I worked for three different libraries over a six year period. This is the poem of closure I wrote after it was done for a challenge with my writer group. (The Amazing Cedar)
For further library shenanigans I recommend I Work at a Public Library
New books are crisp and clean. You want to hold them and make friends with them.
Dirty books are sticky and feel contaminated. If they are broken, they are recycled.
I used to hate recycling books. I kept as many as I could, because every story is sacred.
It’s Monday, I’m helping someone find the stories of a murder in 1927. I’m helping a woman find the artist of her family painting. I’m helping an old man find his favorite flamenco dancer. Someone checks out Harry Potter for the first time. Someone left their plain ticket in a biography. That book has been to Germany.
It’s Tuesday, I’m being told to ‘back off’ for asking for a library card. I’m being yelled at for asking for the patterns in a sewing book back. A man is turning his obsessive energy on me because he wants to find his kids, who don’t want to be found. I give my coat to a homeless kid, because it’s going to be 20* and he has nowhere to go. The doors close, and I wonder why warm buildings sit empty when people freeze in the street.