A year of comments

AT THE LIBRARY

I just can’t figure out where my brain went. Like the Grinch, “I puzzled and puzzled till my puzzler was sore,” trying to think of a great topic for this week’s column. Nothing. I looked through past columns for inspiration. Nada. I did some Google searches hoping to find a kernel of an idea to build upon. Zilch. I’ve come up with a big fat ZERO. I must have had too much eggnog and/or too many cookies and all those calories have killed the brain cells where my writing creativity lives. I’ve dithered around all this week trying to think of something, anything, to write about.

Enter, my friend John Brittain, who says, “Molly, the library is good for two things. Great books and a warm place to come to when the power company turns off your electricity to trim the trees on the street.” I laughed with him but later I thought, “When I talk about the importance of libraries, I never once mention the warm place reason. Just goes to show, public libraries are used for all kinds of purposes.”

John’s comment also reminded me of other funny and serious things folks have said to us this year. Hopefully, you will see both the humor and seriousness of the comments.

One of our frequent young visitors came into my office to say hello. I thought he was looking oddly at my shoes but he didn’t say anything. After two more visits, each time examining (I thought) my shoes, he said, “Dr. Molly, are you poor because you have had on the same pair of black pants the last three times I’ve been here?” He was so earnestly worried. I tried very hard not to laugh while explaining I owned at least five pair of black pants, so even though the color is the same, each pair is a little different. He really didn’t seem convinced and I still think he feels that I am poor. I always hope I am NOT wearing black pants when he comes to check out books.

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Miss Susan was on the learning end of technology with a little friend and the conversation went like this:

She said, “I’m taking home this princess DVD.”

Me: Awesome. You will really like it.

Friend: It’s for at Gramma’s. Gramma has a DVD. We have BluWay.

Me: OK, you and Gramma can watch it.

Friend: I can’t take my BluWays to Gramma’s. She has a DVD. That’s why I have to take a library one.

Me: (a little confused so I smile)

Friend: DVDs play in BluWay but BluWays don’t play in DVDs.

Me: How old are you, again?

Friend: Two and a half.

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One of our almost daily special needs customers came in one day and announced he was on a diet. Then he proceeded to ask each staff member if they had any chocolate. When he reached my office I told him I didn’t have any chocolate because I hadn’t been shopping yet this week. “Oh,” he said, “when are you going shopping?” I responded with a vague, sometime over the weekend. “When you go shopping, remember I like Snickers.” Guess what kind of candy I bought at the store that weekend?

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There was a creepy interaction that still haunts me. A man came into the library to return a book about Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer and sex offender, who committed the rape, murder and dismemberment of 17 men and boys from 1978 to 1991. He went on and on about how he understood why Dahmer did these things and could empathize with him. My goodness, it was not a very pleasant experience.

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We do have the most interesting souls who come in and keep us busy and entertained. In these days, right before Christmas, they cheerfully wish us a Merry Christmas.

The board of directors, staff, and Friends of Library are passing the message on to you.

Merry Christmas!

Since I started this column with a quote from the Grinch, it seems fitting to end the same way: “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”

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Molly S. Kinney is the director at the Mifflin County Library. She is currently reading “Hello Stranger” (The Ravenels, #4) by Lisa Kleypas. Oh boy, I didn’t realize this was the fourth book in a series so I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I would have, had I read the first three books first.

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