Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Having Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Here

Fall quarter has begun at the college. I'm back at work, hanging out behind the desk; helping people find things, yes, but mostly helping people do things. Reconnecting with colleagues. Readin' professional stuff again. After this first busy week, must re-orient to the off-desk activities I left hanging at the end of spring quarter.

Back in the day, librarying was a much larger proportion of my life, in fact, practically the whole of it. I thought about the library patrons' needs and the library's needs day and night. My colleagues were also my circle of friends. Back in the day, any of us who spent time at the reference desk at Santa Fe Public Library might very well have found one of Peter Taylor's drawings left behind on the desktop amid the scrap paper. Sketched portraits of the library-user-traffic passing to and fro in front of us. We used one of these drawings in the Poetry Broadside about ten years ago. Here's another:

Peter Taylor, ball-point pen on paper (Click for larger image.)

Much more than I expected, community college librarying is not all that different from public librarying. There are these people, mostly young, who need help and have nowhere else they know of to get it. Fewer crazies, fewer passionate readers like the population who used to come haunt the new books shelves every day; and less continuity of faces, as the students cycle through the community college and move on. But it's the same work, really, and I'm so glad to still be able to be doing it, here where I want to be. Only, I miss my friends.

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