To Saturday librarian, or not to Saturday Librarian? That is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous patrons,
Or to call in sick and start a sea of troubles,
And, by not showing, end them. To lie, to sleep
In late, and by a sleep, to say we snore
The day away, and ignore the thousand natural shocks
That patrons engender? 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To lie, to sleep,
To sleep, perchance to dream. Aye, there's the rub,
For in the lie of sleep, what trouble may come,
When we have lost that gig which gives us dough,
Must give us pause. There's no respect
From going or not, verily we're screwed.
It's about time I got to answer some questions here. The question is, "Do I have a Saturday librarian complex?" Which makes me wonder if this...patron...has any idea as to the kind of education one must receive to become a librarian? Or if they have the vaguest clue about how much weekend fun someone must give up to work on a Saturday? I have an MLIS from an ALA accredited school. I have been awarding summer reading prizes for over thirteen straight weeks, and I am never ever sick at sea. So I ask you: when someone walks into this library and they look around in confusion and they mumble distractedly under their breath with questions ranging from 'where's the bathroom?' to 'will my mother suffer acute neural trauma from postoperative shock?', who do you think they're mumbling to? Now you go ahead and use your Google, patron, and you look at your smart phone, and with any luck you might actually get a signal in the library. But if you're looking for the librarian, they were sitting at the reference desk on a Saturday, and they don't like being second guessed. You want to know if I have a Saturday librarian complex? Let me tell you something - I am a Saturday librarian, and this Saturday ain't over.
Saturday Librarian: I'll answer the question. You want answers?
Patron: I think I'm entitled to them.
Saturday Librarian: You want answers?!
Patron: I want the truth!
Saturday Librarian: We live in a world that has libraries and those libraries have to be staffed by people on Saturdays. Who's gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You ask your questions when you come in on a Saturday. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know - that working on Saturdays is tragic, and my existence here today, while taken for granted by you, truly sucks. You ask the questions because deep down when you're runnin' errands on a Saturday and you pop into the library, you want me on that reference desk. You need me on that reference desk! Librarians use words like "intellectual freedom," "privacy," "confidentiality." We use these words as the backbone of a life spent providing something. You use them as a punch line. I unfortunately have the time and the inclination to explain myself to a patron who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very intellectual freedom I provide on a Saturday and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up your smart phone and use Google. Either way, I care too damn much about what you're entitled to.
Patron: Did you want to sleep in on Saturday?
Saturday Librarian: I opened the library.
Patron: Did you want to sleep in on Saturday?
Saturday Librarian: You're goddamned right I did!
Saturday librarians, I am a Reference Librarian!
Yes, I've heard. Answers questions by the hundreds, and if he were here he'd placate the patrons with fireballs from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arse. I am a Reference Librarian and I see a whole country full of Saturday librarians here in defiance of the laws of nature itself. You have come to answer questions for free, people. And to secure intellectual freedom. And what would patrons be without intellectual freedom?
Aye. Call in sick and you'll sleep in. Sleep in and you'll live comfortably - at least a while. And sleeping in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell your patrons that they may take your Saturdays, but they've got intellectual freedom!
In Xanadu did library
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Books, the sacred river, ran
Through stack too measureless to man
Down through a library.
So twice five miles of waiting books
With walls and towers items untook'd;
And there were patrons bright with noxious smells,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing snook;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Now made civilized with print and paste and bindery.
A patron with a small boxer
with vision I sure did see her:
a service animal they claimed
though what performed they couldn't say
And on the carpet fair it sprayed
a stream so large and vile
Could I revive within me
its symphony and smell,
To such a deep distress 'twould win me,
and music much too loud and strong,
and patron who smells of such bong.
That library! Those rows of books!
And all librarians should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
Their flashing eyes, and deep despair!
Check out books and make with nice
And close your eyes with holy dread
For Saturdays do make you dead,
In this library Paradise.