separately, these items are in no way bizarre, but when you check them out all together at once? I’ve had some of these women look at me like I just procured all the ingredients to start making explosives in my bathtub.
But today. Today I was able to grab my books with no fear of the look, no fear of the comments and no need to even see a librarian. Yes, my local library has tapped into the culture of the retail store and given me a self-check.
I’m sure plenty of you have already had this luxury in your libraries, but I haven’t, so allow me a moment to bask in the bliss of getting to zip my books through the barcode scanner at a counter all alone with no one to know, let alone judge, how eclectic my borrowing choices are. Sure, this keeps me from having to face whatever bizarre self esteem issue puts me in mortal terror of not living up to whatever expectations the librarian has set for me, but I’m totally okay with that.
And as a bonus? I no longer have to stand in line as the one librarian at the counter is painstakingly checking out the entire grocery bag of Harlequins.