Posted by: brittany marie | July 11, 2008

among the stacks

Savannah is an unusual city. While she maintains and cultivates her rich history she is still looking forward with open arms to new dreams and developments. What can you expect? The city was founded at the very beginning of Georgia’s existence, but her modern population consists primarily of military and students who by choice or vocation do not remain in one area long. The winds of change and “enlightenment” blow fierce here. That is the Savannah marketed to its myriad of tourists.

 

On the other hand, the Savannah I see is built of an equal amount of eccentricity but with much less class. I know this because I work at a branch of the county’s public library system in the downtown area. I am sure that the very mention of library makes a person yawn and think briefly of old ladies in horrid floral patterns with their index finger permanently glued to their thin lips. I beg to disagree. The librarians are a unique brand of people instilled with many quirks.

 

I actually work behind the scenes with the graphic design and public relations division of this publicly funded operation. I work with some great people and while not every day is a slice of heaven it still is far from “The Devil Wears Prada.” But for a public library, there is a good portion of drama occurring daily. Some incidents are light-hearted and others beg a second look at the state of the downtown area.

 

For example, today held the joy of two separate events. Apparently, our latest patron is an admirer of shock-value, i.e. a flasher. He runs in, exposes, and then makes an incredibly quick escape. The other incident consisted of a man performing indecent acts in the children’s department. Past happenings include gang related disturbances and patrons banned for improper use of internet access. You would not believe half the things that occur in the children’s department alone.

 

But the biggest concern for some of the staff today was whether the beta fish in my office area was named Wanda or Templeton. It is a pretty fish adorned by a peach orange body and silver tipped blood and purple fins. I am sure it has to be the third fish occupying that tank since I was here two summers ago. Overall, it was a funny argument even if the participants took it a little too seriously…

 

Maybe I am overreacting, but it is a sad thing to watch cultural achievements like libraries go wasted among a good portion of the populace. What does it mean when most people use the internet for porn? Or when some have no concept of decency, especially around young children? When young men with great potential throw their lots in with gangs? Or when the park area next door is home to congregations of the homeless?

 

I am not even sure how I can respond…at least there is now taped to the tank a bright yellow index card that reads Templeton in dark maroon letters.

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