To have a nationally syndicated columnist who is our age, articulate as hell, wildly successful, and a diehard feminist? That’s fabulous.
We librarians are expected to check out your books and answer your reference questions. But we’re often called upon to perform other tasks. For example, breaking up fights between moms in our play area.
The one thing all these stories have in common is an enduring sense of Jewish identity. All of us have found that even as we encounter and embrace a diversity of traditions, we remain Jews. You can have a Christmas tree in your house, put on a Santa suit and distribute holiday gifts to the homeless, or delight in the gigantic illuminated rotating Frosty the Snowman on your neighbor’s roof and still be Jewish.
Where a more traditional cantor might turn down the opportunity to officiate at an interfaith or LGBT wedding, Debbi Ballard’s approach is to focus on the possible. “I‘d rather say ‘yes’ than ‘no’,” she explains. “’No’ ends the conversation. ‘Yes’ begins a dialogue. With ‘yes,’ you leave the door open.”
Last week a patron at the suburban library where I work spent five minutes telling a colleague all about why (and exactly how) she should use a water pic. This inspired me to log onto my favorite Facebook Librarian Hangout to ask: “What’s the oddest thing a library patron has ever said to you?”
Our favorite librarian polled her fellow shelvers in order to make this list of Outrageous Questions People Ask Librarians. Under the "Hanky-Panky" Category: "Last week, a patron asked me to have sex with him in the alley."
I doubt I’ll ever dress up as an alien space monster and attend a “Doctor Who” convention. But who knows?