No matter how slick you are they hardly ever let you get away with reading on the job, and the peoplewatching is nil because there are no cute people in the library. Really I'm just upset because there weren't any there today. And that's a lie too, but it didn't matter because the curly blonde girl and the Hasidic punk in the hat both finished their research and were gone before I could fake an urgent shelving need in their area.

And I don't like being asked questions, I don't like being visible really. I wish I could come in and just alphabetize, impose a little bit of arbitrary order for a few hours and go home without having to deal with any copier machine trauma or microfiche questions. I always just tell them it's been broken for years. I don't know the real answers.

Do you have any idea how many rotten books live in your local library? In high school I worked in a bookstore and it was much better because the crappy books got sent away, back to the publisher or to sale-table limbo, out of my sight either way. Here we don't get rid of anything except in the big once-a-year sham sale where we know nobody's going to buy musty old A.H. Maslow even when we mark him down to a quarter. Walk down the stacks in your library and look at all the titles you've been tuning out. Choose a shelf in an area that interests you and read every single spine. Maybe you'll find one you'd like to read but probably you'll just find twenty you'd rather burn. When's the last time you heard a library was expanding its collection of something, and when does it ever do the opposite? We are an obese entity which will never shrink.

I do like when I'm scheduled for the information desk because people have an incorrect impression of what that means, they think they can just call me up and I'm going to go run over to the Encyclopedia Britannica and look up the capital of Denmark.

Yes maam please hold while I go do your research for you, it's no trouble, I love being pooped on, no really.

Also the info desk is poorly placed, it's right next to a studious grove of tables and chairs. The phone rings and I answer it and what am I supposed to do, whisper? I get dirty looks from the readers and I make my eyebrows all snarly right back.

Come on, lady. This is the quietest public place you're going to find in a city, this is as good as it gets. You knew there were going to be other people here and you knew at least one of them was going to be annoying. Today, it's me. Go read your Diana Gabaldon at home.

I have never, ever said Shhhhhh.