I've worked in a library for several years now, during school and again when I graduated. Being a librarian was my dream job (though it fought for the position with writer and paleontologist). I love books, I want to work with books - to be surrounded by them constantly. And I'm lucky that I'm able to do that and (mostly) support myself that way.
But there were some downsides that I never even thought of. I was so focused on the books, that I forgot about the people. The library may be all about the materials it offers, but it wouldn't exist at all if it wasn't for the people. And this post today is about one in particular - Mr. G.
Every day since I started working here (in 2009), we have been visited by an older patron that comes in to request all of his favorite movies. Sometimes we own them, sometimes we can get them from elsewhere in the state, and sometimes we buy them just for him - and he's always so grateful and so sweet. He'd come to the desk and chat with us about the movies, or just to talk. He had plenty of amazing stories, since he was a proud veteran. We all knew his health was declining, you could see it in the way he walked, his face, and the shake in his hands. But Mr. G was part of the library, he couldn't go anywhere.
Today, we got a call from Mr. G's daughter - he's fallen, broken his hip, and is not expected to make it another day. To say we are all heartbroken is an understatement. Past employees have emailed and called to check on him. And while we're all hoping for more information, at the same time... we don't want it. We want to just assume that he's home, recovering. The not knowing is both painful and helpful.
I like people, I'm a sociable person. But I don't think I ever expected feeling this close to a library patron. Just typing this post makes me want to tear up, thinking that we might never see our dear Mr. G again.
Mr. G has pulled through some bad times before, and I still fervently hope that he will pull through this, but in case he doesn't - this blog post is my tribute to Mr. G, a much beloved library patron that will be so incredibly missed.