Librarians should wear capes, too
Most people call 911 when they’re in trouble. I went to the library instead. I was in South Jersey, and I was computer-less. An article was due, and I had no computer. Truthfully, I hadn’t written it yet that’s how much trouble I was in.
I walk up to the counter. “Yes, may I help you?” the lady asks. Mustering up my courage, I say “I was wondering if I could use one of your computers?” “Is this your card?” “No, it’s my daughter Marla Caldwell’s card, and we’re here for our grandson Jay’s, wedding. We’re from Nevada, and,” I realize I’m giving out way too much information and clam up. “May I see some ID?” the kindly lady asks, and from then on, library-magic takes over. In minutes Orllyene and I have a clutch of books, and a stack of DVDs. “Here’s your guest pass, and pin number. Choose any computer you like,” I’m told.
For five consecutive day, I shuttle between computer, and the librarians’ counter. Lily, my 3-year-old great grand-daughter, has more computer savvy than I do. When I sense I’m becoming a pest, I promise to not come in the next day if they will help me find a way to save my article to my flash drive, but they assure me I’d be welcome.
Sue (not quite sure of her name), a charming blond lady never fails to greet me with a smile. Her reply is usually, “Well let’s see what we can do,” and she stops what she’s doing, and we amble off to a computer.
It isn’t long before I meet Lisa. You’ve heard of Mother Theresa? Well Lisa is to computer users, what Mother Theresa is to the forlorn and down trodden. I never learn her exact title, but it should be Empress.
Close to crunch time, I turn on as much charm as I can muster, and cautiously approach Lisa. “I have to submit my article by email, and my home email address wont work?” “What’s your password?” she asks. Completely stunned, I reply, “I didn’t know I had one. Lisa sets her jaw; “Well, we’ll just have to get you a temporary email address.”
Two days later, I swirl into the library parking lot, bound up to the desk. It’s Lisa. “What have you done this time?” she asks. By now I realize her manner is one of endearment, and relate my latest emergency. “I just finished the choreography for ‘The Green Door,’ and I want to put it on my flash drive. But I have to download it first. Can you help me get started?” Without the slightest grimace, she prints out a guest pass, a pin number and away we go. After an hour of excruciating transcribing, I trek back to Lisa, and we print a copy of “The Green Door.”
Without the librarians of the Mays Landing Library in South Jersey, I would have been sunk. Thanks ladies. You’re knowledgeable, hospitable and most of all, patient.
Ron Walker can be reached at email@example.com.