This morning's journey took me through a different route to that which I'm normally accustomed. I attended a Library software users meeting in the southern suburb of Kogarah. The meeting commenced at 10am and I arrived in the door at 10:10 with the casually-dressed and not too time-stressed delegates all chinned-up and chatting amiably with each other about their libraries. I'd parked my car in the next suburb, only because that was the nearest parking spot I could find with no parking restriction signposts.
I walked briskly to my destination, walking around in circles hoping to locate the venue, that it'll simply land in front of my feet. I'm not very good with maps, I usually just take a quick glance at them and hope for the best. I walk into a large bank to ask for directions. Finally as I raced into my meeting at 10:10 I darted immediately to the refreshment table where I replenished myself with cool water, following that with about about 3 or 4 cups of an average blend of filtered plunger coffee that was plentifully supplied. The allure of available coffee at a function or event is the one beverage - or form of calorie (and caffiene) intake - I find impossible to resist.
I'm never totally at ease at these events, partly because I feel somewhat removed from librarians and their seeming dedication to their jobs. Don't get me wrong, I'm good and I'm dedicated, but I'm thus so primarily in the moment of service or action. I'm an organic librarian, if that makes sense. It's just that, I don't find it too stimulating to chat to fellow librarians about the ins and outs of their libraries, the library I work at, or the rigmarole and day-to-day activity that transpires in such work. I just do my job, do it well often enough, love my clients (mostly students), and that's about it.
Librarians too, both male and female, I find exude a certain...you could say, saccharin feline-ness, most notably when grouped together. There's like this snug untouchability I can't put my finger on, and yes, I'm very likely to possess saccharin feline-ness and snug untouchability in spades, but I sure come across differently to pretty much everyone else.
When it was my turn to speak I asked the sales rep about software upgrades. He told me of a couple of options, none too convincingly. I ask, somewhat forthrightly and bluntly, "Well what do YOU recommend??". Everyone laughed, and the sales rep looked a little taken aback although smilingly so. It wasn't my intention to be blunt or forthright, it's just that, well, perhaps I'm a little rougher than everyone else in a small way. My bluntness is an in-the-moment-bluntness. It's quite obvious I'm quirky in my manner and obtuse in my intentions. And I suppose I just don't go along with the librarian-style saccharin-feline humour that tends to bounce around like fur balls at these round-table meetings.
As individuals they are, pretty much, all nice people. There is a great deal to be said for that. It was very good to chat to a couple of fellow delegates afterward, while nibbling on sandwiches.
I suppose in my library the small body of staff differ enormously from each other in personality and character, and from librarians in general. You sort of have to be, to work in a theatrical environment. I'm glad I work where I do. My reason for going into libraries has fulfilled its purpose. I like libraries, I enjoy them, and they allow me the opportunity follow my own creative pursuits outside of working hours. It's a lifestyle job, more or less.
If I was to leave the job today I wouldn't look back on any of it (well, maybe a little bit!), and that's the difference between myself and your usual dedicated librarian.
If I was to become a library manager somewhere, well, that may well change. I may well glue my manager's seat into infinity.
I noticed - smelt - how glazing and white the light was at 1pm as I drove back up the Princes Highway, and onto Gardeners Road, and finally into Anzac Parade where I work. I recognised that glazing white light, a signal of recognition, the familiar sense that summer was here.
December, with the hazy-glazy white heat and light refracting off the cars, the bitumen, the trucks and lorries on major arteries in semi-industrial areas. Yeah, that's pre-Christmas, down-under style. I hope there's time for some of the good stuff!
There be time, I'll make time.
In two weeks I'm on leave, there's the time! ;)