Ask and maybe you’ll receive.

There are some strange things people ask for at my library. Sometimes they want to know if we sell these items. (We don’t sell anything.) Sometimes they want to know if we have these items and will give them away for free. Sometimes they just want to borrow them.

Here’s a current list –

A comb.
A scale (a man wanted to weigh himself).
Stamps.
Envelopes.
A flash drive.
Notebook paper.
Headphones.
Post-it notes.
Sodas and snacks.
A file folder.
Stapler.
Tape.
Paperclips.
A fax machine.

The best ever – a bow and arrow. (Wanted for purchase) Since we said no, then the patron asked if we had a crossbow for sale. He was serious.

Plenty of people ask if they can borrow a pen or a pencil. We usually let them, but after a while if it becomes routine the librarian may suggest that the person (usually a child) bring his own pen or pencil to do his homework. Sometimes this isn’t received well. While it may seem like good customer service to have many of these things available, the more items that the library provides that aren’t actual library materials takes away money from buying said library materials, you know, like books.

The library is not an office supply store.

Personally, I think it would be a good idea for the library to stock and sell many of these items. It would certainly help out in lean budget years. Perhaps not crossbows, though.

Writing and beading – on reusing ideas

Every now and then I think that I shouldn’t start a post because I think I’ve written about it before. Sometimes I have, and I’ve forgotten. Sometimes I have, but I don’t feel like I’ve fully explained my point. I very well might have already written on this exact topic of writing about the same thing multiple times. Wouldn’t that be ironic?

And then I realized it is OK.

I do the same thing when I make jewelry. I don’t use all of a strand of beads up when I make a necklace. I have some left over. I use them again with other beads and I get a different effect. Or I’ll not quite get across the look I was going for and I’ll try again with another creation.

Rarely am I able to get across in reality what I envision in my head. If I can’t do this with beads, than how can I possibly do this with words? If I can’t properly envision how the beads I have right in front of me are going to look together, how can I envision how ideas, which are amorphous at best, are going to look together?

While I don’t want to waste my time writing the same topic over and over, I’m learning that part of the process of being a writer is to just write. Even if I intentionally write about the same topic, I’m going to write about it differently every time, because I’m different every time.

Figuring out the answer to a question is like trying to open a closed door. You’ll try different ways to get in.

Sometimes you can just knock and someone will let you in.
Sometimes you try the doorknob and it opens.
Sometimes you have to pick the lock.
Sometimes you can’t pick the lock so you have to look under the door.
Sometimes you go to see if there is an unlocked window on the side of the building.
Sometimes you have to bring a sledgehammer and just get in by brute force.

And sometimes it is about understanding that the “answer” is just the answer you got right then, and it isn’t THE answer, and it is OK to work on that door again, another day.

Duck

Imagine a mama duck and all her baby ducks. They follow behind her, trusting that she is leading them the right way. But she is just leading them the same way that she was lead, and so on.

And what if they are all going the wrong way?

So many people are like those ducks. Just following, blindly trusting. Because the people before them, whether parents or teachers or ministers or elders, walked in this path, it must be right.

Not necessarily.

Who walked that first path? How did she or he discover it? What made her or him go that way? What made others follow in that path?

Whether it is a clothing habit or a diet trend or a way of thinking makes no difference. A path is a path is a path.

Where are you going? Who are you following? Do they know the answers to those questions?