Skip to main content

Happy Birthday to You


Sometimes realisations will come to me in a flash.  Like someone has given my brain a solid nudge, and some loose piece of knowledge will finally settle snugly into its rightful place.  This happened to me the other day when I was serving a young man.

He wanted to join the library, which was totally cool.  I love it when people join the library.  So I went through the usual spiel of asking for photo ID, proof of address, yadda yadda.  He gave me his Learners Permit.  Usually that's all you need.

Except his Learner's only had one name, printed twice, and his birthday was 01/01/1996 or something like that.  I was a little bit suspicious.  "Do you have any other ID with your name on it?" I politely enquired.  At which point he gave me a couple of other cards, all with the same information.  I couldn't really question 3 forms of ID with the same info, so I just went ahead and created his library card with the details he had provided me.

This was weeks ago now.  Weeks.  And you know what I have seen many times since?  People who have the same first and last names, and their birthdate is 01/01/(insert year here).

You idiot.  These people are from war-torn, socially and politically unstable areas.  These people have travelled by land, ocean and air to get far from where they were; to seek a new life in a place that is hopefully much safer than their country of birth.  Do you think they come to this life in lovely big hospitals with midwifes and obstetricians and waiting rooms and flowers and official documentation and government departments collecting birth data to the nth degree?  No.  Maybe they are born at the family home, maybe a refugee camp, who knows?  They are given a name (apparently the same first and last name is common in many countries), the day comes and goes and for the most part, the families and the individuals themselves only know the year of their birth, maybe the month, probably not the day.  There is no record of their birth weight, their length, their eye colour.  There are no flowers and baby cards and baby showers and jeep prams and post natal classes.  They come into life with no official recognition other than the love and care provided by their immediate family and community.

I have joined quite a few people to the library now, people with two names that are the same and the 1st January as their birthday.  Come well and be safe in Australia.  When you visit the library, I will try and make you feel as welcome and safe as I can.  I will be thinking of you on New Years Day, and sending quiet birthday wishes to you all.






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Using librarian skills to uncover a network of dodgy shopping sites!

In all my posts over the years I'm not sure if I ever mentioned I am an avid steampunker.  Like many of my quirky fellow librarians, I love a good dress up and recently found myself searching for a great pair of boots to go with the Steampunk Aviator Superhero costume I'm assembling (trust me, it will work!).

One evening whilst idly thumbing through Pinterest I found a picture of these undeniably AWESOME combat-boot style boots.  I followed the link to the website (www.chichola.com) and although it didn't look dodgy and offered PayPal, I am a cautious online shopper and always check the customer reviews first.  They were 1000% abysmal.  Like the kind of reviews that say SCAM, THEFT and CAN I LEAVE 0 STARS.  So despite loving the shoes, I was definitely not parting with my money on this occasion.

Fast forward a couple of months and I see an ad for Victorian-style cosplay boots in my Insta feed.  Did I mention that I am an avid steampunker?  Because seriously, these shoes…

It only takes a second (ment)

What the hell is a secondment?
Some people I have chatted to have no idea what I'm talking about (and I also discovered that some spell-check utilities don't even recognise the word) so I thought I would clear the confusion by ripping a definition straight from Merriam-Webster:
Definition of secondmentplural-s

: the detachment of a person (such as a military officer) from his or her regular organization for temporary assignment elsewhere.

So if you just substitute "library services officer" for "military officer" you have an explanation of my situation!

Being a qualified Librarian can take you in so many different directions. One of the reasons I chose the tag "Ambidextrous Librarian" was because I honestly had no idea which direction my career would go. I have worked in school libraries and the kids and teachers are absolutely fantastic, but the pay, conditions and options for career development aren't all that varied. I tri…

A Somewhat Risky Business

Working in a public library means I am surrounded all day by books (duh).  Books are such pretty things - there is a reason why publishers spend big bucks on cover design, and that's because we pretty much ignore the old "don't judge a book by its cover" and happily judegy-judge away.  We can't help it, bright and shiny things attract us!

So as I was standing at the circ desk the other day having a bit of a rest between patrons, I found my eyes drawn yet again to a book that was on display.  I had been gazing at it on and off all day, and I couldn't really make out the title but it was the dress that caught me, and the shiny peach converse trainers, and the pose, and the luxurious hair.  I decided that the universe was telling me I had to borrow it, even if I had absolutely no idea what it was about.  I took it home without even reading the blurb.

The book was titled "This is just my face; try not to stare" by Gabourey Sidibe, the actress who starr…