The library is where one finds peace. A place where people go to escape the loud, noisy city. But not the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library in Lafayette Square, and especially not the media room. Being the library’s central hub, it is the noisiest area. But for me, it’s the sound of happiness and my temple of relaxation. From the moment the guards unlock the doors at 8:30 every morning to the last second when they have to kick patrons out after closing, the library sizzles with excitement.
I love the library. I consider myself extremely lucky to work in a place I love and look forward to visiting. Not everyone has the fortune of saying the same. As a senior page in the media room, I take charge when my supervisor isn’t available. I work part time, three days a week, after classes at Erie Community College.
The most common questions I am asked are: “Where are your new releases?” and “How are the DVDs arranged?” I repeat myself 50 times a day. The room always buzzes with a variety of people. Classy, chic, weird and beautiful people, toddlers and teens. The media room is like a circus with uniquely interesting characters, and I am the audience sitting behind the desk with my coffee watching them perform. One cannot find another place in Buffalo more alive and animated than the Central Library. Not even the nightclubs on weekends on West Chippewa.
The room’s entrance is protected by security gates, which are more of a hindrance than assistance and beep to a deafening decibel when anyone walks in with unchecked items. Rows of music CDs span the anterior of the room, from Blake Shelton to Mozart and children’s music like the Wiggles. Next are the cartoons and family DVDs and then the adult DVDs.
The library contains the latest items, including audiobooks for adults and teens. I for one couldn’t get into audiobooks. They steal the magic of a real book that whisks one away to another dimension. The feel and smell of a book captivate me. Nothing can replace that.
My supervisor, “Mr. Bestbossever,” is more of a friend than the average, stiff-necked, buttoned-up stereotypical boss.
One of the best parts about working in a hypersonic atmosphere is meeting new people, where I always learn something new. I am always excited to see regular patrons who remember me. I feel happy seeing their eyes light up and their lips curve into a wide smile when they see me. Mr. Bestbossever teases me that I should be the poster girl for the media room because most patrons ask for me or ring to ask if I’m in. I love interacting with kids who come in, especially toddlers who always come running to me for a hug and candy.
Saturday is the busiest day of the week. Patrons have the weekend off and they all crowd up in the media room, like a smelly fish market in India. The room transforms into a chaotic zoo of varied, interesting characters.
Unlike many students, I don’t have the luxury of an enjoyable Friday night spent meeting friends and relaxing with a drink, because I have to be in the library every Saturday, open to close. But that doesn’t faze me. Knowing I get to meet many of my favorite patrons with whom I’ve become good friends enlivens me. I am grateful to be working in a job I love.