I deserved better!
It didn’t need to come to this!
But, I guess we always take it out on those closest to us.
I’d been a children’s librarian at the Woodbury Public Library for 27 years. I applied for the head librarian position 27 years ago. My “foot in the door” gig turned into decades of picking up goldfish crumbs, organizing story hours for frazzled checked-out parents, and restocking whatever formulaic series of the moment did its part to erode our cultural values, intellectual potential and moral scruples.
It was a job.
But Thursday- my day to stay late and lock up- Thursday, triggered something. The only patrons left by eight were a mom and her toddler sitting in adjoining comfy chairs. While Panda Pop made soft chiming noises and ate away at the mom’s brain pan I watched from my desk as the little girl opened a picture book from a pile by her chair. She smiled and opened to a page filled with a vibrant zoo scene. I watched the little innocent push at the animals one at a time. Growing more frustrated with each gesture. No noises came to life. No pop-up windows flew into place with a kinetic video showcasing the animal in full motion with product tie-ins. The book was flat and unresponsive. I started to get up, wanting to show her how to use it but just then I saw the mom reading a text and muttering about having to go.
It was closing time anyway. I just sat at my desk and wept.
I’d always loved reading, but had never been much of a writer, so I left my own version of a letter of resignation.
Anonymous was a winner of the Short Story Contest for Term V.