Stop Me When I'm Passin' By*

So at my last Book Review Club, my friend Dana starts her review by saying she picked her book on Anne Frank from the book mobile that makes Friday stops in her neighborhood. We’re not very polite in Book Review Club. No one can formally give a review without being rudely interrupted a kabillion times (or maybe 10, or a thousand). Dana didn’t even get to start. “Book mobile? You have a book mobile that comes to your neighborhood? They still exist?” Dana began a quick explanation of how the book mobile comes every Friday at 11:30, and how great it was over the summer...” We cut her off again, “It still comes at 11:30? Even with the kids in school? Are you like the only adult standing on the corner delighted to see the book mobile pull up now?” The image of 4’11” Dana waiting on the sidewalk, smile on face, book in hand, had us all busting out in laughter. As she began her review, I started to daydream of one day owning my own book mobile. How awesome would that be? It could be filled with all of my personal recommendations. As the church librarian (of a humble library the size of a glorified walk-in closet), I dreamt about the awareness this would raise for good books. I began to think I might be missing my calling. Every Sunday morning I march straight to the library to turn on the light. How many people have walked passed without turning on that light? You have to walk by the library to get to the sanctuary. Parishioners stroll right on by my glorious mini-room of wisdom, giving it as much attention as they would a coat closet. So I begin the hunting. Unlike the book mobile, I travel by foot to the different cul-de-sacs inside Pilgrim Presbyterian Church. I tell some of the youth about the new biographies I’ve acquired for the library. During Bible study or Sunday School, I hold up titles that go along with the lesson. I walk around slapping books right into peoples’ laps that I think they would like, and drag them in the library to sign it out. In conversations, I seem to incorporate plugs for books that would compliment our discussion. My friend Shari teases me when I do this. She says my logo is, “There’s a book for that.” Perhaps I’m more of a book Nazi than a librarian. Dewey Decimal makes me cringe (although I would love a card catalogue for other purposes). I desperately need to spend several hours in my treasure-closet organizing, re-categorizing, and sprucing the place up a bit. I tell people to go ahead and underline and take notes in their book. Doesn’t that help the next reader to dialogue and engage more as they read? The check out system consists of a spiral bound notebook and the honor code. Administration is not my strength. I’m so pleased that the elders in my church find it worthy and important to have an annual book budget for the library. And I can hardly believe that I get to be the one to spend it (Although, another administrative struggle is printing and turning in the receipts, ugh!). This is like one of the best gigs I’ve ever landed for sure. The challenge is finding readers and matching good books with their mate. My daydream led me to realize that I am like the book mobile without wheels. I even travel to neighborhoods outside of Pilgrim Presby. I consider it a service extending from our church to the community to lend our books to others that do not have the resources. So I’m an equal-opportunity book Nazi. If only I could find more Danas waiting for me on the curb…   *From David Lee Roth's song,  Ice Cream Man