the lipstick librarian
"If there's ever been a good time for this, it's now…"
—me, to Jody, 7 July 2006
So here's the story that's been on the back burner for a month now.
When I prepared to fly to Florida, part of the packing preparations meant securing on-plane reading material. I'd been breezing my way through Jacqueline Carey's 'Kushiel' series, only to stop dead at the beginning of the fourth book because it had just come out in hardback. I read fast, and I didn't want to buy it in hardback.
So, knowing that the book had just been released, I decided to check my library's website to see if I could put a hold on the book, so that I could check it out and take it with me.
It was one-thirty-two in the morning.
Me: "Hey. May I borrow you for a moment?"
Jody: "Sure. Especially if it is for nefarious means."
Me: "I have something I want to run past you, and please, please promise me you won't laugh."
Jody: "I won't laugh under any circumstances."
I showed him the link. His response was simple: "That is right up your alley."
I spent the next morning making phone calls and tracking down information I hadn't needed in a long time, and the end result was me throwing on the black dress and the lucky red shoes and wandering down to the library and tossing off a couple of sheets of paper that landed much more easily than they were created.
I said goodbye to you all knowing that I had an interview scheduled for when I came back. I told very few people because I didn't want to get your hopes up. When the interview rolled around and it, too, went extremely well, it became even harder to keep my mouth shut.
I sat, I waited, and the days sludged from one to another in silence. They called my references, with each call getting longer and longer. I wondered if I'd be able to hold out, to say nothing until I knew the results of my actions.
I rarely speak of the dichotomy in my background; the confusion inherent in being a literary geek. I'm just geeky enough to help the literary folk out, and I'm just literary enough to help the geeks talk to the artsy folk. I've never been completely at home in either place. I know of people who changed majors in college at the drop of a hat, but for me, my switch from English lit to information systems was a sea change born of immense frustration. I'd begun to realize that I'd never be wholly at home in a literature department, and I hoped that the change would give me a 'home.'
It wasn't the case, but it ended up being a slightly more marketable degree.
It never even occurred to me to ask if there were other people like me. Silly me. I should've asked my friends, because the reaction to my telling them that I am the new webmaster for my county's library system has been unequivocal: "Oh my goodness! That's perfect! Why didn't we think of that before?"
So, yes. That's me, and that's my news.
In return, I sent Jody a present that had meaning for us—a set of jade chopsticks. With it, I sent a note: "Others believed, but you were first."
If this new chapter has a name, it's "the lipstick librarian."
"When I come to terms … to terms with this
My world will change for me"
—Tori Amos, "The Beekeeper"