Once I caught a Seinfeld monologue about librarians. The gag was that we're like a kid who keeps letting you borrow his stuff just so you'll like him. It all sounds a little pathetic.
There's some truth to it. We quite consciously hire people who hate to make patrons unhappy. So we take the extra step, and try to find a way to make people walk out of the library with a smile on their faces.
But I have decided that there's one area where we're just going to have to get tough.
Last night over dinner, a friend noted an irony in the Columbine tragedy. "Everyone responded with a call to prayer. Yet the one place you couldn't pray was school."
Others put their faith in statistics. Nationwide (according to the Denver Post), roughly 250 people have died as a result of school-associated violence since 1992. Until Columbine, the most people to die in a single incident was 5, in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
It started when I was reviewing a batch of evaluations for new employees. A theme began to emerge. "I had no idea working in the library was so complex!" "There's so much to remember!"
At first, I thought I was seeing the benefit of the district's new employee training. There really is more to working at a library than checking books in and out. That's one of the things new staff discover when they get a glimpse behind the desk.
But the more I thought about it, the more I wondered. Is the job really so much denser than it used to be?
On January 3, 1968, Denver Post writer Chuck Green reported "One of the best-verified sightings of an unidentified object." It happened in Castle Rock.
According to one Deputy Sheriff Weimer, about 12 "reliable citizens" claimed to have seen "a large, bubble-shaped object" flying over Castle Rock between 6:10 add 6:25 p.m. on January 2. Morris Fleming, director of the Douglas County Civil Defense Agency, said that at least 30 people saw the object.