Sep 2, 2007

More Heat & Librarians

Cartoon by Speed Bump. This cartoon has been around the globe via email and is now being sold as an 11x17" poster, personally inscribed according to one's wishes. Supplies are very limited. The cost is $50, which does include shipping.

More Heat

Once again, September did not disappoint us Californians. I was standing in the Sahara-like parking lot of my church and the sun was pressing down on me like a hot iron.
Even the shade had run for cover. My only refuge was my vehicle which felt more like a steam bath.


I phoned Frau Frugal last week and was sure that the voice that answered was not hers. The whispering female sounded monotone and abbreviated. Then I heard, "I'm at the library," and her voice fell silent. Indeed, it was Frau Frugal, and she speedily informed me that she and a friend were borrowing the library's air conditioning to knock out some paper craft projects. As I processed this information, a myriad of library memories crawled into my lap.

With another school season upon us, I recall how many hours I used to spend at the library and– sadly– how seldom I visit now. The Internet and my own collection of tomes have swept this institution to the wayside. Yet, I loved being immersed in words and experiencing the thrill of the hunt. I miss the library's protocol of silence that seemed to magnify breathing, pencils tap dancing on tables, pages turning, and my preoccupation with not being able to talk.

My encounters with librarians were as diverse as each library's inventory. Many librarians became heroes as they rescued me from procrastination or indecision. They glided through the library with such confidence and ease that I was certain they had read every book. Then, there were the few librarians whose quirky, stoic personalities transformed the library into a floor show.

One such librarian's demeanor inspired me to pen a free verse poem in 1976, my senior year of High School. This particular librarian was so staunch that she became a distraction.

library lady

library lady
tends her flock
of book-lookers

hushes...hisses...slithers past

extinguishes high volume voices
with venom smiles

and coil-fully
hugs the necks
of double violators...

- karen june miller, 1976 -


  1. simply lovely post.. the cartoon is quite cute - hadn't seen it before.

  2. Hello! Thanks so much for your comments on my blog. I really appreciate you taking the time to say hello! My husband used to be a Music director at a contemporary, creative church, looks like you are in a similarly creative ministry! Good for you! I see you are writing a book, perhaps you tell more about it on your blog, I will have to add you to my links so I will check back and read more. You have some fun stuff here! I will look forward to returning.

  3. Fun read kj--and I love your poem, a Tim Burtonish type of librarian! lol I, too, love to go to the library. I'm happy to say that I've instilled that love in my children too, and am very pleased when I hear them chiming out in their somewhat whiney little voices "Moooommmm, when are we gonna go to the libraryyyyyyy?"
    "Today!" I always answer.
    Smiles, Karen

  4. Well, I'm going to find the nearest library in our new community and make it happen golly!


  5. Ha! My daughter is a librarian - at least in training. She is in grad school in library science. I must send her this. I was one of the student librarians when I was a junior in high school - but I was not a stern one! Nice poem!


  6. Hi, this is just a test to see what happenend to my previous comment. Maybe it didn't go through and I will comment later or maybe you need to moderate comments. I didn't pay attention!



Thanks for stopping by!
♫ Karen