Thankful Thursday: Library Love

After seven years of working at a community bank and a lifetime of feeling like a misfit without a tribe (family excluded), I’m excited to report the reasons I am so very thankful for my new job at the local public library.

Curious Kids!

There are happy children everywhere talking about stories and asking questions. They’re actively and excitedly looking to learn and their egos don’t even enter the picture. They just want to know answers to their questions and they’re excited to explore and discover. This morning was the weekly story time, where youth service librarians read aloud and play games with kids and parents before the library opens. So my day began with checking in books and listening to silly stories, nursery rhymes, and laughing toddlers. My day used to begin by calling a list of overdrawn customers to ask when they could make it in to bring their account positive and review their growing pile of fees. Each task is important and necessary, but so far I prefer listening to laughing children rather than yelling adults.

Kick-Ass Co-workers.

I’ll just list some observations to show you what I mean: A fellow worker approached me today to point out a particularly cute picture book cover with a cartoon mouse wearing pants held up by twine. Another coworker invited me to a “Biblio-Ball” in which we attend a ball at the library dressed as our favorite character from classical fiction. The staff lounge is covered in baked goods and invitations to employee events like weddings or concerts. The supply closet houses a pet rock, nicely labeled “pet rock” with a small, yellow post-it. I checked in about twenty books with cute dogs and puppies on the covers, all labeled “Puppers!!!!” in the computer system, by an enthusiastic librarian putting together a doggy display table.

Stretching Circle. 

My boss invited me to join a stretching circle this morning in which the Pages appeared to be doing Tai-Chi moves. I wasn’t sure what the routine entailed, but I curiously stepped into the circle and mimicked my coworker’s exercises, listening as he explained the benefits of the moves and how library work can strain certain joints and muscles. I was surprised and touched at the thoughtfulness of this gesture. We’d all been given pamphlets from HR regarding ergonomics and had to watch a cheesy 80’s video on back pain. I was delightfully surprised at the thorough and kind attention to our physical comfort on the job.

Hordes of Helpers.

Everyone is eager to answer questions without judgement and offer amazingly thorough resources including procedures, guides, cheat sheets, indexes, shortcuts, etc. to help me navigate the new software, policies, and procedures. I’m not sure why I’m surprised by this, considering that librarians by definition organize information and strive to make it as accessible as possible. But they seriously have a guide for everything, so even if I were left alone, I’d easily be able to find answers using the searchable manual, or the indexed procedures, Excel charts of card comparisons and requirements, and so on.  Librarians also educate so I’m also not sure why I’m surprised at how helpful and thorough my coworkers are. But these are all very pleasant surprises, of course.  I hope to return the favor someday or at least “pay it forward.”

Book Blabbing

I actually get paid to blab about books, movies, and music with patrons and coworkers. I’ll also get paid to attend library costume parties, decorate display tables and desks, and write book reviews about my favorite recent reads. I already have a list of ten titles I want to add to my GoodReads “to-read” shelf after listening to customer and co-worker recommendations. I’ll let you know if I find any amazing reads. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before I start writing reviews on this blog, since I’ll be doing it for work anyway. Fun!!

Thanks for reading. I’m thankful for YOU too!

Thankful Thursday: Autumnal Awesome Sauce

In honor of the autumnal equinox, I threw together a top ten list of reasons autumn is awesome-sauce. This is true in the literal sense as well, of course, because autumn means amazing cinnamon applesauce. Even though autumn leads to winter, typically my most depression-prone season, I can’t help but love this time of year. Autumn means sweater weather, spooky books and movies, fall foliage, and silly costumed celebrations with delicious candy, apples, and pumpkin-flavored-everything. Since I love scary novels, this is also the time of year when I can curl up with hot cider and read the latest scary story (or pull some beloved Gothic classics from the shelf).

10. Fall Foliage

In the Pacific Northwest, fall doesn’t mean saying goodbye to all greenery. Yes, the greenery decreases, but we’re still surrounded by the evergreen curtains of the surrounding forests during the winter months. This makes it less difficult for me to witness the leaves burning out like phoenix feathers in brilliant orange, red, and yellow flames. Nature amazes me on a daily basis, but during the fall months, I’m amazed hourly. (I’ll be sure to post more pictures to prove this when I locate our memory card reader.)

october

9. Fresh Fiction

Yes, it’s just televised fiction, but still, I think we’re all happy when we can stop watching reruns on cable and binge-watching Hulu & Netflix. We can all return to our regularly programmed forays into the fictional lives of our favorite fake friends and foes.

