Monday, June 27, 2011

When I was a library clerk

When my first book, The Freak Observer, was published,
This came in the mail from Ken Bova, who was,
like me, a library clerk Once Upon a Time.
 The stuff that circulates in the library?
It's the best stuff in the world. 
I haven't processed everything that happened at ALA NOLA. I've used india ink and a dip pen with a metal nib to write accession numbers on my experiences, but I've not cataloged anything. A person must take pains with the cataloging. Otherwise, you might lose several, complete whale skeletons archived in the rotunda because no one will think to look there.

So in lieu of an ALA recap that would be fragmentary vulture barf, here is an artifact from my time as a library clerk. I have said that libraries have been my sanctuary more than Once Upon a Time. One of those times was the shaky transition between getting my BA and entering grad school. Let's just say going to grad school was no sure thing. Returning to my previous station in life—I had been The Duchess of Dumpster—seemed inevitable.

But Bede (the Venerable Bede) gave me employment in the library. He had assembled a staff devoted to reading, fishing, making art, and getting things done. It was one of the sweetest passages of my life. During my time there, one of the other clerks, kept a carefully curated list of things I said. Here it is:
I think autobiographies are always dishonest, but I think this, as a biography, is accurate.

And while I was there, one of the other clerks made this portrait of me. I did wear this tippet and hat to work, if you're asking. It's a good likeness I think, and has gotten better over the years, although he did romanticize my mouth a bit.
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