Recently I've been remembering a pair of twin waifs I once saw walk hand-in-hand down the long aisle from the children's section toward where I stood at the front desk. Anxious, their perfectly identical little blonde heads turning solemnly this way and that, they seemed set apart from the buzz of the library around them, two small fairytale figures making their way through a large and rather frightening world.
Thankfully, at the end of the aisle, just past the grandfather clock, they found what they were looking for, and amid hugs and cries of relief, the age-old reunion of mother and child took place.
I'm guessing this scene keeps coming back to me because, somewhere deep down, my psyche has made a connection between it and my own concerns over the Easton library's forthcoming move to the old Black and Decker plant. Like the twins, I see myself, along with all the other staff at the library, searching for something important in our lives, the one thing that gives meaning to our work: our patrons.
Someday soon (the County now assures us the move will take place no later than early November), we must close our doors at 100 West Dover Street, pack our things, move into new digs at 28712 Glebe Road, set everything up again, then, finally, open our doors once more to the public. Like those little girls, I can guarantee you that will be an anxious moment. However figuratively, we shall turn our heads this way and that looking for your return.
So let me finish with another little story that I also find, in its way, instructive.
Not too long ago, while working back in the children's section, I saw a three year-old carry a load of picture books up to his mother and unceremoniously dump them in her lap. “Mommy,” he said, “ will you hold these for me? I'm going way over to the trains.” Mommy, whose lap at the time was already occupied by the boy's little sister, just managed to balance books and child without letting either drop to the floor. But what really made her son's presumption astonishing was the fact that the toy trains he was talking about stood, at the most, fifteen feet away.
So please, when you think about the library's temporary move to a new location, don't let your mind, like that little boy's, place it in some far-off, difficult-to-reach place. 28712 Glebe Road isn't on the other side of the world, it's on the other side of the bypass.