The other day I received an email stating that as of the following Friday, our little county library would be closed. Someone had commented that the closing of the library was really sad. Another person commented that anyone needing library services could visit the library of the next county.
“What!” I thought. The closing of a small, rural library might not seem like much of a catastrophe to many people, but chaos was breaking loose in my little household. We are the people who not only have five books being currently read, but at least two overdue, one on hold from somewhere from another library in the state, two checked out and loaned to relatives two counties away, plus 40 cents currently owed in overdue fees. Never mind that I know perfectly well how to use my online library account, which shows me the titles of all my books checked out and how many renewals are allowed on each one. It also shows me the 40 cents I owe. Never mind the email I receive every two weeks that tells me I have books due soon. I want the people at the library to tell me IN PERSON.
I KNOW them. I have been talking to them about books for years, and I even taught one of them English literature before I retired. They know I’ll bring my books back in fairly good condition, and that I won’t move away or run off with the books. They know that I’ll admire the art and read the magazines while my daughter browses, if I don’t need anything myself. They know I think it would be a sacrilege to talk on a cell phone while in a library, but I also don’t mind the noise little kids make when their mama brings them into the library. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that I was bringing my own little girls into the library myself. I DON’T WANT TO GO TO THE LIBRARY IN THE NEXT COUNTY.
Luckily, there was a misunderstanding. The library isn’t closing “As of Friday,” but just closing on Fridays from now on, due to budget cuts. Just one day a week, whew. Still, that’s bad enough.