I have a library phobia. They terrify me. It goes back to a librarian who accused me of stealing a book when the library had mislaid it. My parents were called, the principal was called, guilty until proven innocent was this librarian’s code. After I spent my lawn mowing money to pay for the lost book they found it, lost in their own system. They threw the book at me and then they found it. Before that incident I loved libraries. My discomfort with libraries was cemented though in High School. I have a voice that projects, it carries well. The librarian, who was also my neighbor, constantly called me on the carpet for being too loud in the library. After calling me on the carpet she called my mom, so I got it twice. By the end of high school I had a terror of libraries.
Sitka’s various Librarians tried their best to get me into Kettleson. They found books I would love, invited me to speak at the library (which I did, very uncomfortably) and then spoke loudly to me to make me feel comfortable. I once actually shushed Nancy Gustafson because her attempt to make me feel comfortable made me uncomfortable. They were making progress when I found myself in library stacks during an earthquake. The library was literally throwing the book at me, right in the head.
Recently I’ve been going to the Film Noir series at the library and I seem to be ok. But Bill Foster, Library Board member, decided to take it one step further. He invited me to tour the library construction site. He figured that if I become comfortable with the library BEFORE it looks like a library I may be comfortable when it is finished. He is also threatening making me a speaker at the rededication. I was actually quite comfortable walking through the unfinished library. But then I was wearing a hard hat.
The library is using recycled rock from the Centennial Building. It will have stacks of varying sizes to allow for visibility. There will be a lot of glass so librarians can keep an eye on things from the circulation. The tour guide could not tell me if the glass partitions could successfully muffle my projecting voice.