The reality of a small town

Originally published: August 2, 2011

I could tell something was up with the children’s librarian when we changed guards for the evening shift. (She wasn’t as chatty as she was usually is.) One of our patrons, a teen, almost drowned Monday night. He and his family are avid library patrons. They maybe very local, but they known the importance of the library. He had been swimming the deep water by the bridge and got caught in the current – he remains in critical condition.

At first I didn’t know who the teen was. Between mentally drifting and spending very little time in the children’s room, children’s room facts are committed to memory. But on my evening run, I remembered him.

Just like that, there was a face for a name and my heart sank.

He’s a sweet kid and I hope I see him again in the library. In my five-ish years of working in libraries, this is a first. Scores of people use the library every day, but I’ll remember maybe a dozen faces – tops. This teen made it into the dozen. In this regard, I might not be cut-out for small town life.

In a small town (or even a close community), you interact one-on-one with everyone. You know a little bit about what’s going on with them, and they know a little about you. Sounds nice? Well, then the Great Inevitable happens and…you just have to go on. Or that what I surmise is going to happen. Still, the library is pretty somber this week.


Published by ccharle2

A digital services librarian. When I am not reading, I can be found running or counting bats.

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