Being a Librarian In Charge
Those of us who are designated as “LIC”s (Librarians in Charge) often joke about not wanting to be the one called in a crisis. When we get the phone call asking if we’re in charge, we usually try to think of someone else in the building who might have more authority than we do. This afternoon, it was my turn to step up to being the “LIC.”
Without going into detail, I needed to make the decision to call the police – who then called the Fire Department and then the EMS – all for a patron who had experienced medical problems in the building. I stayed with her the entire time, trying to make polite conversion and finding out a bit more about her. To make a long story short, it turned out that the Library had caused her such anxiety over an overdue book notice, that she became ill once she got here. Needless to say, I felt terrible each time she repeated her story to the public service personnel. She personified to me the people in this area who are unemployed and living with only the barest of necessities. I was glad I could be there to make her understand that the Library didn’t want to cause her additional stress – and that we truly want her as a patron. But I know I’ll have trouble sleeping tonight thinking about what is happening to the less fortunate in our own backyards. This is the down side of being in charge, if only for an evening!
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