At the Beverly Library the other day, I was overcome with a powerful urge. It wasn’t hunger so much as it was a need to get away with doing something that the rules clearly requested I not do. So I opened up a granola bar and proceeded to munch on it as I perused the works of fiction in the upper floors.
There was nary a jumper among the titles, but I proceeded to consume a snack in the hopes that a librarian might confront me and that I might defiantly continue to munch.
This is not a compulsion. This is not a symptom of Oppositional Defiant Disorder like what they tried to slap me with in my middle school years. (“I hope he’s oppositional and defiant, because I don’t want him living with me when he’s 40” to quote my mother) This is more out of a need to poke the nose of people who I think are a bit too high and mighty for their positions.
Over the years, I have had a number of negative experiences with librarians from Burlington, Vermont all the way down to Watertown, Massachusetts. It must be very intoxicating, spending all those years earning a degree in library management and knowing that there are very few people who can do your job. But just because you are uniquely qualified to do a job, does not mean you are not replaceable. It’s worse for a librarian because their skill set really only applies to handful of jobs and these are not places that are in a position to offer forty-thousand a year.
So every now and again, to avenge myself of a particular experience I may have had in a particular library, I like to engage in a little act of nose rubbing and provocation in the hopes that I can openly put one of them in their place. If not directly than online. That is not to say that I don’t respect the institution of the library, but that I have a problem with some of the inmates of that very institution.
Unfortunately, the act of defiance quickly lost it’s strength when I noticed a waste basket. It’s not a recycling bin, which you could expect in a library that is trying to project a green image to it’s patrons, but a standard commingle garbage can with the equally standard plastic liner. All manner of garbage can be thrown here and it is almost like they already know that someone will be having a light snack while they study or read in the sitting area.
Well played Beverly Library. Well played.