You’re Gonna Pay… Late Fees

Galleons, I don’t normally rally behind causes. Mostly because I’m extremely lazy. But I found one today that I need to get behind. That I need to make the world aware of. That I need to stand on a soapbox for and scream to the street until the cops drag me away for disturbing the peace and making children cry (though that latter one was probably because I swiped the kid’s soda from him- bellowing for a righteous cause is a thirsty business).

And that cause, that one thing that could make my apathetic self rise up and take a stand, is this:

The “sexy librarian” has been moved to the endangered species list.

I entered the library today. A sacred domain. And I walked through the familiar (okay, unfamiliar- the local library moved to a new location since I last visited) rows of books, breathing in the collective voices of Donne and Shakespeare, King and Sartre, Tolstoy and Twain. I could smell the books, could feel the reverent silence permeating every cell of my body. And that’s when I saw it…

A self-check.

That’s right. My local (well, pretty local… 54 miles away local… gotta love Wyoming) library has entered the digital age. And, in doing so, they have done something unclean. Something foul. Something wicked.

They have, in one fell swoop, destroyed the time-honored tradition of bringing your books to a librarian for scanning, stamping, and checking out. They have removed the single remaining bit of human contact from what is already a solitary pursuit- that of reading.

But that’s not the worst of it. Oh no. See, with less need for librarians, we’re going to be hiring fewer librarians. Fewer librarians means less sexy (but probably the same amount of old women… old women defy all statistical rules) happening in the land of literature. And I just won’t stand for that.

“Librarians are hot. They have knowledge and power over their domain. When you enter a library, you enter as a supplicant. It is the librarian that must strip you bare of your layers of obfuscation and find you what you really came for.

Reading is a silent pursuit. When you sit down next to a commuter with his nose buryed in a book, you don’t know if he’s reading some dry text about mergers or something wicked. Perhaps slightly flushed cheeks will betray him. Perhaps you will never know.

It is no coincidence how many librarians are portrayed as having a passionate interior, hidden by a cool layer of reserve. Aren’t books like that? On the shelf, their calm covers belie the intense experience of reading one. Reading inflames the soul. Now, what sort of person would be the keeper of such books?” ~Holly Black

The sexy librarian is the physical embodiment of the seductive power of literature. She stands for all things bound and Dewey decimalized. She is the mistress of ribbon bookmarks and dog eared pages, of periodicals and microfilm, of studying and sex (the stacks, anyone?).

And just think of the crushing impact this will have on the makers of pencil skirts. They will never recover.

Now, I know many of you are thinking, “But aren’t sexy secretaries basically the same thing?” And my answer is, of course, “HELL NO THEY’RE NOT, YOU BLASPHEMER!” Are tigers the same thing as Siamese kitties? No. But they are both cats. Right? A Shih Tzu is not a Pit Bull, even though they’re both dogs. An Oreo is not a chocolate chip cookie. There are rather obvious differences between them.

While, stylistically, one might say a librarian and a secretary are similar, that’s about as far as you can go. With a librarian, you get knowledge, wit, and culture. With a secretary, you get proficiency in Microsoft Word, the ability to answer a telephone, and filing. Yeah, totally the same thing.

Do not let this travesty continue, galleons. Let not the sexy librarian become a thing of the past. Rise up against this technological invasion of the holy house of the written word.

I mean, I’m not advocating you destroy the self-check machines or anything. Don’t go to jail- that’s just fucking useless. But, you know, if a self-check comes to a library near you… don’t use it. Take your books to the librarian in residence (attractive or not). Who knows- it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

That’s never happened to me, but I imagine it has to happen to some people.

Anyway, enough of this- it’s cutting into my time with Mr. Feynman.

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