Saturday, January 5, 2008

Blessing Our Mess

From the beginning it wasn't a typical Saturday at the library. When I arrived to open up, the entry hall was filled with steam. The library sauna--our latest fundraiser?

If you've ever had a burst pipe there's an odor that you'd recognize anywhere. There was dampness on the stairs. I dashed down to the children's room and opened up. Sure enough, water was pouring out of the ceiling in the bathroom off the Children's Room. The ceiling tiles were soaked and breaking up. I walked across the room. Squish, squish. I felt the familiar puddles in the making and headed upstairs to find help.

There's a list of people to call over Lucinda's desk. I called the plumber and got an answering machine. To be safe, I called the one I'd had when my own pipes burst a couple of years ago. Then I called another one when I learned that there were several others ahead of me. I called Lucinda, who came right in. In the meantime I tried (in vain) to figure out how to turn off the water, which gushed indifferently away, giving us our own in-house waterfall.

I was wondering who else I should call when the officers of the Friends of the Library came through the door for their meeting. Suzanne Laaspere found the location of the leak. Anne Goodrich thought of other people to call and took to the phone. She must know everyone! Harley Cudney came in for books and ended up turning off the water. (Whew!) Michael Goodrich came by and gave us valuable advice. Brion McMullen came by to offer his counsel, as did NPL Board member Dave Emerson. All this on a Saturday! Isabella Lubin professionally ran the circulation desk upstairs so that we could continue to serve the public while we sorted out what needed to be done.

Then the Friends showed what true friends they are. Anne, Soong Elliott, Cindy Faughnan, and Ben Childs and his girlfriend Sarah began to help us move books from the shelves that needed to come down. People were cheery and upbeat and so kindly available. It's said that many hands make for light work, and it was certainly true.

I had come to work dressed for Casual Saturday; I was wearing my blue jeans and Google tee shirt. On the back of the shirt is "I feel lucky." Isabella teased me. "You feel

In fact, I did and I do. My luck began when she, Anne and the other Friends arrived. It stayed with us all day.

Thanks to all of Saturday's angels. You made us feel fortunate, right in the middle of a mess!