28 декабря 2015 г.

Library experience

Requested some books through the library catalogue last night. Came to work this morning and guess what? was given the same list of books to find in the library basement. Self-service!

Has spent the whole day cruising around rest homes in a mobile library bus. What an experience! Firstly, the library bus driver turned out to be the most fascinating person I've met in recent years; secondly, those old fellows read a hell of a lot of books; thirdly, the most rest homes we've visited look pretty much like holiday hotels. Don't really mind finishing my days in one of those (reading that growing pile of books you keep promising yourself to read once you have enough time).

Last week in the library a young boy asked for Ulysses. In a public library, there are no such books on display. You have to go down to the basement to find one. I got so excited! After hundreds of cooking and positive psychology books, crime and romance, gardening and programming someone was searching for Ulysses! “Have you read any other books by this author?” “Nope, is he a good one?” “Oh, certainly. Has someone recommended this book to you?” “My friend” This reminded me of how I came to my home library asking for War and Peace aged 13. The boy I fell in love with at that time was reading this book, which was compulsory in Russian high school, and I wanted to read it too. The librarian looked at me the way I looked at the boy and said they did not keep such books in the teenage section. The meaningful silence followed before she added that only because I was a nice girl and avid reader she would go and fetch one for me from the adult section. She brought me the first two volumes saying I may find it hard in the beginning because of the French language but if I kept going I would eventually appreciate it. I remember I read both volumes in a couple of weeks, skipping the war chapters and greatly enjoying the ones about children, family, love and relationships.

Today in the library, I talked to a colleague about a New Zealand poet whom I find very interesting and who just happened to be her mother-in-law's close friend, who is another New Zealand poet whose poems she just grabbed from a shelf and was showing to me (particularly the one dedicated to her husband). The minute she left, a customer, sitting nearby, came up to me to ask if my accent was Russian. He said he was a New Zealand writer (too many for one day?) who admired Russian music and wrote a story about a Russian musician whose name he couldn't recollect. He said he would bring this story next time for me to read.

An 89 year old patron who used to work as a teacher in London told me the name and surname of her Russian student from Irkutsk, lake Baikal, back in those days. Then she started recalling the words she learned from the student: spasibo, do svidanija, glupyj, vokzal. It was a good memory, she said. She was glad it came back to her.

Today in the library one of our staff celebrated her 40th anniversary. A table was set up and a couple of retired librarians turned up to give their best wishes. Much ado about nothing, that's what I thought! It came out though it's not her 40th anniversary but 40th anniversary working at the library! I can't even say what surprised me most. The fact that I'm hopeless at identifying people's age or that someone can stay in one place for so long.

At the library:
- Have you seen Matisse Chapel? (customer)
- No, have you? (me)
- Yes! You have to see it!
- Sure, I'll google it.
- Google it now!
- Okay…
- Isn't it beautiful!!!

Today in the library, a customer kept talking loudly to an imaginary person next to him, despite multiple warnings by staff and security. Eventually, he was punched in his face by another customer sitting nearby who said he thought the person was talking to him and found some of his words offensive. Keep calm and be quiet in the library.

P.S.  Писала для фейсбука на английском, оставлю здесь тоже, хорошо, когда в кучке на память.

P.P.S. Весёлое видео про библиотекарей, на тренинге показывали. Австралия, но вполне похоже на нас.


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