The Library


I went to the library to re-check-out the two sleep books I found useful in order to tackle daytime naps: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child & How To Solve Your Child’s Sleep Habits.  By the time we arrived, I knew Vi needed a nap (that was the reason for my excursion!), but it would only take me two minutes to look up the books in the computer catalogue.

As soon as I put the carrier down, she started to fuss.  I tried the little-used pacifier…didn’t work.  But I picked her up and walked to the computer, and the motion calmed her down.  The computer I chose was frozen, and as I tried to make sense of it, Vi started to fuss again.  Tried the pacifier again without luck.  I promptly stuck my finger in her mouth (always works), and she was silent.  Nobody around me was phased since she was quickly quieted, so I didn’t worry too much.  Before I could decide what to do next, a librarian appeared behind me.

“Excuse me, but we have computers in the Children’s Room. I think it would be best if you went there.”

I was appalled that such a request was made of me.  How dare she?  I understand if Vi was continually fussing it might be polite of me to move elsewhere, but I believed this woman was unfairly wielding her limited authority in my direction, and it made me surprisingly defiant.  I didn’t move.  As she retreated to her circulation desk, I looked over to my nearby lab neighbors and gave an appalled look.  They sympathized.  They assured me they weren’t bothered by her.

In the end, I didn’t locate the books I wanted and was forced to vacate before the baby drew any more unwanted librarian attention.

I was surprised at my feelings toward this woman and her attitude toward some noise in the public library.  I’ve been having some new reactions to certain things involving this new baby of ours that I find fascinating.

Any comments on this? Has anyone else reacted strongly to a situation (involving their kids) that wouldn’t have ruffled their feathers in the past?


2 responses »

  1. First off- I am stoked I have another blog to peruse at night!

    Secondly, I am miffed at that librarian’s reaction. Ryan and I do a lot of our programming at Chinn Library (near Prince William Parkway). A great characteristic of that library is they have a dedicated “Quiet Study” area…so the people who want the traditional library quiet can go in that room. Outside of the quiet room, the library seems to embrace being a community center. They seem to tolerate noise and even promote noise of their own. A couple of Fridays ago they had an impressive Halloween Parade comprised of local children march through the library.

    Anyway, Ryan and I have taken Sagan there a couple of times and one day he was a bit fussy. We worked at tables near the library entrance and were there for hours. We were never approached by a librarian.

    I suppose Chinn may be more progressive? I think it may do the other libraries some good to follow their example.

    Though I also suppose it is possible one can find crabby people anywhere, including cool libraries with a Quiet Study Area. 🙂

  2. Hm…as you know we are kid-less, but after reading this post and talking to you about the rude comment a woman made on the plane, I feel like I’ve become more aware about how I treat parents with little ones.

    I like your new perspective; it makes sense that your feelings would change and you would have new reactions to things.

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