With Betty back, I can leave the realms of story time alone to her and concentrate on other matters. Today, I got to leave the library behind and visit my almamater, the Banned County Polytechnic and Library School.
You may be asking, "Does Evan Banned moonlight as a professor, teaching young librarians the ins and outs of this noble profession?"
Hell no. I am no teacher. I am barely a public speaker. Yet, on occasion, I do go down to the home of Possum Pride and tell the non-library students what the library has to offer when it comes time to do their five paragraph, six page research papers that will keep them up with terror. I am a giver.
So I present to you a generic exchange that is common in these "lectures.":
"Hello, as you teacher said my name is Evan Banned and I am the director of the Banned Library."
"Yo, Mr. Banned, if you're the director, who you directing? They got actors down at the library?"
"Ha, no. It's just the title of the person who runs the library, does the budgets, orders books, and approves general library business. Now, I am here to-"
"I used to go to summer reading every summer. There was this old lady that was really nice, is she still there?"
"Um, that was either Betty, who is still our circulation librarian, or my mother, who is now retired. Anyway, if you come to the library, it is best to bring all the materials you will need, like pencils, paper, a description of your assignment, because we do not always have supplies for everyone and we need to know what you are looking for to help-"
"Um, Mr. Banned, do you have books on growing stuff? Like hydroponics and sh-, um, stuff?"
"Yes, we do. They are found in the non-fiction section of the library, which you will be using if you come to the library to do research. That section can be found on the second floor-"
"So, uh, what if I was to, like, not be doing a paper and just wanted to get some knowledge on growing plants?"
"That's another good point. You can use anything in the library for free, but to take things out of the library you need to have a library card account. To set that up, we just need an ID with a current address and you need to live within the Banned County limits. Without the card or ID, you can not check anything out."
"So what if I'm in the library and need to look on Facebook?"
"What's your name?"
"Well, Brad, if you have a laptop, you can use the library's wifi. It's an open system, so it is available anytime the library is open."
"I ain't got no laptop."
"Then you need to use a library computer. The library computers have access to the Internet and our databases, which I will go into more detail later, but will be the best resources for current information on your projects."
"So, I can use these databases for Facebook?"
"No, the databases are for research. Facebook is on the Internet. So, we have talked about two great tools the library has for research papers, the nonfiction book collection and the databases. Now I will go into more detail about using the library catalog to look up books and items in the databases."
"Man, you're confusing."
"What's confusing you, Brad? And anyone else in the class, please let me know if you have questions."
"I'm just confused about all this stuff. You say you got computers, but you don't have Facebook and now I got to know a catalog to find books about growing my weed, uh, I mean, my tulips. Dude, why can't I just come and tell you what to get me?"
At this point the teacher usually calls for a break. I blame the vein in my neck. Or it could be that I usually tear my notes at this point from the tight grip I have on them. Either or.
Do you have any nightmare visits to classrooms? Let me know in the comments.
Check out more articles on www.bannedlibrary.com Add us on, Facebook, Google+ and @bannedlibrary on Twitter!