Thursday, June 21, 2007

a Midsummer Night's wish

Every culture has, at some point in its history, marked the time of Midsummer and held it to be enchanted.

The Celts, the Norse, and the Slavs believed that there were three “spirit nights” in the year when magic abounded and the Otherworld was near. The first was Halloween, the second was May Eve, and the third was Midsummer Eve. On this night of all nights, fairies are most active. As the solstice sun rises on its day of greatest power, it draws up with it the power of herbs, standing stones, and crystals. In the shimmering heat-haze on the horizon, its magical energies are almost visible.

The cold dark days of winter and blight are far away, and the time of light and warmth, summer and growth, is here. We naturally feel more joyful and want to spend more time in the open air. The crops are planted and growing nicely, and young animals have been born.

Midsummer is a natural time of celebration.

~Anna Franklin
Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice

So it was an okay time at work tonight, i had the pleasure of kicking out a mother and her children (regulars) for the boys continued misbehaviour. As i said, this mother and her boys come in often and the mother gets on the computer and browses and the boys run about causing distress and turmoil for everyone~ the mother, of course, does nothing, i try to explain to them what they may and may not do in a library but they are not use to any type of discipline so they do not listen. After i had told them to not run twice, and they had not listened to me twice, i had a patron come up and complain that they had been running around the computer room, being rambunctious, disturbing everyone, and that they had knocked over a couple of keyboards . So i go over to talk to them and when they see me coming they start saying "We know, we know," to which i respond "No, you need to leave."

"What do you mean?" (this shocks them.)

"I mean your mom needs to take you out of the library, I told you a couple of times that you needed to stop running and now i've had a patron complain about you so you are done with the library for the day." the mother is also extremely unhappy, this has ruined her day.

"But it wasn't our fault."

"You need to go."

"Blah, blah, blah"

"You need to go." (as i follow them out the door.)

Earlier i had had my (not) favorite child in (the four-year-old girl who wanders around on her own and follows everyone around, patrons and staff alike, bothering them all equally, and is one of the most controlling people in the world). I asked her, "NotFavoriteChild, is your mom here?" (because she knows she is not allowed in the library without her~at least she had shoes on today, however big and ugly they may have been) "Yes, over there," she waved in the direction of the table Mom was sitting at, and continued to follow our circ supervisor out the door to collect the book drop.

"Well, you need to be with your mom while you're in the library"

This elicits no response but a frown and an intense stare.

"While you are in the library, you need to be with your mom. You know this, NotFavoriteChild."

The frown/pout grows larger.

"You can frown at me if you want to, but you need to go over by your mom."

"But, boooooks..." she whines/pouts/frowns.

Our circ supervisor tells her that if she wants books her mom can get her some, so she stomps over by her mom who has been ignoring the entire situation (then i think she wanders outside.)

Once we had closed and i had ushered (most) everybody out, there was still a rather crunchy hippy-type dude hanging out in our holds area seemingly making notes. I stood (sort-of) patiently watching him for a while before asking him if there was anything i could help him find.

"No, thank you."

(So much for that not-so-subtle message) "Because we are closed..."

"I know." (i always find it interesting when someone tells me that they know something when their actions are demonstrating absolutely no knowledge of whatever they are telling me they know; i've recently discovered that children of a certain age say they know as an automatic response when they have no idea what you are talking about as a time-staller, but Mr CrunchyHippyMan appears to be much older than this certain age.)

"How are you?" he asks me, still standing where he is, in no apparent rush to leave.

Oh, how to answer this question? "Annoyed that you are still here because i really want to go home?" "Puzzled as to Why you are still here and exactly what you are doing and why you seem so calm and cheery about it?" I finally decide to go with a rather drawn out "Fine" (which is a rather unusual answer for me) and hope that he can catch all the undertones that go along with it.

He eventually finishes whatever it is he's doing, returns a borrowed pen to our circ clerk, and saunters out the door. I go to look at the hold books and notice he has written "HAPPY SOLSTICE" on a number of the hold slips. Isn't it lovely to share my celebratory days with these anomalous people (like the woman who had come in earlier asking for a love spell, of a very specific type which she needed immediately because it was Litha and she no longer had any of her books. Now couldn't she have thought of this before, it isn't as if Litha suddenly descended without any warning?)? Aren't i glad to be left in charge of the library while my manager is off cavorting at the ALA conference? (perhaps you can figure out my answer to these questions.)

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