SOL #3 Children’s Room Closed

I live in a small town.

My small town has a small library.

The small library has a big heart.

The big heart belongs to the children’s librarian.

The children’s librarian left for a big town.

This is the first week my small town is without a librarian in the children’s room. The staff is working to fill the job, but they don’t want to rush into any decisions.

We have a nice library aide that is running the children’s room until they can find someone else. She is stressed. When I walked upstairs to the children’s room on Thursday I read a sign that said: Children’s room closed on Saturday. I talked with aide and she said that nobody from the adult room would in the children’s room on Saturday. They were afraid of being short-staffed downstairs.

I am not happy.

Today the adult room will be fully staffed. The computers will be filled with people watching Youtube videos and checking Facebook, the movie aisles will be filled with people looking for movies to watch, but the children’s room will be closed. The room will be dark, cold and empty.

I’m glad I’m out of town this weekend.


24 thoughts on “SOL #3 Children’s Room Closed

  1. It’s so often the children who take that backseat. I’m sad that they don’t have enough volunteers to step up to help. I liked the way you wrote it, here’s the story and it stinks!


  2. When I started teaching, our elementary school library … was closed. Yep, closed. Our librarian position had been cut for budget issues, and …. the library was dark. I could not believe it. I still can’t. Luckily, a new principal came in and developed a plan to hire a librarian, and she has been there ever since. The library came back to life, out of the Dark Ages. You want to darken my heart? Shutter the library.


  3. Colby –
    This breaks my heart. That used to be my library. I took my girls there weekly, if not more. They got their first library cards there. It is the library where I checked out piles of books the first time I taught children’s literature at MSU.

    Mostly my heart is broken because I know how many children in your small town are adult-less and that space was a refuge. A place where they could not only be warm and play computer games, but a place where they might find a book that speaks to them.




  4. I love how you crafted this slice! The short, separate sentences moving from the “small town” to “big heart” to “big city.” That could have been your slice . . . that was heartbreaking right there. But then to go on to say that the children’s room would be closed . . . on Saturdays?!? This makes no sense. How sad. (Loved how you ended the slice too – another short sentence driving your feelings home!)


  5. This is so sad. A vibrant children’s room on weekends is what every library (and town) needs! Too bad they didn’t have adults check out books via the children’s room…allowing adults to navigate the stacks unsupervised… bizarre. Sad.


  6. The need to have the foresight to see where the need really is – what is the best cost-benefit analysis (I pulled that out of the air, I know that’s not right) basically they need to build into the little ones to get them to continue coming back. How do they not see this. Hopefully, they’ll find another big heart!

    I was pleased in my little town, in our little school, the administrators and board had big hearts when they remodeled the library. They put in restaurant booths for the kids to sit in to read and study and modern pendulum lighting – a very coffee house feel. Smart I think becaue often intermediate grades is when we tend to lose ’em.


  7. The reasoning behind this sounds tipsy turfy to me – the children’s room is the busiest room in our local library. How very sad for the kids in your town…I hope they find a fix soon!


  8. Bummer, dude, Not cool. It doesn’t make sense that you can’t even go in there at all. And especially on the weekends…you should get every family you know to show up and want to go into the children’s department. 🙂


  9. How sad! I grew up in the library and to think that the children’s room is closed on Saturday of all days makes me sadder. Your piece is beautifully crafted.


  10. Colby,
    I agree with everyone else. So, so, so sad. Our priorities are ????? And like everyone else, I loved the way you crafted this piece. Beautiful.

    In my area, there are two neighborhood libraries, one that serves the more affluent yuppie kind of families, and one that serves the poorer community. Guess which one just closed on Saturdays due to budget cuts?


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