Watch Out For The Library Warden!

, , , | Working | June 16, 2020

I work in a library in a small suburb of Cleveland that’s roughly 40% white, 40% black, and 20% Latino/Hispanic. While the branch library I work at is small and located in the poorest section of town, our patrons are very, very loyal.

This happens during one of the very rare days when the director of our whole library’s system happens to be visiting my branch, something she does maybe twice a year.

Director: “You’d better put those scissors away. They can be used as a weapon.”

I look around and realize she’s talking about the scissors in a pencil cup behind the desk, far out of the reach of any patron.

Me: “Okay.”

I humor her and stick the scissors in the desk drawer.

Director: “In fact, all of this needs to go away.”

She gestures to the pencils, tape dispenser, pencil sharpener, and other office supplies sitting on the desk.

Director: “If this was a prison library, none of this could be out.”

I start reaching for the nearest objects just to humor her and respond with a smile, very congenially.

Me: “It’s a good thing this isn’t a prison library!”

Director: “It might as well be!”

She replied in a deadly serious tone with some acid. I was so surprised that I fell silent and went about completing the task.

And this is the same director who is currently pushing for a one-million-dollar levy on those low-income, struggling-to-get-by families.

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