Plus the Halloween episodes and cheesy holiday movies will start playing soon. If you’re like me, you’re also counting down the days until we get to return to Stars Hollow see what Rory and Lorelai Gilmore have been reading and doing. Best of all, Melissa McCarthy will be in the episodes too!

sookie

 

8. Spooky Stories

I could write a post just about this. But for now, I’ll just say Bronte-binges, Frankenstein fun, Dracula,  Edgar Allan everything, Dorian Gray, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde,  Anne Rice reads, Stephen King-a-palooza, MacBeth, Medea. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

waterhouse

7. Cozy Clothes

I love shorts, t-shirts, and beachwear as much as the next gal. Even though I’m slow to put away the sunscreen and sandals, pulling out the big cozy sweaters, soft scarves, and silly socks definitely makes up for it.

scarf

6. Costume Craze

With Halloween quickly approaching, we all get to stop being serious adults for a time and pretend to be our favorite superhero, pet, object, cartoon character, toy, or whatever we want! I love browsing thrift stores and Halloween stores imagining the different lives or personalities I could try on. I’m still waiting for the cat-collecting-heroic-librarian-by-day-witch/vampire-slayer-by-night costume to appear on the racks. But if you’re crafty, you get to create your own costume.

costumes

5. Pumpkin Picking

Growing up, my parents used to take us to a pumpkin farm outside of town where there were caramel apples and haunted corn mazes. Remember how frightened you would get as a kid, but then you’d spot your parents, they’d hug you, and you’d feel totally safe again? Well, as an adult I’m constantly humming with anxiety and worries about practical concerns, but I no longer get terribly frightened about monsters or ghosts.

As a result, I don’t often get those enveloping hugs of reassurance from a calm caretaker. That’s as it should be but I do like this scary season because I get to scream my head off at something silly again. Also because I get to turn to friends or family for a reassuring squeeze or a knowing laugh. It’s a nice reminder that we’re all terrified sometimes but we still have each other to turn to for a safe harbor in the storm. It’s just a big bonus that in autumn those moments involve festive farms and tasty treats.

pupkins

4. Freaky Films

Although I usually prefer books, films tend to be more effective at scaring the crap out of me. Films engage more senses and it’s more of a physical experience, which I think is essential for an authentic fear response. Once in a while, I just want to curl up in the pitch dark and watch some skinny chick run for her life from a masked maniac. I wonder if there is some biological or evolutionary reason for that. I don’t hunt or kill, but I enjoy the simulated cinematic experience now and then? Humans are the freakiest.

the-shining

3. Fun with Fire

Autumn is the season to sit by campfires after a hayride, to roast marshmallows, and watch the moon rise. It’s the time to sit by a fire and listen to the logs snap and the kindling crackle. The time to surround yourself with friends, jump in crisp leaves and inhale the cool autumn air. Bonfire season, smores season, stories-around-a-fire season.

fire

2. Marvelous Moonlight

One of my favorite hobbies is photography and I’ve always had a strange obsession with the moon. So the “light of the silvery moon” is near the top of my list (only to be trumped by my stubborn stomach). The moon itself is mesmerizing, but I also love the soft silvery beams that shine a soft white light on the black silhouette of night. Moonlight produces an ethereal air, as though we’ve entered another world, a wilder, more dangerous, but also more wondrous world than possible in daylight. There is also a romantic and private feel to moonlight. Since you cannot see beyond your immediate surroundings, you’re free to be and do as you please. But then, that is where the danger is too.

moon

 

1. Friggin Fantastic Food!

Most of all, I love autumn because its’ harvest produces the yummiest food around: pumpkin pie/lattes/ice cream, hot apple cider with cinnamon, smores, caramel apples, caramel corn, applesauce/pie/cobbler, casseroles, soups, spiced tea, hot & spicy Chai, Halloween candy, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams, and on and on until I have to change pant sizes after all that effort to slim down in the summer. Worth it.

 

turkey