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Drama At The Library!

Today I have two goals with this post. One is to point you to what must surely be an oxymoron: the seedy underbelly of the public library system! I know, I know, it doesn’t compute, does it? But I’ve been writing about my job more and more and I’d like to assure you that the quiet, unassuming, wonderful world of libraries is not without its drama. If David Foster Wallace could write about the underbelly of the grammar community, I can write about the hard-hitting histrionics of a public library.

But yesterday an article appeared in the Salt Lake City Tribune about some of the restructuring that is currently happening where I work.

Here’s the article about the Salt Lake City Public Library Management Controversy. Controversy in a library sounds about as gripping as controversy at a hot dog stand, but this is actually pretty interesting.

salt lake city public library

Isn't she something?

My second goal is to show you a picture of the building where I work, just in case you didn’t actually click on that link.

That’s my building over on the right. If you look closely you can see me running across the glass ceiling trying to kick a pigeon away from my sandwich. Oh wait, that’s in another photo.

The comments in the Tribune article should clear up any doubts you may have about the library’s capacity to generate serious passion among its employees and patrons.

I like me some passion. And one of the nice things about my job is that, whatever else is going on, I can support the cause of Libraries-with-a-capital-L just by coming to work and helping the person in front of me, regardless of whatever other drama is going on.

Have any of you ever worked in a situation where the amount of hysteria being created seemed disproportionate to the actual work being done? Don’t get me wrong, I think we do great stuff here, but nobody dies if we screw up.

I have found this whole process uncomfortable at times, but always fascinating. I’m very curious to see how it all plays out.

Actually, I have three goals. The third is to get you to go watch True Grit. I saw it last week and it was even better than I reckoned it would be, I reckon.


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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Diggy December 31, 2010, 1:04 am

    Hey Josh!

    Happy New Year! Best wishes for 2011 and keep kicking ass!


    • delta waters December 31, 2010, 6:59 am

      well, i just left a job at a hospital where they increased patient load for us nurses without hiring more aides to help with our jobs. then, they added to the drama by mandating the flu shot or else. or else you get fired. i went to the local new channels and i got my 15 minutes of fame. i don’t believe in corporations mandating what i will or will not put in my body. i left.

      going to see true grit sunday. hopefully it will be a good drama.
      happy and prosperous new year to you and yours. keep up the great work. i have always said that given to do it all over again i would have become a librarian.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 31, 2010, 10:00 am

      You too, Diggy. Thank you for everything.

  • Todd January 1, 2011, 9:01 am

    First, happy 2011. Second, my ex-step mother worked at a public library, so I got to see the seedy side of the library system… at least in the small town in which we lived… but still seedy none the less. (WTH does none the less mean, anyway?).

    I worked in fast food while in high school and college. Now THERE is where you’ll find drama. I’d tell more about it, but we had a strict don’t ask, don’t tell policy in place.

  • ami January 1, 2011, 1:22 pm

    Wow Josh. From a looks perspective, you work in the (non-green) Emerald City of libraries. Gorgeous building!

    Controversy makes it sound more like the Emerald City – the Gregoy Maguire/Wicked version, that is.