The library was quiet as the rush of the morning crowd headed to class. The late bell rang and I have a few minutes to listen to the soft sounds of rain falling outside. They forgot to shut my door again, but that isn’t unusual. I wish my door wasn’t propped open the whole day, but what’s the use of shutting it just for the next teacher to prop it open again. I believe they think I have a thick skin or ice in my veins. The fact is a blast of heat warms my feet from under my desk. So let the frigid breeze sweep through the door I’ll just turn my heater up.
Back to the quiet. I close my eyes; take a deep breath then with a twirl of my chair I’m up and running for the next few hours. The quiet doesn’t return until my lunch hour.
Class after class, twenty minutes apart, thirty to 90 books returned 30 to 90 books checked out and a multitude of questions. Mrs. Chambers how many books do I have out, Mrs. Chambers where is Roald Dahl books, Mrs. Chambers, Mrs. Chambers, holy mackerel I’m sometimes reeling back and forth, punching in numbers, looking up books, or directing them to the right shelf. With a rush, they are out the door and the next class enters.
 Aren’t’ libraries supposed to be quiet? I’ve heard that rumor, but for some reason this year’s group of kids are a chatty bunch. By late morning, you see the frustration on the teacher’s face when for the umpteenth time she tells them to be quiet. She glances over at me and shakes her head.
I remember watching old movies where the stern librarian hushes the students, my library has rarely been that quiet, except for the early classes who are still asleep. Too many excited voices reading out loud, finding a new sight word, sharing with their friend, finding a rip for me to mend, telling me they want a different book, oh well I’m glad they are excited about the library.
I do have a threshold though and when that is reached, my megaphone voice sounds a loud “excuse me” which reverberates around the room. You could hear a pin drop and in that small quiet moment, I tell them thank you.
Rare moments of quiet creep in through the day when one class is a little late and the last one left early, but I’m too busy putting books back on the shelves to relish the respite of noise. Sometimes I will turn on some classical piano music on the computer, which tends to do one of two things, makes them talk louder or soothes the noisy beasts.
The loudest day of the week is Friday during their lunch because it’s game day. I guess you could say I’m a glutton for punishment. They swarm into the library and have at it for 30 minutes until the next lunch group comes in for their 30 minutes. I try hard to ignore them and just get books put away, but then again the threshold will be broken and I flash the lights warning them, because this time they are louder than I am.
When I’m finished for the day I walk to my car and silence greets me. No radio, no noise, not one sound until I get home.

Categories: Blog


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *