My library branch is currently closed for recarpeting and renovation and will remain closed until the day after Christmas.
This is a good thing, as all the nonfiction from the second floor is now on rows and rows of tables in my department on the lower level, fiction is filling up the first floor elevator bay to the children’s department, Horror is in YA, and most of the furniture in the building had been gathered or stacked in great piles to be broken down or assembled, respectively.
I spent my day helping to transfer books from ranges to carts, deliver the carts for unloading, and take the empty carts back to the ranges. I also tagged shelves, which involved tearing pieces from two rolls of identically-numbered sticky tape and slapping matching numbers on the first book on a shelf and the shelf itself.
This is necessary and saves reshelving everything after someone realizes after finishing the Ms that we forgot a cart way back in the Bs.
But since the tape is ancient—so old I couldn’t even find an image of the rolls—and very sticky, I had to scrape and pinch the pieces off the roll, which meant I repeatedly jabbed my thumbnail into the tip of my forefinger, for two hours. It also meant doing a series of very slow toe touches at each section of the ranges, for two hours.
It was difficult to move this morning. I may have cried, just a little, when I passed my stationary bike and remembered that I owe it some time tonight.
They never mentioned this in Library School. I didn’t have to shift books for the final.
It was bad enough to learn that librarians don’t actually sit around and read books all day, if at all, and that math is required on a daily basis—but this is adding injury to insult.
And next week, we’re going to have to put everything back.
But it does have to be done, and who better to do it than people who care about the books and about being able to find them again, once all this is over?
So this morning I put on my favorite tee-shirt,* comfortable jeans, and my old, broken-in Adidas, and packed myself a nice Advil sandwich for lunch.
. . . slowly . . .