Have you ever been going through your home and thought hey, I bet the library could use this? Well, we can not use that. Or that. None of it. Unless you have thirty copies of the newest bestseller or some priceless piece of local history, internet auction sites might be the best place for you flotsam
If that is the case, then why do we take fifteen cubic tons of National Geographic magazines each month? If I can be honest, it is because librarians are nice. We take your magazines and Readers Digest Condensed books and let you leave with the feeling that your items will find a good home. Around ninety percent of donations are put in the book sale, nine point nine percent are thrown in the dumpster, and the remaining point one percent is added to the collection. Just a fact, people.
That being said, sometimes we do get some rather curious items given to us. As was the case today.
“Jessie, go help Mr. Bilbo bring that stuff in.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Jessie said to my mother, following the mayor out of the building.
“You sure about this, mom?” I asked, “War memorabilia from the Bilbos? What if some of the family objects? Billy doesn’t control them all.”
“Call him Mr. Bilbo or the mayor, Evan, and I doubt any of this stuff will be of any interest to anyone. Heck, they probably sold anything good years ago. Still, the Bilbo’s were always fighters and if what the mayor said is true there might be some stuff dating back to the Civil War. At the least we get to say we have some historical items on display in that case upstairs. Give the board something to smile about.”
“Yeah, but who’s to say the stuff is even real?”
“I’ll have your daddy look at it tomorrow at lunch. If he says it looks legit, I’ll email some pictures to the museum over at Camp Bannen.”
“That’s an idea. Why not just tell the Bill- I mean, the mayor, to donate it to the military? They’re always looking for stuff.”
“I’ll suggest it if there’s nothing of use.”
“Where do you want it, Louise?” the mayor said, walking in the library with a large cardboard box. It and the one that Jessie followed with looked heavy.
“Right in my office,” mom said, leading the way and opening the office door.
“Stuff smells like rotten ass,” Jessie whispered as he passed me.
I suppressed a giggle and stepped behind the circulation desk.
“Yeah, that’s it. Thank you, Jessie,” Billy said.
“Jessie, put your hand down. You don’t get tips for doing your job,” my mother said.
The mayor laughed and Jessie walked out of the office. The door stayed open.
“Now, what was about the search for the new director you wanted to talk about, Mr. Bilbo?” Mom said.
The door to the office closed.
I motioned for Jessie to watch the desk as I pushed a cart of books over to the door. Straining, I could just hear their voices.
“-found someone. Probably a new children’s librarian, too.”
“We already have someone for that position.”
“Yes, well, I think this might be a done thing. Package deal. The board told me to tell you there will be a special meeting at the end of the week. If all goes well, you could be back retired again by the end of the month, Louise.”
“That sounds good, Mr. Bilbo,” Mom said, “Who is it?”
Something poked me in the back and I jumped, dropping the books I had been holding. I turned to find a little boy staring up at me.
“Mama said you can help me find Harry Potter?” he said.
I looked over and saw a blonde lady staring at her phone, ignoring the two of us.
“He’s done. I think he lives somewhere in England now all grown up and doing drugs,” I said.
The little boy frowned and shook his head, “Nuh-uh. He’s inna book.”
I looked back at the office door and shook my head. Whatever the new director was going to be like, I would just have to find out at the end of the week.
“Now,” I said, steering him toward the childrens section, “How do you know he’s not in England?”
“Cause mama said he was on a shelf, and books go on shelves and Harry Potter is a wizard.”
“Well, let’s go find that shelf. And do it real quiet, we don’t want your mom to know where Harry Potter is. She’s a muggle, right?”
The little boy smiled and nodded. We heard her screaming about two minutes later, but by then we had found where Mr. Potter had hidden.
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