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Librarian Fox-Reynolds
Library helper sign ups (if I must)
Sat Apr 1, 2017 02:16

The library had a strong air of the uncanny. It was familiar enough, having been his place of employment and home for a number of years, to be truly unsettling in its small and subtle differences. Desks had been revarnished, walls repainted, long enough ago now that they were in a similar state to when he’d left but the chips and marks were all in the wrong places. The notice board was the same old battle-scarred cork, but with advertisements for clubs he’d never heard of, run by students he didn’t know. The worst thing had been his bedroom. Someone had re-arranged all the furniture and charmed the walls a different colour. He had soon set that to rights, putting the furniture back where it belonged, and casting the walls back to a pale shade of grey that didn’t disturb the eyeballs. He had improved the main library space by adding one of his posters to the outside of the door into his office - it was the sort of promotional thing that got sent to librarians, which he hoped he gave the impression of hanging up because he was obligated to but which he secretly rather liked. This one showed an open book with a maze inside, through which a small child wandered, the caption reading ‘Get lost in a book at your library!’ With a tendency towards a monochromatic wardrobe and not reading anything printed after 1900, Tarquin was not the sort of person who gave the impression of liking that sort of thing, but he found them charming. He hadn’t dared transport his old favourite, a boy staving off a fierce dragon, using a book for a shield, as it was now showing signs of imminently disintegrating with age. He doubted the people who had printed the posters had thought that anyone would keep them after they sent out next year’s cheery replacement. He supposed he liked them because they reminded him of what reading had meant to him as a child, when it had been his best friend, and his only escape from a world that he didn’t fit into.

He liked to think he had only undergone positive changes since leaving, although that was in part due to the fact that he frequently forgot how thoroughly middle-aged he looked until he saw photographs or glanced in the mirror. His black shoulder length hair and black beard were flecked with grey and his face was more lined than when he’d walked these halls before. They sometimes called that ‘care-worn’ which was funny. He’d had many more cares when he’d come here as a young man. He hadn’t known how to be himself, afraid of what other people would think - a reaction which was not entirely unfair or unsurprising after the homophobic reactions he’d received from his own father. Nothing had given him cause to suspect that the rest of the world would be different, and he had kept to himself, afraid of his personal life being discovered and judged. Until he’d nearly lost Danny. He had pushed him out, tried to make him too much of a terrible secret… And losing Danny hadn’t been worth it. Hadn’t been a price he was willing to pay to avoid judgement. And it had been… fine. Certainly, he hadn’t hung rainbow flags from his office or become a social butterfly. He still hadn’t had enough close or direct interactions with the other staff to know what they’d really thought. He had still been quiet and private, but he had ceased to be secretive or embarrassed, and this was reflected in the way he set his office up now. It was a small room, behind the main desk of the library. A place into which few people would probably venture. But on the desk in the corner was a framed family photo - himself, with fewer greys and fewer lines, a girl of around five with brown ringlets standing in front of him, and a man with a mop of blond hair, holding a small toddler with hair that, by pure coincidence, matched his own. Given that the two children in question were now alumni of the school, there were a great deal more family photos, many of which were decorating his personal quarters, but this was the first, and still his favourite, and the one which he wished to gaze on when he had long and boring stock reports to compile. The set up of his office was complete with the installation of tea making paraphernalia on a small table in the corner. He had cast an odour dispelling charm to get rid of the unwanted smell of coffee that had lingered in the air, but was still irked by the memory of it. He boiled some water with a wave of his wand, making himself a cup of strong black tea with milk. He had kicked the habit of adding sugar several years back.

He held the cup in his hand as he walked over to the notice board. Certainly it was too hot to drink and would remain so until he had completed this small and simple task, but he didn’t want to leave it on his desk. Physical distance from one’s tea diminished the positive psychological effects it had, and it was comforting to keep ahold of the warm cup, even though he had to perform a small sort of finger dance, wriggling the drawing pin free, and then holding the notice steady with different fingers, slowly inching them up by increments, until his drawing-pin-holding fingers were in the top centre, then driving the pin home. The notice read.

Student Helpers

Students who wish to help out in the library may sign up below. The two roles available are:

Monitors (advanced and intermediate only): checking books in/out, assisting students, organizational tasks and errands.

Assistants (all ages): organising/reshelving, and other tasks as directed by the monitors.

Please sign up with your name and year below. Speak to Librarian Fox-Reynolds if you have questions.

He had added that last sentence as a courtesy, but he really hoped they didn’t. Library helpers… He didn’t need or particularly want library helpers. He was a perfectly well qualified librarian, and he had rather gathered that that was the point of having such a person on staff, and why they’d been so pleased to get him to cover at such short notice. But apparently it was traditional. He tried not to be too grumpy at the prospect… His own daughter had done the job when she was a student, and he certainly wouldn’t have wanted some grumpy librarian resenting her help or her presence. He tried to remind himself that any students who signed up for the job were likely to be quiet, conscientious and respectful of books. It wasn’t like inviting the house Quidditch teams to come and help him. Still, even though he didn’t dislike students per se, he tended to prefer only to have the minimal interactions with them possible - a tendency that actually extended to colleagues and other humans in general. He wasn’t misanthropic, but he liked tea and books, and those were better enjoyed without company. He supposed his library monitors might save him some interactions with the rest of the student body, but would he, in compensation, have to interact more with them, or at least have them around all the time? And was a greater number of interactions, but only with conscientious, book-oriented students, a good trade off for having to interact with the rest of the student body? Perhaps. He supposed he would find out. He returned to his desk, sipping his tea, and trying not to look like he was watching the sign up notice like a hawk.

    • Being nosy.John Umland, Mon Apr 24 19:22
      It was, John thought absently, typical. He had managed to scrape together a Quidditch team, and that was precisely why he now had a headache. No matter how he arranged them, he found disadvantages of ... more
      • The feeling is mutualLibrarian Fox-Reynolds, Thu Jun 8 09:33
        Tarquin hurriedly buried his nose back in his book as the student turned away from the sign up sheet, trying not to get caught staring. It was ridiculous anyway, he could neither read the boy’s name... more
        • John also brightened considerably when his suspicions about New Guy were near-confirmed. The question posed to him in turn only slowed him down for a moment. “My name? Oh, yes. It’s John. I’m John... more
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