Do you hear what I hear?

Like other large structures, the library represents a unique climate, with a couple of zones occasionally defying thermostatic control.   When the admin. reception area develops tropical tendencies, Dora sets up a nostalgic corrective measure.  The gently whirring blades of her fan restore a pleasant feel, while the drone of the motor recalls those low-tech, high-temperature days not many decades back when Texas homes were not so likely to be air-conditioned.

Other library sounds remind us that back-to-school season has not changed as drastically as our standards for summertime comfort.  With older children in class, thus not accompanying Mom or Dad and the toddlers sleeping in their strollers, parents may note the squeak of a wobbly wheel or even–what is that strange sensation?–quiet.   Family routine locks into academic mode, and stacks of books for summertime pleasure reading get hauled back to the library.  A repetitive thunk! as they hit the book drop becomes the circulation crew’s theme song.

Today, managers and selectors riffle pages and clack keyboards in their efforts to fine-tune spending before the fiscal year ends.  With patrons exploiting their expertise on shelf-checks, that weird Darth Vader-ish sound generated when we open the units to add receipt paper enhances the auditory landscape. 

Something I didn’t expect to hear:  after David Mitchell’s interview on NPR, my husband wished he’d requested the author’s new book, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet.  I placed a hold on the checked-out copy, thinking, “Don’t hold your breath,” and was startled to learn that Jacob came back in the very next day.

I suppose other potential readers were temporarily distracted by student-nurturing duties, and they’ll log in their requests before long.  The lesson here is that–much like the New Year–fall is a season of great opportunity for library users.  Some examples to contemplate:

  • The adult New Fiction shelf offers lots of newly arrived items.  I snagged Karen Essex’s Dracula in Love.

  • For students and everyone else, our databases can be lifesavers. Cardholders may access most of them from home.

  • October is Family History Month, featuring two popular programs co-sponsored by the library and Williamson County Genealogical Society,  Genealogy from Scratch on the 16th and Genealogy After Hours on the 22nd.

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