The following are transcriptions of audio notes of Dave Cooper, ALA Accreditation Coordinator, as he toured the Geraldine Godson Banned Memorial Library and Farmer’s Market, also known as the Banned Library, in the summer of 2013. Mr. Cooper was sent to Bannville, Mississippi to vet the accreditation standards of the local library school, the Banned County Polytechnic and Library School. The Banned Library is the local public library in the community and also serves as the library for the college, and as such also had to be vetted by Mr. Cooper. We thank Mr. Cooper’s surviving family for allowing us to publish these notes unedited.
Diane, the circulation department gave me a headache. I do not understand how a library can even operate with such an out of touch crew... Either way, it is good to have some food in me.
I asked around for local eateries, looking forward to some seafood, but was told no place in town had fresh seafood this time of year. Very odd, you would think this close to the Gulf Coast at least one place would have something.
Mr. Banned pointed me to three separate places for lunch. The first was Bud’s Buck and Bass, and eatery far out in the woods that offered up local wildlife. I felt I should not perpetuate the hunting of wild game, and Debbie also mentioned that that establishment and Lazy Susan’s were often booked for lunch. Lazy Susan’s is a local oddity, home cooked meals presented at a single large round table seating eighteen or more people depending on the size of the people. In the middle of the table sits a turntable known as a lazy susan where the food is dispensed.
I decided instead to go to the local diner, the Bannville Corner Diner. The waitress Janice set me up with a delightful hamburger with no onions, a damn fine cup of coffee and the best pecan pie I have ever tasted. Heavenly.
I have been waiting in the second trailer of the Banned Library for over thirty minutes. Mr. Banned said the children’s assistant librarian should be back soon. There is a sound... Crying? I think I can hear crying or laughing. Quite unsettling.
Ellen Bell, the children’s assistant, returned from lunch and apologized for keeping me waiting. I told her to think nothing of it, but she seemed distressed. I wished to put her at ease, but something about her presence makes me believe that will never be so. Miss Bell’s appearance is one of... I wish not to speak bad about someone, but the red dye in her hair, including out of place extensions, streaks and runs in a confusing mess. She must have recently gone over a makeover, lost some weight as well because her clothes do not fit her, blousing in some places and tightening in others. There is something wrong about Miss Bell.
I inquired about the children’s librarian, Miss Cassidy Bell, but Miss Ellen said that she was on extended vacation and would say no more.
As we went through the collection, however, Miss Ellen Bell proves to be quite adept at her job. The children’s trailer houses a small collection for every age group from picture books to high school readers. The computers are also housed here, allowing for easy access for adults and children alike. I am most impressed by the Fall Reading program Miss Bell has set up and continued from the Summer Reading Program. Her dedication cannot be tarnished.
Waiting while Miss Bell helped a child coming in after school. Looked around for the source of the noise from earlier but found nothing. Diane, my imagination is running away with me.To Be Continued...